Last week we toured the three birth centers closest to our house, and by close, I mean the nearest one took 30 minutes of California – HOV lane – high-speed – driving to get to, and the farthest a full hour and a half over 4 highways, and GODDAMMIT, if it doesn’t make me miss Seattle something fierce, or worse, my tiny hometown, where thirty minutes in the car meant a nuclear bomb had been detonated in the vicinity. How people make drives like that on a daily basis is completely incomprehensible to me. Being in the car for that long is absolutely rage-inducing, pregnant or not.
Anyhoo. One midwife I loved, the other I hated, and the third fell predictably in the middle. At this point I am making my choice purely on gut feeling, since they are all similarly qualified, trained, and as vetted as I can determine, using the handy tools the internet provides for me to do such vetting. WORDS OF ASSVICE: do not leave all your friends/coworkers/neighbors for a new city 2 months before you get pregnant, because I cannot get a personal recommendation for jack-shit around here, and normally this makes for interesting city-exploring adventures, but in this case it is less interesting and infinitely more maddening.
Interesting tidbits: I continue to be AMAZED at the number of medical professionals who assume I got pregnant via IVF. Yes, indeed, as a lesbo, semen is not exactly my favorite substance, and I DO tend to avoid it “from the source,” if you will. However, having a previously frozen sample delivered to my uterus via catheter by a doctor is something I can totally handle; no need to HARVEST MY EGGS just so I can avoid sperm coming into contact with my insides.
Having a baby is way expensive. WAY. Since no insurance company will work directly with a midwife, we pay the entire fee out-of-pocket, and hope for the best when it comes to reimbursement (this number, FYI, has four digits, the first of which is a 5). If anything makes me realize what a privileged position I am in, it’s that I can choose to have an attended out-of-hospital birth, because we have that kind of money, and if we didn’t, we’d still have insurance, and holy shit, do some women really have to just… go to the ER?
All those rumors you’ve heard about Orange County are true. Ok, fine. Maybe not all, but the kind that revolve around wealth and privilege are no joke. One of the birth centers is located in tony Irvine, in a strip mall (WTF, California?), but a nice one, you know, with a french bakery and an eye-glasses shop dedicated solely to clients under 12. Here, for the distinction of having given birth in the OC, you will pay $2000 more for the same midwife, and she will have had a number of very obvious face-lifts to boot.
This blog post is all over the place, and in re-reading, I see that I appear to be in a horrid rage, so I will end with this: fetus has been scanned and found to have a “very low” chance of having Down Syndrome. Once I figure out how to get the paper image into the computer (this is a technical skill beyond my abilities), I will show you- two legs, two hands, one giant head, and my whole heart.