She came to my house. Yes, that’s how she operates: house calls. And let me tell you, I love it. We sat in the living room. We talked. She got herself up to date on my pregnancy. She gave me some organic pregnancy tea. She had me lie back on the couch and then we all – all, except for Jenny who wanted to be outside and Bill who had to chase her down – listened to the baby’s heartbeat. She palpated my womb and explained to the kids that she could feel the baby’s leg, the baby’s back, the baby’s head.
They were absolutely fascinated. I forget that for all my pregnancies where I would go by myself to the doctor or midwife that they wouldn’t get to do this. Not only was it educational for them, I could see their eyes light up as this woman made the baby’s life very real to them. They were able to do some of the pre-birth bonding that I take for granted, since I do it every time, like right now, that I feel the little squirms and kicks of this child.
So, that was great. But then she even drew my blood right there at the dining room table (with two of my kids covering their ears as they watched?) and administer a shot of RhoGAM I needed. If I could only find a family practitioner who made house calls…this was just simply my best experience at a medical appointment.
We went over her list of dos and don’ts – no TUMS for heartburn because she’s noticed calcification on placentas (fortunately, I’m not having that problem this time), eat lots of protein, try eating more bananas since I’m starting to get leg cramps at night. We talked about a birth plan – five prior labors and deliveries and never once a serious discussion about a birth plan, initiated by the caregiver. We talked about the three hospitals she can use, and her preferred one, which is an hour away.
And we talked about home birth. Surprisingly, Bill is pretty open to that whole idea. My mom, though, seems a bit skeptical, thinking possibly that they are overrated having had one herself. Of course my mom’s home birth was the kind of home birth that nobody would ever want: three sleeping children, husband hundreds of miles from home, family only maybe 15 or 20 minutes away, but too far away to get there before the baby did. No, I wouldn’t want to deliver my own child, if that’s what a home birth meant.
I’m on the fence about the whole thing. I’ll pre-register at the hospital, but I’m keeping an open mind on delivering at home. And if a home birth is to a hospital birth as a house call is to going to the doctor’s office, I’m already sold.