A few readers have emailed me privately and asked about how things are going pregnancy-wise. Thank G-d, I’ve started my ninth month and am overall feeling good. Yesterday my sister, who was due ten days after me, had her baby (mazel tov, Tovah!), which very much made me aware that time is passing quickly! And if I hadn’t officially adjusted my dates to be sure that I don’t run into any issues in case I go three weeks overdue again (though I think the likelihood of that is very low), my official due date would be three weeks from now rather than four.
I’ve had so many things that I’m trying to get taken care of before I give birth, and my birth plan has fallen behind all of those things. As of now it looks like I’m going to be shifting my plans for a homebirth to a hospital birth, but this hasn’t yet been decided on. After five homebirths and very strong positive feelings about the benefits, a hospital birth has been a very hard thing for me to be willing to even consider. Though on Sunday I went to see the hospital I would go to, I’m still not able to say that I’ll definitely go there. It’s just too big a difference in terms of what I’m used to and what the hospital practices are for me to mentally let go of my picture of what birth is supposed to be like, and so when my kids and husband ask what I’ll be doing, I say ‘I haven’t yet decided but probably the hospital’.
What’s shifted my thinking away from homebirth at this point? It’s not because I believe the hospital is the best or safest place, that’s for sure! It’s purely a logistical decision. For the last five months, I’ve had an ongoing low grade level of stress thinking about how to legally document the baby’s birth but what finally tipped the scales away from homebirth is the cost.
Recent circumstances of having a child hospitalized for two weeks and other children who I want to provide with care from alternative health practitioners has meant lots of extra expenses, none of which currently fit into our regular budget. A homebirth with the midwife I’d like to use will be approximately 5000 shekels plus another 1000 to have a doctor sign the paperwork since the midwife isn’t licensed in Israel. (None of the licensed midwives I called were willing or able to attend my birth; if one of them would have come there would have still been a cost issue but not a documentation issue.)
Though I’d budgeted for the birth, I have choices I need to make about if that’s the best way to spend that money now that other factors have come into play. 6000 shekels ($1500) can go a long way towards extra expenses for our children right now. For example, one child had weekly reflexology sessions recommended- at about another 500 shekels monthly, I could afford a lot of sessions! I’ve had to increase our food budget in the last month or two by 50% (an additional 1000 shekels) to accommodate the nutritional suggestions of the naturopath, and I’m not sure that increase will be sufficient, so that’s another area that I have to expand on what we’d been spending until now. I’ve also had extra costs regarding purchasing supplements as well as travel expenses.
Everyone has their own idea of what’s most critical to them, and providing our children with what I feel is necessary care regarding their health is a pretty important value for me. Even more than a homebirth. To a degree I’m giving up something important to me, but more than giving up, I feel like I’m giving towards what is most important – taking the best care I can of the children we already have.
Right now my efforts with regard to their health are mostly proactive; I believe there are aliyah related stresses that are just starting to physically manifest themselves healthwise, and that they’ll get worse if I ignore them. And there’s no way that the traditional doctors at the health clinic will be able to deal with them at the root level, which is where true healing occurs. (I took one child who was showing symptoms that I was alarmed by – I’m not easily alarmed – and the doctor basically brushed them off.)
I’ve had a very strong feeling all through this pregnancy that this is going to be a really good birth, and I have to keep focusing on that even though what I’d been planning until now looks so different. I’m focusing on keeping my thoughts in a positive place on this, to trust that all will work out well and the birth will be a good experience all around!