So I've been tossing around the idea of having my next baby at home. Now I'm in the process of making this decision, and I hardly know where to begin. Not actually having birthed at a birth center OR at home before, I'm kind of lost.
I LOVE the birth center that my midwives practice at. It's beautiful and all three rooms have cool hot tubs. That's about the most it has going for it. It's far from our home, almost an hour drive, depending on traffic. There also aren't any good accomodations for anyone who wants to be at the birth center and wait while I'm in labor. This concerns me mostly because I want Iris to be able to be close by, but there really isn't good space for her to be there for possibly hours. Also, at a birth center, you come home hours after birth, with a tiny baby. Obviously there's not much difference between driving a 24 hour old baby and a 5 hour old baby, but I just don't like thinking about having to do that.
Okay, so at home. We live in an apartment, for one. We have a downstairs neighbor and a neighbor on one side. My bedroom doesn't share walls with any other apartment, however, but I am sure I won't spend the whole time in there. I also don't LOVE being at home. I don't always feel the most comfortable here, but it is my home, and it's where all my stuff is, where all of Matt and Iris's stuff is, and most importantly, where the food is! Ha ha. We also have a tiny hot water heater that barely gets us through a normal day, let alone a labor and birth. I know if we rented a tub, we could heat water on the stove, but that would eliminate using the shower, and there would have to be hot water left for after the baby's birth. I also wouldn't have to go anywhere! Everyone would come to me! The baby wouldn't have to be transported for a long, long time if we didn't want her/him to be. It might be a little more expensive to have a home birth, as we'd have to rent our own tub, get our own supplies, etc. However, I don't know if we are charged less for not using the birth center facilities, so that might even out. Most importantly, Iris can stay home, and Matt and I can stay home, and we'll all just be HERE instead of scrambling to get everyone out the door. I guess I don't know for sure, but having Iris close by while I go through this labor and birth would be really wonderful for me. I also think that it would be great, if she wanted to be there, she could participate in the birth. Who knows, she may be more interested in watching Teletubbies!
I'm going to talk to my midwives in depth about all of this to see what they think. I am sure there are many, many points I haven't even thought about that I have to consider. Also, I need Matt to be fully (well, at least 75%) on board with that choice.
Sigh, what to do, what to do!