Prenatal Care and Homebirth
Can I get prenatal care and have a homebirth? Definitely yes. If you hired a homebirth midwife, ensuring your prenatal health is part of her job. This will be done either by your visiting her office or by her visiting your home. You will find the visits to be longer than visits to your average obstetrical office and covering more topics than your weight gain and swelling.
If you have made the decision to do your own birth care, you may want to consider purchasing a book like the Hesperian Foundation's Book for Midwives. It covers major maternal health care that can be done without medical equipment. The simple tests can help you decide if medical assistance is appropriate.
In my case, I was under the care of a nurse midwife who worked at a local hospital. I have heard of women using the services of a hospital practitioner than not showing up for the birth. I was not comfortable with that level of dishonesty. I had been very honest with my midwife, and told her my first choice was homebirth but felt uncomfortable with the only option for assistance in my area (an illegally practicing direct entry midwife). I was also honest with her about my concerns the labor might go fast and worked with her to be ready in case it did. She was an encouragement to me, and kept reminding me that if everything was going fast it meant everything was going well.
As much as everyone says how important it is to have an "expert" with you during labor, no one really cared after the homebirth happened. My midwife told me to make an appointment for the following Monday and the pediatrician made an appointment for a week later. In defense of my midwife, she was aware that I am a doula and a childbirth educator; this was my second child and my first labor was fast and uneventful. She trusted me to let her know if there was a problem.