I knew there was a little one inside before the test confirmed it. Let's see ... a Christmas baby. This one would be two years younger than our first child.
I was set on using the same birth center where I had already enjoyed a good experience. Months before we had chosen to save up, rather than pay into an insurance plan, partly because many plans don't cover birth center costs well.
My husband and I sat down with costs and budget laid out and reevaluated. Were there any other options, perhaps less than the $6,000 birth center package? What about a midwife at home?
I soon found that most midwives had been chased out of state or out of practice by a restrictive law. The two I located were about as far away as the birth center. They spoke at length about our needing to consider possible ways to work around the midwife law in order to employ services. Finally, I determined that having a possibly stressed midwife who may not make it to the birth in time wasn't worth hiring an experienced attendant. Besides, the cost would still be about $4,000.
I was still thinking that the birth center was our best option, though I was intrigued by a local friend's home birth without a midwife. She had creatively compensated for not having a midwife's support, and maybe I could too.
I began to explore possibilities and research extensively. The more I envisioned home birth, the more I wished to deliver in the comfort of my home. As welcoming as it had been when we got to the birth center, I relished the idea of skipping the awful hour-long car ride.