Sprinter Life Birthing Plan

When we found out we were pregnant, the big question became…

1) Where should we have our baby, and

2) What type of birth do we want?

For location, we considered Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and going back to the U.S.

For type of birth, we researched everything from midwives to doctors and hospital deliveries to home water births.

We wanted to do everything possible to avoid the c-section culture, which is now 30% of all births in the U.S. and 80% in Peru. (Note: the World Health Organization states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent).

One film that we found particularly interesting during our research phase was

The Business Of Being Born. We highly recommend it to expecting couples.

After a ton of research and a lot of soul searching, we’ve decided to give birth in Lima, Peru with a Midwife and Doula supporting Stevie while a trusted doctor in a private clinic delivers the baby.

Why a Midwife/Doula AND a Doctor?

We trust millions of years of evolution. We don’t  want our child’s birth to be a “medical procedure”, except in an actual emergency. We want to go natural, but in the safest way possible.

The problem with Peru is that the medical institutions are controlled by doctors who clearly prefer intervention (note the 80% cesarian rate). We knew that in order to have the birth we wanted, we’d need advocates, such as a midwife or a doula, who could manage our birth plan within the system.

The clinics in Lima, however, do not allow midwives to actually deliver babies, nor will the doctors ‘back-up’ a home birth in case of emergency. This makes having a home-birth with a midwife risky. What to do, what to do?

Fortunately for us, after months of searching, we finally found an amazing Doula (birthing coach), who works with an obstetrical nurse (midwife). Together, they work with a doctor who will allow them to attend our birth in a private clinic. This will help keep our birth experience as close to the ‘au naturel’ plan as possible.

Below, Stevie and our new Doula, Roxanne

 

Why Lima?

Neither one of us wanted to return to the U.S. for the extended period of time that it would take to have our baby.  Despite the fact that we have full medical insurance in the U.S. and family and friends who we will miss during this process, we chose to eliminate that option.

Since our insurance won’t cover the birth in South America, the more modern countries like Chile, Brazil, and Argentina would be too expensive, so we eliminated those options as well.

That left Peru. In order to have access to modern equipment and well-trained doctors in case of an emergency, Lima became the only choice remaining.

 

So the new Sprinter Life plan is to move to Lima, find an apartment, and bring our child to light.

Although we’re in Lima now, all of our stuff is 10 hours north in Huanchaco. So we’re heading back to close that loop.

We’re going to take it slow though. We’ll take a couple of weeks to drive back up through the mountains. Then I’ll need to do a border run to Ecuador to renew our vehicle permit (AGAIN!). We might hang out in the north for a few weeks, and then we’ll head back down to Lima.

We’re both really excited to finally have a birthing plan and a supportive team in place. We’re four and a half months into the pregnancy, and we’re starting to relax. Everything is coming together.

And we’re both excited to live in Lima for a few months. Despite negative reports, we’ve found it to be a damn cool city.

Pictures of what is soon to be our new temporary home town…

Lima, Peru

Off we go.

-TREE

 

 

Comments

  1. Lainie Liberti says:

    Wonderful! We are excited! Let us know how we can support you! I’ve been through it, after all.

  2. Madrigal Madri says:

    pura vida amigos….. !!!!!! lo mejor para los 3 hoy y siempre!!

  3. Sarah Lechago says:

    I love your belly. You look so wonderful!

  4. Sophia Flores-villa says:

    I love your story…thanks for sharing! You two are both amazing and it sounds like you did all your research before making your decisions. I think it’s absolutely wonderful! Stevie you are so beautiful and the pregnant glow, well…let’s just say, you definitely have it! Congrats on your decisions! Xo

  5. Cecilia Paredes says:

    Que guapisisisima Stevie! ! How does Tree looks after all those pregnancy months?

  6. Astrid Sicola says:

    So will your child have dual citizenship? Peruvian and US? This could be very handy in the future…:) awesome for the both of you!!

  7. Hailee Jay says:

    Stevie looks as amazing as all of this is!!!!

  8. Michelle Gott Franco says:

    Finally Stevie!!!!!!!

  9. DeeDee Collier Lody says:

    You look beautiful! Congrats on the pregnancy and move to Peru!

  10. Guy Loften says:

    Something is baking 🙂

  11. Tim Widmer says:

    Yeah.. having a doula is a very good move. Saved our bacon on our boy. He was posterior, and our doula was the reason karen did not have to have a C section. She used a roboso.. It is a south american thing, so ask your doula about it. It was amazing to see her in action.

  12. Yay! Sounds like a great plan, and I know having one takes a lot off your mind. BTW- I love that movie! I used to be on the board of The Bay Area Birth Association (mostly doulas, midwives and those who help pregnant mothers) and we had a screening in the area for that movie.

    Anyway, my doula was great. The hospitals in Berkeley was pretty open to all birthing plans, but we were very glad to be in one when we had complications.

    Good luck! How long do you think you’ll be in Lima?

    • Hey Angela. I already felt good about our birth plan, but your comment just reassured me even more. I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t deliver in a birth center, but I think given the circumstances here in Peru, we’re definitely making the right decision. We plan to arrive back in Lima around August 1st and then stay at least until the end of January. We’re both hoping that we can start moving again by then, but most people look at us like we’re crazy for thinking that’s possible. What do you think? Roadworthy by 3 months old? 🙂 If not, we’ll stick around longer. We’re flexible. But we’d eventually like to catch up with you guys!!

  13. Daniela says:

    Have you both thought of what this child’s nationality will do to your travel plans? One of my best friends is Peruvian and she can’t even switch planes in the US without a valid US visa which takes Months and a personal visit to the consulate in Lima. Peruvian citizens require visas to travel almost everywhere, where you know, as an American you have greater freedoms. Just a thought.

    • Hey Daniela. Thank you for your concern, but not to worry. Our baby will automatically be a U.S. citizen because both Tree and I are. The United States honors both blood and land, meaning that if the parents are citizens, or if the baby is born on U.S. soil, the baby is automatically a U.S. citizen. The most we’ll have to do is fill out a ‘born abroad’form to obtain a passport ASAP so we can continue our travels. Incidentally, Peru also honors land, which means that we can apply for dual citizenship for our child, which can only serve as an added bonus. Our only regret is not giving birth somewhere in Europe…that would be the dual citizenship that I would like to have! Thanks again for commenting…I bet a lot of people were thinking the same thing. Take care!

  14. Cyndi Lou says:

    I am pleased to know you are clear on your plan now. We shall have a Peruvian, Italian, Mexican addition to the family. Would that be a Perutalianomex?

  15. Cyndi Lou says:

    I am pleased to know you are clear on your plan now. We shall have a Peruvian, Italian, Mexican addition to the family. Would that be a Perutalianomex? Or a Perutalianomex-American?

  16. Teri Hogan says:

    Sounds like a damn good plan! Congratulations!

  17. Michael Lorenzo says:

    How are those ears feeling sweat heart. Don’t be stressed everything is going to fall in to place and be as it should brother. Can’t wait to see what your child will look like and wether you have the Man crom. or a lady crom. No worries I now your a lady’s man. Not a Hard Man. Well maybe hardheaded. See ya sooner than you think because as you know all to well ,time flys! We need to reach out and grab all the greatness we can, so we don’t look back and realize maybe we didn’t try hard enough. God bless and travel light and safe

    Lorenzo

  18. Kathy Card says:

    Hi,
    When is the baby due? One of my best friends (A native Peruvian, yoga teacher, amazing chef) is often in Lima and her family has lived there for generations. If she is there when you are having the baby, you might appreciate a bit of support from a local…..let me know.

  19. Love you Baby.

  20. Yeah! You,re so beautiful Momma

  21. Louisa Baxter says:

    go Stevie !!! xx

  22. Anne Kaffeekanne says:

    Stevie, you look beautiful!!! Sounds like a perfect plan! when will we have you back in hco? we miss you!

  23. France, for so many reasons 🙂

  24. Mauricio Arredondo says:

    Steeeeeviiiiiiiiiiiiii ….. siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  25. Catherine Hiltgen says:

    Beautiful Mommy!! Xoxo

  26. Cheryll Anglin says:

    She’s a beauty! I bet it feels good to have those birthing plans firmed up. Good luck finding the perfect home in Lima. 🙂

  27. Hola que buena esa pancita como va mi amiga a los tiempos la primera hija esta a tu lado saudos desde Caracas

  28. Anonymous says:

    Soooo Cooool!! I Do not have skype though
    Love you guys

  29. Anonymous says:

    You guys need to stop the clock–you are no longer nomads–you are expats living in Peru. A real nomad would keep travelling and the child would be born wherever you happen to be at the time.

    • Hey Anonymous,
      Actually, if we were expats living in Peru we’d be applying for residency and I wouldn’t have to drive to the border ever 90 days to renew our vehicle permit! Sigh….

      We’re slow living. We’re driving around the world, and taking it at whatever pace the moment dictates. Why? Because we have nowhere to be in a hurry. We got pregnant in Huanchaco, we’ll have the baby in Lima, and shortly after we’ll travel south to Bolivia. In the mean time we’re seeing every inch of Peru since we’re here. Right now I’m writing this on my air card from the van which is camped along the Andes Mountains outside of Huarez. (Spectacular view this morning by the way). I see us spending months in each country, perhaps even up to a year or more in places like Brazil. But I don’t think that will classify us as expats in any one country.

      By definition, I’m thinking we might still qualify as wanderers…

      Nomad – A member of a tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and following a route according to the state of surroundings

      But that’s just coming from a guy without a home who is driving around the Andes mountains in a van with his pregnant wife. 🙂

      Cheers – TREE

      • You guys are living your dream.. And being very gracious in sharing it with all of us. Sad days in Gates- our next door neighbor was fishing near Niagara and his 5 year old fell in. Another adult jumped in and drowned as well. I have been searching for the last 3 days.. Kind of strange the SAR do not have kayakers looking. Pretty much just foot traffic and divers near the location.

        • Hey Tim,
          My heart sunk when I read your comment. That is so, so sad. I do not think that is the first fatality in that section of river. It’s nasty there, no joke.

          Sending love and healing energy to your community.

          take care brother, TREE

  30. Aunt Debby & Uncle Barry says:

    Stevie, you are looking beautiful! Happy to hear you have all your plans in place, must set your minds at ease. I hope you are able to connect with my friend Maria’s father, Bruno, and he can help you find a place to settle in comfortably during this time.

    Love you both

    • Hey guys,
      We’re looking forward to looking your friends up when we return to Lima. Thanks so so much for your help.
      Love you so much! TREE

  31. Aloha,
    Love the Birthing plan! Well done!
    Love,
    Little Lava

    • YES! Can’t wait for you guys to bring Little Lava down to Mendoza and visit us. Great kayaking there. Lets go run some SA Whitewater bro.
      TREE

  32. Anonymous says:

    Huaraz, now you’re talking. Looking forward to seeing the photos.

  33. Hey u guys,
    Huarez sounds like the Sierra’s on steroids send pics of your “morning view”. I Have your gift waiting and it’s value is bouncing around like the stock market..I’m making an educated guess that it’s value will rise. Maybe that’s when I should send it overnight or you can do the research and sell it or not. Either way I designate it for the “stevie tree” education fund. Have you figured out what it is? It will only cost you a reply.
    Love you guys,
    Willy

  34. Lets’s see?
    Smaller than a breadbox and is weighed using the metric system. You guys did not get the first of a few hints in my post. Come on Tree, cant start a college fund w/ a dog. (that is unless its’s an expensive breed or part of a “dog and pony” show.
    Try again
    Willy

  35. Congratulations, fellow world travelers! We liked Lima as well, and definitely wouldn’t have minded staying there awhile. We are a US couple in our thirties traveling around the world for two or more years and I enjoy reading your blog. I hope to have children in the future so it’s super interesting to hear your stories. Btw, how do you have full medical insurance? We just have travel insurance. Best wishes! 🙂

    • Hey Kristin. Congrats on your nomadic lifestyle! Tree and I both kept our health plans in the States even though we are pretty much never there. That being said, it has come in handy. Recently Tree needed double ear surgery due to exostosis (surfers ear), so we flew home and his wildly expensive surgeries were covered. Also, both of our plans cover international urgent or emergency care, so if anything were to happen to us here, we could go to the best hospital for treatment and send the claim to our insurance companies. Currently, Tree has Blue Cross and I have Kaiser, but now that we have a baby on the way, we’re looking to consolidate under one family plan. The downside to all of this is that it’s painfully expensive. Many overlanders opt to get only barebones emergency travel insurance, which may not be a bad idea if you’re only planning on traveling for a couple of years, you’re healthy, and you would have no problem getting coverage again once you are back in the States (no pre-existing conditions….although, with the Affordable Care Act, that’s less of a problem these days). Happy trails!

  36. Hey thanks for this post. We’re in Lima looking for alternative options–do you think you could pass along your doula, midwife, and doctor’s contact details and the name of the clinic? Would love to hear more on how the experience ended up.

  37. Hello! I’m searching for the same set up you had for birth in Lima!! Can you share your contacts with me?? I’m 7 weeks pregnant and looking for the natural option here!! Thanks!

    • Hi there. We used Roxana from PreNatal as our doula and Dr.Jaime Gonzalez del Riego at Clinica Montesur as our doctor. Congratulations!!! Keep us posted on your journey. Much love to you and baby.

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