We decided to use a midwife and a birthing center instead of an OB/GYN and a hospital for many reasons. The main being that we want to have the best opportunity for a natural birth. When you visit a birthing center for the introductory tour, they are actually interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. If there is any indication that you may be a high risk candidate then they will most likely not accept you as a patient.
They deemed us low risk and we were very impressed with their package. There’s one set price and it covers everything including mid-wife visits, on-site ultrasounds, centering (group visits that prepare you for the birth with other expecting parents who are in the same time frame), breastfeeding classes with a lactation consultant, pre-natal yoga and much more. Luckily our insurance covers 75% of the cost and they break the remainder up into interest-free monthly payments.
When we tell people that we are using a birthing center their first question is always “what happens if something goes wrong?”
It’s a fair question and the answer is that they don’t mess around – they call you an ambulance and rush you to the hospital. They refer to it as a transport and they said 15% of their patients end up giving birth in a hospital. The good part is that the birthing center that we are using has been around for a while and they have built relationships with the area hospitals. The midwife will come with you to the hospital and be by your side through the birth. Some of the midwives even have privileges at the hospital and will be the one who actually “catches the baby.”
So after our initial visit and one on one with a midwife, it was time to schedule the dating ultrasound to get a better estimate for the delivery date. Anywhere from 9 weeks to 13 weeks is the optimum time for the dating scan because a pretty accurate crown rump length can be determined (before 9 weeks it is too small and after 13 weeks the baby can start to curl up or stretch out).
The ultrasound measurement said that we are 9 weeks +1 and gave us a due date of February 18th.
Here’s something that I did not know: Even though conception takes place around 14 days after the last period, that is considered week 2 of the pregnancy as the counting starts at day 1 of the period. That explains why a full term pregnancy is 40 weeks (more like 10 months) even though you’re only actually pregnant for 38 of them (closer to 9 months).