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Anyone deliver at Austin Area Birthing Center?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm 5 weeks pregnant and taking a tour in a week. Has anyone delivered there? I know their fee is $4500 without insurance, but they said all insurance companies view them as out-of-network. I'm 90% sure I'm going to go with them as opposed to my OB (Dr. Sebestyen) but just wanted some feedback!
post #2 of 22
I am a senior midwife student and a former Respiratory Therapist who worked at North Austin Medical Center. I also did some birth assistant work at AABC a few years ago. My advice is to go with a homebirth midwife.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Georgetown HB Mom View Post
I am a senior midwife student and a former Respiratory Therapist who worked at North Austin Medical Center. I also did some birth assistant work at AABC a few years ago. My advice is to go with a homebirth midwife.

Would you mind elaborating? I'm just curious if you had a bad experience with AABC or if you are just partial to homebirthing.
post #4 of 22
I haven't delivered there. But I have heard several different opinions of it from different women. I think it depends on your expectations and what kind of birth experience you want. Ask LOTS of questions on your tour and try your best this early to see if it's a good match. And then remember that no matter who you choose at the beginning it's never too late to switch care providers until that babe is in your arms!

post #5 of 22
I worked at AABC and know most of the midwives there. It sounds like your expectations of birth are aligned with the hospital or AABC. There are pros and cons to both. One of the midwifes Cathy who works with Dr S used to work at AABC. You will not have the same person every visit or your favorite person at your birth. If you are Ok with that you can have a good birth in both places. Joan Smith at AABC Is wonderful. Home birth is WONDERFUL! too. I would recommend you hire a very awesome doula. You need to decide what kind of birth YOU want. Not what kind of birth you will be allowed. If that doesn't align with their protocals than find a trusted home birth midwife. You might want to look into a CNM like Mary Barnett if you need those credentials.

PS I am a home birth midwife and I worked at AABC. I have no ulterior motives to get you as a client or influence you in any way. I come from a place of positivity and support for YOUR perfect birth.
Have fun! What a wonderful time for you!
post #6 of 22
I had both my sons at AABC and could not have more praise for them. It was a perfect fit for us because husband was not willing to go for a homebirth (part of me was not either) and it was so much better in my mind to have them there than at a hospital. Roswitha delivered both of my boys and I actually owe my seconds sons life to her. I was really lucky to get her both times and don't know how I would have felt with some of the other midwives.

Joan Smith is also awesome. She goes above and beyond to help you. Quick story, we had a hard time nursing in the first days and ds lost too much weight. She sent me home with her medela pump since all I had was a dinky hand held thing. She did also send me home with some formula as a just in case (I do not resent that at all, it might have been necessary).

As far as insurance, we got ours to cover most of it. You need to get a waiver and that took some trying but we got it and ended up paying about half.

If you have any questions, feel free to pm me. Good luck!
post #7 of 22
it is good to start looking early. check out both NAMC and AABC and if you are open to it- talk to a couple of homebirth midwives. the most important thing is that the place/practitioner you choose will support you birthing in the way you want.
I also recommend that you have a good doula (especially with a hospital birth)...there are a lot of us out there.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by Longhorn View Post
Would you mind elaborating? I'm just curious if you had a bad experience with AABC or if you are just partial to homebirthing.
I agree with what wholisticmidwife said. I found the birth center to be too much like the hospital. In my opinion they do way too many interventions that are not neccessary on the mother. Also you will not know who is going to be the midwife at your birth as they rotate call. So, you have a chance of getting a midwife that you may not like or connect with, which is so important when you have someone attend your birth. Also, there really is no difference in the care you receive at the birth center vs. a homebirth midwife. The equipment at the birth center is the same exact equipment a homebirth midwife would bring to your house. And the big upside is if you give birth at home you are in your own environment and you don't have to get in the car and drive to the birth center in labor and a couple of hours after the birth you won't have to pack up your new baby and put it in a car. At home your midwife will tuck you into your bed where you can stay and not be disturbed.
Again, it is your birth and you have to figure out what you want from it. But if you want a peaceful birth with little intervention unless needed, AABC is not the way to go. And remember the equipment and emergency meds etc. is the same whether you pick a birth center or home.

post #9 of 22
I had my daughter a year ago at AABC. I had an overall good experience. However, I was very forward with what I didn't want and was unhappy with what I felt was a little too much intervention (I was GBS+ and didn't want antibiotics, I didn't want my daughter to get the vit K shot, etc.). Saying that, though, my birth was wonderful and my midwife was wonderful. I labored at home and had my daughter in the tub about 20 minutes after I arrived. So, essentially, I should have had my daughter at home! My third will be homebirthed. I think AABC is a good transitional place between home and a hospital. My dh was very uncomfortable with a homebirth last time around so that is why we ended up with AABC. Good luck to you!
post #10 of 22
I just have to add that that my midwife at AABC never suggested any interventions. I was asked if I wanted to do the normal things like Vit K and eye goop and just said no. There was not pressure to do any of it. I was also GBS + and I tried to get out of the antibiotics but they were firm on that. It was trade off and the only thing that I would have changed.

I also had the problem with both my boys that I would not go into labor. The midwives there used all thier tricks and things did get going. With my second it became a race against the clock because my water broke and you only have 24 hours before they want to transfer you to the hospital. She mentioned that it was more because the hospitals looks at them severely for bringing in a mom who is postive and has not had antibiotics. They do have to maintain a relationship with the hospital however evil we might think they are.

I just feel really strongly that it is a great place to give birth to your babies if you have any reservations about a home birth. It was for me both times.
post #11 of 22
My first child was born at AABC and my second at home. I'm very happy with both births and the care I received, but the comfort of being at home with a midwife that I'd had lots and lots of time to get to know was amazing. I think AABC was worlds away from a hospital, at least from what I've heard, but the peace and intimacy of birthing my son at home, even after a rather long and difficult labor, that was still a much different experience. I have to admit that mentally I don't think I could've had a homebirth with my first, but now that I've had one, it was so special, I'd never leave home short of medical necessity. And it never struck me til later that really, the safety-related supplies a birthing center has are the same ones my midwife brought to my home, and they were more than sufficient.
post #12 of 22
I will be delivering at AABC soon! I am now 40 weeks and 2 days.

I have been extremely happy with my care there so far. You don't see the same MW every visit, and there's no guarantees of who will deliver your baby, but I love all of them so for me that doesn't matter.
That being said they have been wonderful. They have seen me after hours when I was concerned about something (at 9pm at night!), they squeezed me in for an extra appointment when I had some stuff going on, my appointments have always been at least 30 min. and very informative, I have never left the birth center with questions or felt rushed at all.
My friend just had a baby and she was going to AABC, she ended up having to transfer for a complication, but the MW went with her and stayed with her and she had nothing but great things to say about her experience.
All in all it's been a great experience for me. I love that everyone there knows me and I know them, I feel at home when I go to all of my appointments, and I have never felt weird about asking any questions, or calling after hours.

My insurance covered some of the expenses. We paid $325 monthly for some time and it worked out good for us. I think the total we ended up paying was $2800. It all depends on who your insurance is too. I have Aetna Open Access HMO.
post #13 of 22
Also, at AABC you do not need to give BIRTH after your water has been broke, you only need to be in active labor.

I was also told that if I tested GBS+ then I could decline the abx if I did not want them. Luckily I wasn't positive, so I didn't have to worry about that at all.
I have never felt like they do too many interventions and I have been told that I can decline things if I want to.
post #14 of 22
Do you have a doula? I birthed at AABC and this is the one thing I would do differently. I definitely needed a doula since the midwives told me to stay home (until I finally talked them into my being in labor and when I arrived I was already 8 cm).

I was so exhausted after two missed nights of sleep that when they sent me home after 6 hours (standard), I was too tired to cope that first night home. We ended up in the ER with a totally lethargic baby the next day (and he stayed in the NICU for five days). We could have avoided all of that if I had had a postpartum doula. (In the hospital the nurses would have been sure DS was eating enough.)

I'm planning on a homebirth this time.
post #15 of 22
If you 're comfy with a less clinical birth center I highly recommend April at Birthwise. It's smaller and more homelike. I had a baby there 3 weeks ago.
post #16 of 22
I second April, very cool.
post #17 of 22
I was going to deliver at AABC with my first, but because they can only take super, super lowest of the low risk (and I have a history of chronic hypertension), they dropped me at 19 weeks.

I have heard pretty much what everyone else here says...some women don't like not knowing who will be at the delivery, some don't mind. I loved the office staff and the midwives I did get to meet seemed really nice. I have heard great things about Roswitha (sp?) as well...I think taking the tour is a good idea, but after my last experience, I will be going with a home birth (hopefully)
post #18 of 22
Oh and as far as insurance goes, DH gets some great insurance through his job at Whole Foods. They billed our insurance and I am pretty sure we never had to pay out of pocket (although I am not 100% b/c we have a consumer accounts card that gets cash put on it each year to go towards the deductible).

My only complaint was that they said they would refund most of our money since they never should have taken me on as a client, but DH said they never returned the amount they said they would. I am not too well versed on insurance and I have to admit, I don't look at the explanation of benefits or anything, but that part kind of stunk for us.
post #19 of 22
i say check out http://www.centrevida.com/ my great friend and midwife Faith is opening a new birth center off Manchaca in South Austin. LOVE her, she did my homebirth for my third son and my twins
post #20 of 22

Actually, I am a previous patient and their fee is UNDER $4,000 and it also includes childbirth classes, sonograms, and the midwives there are lovely! I highly recommend it. Our experience was WONDERFUL!

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