Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Start of 3rd Trimester

So I am officially in the 3rd trimester no matter which way you count. Apparently doctors don't always do it mathmatically and divide 40 by 3. But no matter which reference you consult 28 weeks is always considered 3rd trimester.

For the last month I have been trying to switch from my doctor to a midwife. I really like Dr. Knowles from Sound Family Medicine, but after reading a bunch of books and birth stories online a frequent theme was that hospital policies can be frustrating and many of the standard interventions correlate with the fact that 1 out of every 3 or 4 births in the U.S. ends in a ceasarian. In my case I was concerned with the fact that Good Sam doesn't let you eat, it is standard to hook you up to an IV even if you don't need it, and they do continuous electronic fetal monitoring. Some of these things are negotiable but I was a little bit worried about getting bullied. The alternative is to go to a birth center and have a midwife deliver the baby. But, since most of these things were negotiable, I really liked my doctor, and I had already gone to her a few times I figured everything was good.

But then about a month ago I came to the realization that my insurance only covers 80% and it is expensive to give birth in a hospital. The very minimum is $7500, but that only includes delivery, not the other long list of other things they charge you for. The lady at the hospital said to assume 10-15,000. I think my insurance has a $3000 cap, so that was probably what it was going to cost me. So then I investigated what the birthing center would cost and they told me my 20% would be around $184. So I figured if they would take me I should switch because I don't want to pay thousands of dollars to give birth at a place that I didn't really want to anyways.

Well it took about a month, due to the holidays and power outages, to get all my records faxed to the midwives and have them review them and say that yes I am a low risk patient and can go to The Birthing Inn. In the mean time I had gone to my regular doctor, just in case it didn't all work out, and did the 1 hour glucose screening test for gestational diabetes, and I failed. So I was really annoyed by this because I didn't see how I could have gestational diabetes and the 1 hour test has a really high (around 50%) false positve rate so I had to go through the hassle of taking the 3 hour test with the likelihood I would pass it. Also this put a hold on my plans for the birth center because if I did have GD then I wouldn't be low risk. So I did the 3 hour glucose test and it was really annoying because I had to fast and I didn't get done till 1pm so I was really hungry, plus it wasted my Sat, plus my blood doesn't come out easy so they had to poke me a total of 8 times and my arms were all sore. But I passed the test, and the nurse was really great and called me basically right when the doctor had received the results, so I didn't have to harass anyone to get the results. Yeah! So I have an appointment scheduled to see the midwife and we can go and take a tour of the birth center on Monday. A lady at work gave birth at the Birthing Inn and said it was wonderful and she said all the midwives were great.

I am really excited, and relieved that I will be able to give birth in a way that feels most comfortable to me and I won't have to worry about hospital staff getting impatient and threatening ceasarians or trying to give me drugs I don't want or having to deal with anything like that. It could be that if I did give birth at Good Sam it would have been great, but it still had me worried that it was a possibility.

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