Oh my, 13loki -- what a homebirth story that is!!!
I'm in my third trimester and planning for a homebirth in Uppsala. There are no homebirth midwives here, so I've had to find someone who was willing to travel. This has not been an easy task! It took me several weeks of dedicated effort to find someone who was willing/able to travel to Uppsala!
Rikabia, to comment on some of your questions/concerns:
- "Repercussions are in a society that values collective needs over individual needs": So far, the only repercussions I've experienced are the difficulty in finding a homebirth midwife (this will be much easier for you if you are in Stockholm); some wary looks from other mammas (doesn't faze me -- I know my reasons for wanting homebirth!); and having to pay out of pocket. In Stockholm, I've heard the city or commune will pay for your homebirth midwife, so long as it's not your first birth and you meet some other requirements; I'm not sure what those are.
- Signing forms: I haven't had to sign anything. My "system" midwife in Uppsala, who happens to be very supportive of our choice for homebirth, has simply forewarned me that I may get a call from a doctor at the hospital before my due date to inform me of the risks of homebirth and probably try to talk me out of it.
- Qualifying for a home birth: It's your choice. You might not qualify for it to be FREE, but you can still do a home birth. If there are complications in the pregnancy, you'll discuss those with the midwife and decide whether to stay home or go to the hospital.
- Interventions: As I'm sure you know, there are FAR fewer interventions in a home birth compared to a hospital birth...thus, far fewer complications. In my research and experience so far, I've found that homebirth midwives are more focused on birth as a natural process, while hospital policy approaches the birth experience as a series of risks. My suggestion is you try to meet with two or three homebirth midwives, ask direct questions and discuss what's important to you, to get a feel for their approach. The midwife will probably also have questions for you as she also feels out whether you're all a good match for each other. Some midwives charge a fee for this first meeting; some do not. Be sure to ask in advance, as it's not always mentioned in initial communications.
- Recommendations: Hmmmm...I don't have an absolute recommendation at this point. You could check with me again after our mid-May due date! I'm happy to share my honest experience so far, though. Our original homebirth midwife choice was a woman by the name of Agneta Bergenheim. She just canceled on us very recently, which was a real disappointment, especially since I had to be the one to reach out to her before she told me she had decided to pursue some other plans and wouldn't be available for our birth. She was lovely to meet, and she herself said her approach is very hands-off (unless Mamma requests otherwise). I really liked her philosophy and was really looking forward to her attending our birth. At this point, however, she is not someone I can recommend, from a reliability standpoint. Plus, she is relocating, and I don't think she'll be traveling to Stockholm for homebirths. I'm not quite sure on this, however, as I'm not sure how far away she is moving.
I'm currently in touch with another midwife, Ann Petren ( http://egenbarnmorska.se/
), in Stockholm. My sambo and I will meet her and her partner(s) soon. She and her partners seem to be the most established midwives on the homebirth scene in this part of the country (maybe the whole country), and I feel super grateful that she has been such a help in our rather last-minute search for a homebirth midwife!
I've also heard good things about the midwife Diane Sjögren (http://www.diane-jordemor.se/index.php?page=1
If you haven't already seen http://fodahemma.org/
, that'll be a good resource for you, too.
I'll be interested to hear your journey along this path!