When you?re pregnant, you get asked a LOT of questions. I only started being noticeably pregnant instead of just fat recently, so this pregnancy, I didn?t really have to answer many questions! But one of the most commonly asked is where the baby will be born. I don?t really like thinking about it, to tell you the truth, because it?s complicated and I?m not really happy with my options, but since we?re nearly at week 32, it?s definitely time some decisions were made, and so they have been, albeit reluctantly.
Here are the options and why we did or didn?t choose them.
1. Homebirth. I love the idea of this, being in the comfort of my own home, with Irving there, but it?s not for us. I have a wonderful midwife just two houses up from us who would happily attend a homebirth, but there are too many problems with this. First, our house is too small for me to have a baby without the kids being close enough to know what was going on and I don?t want to scare them. Second, neither of my births would have been good to have at home, so I?m too nervous about the idea of trying to have Dominic at home. Even if his birth goes smoothly, I would be too anxious and that would affect things too much. Not to mention, I?m sure my MIL would show up in the middle of things and drive me insane and I?d probably end up in a fight right in the middle of having a baby, which is never a good thing.
2. Birthing Center. There is a natural birthing center in the capital, which actually sounds amazing and I know people who have had their babies there and had a good go of it. However, I hate the idea of being so far from home. I don?t want the boys being left alone that long, even though my sister is coming to look after them while Dominic is born (if he arrives on time!). Not to mention, I find being in a vehicle while in labor very uncomfortable and stressful and driving all the way to the capital would just be unpleasant. If there were a birthing center in Antigua, I would seriously consider using it!
3. Private Hospital. The hospital where Dorian had his surgery is the same hospital that two of my friends have had their babies at and I am familiar with the staff there. My doctor would be able to attend if we had Dominic at this hospital and Irving would be able to attend the birth, I could have an epidural if I wanted (not an option with the first two!) and the boys could visit right after the baby arrived. It is also very close to where we live. However, while we seriously considered this option for the first part of the pregnancy, some recent changes in work and finances have ruled this out since a private hospital is not cheap, even for a natural birth.
4. Public Hospital. I had both Dorian and Dante in the public hospital in San Felipe, which is about 20 minutes away. It?s the nearest public hospital to us and is a teaching hospital. I?m no stranger to it, having been there for all my miscarriages, as well. It?s free, very basic and no one can be with you while you give birth. In fact, the father can?t visit until visiting hours. So far, my kids have both arrived around 5:30 am, so that meant Irving didn?t get to meet them until 1 pm, though with Dorian, he actually snuck in earlier because of the medical issues. The boys also cannot visit because children aren?t allowed into the hospital, except as patients. I?m familiar with the way things work in the public hospital and have had one good and one bad birth experience there . . . but since it?s not like this is my first baby, it should be fine. I also like that your baby stays with you the entire time, being taken away only for bathing and a health check.
We?ve decided that Dominic will be born in the public hospital, just like his brothers. Part of me is not happy with this because you never know who will be attending . . . maybe only interns . . . at this hospital and because I kind of wanted Irving to be able to be there, but at the same time, I know how things work there and am relatively familiar with the place. I would also not go until I was well into labor, since they don?t allow walking, which would mean my stay would be relatively short.
Now that the biggest decision is out of the way, I have to figure out what I?m doing about work! At the moment, I?m the only person who can handle what I?m doing in my job and taking time off isn?t really an option, so it will take some creative thinking to figure out a solution!