Make Homebirth Affordable Again!

Our family consists of me, my husband and our twin boys Chauncey and Oliver. 

Recently my husband and I discovered that we are expecting a second set of twins! We planned this pregnancy, but the twin factor was a surprise as we never thought that we would be blessed with twins again. Before becoming pregnant we put all things in place to make sure that we could have the birth we desired this time around. At an additional $400 dollars a month my husband upgraded to an insurance plan that carried home birth coverage, as having a home birth has always been our dream. Unfortunately there are many things that would allow the insurance to decide not to pay for homebirth. Not birthing with a midwife licensed in the state of Georgia and being pregnant with twins both disqualify us from using our insurance to cover our homebirth. 

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Our options are extremely limited as there are no licensed midwives with experience to deliver twins at home and the midwives with the experience are not covered by insurance. Most doctors want you to deliver in the Operating Room because it’s hospital policy but they won’t allow for vaginal delivery unless babies are in vertex position. The OR delivery has its own set of rules. Our last delivery had about 20 people in the Operating Room and it was quite the spectacle, lacking modesty and intimacy. Imagine having that many people you’ve never met making decisions about your body while simultaneously looking down at your most intimate parts in an insanely private moment. It’s not something I ever want to experience again, and child birth shouldn't feel like that. Nothing about my birthing experience was an emergency. 

Which is why we need your help in funding a homebirth with a midwife that has all the experience to help us bring our babies earthside safely and intimately.

5 years ago in December 2014, I birthed Chauncey and Oliver naturally at a hospital in Miami. I faced a lot of hurdles as I struggled to find a birthing team that was on board with my desire to have a natural delivery. 

At one point a doctor asked me if I loved my babies because I challenged her views on having a C-section at 35 weeks. She would not support me even in the most ideal situation with 2 fullterm babies and heads facing downwards. I left their practice at 26 weeks because I didn’t feel supported in my choice to try for a vaginal delivery. 

A couple of weeks later I was contacted by a blog reader that put me in touch with a doctor that saw vaginal twin birth as a normal thing. I contacted him and told him what I was experiencing and he felt pretty confident in my ability to birth them vaginally. He cared for me prenatally and reassured me with any worries that surfaced during that time. He helped me to see birth as normal and instinctive. 

12 weeks later at a routine visit with the perinatologist I was informed that I was having consistent contractions and needed to head to the hospital. I had been contracting since my 7th month and nothing seemed off to me. I was also checked at my request three weeks prior where I was told I was between 3-4 centimeters dilated but still the babies didn’t come. So I didn’t expect much when I was experiencing the contractions.

I checked into Baptist Hospital that day. My labor progressed and through prayer and meditation I was able to get to 8.5 centimeters without any pain. A shift change occurred and I was checked again. I was informed that my labor stalled by a new nurse, she promptly told me I would have a C-section if I didn’t progress faster. She switched on blinding lights in the room and sat my bed up from it's comfortable reclined position. She told me that I had been there too long already. I felt my birth was now a race to the finish. I was filled with anxiety and worried about how I would take care of two babies while recovering from a C-section. I know many women do it but it felt impossible for me during that time. My doctor came in and asked her to put the bed back down, she stormed out and was upset by the request. This nurse and a couple other nurses felt like he was micromanaging my progress. In actuality he was fighting for me to have the birth that I desired and committed to caring for me. 

Dr. Sancetta put my bed down and stayed in and out of my room until I was completely dilated which didn’t happen for another couple of hours. He asked if he could check me and I was completely dilated. He immediately started to break down the bed when another nurse informed him that I had to deliver in the OR. He was on call at this hospital for another doctor so he wasn’t aware of that policy. Afterwards I was informed that only one person could accompany me in the OR. I cried and said I wasn’t going in if my mom and husband couldn’t accompany me. My doctor took charge and made the decision that they could both come in. A nurse with a bad attitude chimed in that my mom had to sit down the entire time. To me that was obvious but it was just a display of power on her side. They told my husband and mom to stay behind and walked me to the OR. 

I was hooked up to all the monitors and made to lay on the hard and tiny OR table. My family was brought in for what seemed like an eternity later. I was having extreme back labor and it seemed unmanageable at this point because I couldn’t even turn over. I already wasn’t able to walk for the duration of the labor because I had an internal monitor on baby A. It was less that ideal and not at all what I envisioned the birth of my miracle twins to be like. 

The older of the twins was born at 10:54am on December 12th  and his brother followed 2 hours later. So yes, I got the vaginal delivery, but it was birth under duress. I was so afraid during delivery that if anything went wrong they would try and convince me and even pressure my doctor into a C-section. I also didn’t get the ability to hold my babies for that golden hour because even though they were full term, the baby team whisked them away shortly after I saw their faces. They also took them for examination and kept them away for four hours as I got situated in a room. 

Right as I was being rolled out to the hallway the nurse came and informed my doctor that the count was off and they lost a gauze. They told him I would need an X-ray to be sure the gauze wasn’t left inside of me. My doctor was livid and told them he would never put gauze inside me especially for a vaginal delivery. He refused to allow me to have the X-ray since I had just given birth. He asked instead if he could give me a pelvic exam for liability reasons. So just minutes after delivering my placenta I was wheeled to my room and given a pelvic exam to look for a gauze that had never been placed inside of my vagina. It was painful and all so unnecessary. 

By the time they returned my babies, Oliver was hypoglycemic and they were urging me to give him formula to bring his sugar levels up. He ended up being admitted to NICU for sugar levels then later developed jaundice because he wasn’t nursing regularly enough to poop. 

I asked for lactation support and the Lactation Consultant said my breasts were too big for Chauncey’s mouth so he couldn’t latch. She urged me to give him a little formula and she would come back the following day. She also reminded me that breastfeeding twins was a 'lofty goal'. I was livid so I asked my nurse for a pump and began pumping to give them my milk. The lactation consultant did not return the following day so it was apparent she was not concerned with my babies getting breastmilk. 

I had to pump for Chauncey and then go to the NICU every 2 hours to nurse Oliver. They wouldn’t even allow his newborn brother into the NICU so I had to split time between two babies and they never got a single photo together for 6 days. 

The stress of hospital delivery and leaving my healthy baby at the hospital while I took one home was a feeling I’ll never forget. I was anxious and cried a lot during those days trying to pump and bring milk back to the hospital for the baby I left behind.

I tell this story because my heart breaks when I think about experiencing that all over again. I would love to have an intervention free birth this time as long as all is well and healthy with me and the babies. I would also like to take charge of my birth and my environment. Most of all I would like to birth where I feel safe, heard, loved and happy. So I’m asking for your help with whatever you can to donate to the cause to help me take my birth back. I want to birth these babies where both mama and babies can be safe and cared for. That place is HOME. 

We have found a wonderful midwife with years of experience to help us deliver at home. However we are struggling to afford the fee. So we are seeking donations to cover her cost of $4800 by our August delivery. Whatever you can donate would be greatly appreciated.

The funds will go directly to the midwife who has 30 years of experience in birthing twins. This will cover prenatal care both in-office and at home, the actual home birth and all the supplies. The fee will cover a second midwife required for a twin home birth along with post partum care for both mom and babies following the birth. 

Thank you

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Charity Bish 
Atlanta, GA
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