I had another meeting with our HR representative this week. It looks like getting my birth center covered by insurance isn’t likely to happen. That leaves two alternatives. The first is moving forward with a birth that’s not covered (at least not in network). The second is to choose a hospital birth through a covered OB/Gyn.

Delivering at AABC would cost $4,500 without insurance if I allowed a midwife-in-training to be there. $5,500 if I didn’t. Of course I would want one there, even if there wasn’t a discount. Given my druthers I’d have my midwife, my doctor, my husband, my mom, my sister-in-law, my doula, my midwife-in-training, and maybe even a doula-in-training there. I recognize that 10 people (including the baby and me) would be excessive even in the spacious birthing suites at AABC. But nonetheless that is a group of people I wouldn’t mind having there to help me breathe and hold my hand. It’s too many people though. So I’m also fine with my midwife, mother, husband, and a midwife-in-training with a doctor on call and a hospital under two minutes away, which is what AABC offers for $4,500. (Minus the mother and husband of course; those are BYOB.) $4,500 isn’t the problem. It would be a strain, but there’s a payment plan and everyone knows children are expensive. The problem is if something goes wrong and that $4,500 suddenly skyrockets into the tens of thousands.  I’m honestly not worried that I wouldn’t get medical help in time; I’d never put the health and safety of myself and my child behind my own desires. I have total faith that the people at AABC know when to call in a different kind of professional. But I’m worried about how I would pay for that different kind of professional, and I’m worried about trying to negotiate my insurance with a newborn. Insurance is awful even when you’ve got all the time and sleep in the world.

But midwives don’t scare me in the way doctors do. I’m not scared of doctors per se, but I am very scared of getting a doctor that is experienced with C-sections, epidurals, and The Hospital Way and would push me towards those things too soon just because it’s what he/she does best. I acknowledge that this is a generalization, but I believe an M.D. would hurry me to a Pitocin drip before one was necessary, and that a midwife would never hesitate to say, “This is outside of what I’m here for. Time to bring in someone else to handle a medical issue.” Women have had babies for millions of years without an M.D. there to help, but women have also died or lost their babies for millions of years.

The advantage of having a “regular” birth would be that I could find someone who’s covered. It would cost about the same as a birthing center if nothing went wrong, but would probably be cheaper if something went wrong. I don’t think I’d want a natural (i.e. without anesthetics) birth this way. Trying to breathe through the pain when I know lying on my back isn’t natural would be too much. Argh, I just don’t want to do it. The covered OB I’ve seen in the past uses St. Davids. Here’s their page about delivery options. It lists a birthing center as a potential location to have a baby, but spends far more space explaining what a C-section is. Their birth plan page is a glossary of terminology.

No point in stressing about it yet. But it’s on my mind.