How do you decide where to give birth?

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Life brings us to crossroads, where we have to make hard decisions. One of those such decisions, we (my husband and I) had to make was where to give birth to our son. Our daughter's birth did not end the way either of us expected, and left me traumatized never wanting to be pregnant again. After much healing, God blessed us with another child. Now where were we going to receive care from?

We prayed a lot. I found out I was pregnant right during harvest. Wanting to do this journey and decision making together, we waited until harvest was over before we started interviewing providers. I was very much opposed to hospital birth. Just taking my daughter to the clinic for well checks raised my blood pressure and put me on edge. How was I supposed to give birth in that environment? You need to relax for birth to happen naturally! 

We interviewed a couple different midwives, one independent and one in a birth center. I researched and came up with pages of questions for them, everything from what is required during visits, to what would be required during birth, to treatment if anything was declined, and their personal statistics (interventions, success rates, etc.). I also searched the internet to find background and reviews on each potential midwife before we even scheduled a consultation. Prior to the interviews we decided we would not make any decisions that day. We would take the answers home, talk about them, pray then decide where was best. 

At the end of the interviews I wanted one midwife, my husband wanted the other. The birth center would provide me care, but I would have to give birth in a hospital, due to physician policy.  We decided to tour where we would be giving birth. One choice was easy to tour: home. The other, we had to schedule the appointment. Unfortunately my husband could not go with me on the tour. 

I prayed very specifically for a good week or more before, that God would give me clear answers. I prayed for complete peace if this was where we were supposed to be, or a complete anxiety attack if it was not. I wanted clear answers, so there was no doubt in my mind. 

I made it through a good part of the tour, but as we got further and further into the labor rooms, the more anxious I got. My daughter became my focus to keep me out of a complete attack. As soon as the tour was done we b-lined it out of there as fast as I could. Trying to get a coat on a 2 year old was hard, getting across the parking garage and into the car was harder. I was quickly losing it. I got my daughter buckled in, got in myself, and locked the door. I could finally let go. I was staking so bad I could barely dial my husband and talk. I sobbed into the phone, shaking, 

“I can’t do this.” 

“It it OK, you tried. I wish I could come through the phone and hold you. Breath with me.”

He calmed me down and I oiled up. We had our answer very clearly. I had only had one other mild attack prior to that event. I believe that attack was solely for the purpose that I would know what it was for this decision. God is faithful. 

And that was how it was determined we would give birth at home. A decision I do not regret in the slightest, as it brought about a redeeming birth. 

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