Thursday, November 15, 2012

Homebirth: Step 2

Well... My husband is on board! So, I can move on to Step 2 in my journey, switching caregivers.

As I mentioned in the last post, we have already interviewed a couple of midwives and we have made our decision of who we are going with.

In this post I want to go through what my first prenatal appointment was like with her. I am doing this to show people that these are trained professionals who use REAL research and evidence in their practices. I bet many of you will be surprised after reading through my account that it really isn't too different from your own experience with an OB.

Yesterday, I had my first appointment with my new midwife and the student midwife who will also be working with me throughout my pregnancy. My monthly visits are done in her office, but the bi-weekly and weekly visits will be done in my home. Just as the first appointment with an OB, the main focus of the visit was to go over all the paperwork and my medical history. 

After the paperwork was sorted through, we did the clinical part of my visit.  There was, again, very little difference between visits with my previous caregiver and the midwife.  They checked my blood pressure, heart rate, my baby's position, and the baby's heart rate.  There was one very big difference between this visit and all of the previous OB appointments I have had, the urine dip stick test.  Yes, I still had to pee in a cup (and I will continue to do so at every visit), but the difference was when I brought it back.  The midwife went over each of the colors on the stick with me.  We were able to see three areas where there was a problem. The first, I had high leukocytes, but this was quickly determined to be of no concern as I am getting over a cold and is expected. The second and third problems, I was dehydrated and need more water and I am not getting enough protein in my diet. 

I have NEVER had an OB go over this with me at a visit. I know, this is just a very little thing, but to me this is a very important thing.  It shows one of the biggest differences you will find with a well-qualified midwife, individual attention. It is very nice to know that I will be cared for by someone who is willing to spend an extra 10 minutes with me each visit to explain the little things.

My next visit is in 4 weeks.  At that time we will do all of the same things as above, just like every month with an OB.  When I go back I will need to have the paperwork I was sent home with all filled out.  It is also important that I point out that the ultrasounds and blood tests that were done earlier in my pregnancy while still in the care of an OB, would still have been done by my midwife had I started seeing her earlier.  I will not need to have then redone, but I will need to get my medical records from my previous caregiver. This is a very simple process that just requires me to fill out a form releasing the information. 

So, Step 2 is completed. I have successfully switched caregivers!

Come back next time for Step 3!

BTW, these steps are not predetermined and I have NO CLUE how many steps I will actually end up with before this whole journey comes to an end.  I'm not even sure that steps are the right word for them, maybe tasks or parts??? Not really sure...

Anyway, no matter what they end up being called, I hope that these posts continue to illustrate just how NORMAL and SAFE homebirth really can be!