DESTINATION: DELIVERY Driving Halfway Across the Country to Have a Baby

Sitting on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night with my vomiting 4-year-old son, I began to wonder if I was trying to do too much. When his 2-year-old brother caught the same stomach bug a couple days later — a day before we planned to drive to Omaha from Washington, D.C. — I felt my resolve weaken even more.

I want to give birth in a place that is comfortable and supportive. For me that is Omaha. But is this elaborate plan worth the effort? Is it fair to my family?

DESTINATION: DELIVERY ‘Where Are You Delivering?’ Omaha.

“Where are you delivering?” my neighbor casually asks. We are sitting in her crisp living room in suburban Washington, D.C., while our children tear through tubs of toys.

I’ve been fielding this question a lot, recently. As I waddle toward the end of this pregnancy (my third) and close in on my due date (Oct. 23), the questions shift from the genial “Boy or girl?” (we don’t know) and empathetic “How are you feeling?” (tired), to the more pressing concerns: labor and delivery.

Even though I am 39 years old and labeled with the stinging “advanced maternal age,” my options are pretty open. Because my previous pregnancies were uneventful and my prenatal visits have been auspiciously boring, I can go to a range of top-rated hospitals and opt for a natural, pain-managed or cesarean section birth. Or I could have my baby in a plastic swimming pool in my living room. Or I could see a midwife in a birthing center. I know I am lucky to have such choices.

And yet – I want something more.

“Omaha,” I answer my friend.


Destination: Delivery, a diary of my travels to my childhood home in the Midwest to deliver my third child was chronicled In the New York Times weekly for a month.