Two of them, in fact. ; )
I've been on the hunt for a midwife here in Sacramento ever since we became certain we'd be moving here. I contacted a few via email, got a bit of information... then waited, impatiently, until we actually moved and got settled enough to start booking appointments to actually meet them in person. Last week I met with one midwife who was lovely-- Zach came with me and we both got a great feel off her. However, her office is a good 20-25 minute drive away, so while I was tempted to just tell her right then and there that I'd go with her, I waited until this week to meet with another midwifery practice that's based much closer to our home.
Well, I met with them yesterday morning and after talking with them for nearly an hour and a half about their practice in specific, and birth in general, I went ahead and scheduled my first prenatal appointment with them for next week!
The practice focuses on home births and consists of two midwives, Claudia and Jen. Both were there today, and they both will see me together for my first and second prenatal appointments, along with the 36 week appointment,and they'll both come for the birth. For all other appointments, I'll be seeing one or the other. Appointments tend to last about an hour, they said, and we'll meet monthly until I think 27 weeks, bi-weekly till 36 weeks, and past 36 weeks they'll come to our home for appointments every week until I go into labor. They only take on between 3-5 births per month, so chances are very good that they will both be available for my birth. However, since there are two of them, in the event that another client goes into labor at the same time as me they can split up and I still get to use one of the midwives I've been seeing for the previous many months, as opposed to a back-up I've met once or not at all. They both have loads of experience, including more potentially complicated births like VBACs and breech vaginal births, not to mention more common complications like shoulder dystocia, infant resuscitation, or postpartum hemorrage and have both the tools and know-how to deal with them in a safe and effective manner. On the very low chance that I might need to go to a hospital for some reason, they can stay with me, and their hospital transfers have almost always gone very smoothly for the mom and baby. After the birth one of the midwives will come to our home to check on me and the baby at 1, 3, and 5 days, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks postpartum, and then we'll have one final appointment in their office at 6 weeks. (doesn't that sound so nice? I *love* that midwives do home visits. Nathalie did this after D's birth, too, and it was so reassuring)
I initially became sold on wanting a home birth when I started looking into options in San Jose and realized the only 2 real options available were hospital with an OB vs home with a midwife. Here in Sacramento there is actually one birth center around, but now that I've gotten used to the idea of being able to just stay home in labor, not have to get in a car to go anywhere but stay here where all our things are and where we're all comfortable, it's hard for me to want anything different. The midwives will bring with them all the equipment that you'd normally have at a center, and will set up and then clean everything up for us (including the setting up and breaking down of a birthing tub, which is one of my personal birthing must-haves). That means all I have to focus on is birthing my baby, and then snuggling up with him or her afterwards. =) And, in case of a true no-time-to-lose emergency, there's a hospital literally about a mile away from our home.
So! That's settled. And it feels pretty nice. I'm excited to start my care with these midwives. And as odd as it may sound to say, I'm actually really looking forward to giving birth again. I felt pretty confident about my body and my abilities last time, but now that I know I can do it, now that I know exactly what I'm capable of, I have a whole new level of confidence and calm about the process. The one thing we'll still have to figure out about is Donovan-- I'm torn about whether I'll want him to be here for the birth and share in the experience with us, or if we'll want to find someone who can take him for that night/day. I have some thinking and exploring to do about that.