Category Archives: Evansville Indiana Alternative Birthing Options & Research

Still trying to find somewhere near southern Indiana to deliver my baby…

This week we found out that CPM (certified professional midwives) are not covered via N’s employer plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield does cover midwives in other plans but for the specific plan elected by N’s employer they are not included… Bummer

This reminds me of how we felt discovering that same sex domestic partnerships are recognized here but not male/ female domestic partnerships and how mold is lawful here but not home birth.

This means birthing at The Farm is only possible if we can pay the $4700 out of pocket to deliver and stay there. I just spoke with Pamela over at The Farm and did the phone interview with her.

It is amazing how different people give you different vibes that can have a major influence on your feelings about something. After talking to Pamela I feel 100% comfortable and even a bit excited about a natural birth at The Farm as opposed to my feelings and vibes from others I have met and spoke with.

Having someone who understands your motivation and is not judgmental or scared about the process makes a huge difference in how confident and prepared you feel. I have been searching high and low for a midwife who is confident in me and the process, supportive of my wishes and who is also upfront and honest about all the specifics.

Pamela took down my info and we talked about diet and health. She says I seem like a good candidate for a Farm birth based upon my weight, height, age and my reproductive history.

We also talked about the RhoGam shot and my blood type. At the Farm they will test the baby’s cord blood after delivery and will administer the shot if it is needed after labor. They do not have you get the shot during pregnancy unless you are having a placental complication or other blood contamination risks.

Everything I want is possible at The Farm including the medical support and knowledge of emergency situations. Their statistics are very good and they also have quite the positive birthing track record. What I like most is their philosophy that women with normal, risk free pregnancies shouldn’t be afraid of having a natural birth outside the hospital.

As long as you have a back up plan and are open to the idea that you may need to transport to the hospital in an emergency there is no reason to not try for the birth that you want. That is exactly what The Farm is for us, both a safety precaution and the freedom to have what we want.

I desperately want to be able to pay for a birth at The Farm, now I need to figure out the finances. I wont bore you with the specific details but basically we need to come up with about $7000 cash in 6 months to repair the Nissan (that is still in Arizona) and to pay for the birth we want otherwise I am stuck with a much less preferable hospital birth.

A fellow blogger near me (YERTblog) discovered Clark Memorial Hospital’s Birthing Center that is near us. They have a natural birthing room with the birthing tub and they are more open to natural birthing preferences. This hospital seems like the best hospital option in our area and our insurance does cover this facility so we have a back up plan if we aren’t able to financially make The Farm happen.

Unfortunately with hospital birth comes the fear mongering, the lack of support and all the possibilities of unnecessary interventions. It just wont be the spiritual birth I want for me and my baby.

In other news this 14th week of pregnancy has resulted in much growth! I am clearly showing now (it is a small bump) and I have begun to feel the skin stretching and pressure, you know the fun of growing a human being. Here are some shots for your viewing pleasure:

Now I am just trying to crunch the budget and figure out how we can come up with the cash we need.

Pamela at The Farm wants us to come out for a tour and an exam before we make any financial commitments or sign and forms. She suggested an appointment sometime in January or in March so N and I have some decision making to do.

Oh yeah, have a happy new year all!

In Indiana breathing mold is okay but home birth is not, just an FYI.

Yeah I know the title seems kind of odd huh? I have been tying all sorts of weird things together these days like posts about a ladies hoo-hoo’s and mold. This is just the way my brain is working these days… Hopefully it is mildly entertaining for you cause this mold thing is making me beyond pissy! This is a pissy post by the way.

Yeah, so in Indiana having a baby in your home with certain midwives is bad news but you can be exposed to any level of mold spores by your landlord because there are no defined limits on mold here! Nice huh?

Yep, I found out that there is no regulation on mold growth here. We talked to the Indiana department of health about it today. Really just goes to prove how much the laws truly protect us.

DEM (direct entry midwives) and CPM (certified professional midwives) are not able to legally practice in Indiana simply because their training did not include licensed nursing. They are thoroughly trained and know their trade but they are considered unlawful by the state, the reasoning is that law is “protecting us”.

Yet mold safety limits are not set in Indiana and the presence of mold is not a health department or code enforcement issue (we’ve called both organizations) here despite the CDC’s statements that “If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present.” and that all forms of mold are bad and should be removed. Where is our law that protects now? *scratches head*

Oh and our landlords did allow that certified letter and rent check we sent to get returned to us. The post office held the letter and left them notice to come pick it up, the letter waited for for 18 days but the landlords just couldn’t be bothered with it… So now we are waiting for it to appear back in our mailbox so we can determine what to do now. Good thing we wasted like $5.00 to send it. I am just so damn mad about all this rental drama today!

Thanks for all your well wishes. Yesterday I was feeling a bit better but today I am back to feeling like a cold is coming on. We have our air ducts in the bedroom closed off and I have a humidifier with vicks vapor stuff in it that makes my breathing less painful but my head still aches and so does my body (like I am running a fever).

It is confirmed, I am breathing in mold while in the house, the mold tests are beginning to show mold growth on them so that proves it. Now we just need to see if the mold presence on the indoor tests proves to be more that the control test we were instructed to run outdoors. The tests have another day to incubate.

If there is more mold in the house than there is in the air outside that is considered bad news. I am certain the air quality is impacting our health and the health of the pets since we are all having respiratory issues.

Here is what those petri dishes are looking like today:

This first photo is of the outdoor air sample, the control test that determines what amount of mold growth is normally in the air surrounding the house. Click on the image for a larger view.

The next photo is of the basement test. This one was placed on the floor near the area that water seeped under the bar and in to the tiled area of the basement. Click on the image for a larger view.

So far it looks like more mold was present in the basement air test that in the outdoor air test. Just to be sure we did a second basement test today and N is also planning to run a HVAC mold test to sample the quality of the air from our heater and AC unit.

Honestly I am at a loss as to what the next step is. I do not have the physical or emotional strength to move right now nor do I think I will throughout the course of this pregnancy.

I know we are going to have to either way as our lease expires before I am due. Obviously we don’t want to remain in a home that has moldy air while I am pregnant and I am certain we can get out of the lease if we want to despite the lack of mold regulations in the state…

We are looking for a place to buy right now because quite frankly we do not want to be moving every year for the next 3 years while we are here for N’s job, especially with a child. But buying a home is also something you don’t just rush in to. If we rushed we might end up owning a dump that also has mold issues except we would own it and have to spend a ton fixing the issue.

I am just exhaused and can’t find a solution. In a perfect world we would already own a home, I would be decorating the baby’s nursury, things would be calm and I wouldn’t face heath risks as a result of my home’s air quality… Reality has presented me with the exact opposite of perfection and we’ll just have to find a way to make it work, as usual. That just pisses me off today, I am going to eat a corndog now.

Lets take back our birthing rights!

Did you know the United States is ranked 29th (among industrialized countries) with regards to infant mortality rate?

“Since ranking a fairly respectable 12th in 1960, the U.S. fell to an all-time low 29th in the world in infant mortality in 2004, according to the report Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The U.S. infant mortality ranking has been falling steadily, from 23rd in 1990, to 27th in 2000.” Quote source

Maternity care in this country really bothers me because it is so one sided, it is way to medically managed. I think that modern medical advancements are wonderful and that they really do save and help so many. Hospital birth is a fitting option for many women due to medical complications, risks and even because of convenience. I am glad we have so many trained and skilled professionals in these hospitals to treat us.

What bothers me is the idea that birthing anywhere but the hospital is bad. Hospitals are great for healing the sick and for managing complications but there are many women who are complication free who would like a different approach to childbirth that is not possible in a hospital. Those of us who have no complications that need managing should be free to choose a birth setting we are comfortable with but the AMA and ACOG don’t want that.

Our current need for health care reform is (in my opinion) a result of the one sided system we already have in place. We already know change is necessary and this is our chance to speak up about our views and concerns so that we’ll be heard.

Soon we’ll have a new president in office and there is no better time than now to start speaking up about maternity care and other issues that are important to us.

I am personally livid that how and where I birth my child is being decided for me by the law. This is a decision that is each woman’s to make much like the debate on abortion. It is a woman’s body and should be her right to choose.

I am all for educated decision making, I welcome the recommendations and advice of organizations like the AMA and ACOG, I also value other information sources such as Childbirth Connection’s Evidence-Based Maternity Care and many other sources. Knowledge is power so educate and advise us but DO NOT force us!

If you are like me and want to fight for change you can contact your representatives and express your concerns. This is what legislation is currently on the table:

Congress:
S.507 Midwifery Care Access and Reimbursement Equity Act of 2007
H.R.864 Midwifery Care Access and Reimbursement Equity Act of 2007
Georgia:
SB480 Georgia Qualified Medication Aides Act; provide for delegation of certain nursing tasks; Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses
Missouri:
SB637 Direct Entry Midwifery in Missouri
HB974 MIDWIFERY – Davis, Cynthia L.
South Carolina:
S881 S881
H4347 H4347

Also consider writing President-Elect Obama about your views on health care and birthing options. With health care reform just around the corner we have a chance to make some changes but only if we all speak up regardless of our own personal preferences. Every woman deserves the right to choose, lets take that right back!

Trying to have a home birth in Evansville, Indiana…

I apologize for not posting over the weekend, I know it is the most popular time of the week for this blog. Things have just been a tad bit frustrating and I lacked the energy to do much other than pull my hair out.

Here is a little background for you, N and I want a natural child birth with limited interventions. I have done extensive research and am very opposed to hospital birthing because they run the delivery much like an assembly line at a manufacturing plant.

Every mother is expected to deliver within a certain time frame, to progress at a certain speed and if that doesn’t happen the doctors feel the need to medically intervene and to control the birthing situation with drugs like pitocin, IV’s, fetal monitoring and so on.

Unnecessary labor induction often results in a more painful labor and can lead to the need for a c-section and episiotomy. They can also cause breast feeding issues and can even cause postpartum depression. Those labor inducing measures are basically forcing your body to deliver when it is not ready to, this is not preferable in my opinion.

Also, continuous fetal monitoring, the use of IV’s and epidurals result in you being confined to the bed for delivery which is not the most optimal birthing position. The confinement and labor interventions are linked to the rise in c-sections throughout the country. Oh and c-sections make more money for the hospital… Lots about the system is just not right and I want a say in how I deliver my baby.

I believe childbirth is a natural normal thing that our bodies already know how to do and that we should trust that and allow labor to play out as normally and naturally as possible in low risk pregnancies. Sure I want a trained professional to be there to monitor it all and jump in if a life threatening complication arises but only after I have been allowed to try things naturally. I could go and on about my reasoning but that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I am outraged by the lack of choice a woman has when delivering her baby. When you are at the hospital and you have a life threatening issue that can be remedied (like heart surgery) you cannot be forced to have the surgery. If you decline heart surgery and are fated to die as a result the doctors MUST honor your decision.

When you are in delivery and have certain views or wishes regarding what is or is not done to you the doctors do not have to honor you wishes as it is their responsibility to keep the baby alive. They’ll do what ever it takes to protect themselves from possible malpractice claims which often means getting the baby out as fast as possible however they feel is best, this is managed birth.

Unfortunately there is much debate about the real benefits of managed births. Women experience much more pain during labor and often are left with awful birth memories and depression as a result of managed birth techniques. Many women are pressured or forced to do what the doctors think is best regardless of what she really wants which results in both emotional and physical scarring.

For example, I don’t want to be hooked up to an IV, a continuous fetal monitor, a catheter or pain meds because I don’t want to be confined to the bed for delivery. Upright laboring positions are better and I want to have the freedom to try them out. Being connected to all those machines prevents me from doing that and many hospitals wont allow you to birth “unplugged” because “what if you need to be rushed to surgery and you aren’t hooked up?”, it is all a liability issue for them.

I basically determined that hospital birth isn’t really for me and that I would be better off doing a home birth and having a midwife attend. Problem is I can’t find a midwife in Evansville that will attend a home birth, because there are certain laws here preventing the traditional practice of midwifery.

You see direct-entry midwives (those midwives who are not registered as a certified nurse midwife) are illegal here in Indiana as they are in about 12 other states as of 2006.

Indiana prohibits the practice of midwifery by individuals other than licensed doctors and nurses (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 4/4).”

I have found a few nurse-midwives that are listed on my insurance plan provider list that are practicing legally but they are working in a hospital setting under doctors and must comply with the hospital and doctors wishes. I have also contacted past patients of these nurse-midwives and have been told of how despite their midwife title they are practicing just as any other nurse in a hospital would with regards to managed birth.

So if I don’t like the managed birth philosophy of doctors and nurses and direct-entry midwives are illegal what options do I have? I can have an unsupervised, unassisted home birth but that is not preferable considering this is my first delivery and I don’t know what I am doing, I can try hiring a birth advocate (a doula) and delivering in a hospital where I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get some of what I want or I can hire an illegal direct-entry midwife to attend my home birth. Perfect! Reminds me of the days of back alley abortions. I am just not a happy lady right now!

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