I'm hoping to be able to use a midwife for this pregnancy. I had a regular doctor for my first two children, but I didn't really care for it. It was a very impersonal experience. I DESPISED spending all that time in a waiting room at the doctor's office (particularly with my second child, because I had to drag a toddler with me to every appointment). I also had an epidural for my first two pregnancies. They were both horrible experiences. For my first baby I was about 36 hours in labour, so the epidural was my saviour - it allowed me to get some much-needed rest, which I never would have gotten with all that contracting. However, they turned it off when I reached 9 cm, so I went from feeling absolutely nothing to being in excruciating pain all at once. I'm pretty sure my body was in a state of shock; my husband said he was actually scared because I seemed delerious with the pain. I was completely dysfunctional. For my second child, my labour (including delivery!) was only 4 hours. I received the epidural but he was born before it even kicked in. Given how quickly my last delivery happened, I suspect this one will go even faster, so I know I can do it without any drugs.
In my province, midwifery has just been legalized this year, so there are very few midwives here. I actually had a lot of trouble tracking one down. It's also not yet covered by our provincial health plan (although it should be very, very soon!), so I'm not sure how much it will cost us to use a midwife at this point. That will definitely be a deciding factor. And the one midwife in this area is apparently very choosy about who she will work with, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will take me on as a patient!
We're on the fence about doing a home birth. Well, I'm on the fence. My husband is not. He says he absolutely wants a hospital birth. I love the idea of doing a home birth, but there's a tiny part of me that likes the idea of having a medical back-up system just in case things don't go as planned.
I would love to hear from any of you who have used a midwife and/or had a home birth. What was your experience? Have you done it both ways? Which did you prefer?