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Uninsured Mom's Desperate "Plan B" for a Safe Birth

Uninsured Mom's Desperate "Plan B" for a Safe Birth

Uninsured Mom's Desperate "Plan B" for a Safe Birth

Not every pregnant woman without health insurance feels safe giving birth at home, and Scottish mom Lynne Aitchison is among them. Her quest to give birth in a hospital landed her as close to one as she could get without an all-important insurance card: in the Burrard Inn, which is just across the street from Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital.

Aitchison is married to a Canadian and was waiting for her citizenship application to be acknowledged by a Canadian health insurance company. But when the process stalled, Aitchison, her husband, and their midwife came up with a Plan B: Rather than have the baby at home or pay the massive bill a hospital would charge for an uninsured birth, they decided she'd labor across the street, just in case "anything horrendous" should happen, as Aitchinson told CBS.

They chose the Burrard Inn because of its proximity to St. Paul’s Hospital. That way, if something went wrong, they could get the new mom and baby across the street quickly for emergency care.


Read more at CBCNews

Did you give birth in a hospital, and were you glad?

Image Source: via CBCNews

KristiKamp KristiKamp 5 years
I had my daughter in the hospital and I was glad that I did. I had a relatively easy and quick labor. I opted for the epidural because I was afraid of what the pain was going to be like further on, but I probably COULD have gone without it- but I didn't want to. The only thing I HATED about the hospital was getting woken up and bothered every few hours for whatever reason.. the nurses were switching shifts and needed to check to see that she was my baby, medications, checking her temp and mine, taking blood, asking me if I needed anything (WHEN I WAS ASLEEP!!), waking me up to tell me that I needed to eat something or ask me what I wanted for my menu (it was CRAPPY food, I wasn't going to eat it!), etc... I found that very obnoxious and my next baby they better just leave me alone!!
HeatherLoomisGauvin HeatherLoomisGauvin 5 years
I have had to give birth to 4 babies at the hospital. Can't have c-sections at home. I admit that while the staff was great, i did hate being woken up every few hrs for meds. I lost a lot of well needed sleep there. I actually ended up discharging myself on day 2 this last baby instead of the 4 days they recommend.
EileenWells EileenWells 5 years
She and her husband were foolish to believe they could come into Canada and automatically get her on medical without her permanent resident status granted yet. The Canadian government doesn't cut anyone any slack in that regard, regardless of what people believe or think. A marriage license does not automatically guarantee anything about an immigrant spouse of a Canadian citizen or permanent residence--except that they may apply to live in Canada. I am happy that mom and baby came through the birth okay, but this couple should have done their homework first regarding immigration. Period.
MaryMeeks17039 MaryMeeks17039 5 years
I birthed my first daughter in the hospital, and was so unhappy with the experience I vowed to have my second at home. How much nicer it was at home in front of a warm fire, surrounded by those who love us most... my favorite foods being hand-fed to me shortly after the birth, being allowed to hold and nurse my child without interference or interruption, being allowed to give her her first bath, not having my own motherly instincts undermined by nurses and doctors treating me as though I'm not equipped to take care of my baby without their help. I will never regret my home birth. It's more comfortable, less painful, and sets the stage for a more relaxing transition into life with a new addition to the family. It's nothing to be afraid of, and women need to learn to get past the fear that is spoon-fed to us and realize our bodies know how to do this... all we have to do is relax and let them do their job.
RosemaryMullally RosemaryMullally 5 years
I gave birth to both my children in a hospital. I live in Ireland and all medical care is free for single Irish citizens from confirmation of your pregnacy for up to 6 weeks after the birth of your child. I would've been too scared to have my children at home in case anything happened but I had the choice this poor woman didn't and I believe that's the point that's been made. Her choice was taken from her bacause of greed.
TracyStuart TracyStuart 5 years
My first child I wanted to deliver at home, a water birth. However, I was 17 and everyone around me scared me so badly that I agreed to a hospital birth and an epidural. When I got pregnant with my second (and last) child at 30, I decided I wanted the experience I always dreamed of. BUT, we lived 50 miles from the nearest hospital equipped for emergencies. SO, I flat out told my doc that I will deliver in the hospital with him there but that I will do it on MY terms. He made me agree to a shunt in case of an extreme emergency, but otherwise I didn't want the IV. I didn't want medicine. I wanted to be left alone other than to ensure I didn't need anything. I had a birthing ball and a massive jetted hot tub and my ipod with music I hand picked for rocking or soothing myself. I loved the entire experience! No medicine, no docs telling me what to do - just listening to my body and understanding what my body was doing in each phase due to lots of research. Admittedly, I did get very scared at the very last second that I wouldn't be able to go through the actual birth without medicine. I asked for medicine and they said all they could give me was Demerol but they tried to tell me that my daughter would be born before it ever kicked in. I took my chances and accepted the medicine. They said 20 minutes before it would kick in - she was born less than 5 minutes after the shot was given. BUT, the medicine was a lifesaver when it came to stitches because I needed quite a few! I am done having kids but if I had to do it again, I would choose the safety of a hospital for emergencies but demand to be left alone otherwise.
BonnieAnderson11938 BonnieAnderson11938 5 years
I can see her dilemma. Glad they had the plan 'B'. Yes, in Australia it is free to have your babies at the hospital, but that is because they have the health care set up the way they do. I don't know about non citzens having their babies free there though, I didn't ask around to find out. My mum had all 6 kids free. Her bad experience was with baby 2 in a learning hospital, being poked and prodded, but the rest were lovely. Her last were twins and she had to stay in the hospital for a couple of months before and a few weeks after, free. Myself, I had two cesarean deliveries in the USA. They aren't cheap, but lifesaving for me and the babies. It wasn't like home, but it was alright. The first time wasn't a great experience with the night nurse, and getting around, but the second time around was amazing! Thankful for good hospitals and staff, doctors who took great care of me and baby. The debate between hospital and home births, is up to the mum primarily, and then to those who assist her. Hospitals were what I needed.
LauranMitchell LauranMitchell 5 years
I was happy to have my baby in a hospital. I do think some healthcare providers (in my case, the nurses) forget they are dealing with a human being--they just want to do their jobs. But as others have said--I had complications that could have caused permanant damage (or worse) to me or my son. Any baby I ever have will be delivered at a hospital!
AnnaGrillot AnnaGrillot 5 years
Wow, I suppose Australia will be bankrupt soon if they pay people to crap out kids.
JamieKulasinsky JamieKulasinsky 5 years
Um, I gave birth 2x at an all women's hospital/birthing center & LOVED it. I felt pampered and attended to. Anything I wanted was brought to me, I didn't have to lift a finger. By choice I kept my first baby in the room with me the entire time & nobody gave me a hard time. I know other people choose to do the opposite. W/ my 2nd I let her stay in the nursery while I was sleeping & brought to me only if she woke for a feeding.
Megan34833 Megan34833 5 years
Sharon, this was in Canada not in the US. Maybe you should read the entire story before jumping the gun eh? I heard about this story from a neighbour of mine last week. I'm just wondering why not have the baby at the hospital and go through the paperwork since Scotland has one of the best UHC plans. It would've just required them to pay a bill and submit it to her insurance in Scotland. Now I had both my girls in a hospital back in New York state, I have high risk pregnancies and I nearly died last year having my 2nd baby. The labour and delivery nurses were wonderful where I was and made sure I was comfortable and relaxed- even when I was close to having a stroke.
nicolecable87012 nicolecable87012 5 years
I think Shannon has no clue what she's talking about, to say that hospitals treat women like they have a disease is not true, in my case at least. How would she know what having a hospital birth was like if she had both of her kids t home? I think we all have preferences of how and where we want to give birth, To each their own. A home birth sounds awesome but its not for everyone. I had an awesome hospital experience with both of my children.
DonnaHilliard DonnaHilliard 5 years
@Sharon, this has nothing to do with the United States. She was in the part of North America called Canada but was not a Canadian citizen. She could have birthed in hospital if she was willing to pay for it, which she wasn't. Interesting how Australia will pay for anyone to have a baby there, even non-citizens. Are you sure about that?
Tracebooks Tracebooks 5 years
When I was in a similar situation, I found out I could give birth at home. I used a certified, experienced midwife who had a van equipped like an ambulance, who was willing to transport to the hospital in the time it would take the hospital to ready a surgery room. Had I lived further from the hospital I would have sought another option. My daughter had the cord wrapped around her neck. Oooo, scary...except that it was a water birth, so it was simple for the midwife to simply slip the loop over her head, because I was floating and she didn't have to work against gravity. It took just a second, and the cord was no longer around her neck. It was the easiest and least-stressful birth of my three. Once she was born, I sat on a birth stool and held my baby while we waited on the placenta. Then my two older kids cut her cord together. Then the midwife and her apprentices helped me to bed, drained and cleaned the birth pool, drew a bath for me with things in it that would help me heal and help the baby's cord stump heal, and even served my family supper! And that night, the only thing that woke me up was my baby, needing to nurse--simple in a side-car sleeper. No janitors with mops, no nurse coming in to wake me up to see if I was asleep (grrrr...why do they DO that?) or take my vitals or offer me jello or simply bump into my bed. Just the baby.
SharonLetchford SharonLetchford 5 years
I have given birth to three children in two hospitals in Australia, all free - no insurance. My sister in law could have done the same when she migrated heavily pregnant from the UK. What IS it with America??
AliceJoyce77989 AliceJoyce77989 5 years
I am sooo glad I was at a hospital. If not I would have lost my first son. He had birth asphixia swallowed his own meconum andthere was so much acid built up that all his vital organs started to shut down. I was in labour for total of an hour before having an emergency c section. My son was intubated and moved onto neo natal intensive care. He survived and is one of the lucky few to make it. The staff were fabulous and i cannot thank them enough including the pediatrician that was just leaving to go home after a 14hr shift who stepped in.
KarissaFauss KarissaFauss 5 years
I had complications with both of my children so I had no choice but to deliver at the hospital but i also have good insurance. Even if given the chance i think i would prefer to be at the hospital because first, i would be to afraid that something would go wrong and second, the hospital that i go to is amazing. It has AMAZING staff and I really really enjoy the doctor i have.
KatrinaHarrison29524 KatrinaHarrison29524 5 years
I have to agree with the women who were glad to have their babies at the hospital. And Shannon needs to understand that not everyone can be as "lucky" as her. Had I not been in the hospital, I could have died, so yes, I will take the hospital where I know there is someone to save my life
CoMMember13615063579234 CoMMember13615063579234 5 years
I gave birth to both of my children at home and absolutely LOVED it. I was suppose to have my first one in a birthing center, long story short we had him at was amazing:) I have no idea how people feel safe in a hospital, 99% of the problems people have is because they were caused by the hospital staff, they treat women as if we have a disease. I wish people would just open there eyes, do a little research and read up on the history of hospitals and how they have treated women in the delivering room before we so willingly put them in charge of our most precious beings.
JennaKing26603 JennaKing26603 5 years
I applaud women who want to have a natural experience at home, but it's not for me. I prefer the safety net of the hospital with emergency care right there if I need it. If I'd had my first baby at home, we both would not have survived and I wouldn't be around to have had four more beautiful children. Thank goodness for modern medicine.
EdieSierra EdieSierra 5 years
I had all 5 of my kids in a hospital. I can't see giving birth at home and taking the risk of something going wrong. Guess I'm old fashioned and I'm in my late 30's. Plus I'm a major wuss and I know it. Thank god for epiderals. Plus my third baby was 9lbs and had to go to the nicu. At home is just not for me.
RamonaOslin RamonaOslin 5 years
I gave birth in a hospital and regret it horribly. It was horrific. The only parts I liked were the parts where the hospital staff was OUT of my way!!!!!!!!! I plan to birth at home next time, rather than being prodded and poked, thank you.
GracesMommy GracesMommy 5 years
Pretty smart thinking; I'm glad the state I live in requires/provides if needed health insurance for children under 18 and offers health insurance for free or discounted for pregnant women. I do know the health insurance provided by the state doesn't cover home births though. I live in Indiana.
AhquilahFloyd AhquilahFloyd 5 years
I gave birth in a hospital..... Thank god I did or neither myself or baby would have survived! My uterus ruptured out of noWhere!!!!
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