Happy I did it!

It took us over two years to get pregnant: several IVF rounds, countless blood draws, ultrasounds, medications, and injections. So, the moment I got a positive beta, I thanked the amazing science of reproductive endocrinology, grabbed my pregnancy and ran the other way... That is, as far from standard medicine as possible.

Well, not exactly… I first went to an obstetrician whose sign read “high risk pregnancies.” On my first visit there I was advised not to exercise too hard, given how hard the pregnancy came about and that I was of advanced maternal age. That’s when I ran the other way! I’ve done my own research online that said the recommendation to keep heart rate under 130 was outdated, and that running was beneficial to the mother and baby in many ways. It’s then that I decided to go as natural as possible, and have a home birth, preferably in a tub. I didn’t know anyone who had done it, just heard something on the radio or podcasts. My friends’ responses were something between “you are brave” and “you have a good health insurance, go to a hospital.” It wasn’t enough to bully me out of my decision.

I found a midwife close to home who specialized in home birth. She provided prenatal care while allowing me to be myself, to eat a low-carb diet and to run as much as I wanted – she was a runner herself, and ran through her own 4 pregnancies! I appreciated her not pushing prenatal vitamins on me, while preparing me for a natural birth through suggested readings. With every visit, my boyfriend and my mother would express their concern for mine and baby’s safety during a home birth. The midwife would patiently answer and address their fears. All was going well. However, at 24 weeks we had a falling out, when I said that I would rather let an extremely premature baby go than have her in the NICU for months, with multiple intervention and surgeries. It was merely a philosophical discussion, following a podcast I heard about one such heartbreaking case. But the midwife was disturbed by that enough to suggest I find another provider. To my dismay, I discovered there was only one other practice that performed home births in Long Island: Gaia Midwives.