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Should I switch?


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  #1  
December 4th, 2008, 11:49 AM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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I've been really wanting to have a birth at a birth center but I didn't think that my insurance covered it, that it only covered hospital births. Well this morning just to be sure I called the customer service line and asked them about it. She said that as long as the center was a provider for my ins. that they cover and depending on the coverage would depend on how much I would have to pay if anything.

So I called the birth center (I found one that is about 15 minutes away from me in good traffic) and asked them if they took my insurance. They do! On top of that they take the state Medicaid insurance too, so more than likely I wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket for this.

Should I switch over to the birth center now even though I'm halfway through my pregnancy? The gal that I talked to said that they take transfers until pretty late in pregnancy and that I'm fine to switch, I'm just a little uneasy about it, since I'm so used to my doctor. Obviously I'm going to talk to DH about it first before I make a final decision but I wanted some advice from you ladies too since I have no experience in this area.

What do you think?
Thanks!
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  #2  
December 4th, 2008, 11:55 AM
Husher's Avatar B & E complete me.
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Oh Ashley I would totally switch!! Well, first I would make an appointment just to meet with the midwives there to make sure you feel comfortable there. I'd be willing to bet that you will find the environment very welcoming and home like. I would do this ASAP so that you can make a decision soon so that you have more time to get really get to know your midwives. If I were you though, I would definitely switch. Just the experience of not having to worry about IV's, pain meds, pitocin, EFM, alone will relax you so much when it's time for your little girl to come. I know you like your doctor but in the end it's hospitals that make the policies, kwim?
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  #3  
December 4th, 2008, 12:08 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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Before they take me on they do a complimentary consultation with the midwives, although I'm not sure what that covers yet but I at least want to take a look at it before making a final decision.
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  #4  
December 4th, 2008, 12:47 PM
sillyp's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree, I'd do a consult and discuss all your concerns and birth plans with a midwife at the birthing center and then make a decision. IMO, I think you'd be happier there though.

Good luck with it all!
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  #5  
December 4th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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I say if you like it, definitely switch. I switched from an OB to birth center at 16 weeks and had my first appointment at 20 weeks. I couldn't be happier with the decision and I feel so much more comfortable with the midwives than I did with an OB.
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  #6  
December 4th, 2008, 01:31 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Is your OB super NCB friendly and supportive? I'm all for BC's, but if you are already comfortable with your OB and the hospital's policies, then switching may be more because you "think" you should switch and not because you need to. However, if you really feel you'd get more NCB support in the environment of a BC (which is usually the case), run don't walk! You wouldn't regret it.
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  #7  
December 4th, 2008, 01:42 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would switch in a second.

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  #8  
December 4th, 2008, 01:44 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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I would totally switch! Our birth center did an orientation that was about 2 hours long and very thorough, prior to my first visit there. if they have room for you, i would check them out and see if it is a good fit for you!
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  #9  
December 4th, 2008, 02:06 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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I do like my doctor but no matter what she is still going to be my normal everyday doctor as well as being Nicholas' ped. I like the hospital it is NCB friendly everything was just too fast paced for my liking, along with my episiotomy, and with pitocin, etc. I'm really hoping that DH and I like this place. From what I have seen on the website I'm liking it more and more every minute!
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  #10  
December 4th, 2008, 02:34 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I would switch happily! I did switch from my OB who delivered at a huge hospital with a highest level neo-natal unit to a miswife office that delivered at a small, quiet hospital at about 18 weeks. There is a saying too, it's never too late to switch!

are you ok with going home right after the birth? You have to leave within 12 hours after the birth at a birthing center.
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  #11  
December 4th, 2008, 02:47 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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I'm totally fine with leaving very soon after the birth. I felt great after giving birth to Nicholas and was ready to go home by dinnertime (about 4 hours after his birth). I see no reason for this time to be any different.
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  #12  
December 4th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Husher's Avatar B & E complete me.
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When will you meet with them? I have a feeling you are really going to like this place and I'm sure your regular doctor will totally understand. I can't wait to hear all about it!
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  #13  
December 4th, 2008, 03:28 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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I haven't called to set up the consultation yet. I'm probably going to call tomorrow to do that as their office hours are really short (from like 10-3 pm), but I also want to talk about this in depth with DH before we jump into this. I want to make sure that we are on the same page about everything.
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  #14  
December 4th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Ree!'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've been lurking the NCB boards for a few weeks (I mainly post in the March DDC) and I see you are in Bothell, WA. I'm in Redmond, WA. Are you talking about the Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Kirkland by chance? I'm currently a patient there after switching from an OB at 17 weeks and I LOVE them! Heike and Andrea are my midwives there and I just cant say enough good things about them. This is my first and they made me feel much more at ease than my OB ever did. I have coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and when I found out the birth center was covered I immediately switched. I had no problems switching over at all, they took me right away. All of my U/S's are done at Evergreen Maternal & Fetal Medicine. They have a really good relationship with Evergreen Hospital, and its literally steps from the birth center.

If you are thinking of switching to PSBC, then I guess its a small world.
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  #15  
December 4th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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First off, yay for finding a birth center! I totally wish there was one in Charlotte; I'm very jealous! I think you are being smart in not making any immediate decisions just b/c a BC sounds great. It probably will give you a MUCH better experience than the OB and hospital, but doing your homework is always smart. Go for an interview and tour, and just see what kind of vibe you get. As far as liking your OB, you may find that you simply fall in love with the midwives. That's what happened to me. I've always liked the OB/GYNS I've seen, but I adore my midwives. All four of them! Good luck in making the decision, and I wish you peace with whatever the final decision is.
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  #16  
December 4th, 2008, 03:44 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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Quote:
I've been lurking the NCB boards for a few weeks (I mainly post in the March DDC) and I see you are in Bothell, WA. I'm in Redmond, WA. Are you talking about the Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Kirkland by chance? I'm currently a patient there after switching from an OB at 17 weeks and I LOVE them! Heike and Andrea are my midwives there and I just cant say enough good things about them. This is my first and they made me feel much more at ease than my OB ever did. I have coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and when I found out the birth center was covered I immediately switched. I had no problems switching over at all, they took me right away. All of my U/S's are done at Evergreen Maternal & Fetal Medicine. They have a really good relationship with Evergreen Hospital, and its literally steps from the birth center.

If you are thinking of switching to PSBC, then I guess its a small world. [/b]
That is the one that I am talking about! I'm glad to hear that there is someone there right now that loves it, it makes me all the more excited about learning more about it. I really wanted a BC birth after my birth with my son in Oct of 07, although it was a good birth, it was not the birth that I had envisioned and I hope to achieve that this time.

I knew that they were close to Evergreen, which is a comfort should any complications arise and I know that they are a good hospital to boot.

I'll have to keep in touch with you and learn more about it from someone who has first had exp. on how the people and environment are there. Do they do a lot of u/s's or just the one at 20 weeks? Or does it depend on your specific situation? I think I'm going to have a lot of questions for you! If you don't mind that is
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  #17  
December 4th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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I would definitely meet with them and if everything feels right and you're comfortable go ahead and switch. I've read amazing things about that BC and even though you're "comfortable" with your OB, something made you call to see if the BC would be covered in the first place. I would do it in a heartbeat. Good luck at the meeting! I can't wait to hear how it goes.
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  #18  
December 4th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Ree!'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, I'm sure you will love the birth center! I was referred to the birth center by a lady in my March DDC (Dingledine - Suzanne) who had her second child at the birth center with Heike, and is having her current one there as well. (She lives in Kirkland) Both of our husbands happen to work at Microsoft as well. So wow, very small world and we are all due so close together.

I had my consultation with Andrea, and I told her my concern about U/S's etc. I believe I was 18 weeks at the consultation, and she wrote me the same day a referral to Evergreen Maternal and Fetal Medicine for my 20 week U/S. (No in office U/S's, but I was ok with that. You'll see how close the hospital is - literally around the corner) They fax it over for you, and all you do is call Evergreen the next day to schedule an appointment. I got in within a week. Andrea told me anytime I feel the need for an U/S (decreased movement etc), they will fax over a referral for me and I can schedule it. I'm in excellent health, and I'm 22 so she said unless I feel otherwise, I'll probably have another one after 30 weeks and that should be about it. I walked out of my U/S appointment with 20 some odd photos that the doctor at Evergreen printed for me, including some really good 3-D shots. (See sig below) Everybody at Evergreen was super nice. I've heard stories of 'cold' U/S techs before, so it was a big relief for me.

The consultation itself is a tour of the birth center, and you'll probably meet both midwives. Heike is wonderful, and has even been featured in a PBS documentary on NCB - you'll recieve a DVD of it with your take home information binder they give you at the consult. They will ask you how you found out about them, your background, an overview of what you envision your birth to include etc. Most importantly is you never, ever feel rushed with them. For instance my last appointment was almost an hour long, and it was for the most part conversation with Heike. If you have records with your previous OB, they will want them to fax them over. And they probably will take your blood at your first appointment. You'll also fill out the standard health history info thats included in your take home binder, to bring with you to your first appointment. I would suggest if you have any questions ahead of time, to write them on a piece of paper. When she asked me if I had any questions the first time, I kind of went blank. lol I keep a piece of paper now and anytime I think of something I want to ask, I just write it down and bring it with me to my appointments. You'll schedule your first appointment immediately after the consult (should you choose them) and after your first appointment, you'll have one every 4 weeks until you hit 30 weeks - then every two weeks from there. Every appointment you will pee in a cup to check your glucose levels. I'm not overweight, so I dont know if it was different for me, but they let me take my own weight either in their office or at home.

There are a few student midwives as well. I've only met one so far, (her name escapes me at the moment) but they're very professional and extremely sweet. My last appointment was with Heike, and she let the student midwife take my BP, check my reflexes etc. The rooms are very large and super nice. You'll choose which one you want to give birth in at your first appointment. Each appointment is held in the birthing suites, which I thought was very cool and I feel extremely relaxed being there. They're very good about email contact as well. Mary is the receptionist and she always responds to my emails within a few hours of me sending them. (I've had to reschedule appointments a few times, and I always do it by email since its easier for me)

Of course, if you have any questions you can always ask! This is my first, so I was/am fairly nervous about a NCB, but the birth center has made it MUCH easier for me. Looking back at my OB, I couldnt imagine having a childbirth with him that I really wanted.
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  #19  
December 4th, 2008, 05:01 PM
AshleyMarie's Avatar Proud Mommy of Two
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Oh my goodness! They almost sound too good to be true!! It sounds like heaven!! Everyone there sounds so personable and caring, I can't wait to meet them! From what I have heard from you I will most likely be transferring my care over to them!

It's totally natural to be nervous about your first birth! I was super nervous when I was pregnant with my son. As long as you surround yourself with a great support team that know what your wishes are, then you will be set!

What kind of questions did you ask the midwives? I've already got a list started but I want to be thorough before I choose 100% to go with them.
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  #20  
December 4th, 2008, 05:19 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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some good questions are:

what happens in case of a transfer? do you see the on call or a backup DR? Who goes with you?

Who will be at your birth? (if they have an assistant ask if she has NRP)

What is their transfer rate? Anything over 15 is high for a BC, but it really depends on laws....

what is their cesarean rate for transfers?

what is the most common reason for transfers?

what birth kit do you need to get? how much is it?

How long have they been practicing?

what type of training have they done?

How many births a month do they do?

What supplies do they have (should be at least: lydocane (for numbing for stitches), IV fluids, antibiotics, something for PP bleeding (pitocin), oxogen- with two masks- at least, one for adult, one for baby, and maybe an extra small one for littler babies.) plus sterile equiptment, lots of towels/chux pads, etc...

Where do your appts happen? (especially PP visits)

that is all I can think of for now. Hope that helps!
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