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
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…
Off we go.