My husband and I are in the process of interviewing midwives. I would LOVE to have a home birth, but our insurance will not even touch the subject. $5,000 for a midwife + $2,000 for a doula = a whole lot of moolah for a home birth! (Especially because I am planning on taking a year off from work after the baby is born). If you disagree, please let me know!
We are also considering delivering at a "natural friendly" birth center attached to a hospital (i.e. no IV, no laying on the bed for fetal monitoring, allowed to labor in a tub, no time limits on labor or pushing, partner can "catch the baby," no laying on your back to deliver, no tests or touching of the baby until two hours after the birth, etc). The only real drawbacks are: 1. We're not at home, 2. We'd have to travel there while I'm in labor (about 10 minutes away) 3. You cannot actually give birth in the tub!
Yesterday we interviewed a midwife who delivers at this hospital. We really liked her; however, she said that even when she does home births, she does not like for women to give birth in the tub. She's fine with laboring in the tub, but no delivery. She said that she had three babies over 9 lbs aspirate water. She feels that, in general, waterbirths are safe, but, that she doesn't think that it is really "natural," as it is unlikely that our fore-bearers gave birth in water. She thinks that the gravity from using a birth stool, etc., is more effective.
As this is our first child, I feel like I am a sponge just constantly absorbing information. I would love to get your opinions - waterbirth - natural or not?