In a perfect world I would have this baby at home.
As far as hospital births go, I have no complaints about my labor and delivery experience with Joshua. But I am not particularly looking forward to another hospital birth. I had Joshua at Northwestern Memorial, one of the best women's hospitals in the country. While it is definitely a baby factory, I never once had anyone question any of my decisions about labor, delivery, or aftercare. I'm not so sure how things are going to go here.
I have looked extensively for a midwife willing to perform a homebirth, but the only midwives in the area work for the big hospital and won't do deliveries at home. Heck, I can't even find a doula within 50 miles. But short of a homebirth (in which I envision myself laboring in my own bed, in my enormous tub, even in my yard) I would prefer to make this one work without medication. I feel much more confident in my ability this time around since I will be able to labor at home longer now that the hospital isn't sixty miles away and since I've already been through this once. But just in case I decided to do some more reading on unmedicated birth to supplement my Bradley Birth classes from my pregnancy with Joshua. I searched the internet and noticed that many bloggers had read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
Rewind to Christmas...
My mom, my best friend, and her mom were visiting together at my mom's house. We were discussing scenic routes in Middle and Western Tennessee, and fun, out-of-the-way places like Hohenwald. My mom started talking about Summertown, TN, a commune founded by some California "hippies" in the 1970s who wanted to live in intentional community and create their own utopia. This story surprised me. I've lived in Tennessee for most of my life and had never heard of The Farm, as it is known. It is still going strong, as you can see from their website and they are most well-known for their group of nationally-recognized midwives, led by the co-founder of the commune.
Can you see where this is going?
Yep, the co-founder of the commune and preeminent midwife in the United States is none other than Ina May Gaskin of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. And she lives 120 miles away.
Now my ideal birth is on The Farm with Ina May and the Midwives. But I have a sneaking suspicion I'll probably be in the hospital.
Just for fun, Vanity Fair recently did a story on the Farm. It's fascinating. You can find it here.