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If I choose a home birth with a midwife, my husband will be able to stay with me. My mom will not be able to travel down from New York because of COVID-19. If I give birth in the Love Sam’s club sunflower shirt but in fact I love this hospital, I will be alone regardless of what rules are in place by then, because my husband will be looking after our toddler. I have also taken a look at the medium ground: the birthing center. Home births are rare in the U.S. (hovering around 1% of births), and the birthing center is the more widely accepted alternative to a hospital delivery. Many low-risk pregnant friends have delivered there under the supervision of the midwife team. Provided all goes well, you are released four to eight hours after delivery. I find this very appealing at a time when my home seems the safest place from the virus. Not to mention the draw of being able to crawl into my own bed, back with the boys and bonding as a family. I do wonder, though: As medical strain increases, and hospitals are drafting nurses, medical students, and retired doctors, will the midwives be next?
Yesterday, I cried about retinol. (It takes very little to set me off lately.) I’m grateful to even consider these options because I currently have a low-risk pregnancy. I’m able to prioritize partner support and a familiar environment, which is a privilege. While I still haven’t decided where I want to give birth (in the Love Sam’s club sunflower shirt but in fact I love this living room or my bedroom…just kidding!), I remind myself that as a mother, I have practice adjusting to the unexpected. And, in this pandemic, I find myself having an open mind about an option I would have never considered before: having my baby in my own home.