Monday, August 2, 2010

Priorities

So I just got off the phone with my insurance company and they told me that the Austin Area Birth Center is covered but not a home birth. ***I AM NOT PREGNANT*** I was just doing reseasch on it so that should I become pregnant in the next couple of years, I will know what to expect. It was silly to me because a birth center is not safer than a home birth unless you live too far from a hospital should the need for transfer arise. They do not carry more medicine and unlike what the girl on the phone said, there are not doctors there during births. Emergency c-sections do not happen at birth centers so basically the only thing they have going is that they have doctors at a local hospital who back them up and aren't hostile during a transfer situation.
As far as the title of this post, it just got me thinking... I will have my next baby at home even though I could have a birth center birth covered by insurance. Why?? because of where my priorities fall. It is worth it to me to pay about $3,000 cash to a midwife for the prenatal, birth, and postpartum care they provide. I have talked to people who say that they just could not afford a home birth since it is not covered under their insurance. I am not dogging on anyone why does not have a home birth(most people I interact with) but I do think that as far as not having one because of cost, most people could..it would just have to be a priority to them. We do not have car payments, television, unlimited texts, fancy home furnishings, etc. I do not shop for clothing for our family on a regular basis. I use cloth diapers so I have saved tons on diapering. We are doing our home projects at a slow pace even though I would love to have everything professionally done and have my bathroom completely re-done.
However, when it comes to birth, I will gladly take $3,000 out of our salary or end of year bonus to put aside for my future home birth. For some, the luxuries we forgo are not worth that birth experience and they are fine with the options their insurance company gives them. That is fine but people shouldn't convince themselves that they "can't afford" the birth they want. If you regularly go out to eat for lunch or dinner and your kids have the cutest, trendiest clothes and you have a new decked out car, you could afford a home birth.
I was recently talking to a friend about mothers staying at home. She told me that for some families that is not an option. I agree but the people who fall into that category are a lot fewer than it seems. If you get married and buy a house or condo that depends on two salaries to pay the bills, you have taken that option away from yourself when you decide to start a family. I am grateful for the council we have received to live frugally and on 1 salary. Even if you have not had kids yet, what happens if one of you looses your job? Could you pay your bills? Gary was able to be a full time college student and work sales part time to support us while I stayed at home with Bella. We were not rolling in the dough but it worked. Again with the priorities. I have a friend who lived in apartment instead of buying a house so that she could stay home with her kids. I know not every woman wants to stay at home with their kids and that is fine if that is their choice but I see so many women wishing they could but they put themselves in their own conundrum. It is a good idea not to get used to the D.I.N.K. (dual income no kids) lifestyle as fun as it may be. People may find themselves not willing to give up the luxuries that they have grown accustomed to. Cable TV is a luxury as is eating out on a regular basis. I can totally see how that would be so hard to give up once it has become such a normal part of your life.
I find myself sometimes saying the same kind of excuse as to why I am not doing something I would like to do in my personal or family life. Usually, it just comes down to my priorities. I make time to blog and check my email a bazillion times a day but, I have yet to finish this huge essay I need to submit for my doula coursework. ..duh, Sarah
Anyway, I hope this did not come off preachy. I was just writing what was on my mind and wanted to share. Peace!

4 comments:

TopHat said...

I'm always surprised when people say that a homebirth is too expensive. I look at our $7500 (just recently increased from $5000) maternity deductible versus the few thousand a midwife charges and it doesn't sound like the midwife is the more expensive option. But we do have private personal insurance. Maybe the game changes when you get insurance through an employer.

Jenni and Josh said...

So now that you have made your decision, how does Gary feel about going through it a second time?
I really like what you said about priorities. No matter what we want from life, we have to decide how bad we really want it. If we want something bad enough, then we will have our priorities in line to get it. It's really easy to look at someone and say, I sure wish i could have that, or do what that person did, but unless we are actually "doing" things to get there, then words are only going to be a part of our past. I feel very passionate about staying out of debt like you do about doing what is best for your children and family. (Not disregarding my family by any means, they are just as important) I just found that I have a true passion to always safe a dollar or two.
As far as what i want out of a birth, I am still deciding what I want for sure. We aren't even sure we are going to have more children. But I think if we decided to have more, I really need to decided what I want before going into it.
One last thing, I think most 1st time mothers don't think about what they want out of a birth. They just go along with whatever happens. They follow the trend to get an OBGYN and do what they are told. So thankgoodness for those people who do their research and help others out. I really wished I had someone like that the first time around. I don't think I would of let the doctor induce me and I would of been a lot happier with that birth. I really feel like I could of done it on my own without the help of medicine to get my labor going, and I would of been able to go through most if not all of the labor without an epidural too. Thanks for your thoughts.

Joanna said...

Do you read Money Saving Mom? She posted once on how people tell her she's "lucky" because she can stay at home with her kids. She said she was blessed and lucky, but in a lot of ways, she made her own luck. She chose to live simply and avoid debt in the first place, so when the kids came, staying home was an easier option. It goes back to what you say about priorities. I'm trying to stop saying, "I can't afford that" and start saying, "I choose not to buy that." Technically, I could buy a lot of things, but none of them are really worth it to me.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Becca said...

Sarah, as always, you've given me a lot to think about. I've thought about this post several times in the weeks since I first read it. I am considering not going the hospital/obgyn route with my next child (whenever he/she comes), now that I have had a successful VBAC. There aren't currently any free standing birth clinics in MO (though there is one in Kansas City, KS close to us), which leaves me contemplating a home birth. I found a local MO midwife who only does home births (it is only since 2009 that midwife-assisted home births in MO have been legal), and her comprehensive fee is $3200. I do not have a maternity deductible on my insurance, nor any copays. Our multi-thousand deductible is what it is, whether or not we use maternity coverage, so the $3200 really is in addition to the over $8000/year we pay in healthcare. That is no small bill, but I am beginning to think that maybe, just maybe it might be worth it. But I am still deciding what my priorities are in the matter.