Friday, June 15, 2012

From OBGYN to Midwife

I like modern medicine. I believe in the value of science and the insights and progress made by today's medical community. So I didn't seek out a midwife practice to be counter-cultural or to escape an intervention-crazy OBGYN. Peter's birth was great and I like the doctors at that practice.

It's the rest of the staff that drove me nuts.

A few years ago, my OBGYN switched to electronic records. This meant longer appointments and some mistakes as they learned the new system, but I cut them slack. It's a lot of work to completely overhaul your records. I get it. However, that was years ago. At my last appointment (in December), I waited 30 minutes for about 10 minutes of time with my doctor. After the initial stats (weight, blood pressure), they actually sent me back to the waiting room because they had no examination rooms available. Despite even that craziness, I was going to stay.

Why do we do this? Why do we put up with lousy customer service in the medical field, when we wouldn't consider doing such a thing anywhere else? Probably because we're afraid everywhere else will be the same or worse. I was. I liked my doctors, so I put up with it.

On Mothers Day, I took a home pregnancy test and discovered we're expecting our second child (yay!). A couple weeks later, I called to set up my first prenatal appointment. And was told that wasn't allowed until I took an in-office pregnancy test. To the tune of $25. Plus whatever the standard charge is for an appointment. Have I mentioned we have a high deductible health care plan? That seemed like a lot of money to confirm what I already knew.

"What if I wait a few weeks? Once you can hear the heartbeat, can I do that instead and skip the test?"
"No. You must have a positive pregnancy test on file. Then you're allowed to schedule your first prenatal visit."

Are you kidding me? If you hear a heartbeat, what else do you think is in there?!


I got off the phone and immediately went to our insurance company's website to find out what midwives they cover. Why midwives? Because going into this search blind, I thought I'd have a better chance of success finding a practice that supported natural birth with midwives than traditional OBGYN. I've also heard they're a little cheaper.

From the first phone call to the practice, I've been impressed. I am treated like a person, not a medical chart. They're in the process of switching to electronic records, but guess what? During my entire office visit I waited about 10 minutes, including the times the midwife left the room to allow me to change in and out of that lovely paper cover-up.

So, if you've been afraid to look, assuming everywhere is the same or worse, take a chance. Maybe try a midwife. But keep looking until you find a practice where you are valued. They're out there.

(PS: The midwifery group did not require a pregnancy test. And even though they couldn't hear a heartbeat, they believed I'm pregnant. Turns out there are multiple ways to physically assess pregnancy!)

14 comments:

  1. Lol good for you, Liana! I had a similar experience with our last midwife, (that is they had me take a pregnancy test and pay the copay even though I knew I was pregnant), but loved her to bits anyway. Mostly I got a kick out of telling them my EDD based on my sympto-thermal charts. :-D Esp. b/c that included a "fake" LMP date--that is I told them the date two weeks before ovulation as the LMP instead of the actual LMP three weeks or so before ovulation. :-D God did a pretty great job designing us didn't he?

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    1. Haha, that's great. Our God is indeed an awesome God!

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  2. Congratulations!!!! I've been so happy with my midwife. She just knows so many awesome tips and tricks and actually wants to hear about my EXPERIENCES and my PREFERENCES. It's awesome! So happy for you.

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    1. Thanks! We're excited about this new opportunity.

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  3. I've really been debating this a lot since I was pregnant with David. Like you mentioned, the long waits were very annoying seeing as how they want you there early and I just got fed up with the general lack of concern that the doctors showed (there was a rotation of doctors and only 1 seemed happy/caring). - We really were just another patient and nothing more.
    And it really did make me wonder if any other place could be better. This gives me hope to search differently!
    Though I would like to say that last year when I went for my initial visit to see the nurse after I had found out I was pregnant, I really wanted to take an office test (to assure myself again that I really was pregnant) and they discouraged it saying the test I took at home was probably done right. Haha go figure!

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    1. The good ones are out there! Don't give up! :-) If you click on the picture in this post, it'll take you to the website of the practice I'm at now.

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  4. My care this pregnancy was so much better being with a midwife. I never felt rushed, David came with Ryan and I to all of our appointments and they never seemed annoyed (usually they would talk to him, too!) and I just felt so much more at ease. And when it came to the birth, we really felt like the midwife was helping to push us to achieve what WE wanted and wasn't pushing her own agenda (like the OB from David's birth). I hope that you have a wonderful experience and that this practice helps you to relax and enjoy your pregnancy and prenatal care instead of feeling like you have to constantly have your guard up. Congrats on the newest little member of your family, may God bless you with a safe and enjoyable pregnancy!

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    1. Thanks! So far I've been really happy with this choice, as is Jeremy because I'm not complaining all the time. ;-)

      Also, just want to say that Ellie is beautiful!

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  5. As a student nurse-midwife, I'm maybe just a little more thrilled than I ought to be that you're planning to use a midwife this time around, haha. Congratulations to you and Jeremy! I'm excited for the new little person you'll be bringing into the world. It's still really a shame that we don't live closer. I miss you guys! Big hugs to you both!

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    1. Haha, thanks! Yeah, we wish you were here. :-( Always welcome to stay with us next time you make it out this way!

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  6. Congratulations! I hope your midwives continue to be fantastic. Prayers for you and the little one!

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  7. Having a reliable, accommodating and patient OBGYN doctor plays a huge role in helping you have a healthy and safe pregnancy.



    Deerfield Beach Obgyn

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    1. If I'd had such a doctor, who had a competent staff, I would have stayed. I am thankful for the OBGYN doctor I had with my first child. I delivered my 2nd child with a midwife and had a healthy and safe pregnancy with her support, too. Different strokes for different folks. :-)

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