Many people have asked how my prenatal midwife appointments are different from my prenatal doctor appointments.

First of all, my midwife comes to my house! This is really great. Some people might not like this, but for me it has been a lifesaver. It saves me the hour drive each way to Bakersfield, and I don't have to find a sitter for Luke.

Next, she usually spends at least 5 minutes asking me how I am sleeping, eating, and feeling. She analyzes my diet to make sure I'm getting enough protein and might recommend certain extra vitamin supplements I should be taking based on my diet and/or blood work (i.e., iron, alfalfa capsules, etc.). If I'm not sleeping well, we'll discuss ways I can get more rest.

I'll then take a stick and do a urine sample. When I've done that, we read the stick together, noting if I'm dehydrated or anything else strange that might show up. She weighs me. Takes my blood pressure. Measures my belly. Feels my belly. We listen to the baby's heartbeat. (At this point I am usually lying on my living room couch and Luke is climbing on my head, but that's okay.)

There you have it. It really isn't too different from a doctor's visit except that my ObGyn never asked about my eating habits, read my urine sample with me, or recommended natural supplements. The midwife's visits usually average about 30 minutes, whereas the doctor's were about 10 minutes. Oh, and she gives me a hug when she leaves. My doctor never did that - thank goodness.

So far, I am very satisfied with the midwife route. I got my hair done this weekend and told one of the stylists at the salon (who I've known for 2+ years now) that I'm using a midwife and doing a home birth this time. She looked at me funny and said, "Well, at least you're not doing a waterbirth at home! That would be crazy!" I said, "Actually, I am planning to do a waterbirth at home!" She tried to backtrack, but it was kind of awkward. We've all been in situations like that though where we say things we wish we hadn't. Like that one time I asked that overweight woman when she was due and she wasn't pregnant... yeah... so I wasn't offended one bit by her comment. Just thought it was funny because I know that to most people this whole thing sounds crazy.

Things I especially like about the midwife are that she comes to my home and it really feels like a thorough exam. It means a lot to me that we discuss my diet. Although a good diet is crucial to a healthy pregnancy, I've never had an ObGyn ask me about mine. Maybe I've just had lousy doctors in the past. Either way, this has really put things in perspective. Another perk is that when I took my gestational diabetes test last week, I didn't have to go to the lab! I drank the bottle of orange stuff at home, my midwife stopped by an hour later to draw blood, and then she called me the next week with the lab results.

So, other than being large and uncomfortable, everything is progressing smoothly... only 2 months or so to go!


  1. It sounds like a great situation - except for the part about not delivering in the hospital. But I would love to get so much attention and time from my physician. Good Luck with your water birth - I am very anxious to hear how it goes.

  2. The coming to your home part sounds great....I hate having to find babysitters for Kylee and Sarah for every apointment! However I'm pretty pushy with my OB so it ends up being a half hour anyways...the only part I try to avoid talking about is my diet :)! I am just so picky before I get pregnant that when i'm prego I am so bad....sometimes I just feel like having chocolate milk for dinner and thats it! I'm glad your enjoying it though!

  3. My doctor kind of talked about my diet except she once said "you don't have to eat for two." I don't think that comment was helpful, but besides that she was a great doctor.

    You are pretty brave. I would like that attention and to be that brave but I like the comfort of medicine right by my side. It is the selfish medicine I am referring to, like an epidural.

  4. I think I would really like someone who came to me instead of to them, too. Too bad I don't think I can have anymore children because your experiences are really drawing me to the idea of a midwife and home birthing! One question: Does your insurance cover the same amount with her as with an OBGyn?

  5. (Caitlin) That sounds so nice! I'm actually really jealous. I wish I could have had Jonah in the water. It's like an epidural.

  6. I was really impressed when you first said that you were going to do a homebirth. And the midwife sounds great! But I'm still going to stick with my doctor. Because I was so inquisitive when I was pregnant with Zachary our visits were generally longer than 30 min. Please keep posting about your midwife experiences!

  7. Yeah, everyone that I know who has gone with a mid-wife has loved it! I have to admit, it sounds really nice... I'm wondering though, do you have to pay it all out of pocket, or does your insurance cover it?

  8. With the licensed midwife, my insurance covers 70% and I pay 30%. (they view it as an out of network provider) With the hospital, my insurance covers 90% and I pay 10% - however, a hospital birth is around $5,500 (without the epidural) and the midwife is $3600, so it's not that huge of a difference... the midwife is still more though just because of my insurance.

  9. K-I can't believe you only have two months left--that's awesome! I have to take that horrid orange nasty drink test here really soon--I almost fail every time. I did fail on Luke and had to do a 4 hour ordeal. I hope this one is better. BTW--two of my sister-in-laws have done water births and loved them. Good luck with all of that!



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