Help!-North Houston area Midwife needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-24-2006, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am pregnant with my 3rd baby, due around end of April, 2007. I am planning my second homebirth.

I am having the darndest time choosing a prenatal care/delivery attendant. I must admit one of concerns is financial, choosing a homebirth midwife, DM or LM, with a $3500 pricetag is so hard to do when I have worked so hard to cut back work and stay home with my children and money is a big concern.

I am looking for a homebirth CNM that I could use with insurance to help pay. Can anyone give any recommendations/advice/anything?

I am actually way north in The Woodlands, but would drive down to Houston for prenatals etc to save $3000. I am not interested in a Birth Center, even though I know that's a way to have a CNM birth here in The Woodlands.

I am sad to say, lately I have been thinking of getting prenatal care at an OB's office and just having an Unassisted Homebirth if all goes smoothly. My last homebirth was actually accidentally unassisted as my midwife didn't make it to our home in time(we called her about 5 minutes before I crowned)

In all honesty, we didn't call the midwife sooner, because I didn't feel a need to any sooner, all was going well and naturally in my labor. I do believe that the best safest birth occurs when there are no "Observers" and I wouldn't want a midwife to interfer with my labor/birth with this one either- so I keep thinking- why pay $3500 for a midwife who will probably miss this delivery too?

thanks for advice

Mary
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#2 of 17 Old 10-24-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Don't know if any of the midwives will do homebirths but the names i hear most often are :
Jackie Griggs
Pat Jones
Mary Alice Brayer (heard good & bad comments)

Personally I would not recommend Kathy Vande Giessen but only because I had close contact with a person who had a horrible experience with her.

You could probably call Nativiti and see if they know of any homebirth midwives.

Good luck!

wife to DH, Mama to DS "Bug" (09/07), and DD "Sprout" (01/11). 
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#3 of 17 Old 10-24-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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Chris Duffy! She's off 45 and 1960. She's very hands-off (had her babies UC) She's less than $3500 for sure (well less than that 2 yrs ago when we used her) She's magic with insurance! We paid up front, but she got our insurance co. to reimburse 100%! I would guess that she'd be willing to work something out if you just wanted prenatal.

-Angela
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#4 of 17 Old 10-27-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by QuestionGal View Post

Personally I would not recommend Kathy Vande Giessen but only because I had close contact with a person who had a horrible experience with her.

Good luck!
What was the -ative exp with Kathy? I had to switch from Jackie Griggs (who I really liked) at 24 weeks b/c of insurance issues and I'm with Kathy now.

I haven't had any problems so far, but I'm just curious what the other person's horrible exp was....
TIA!
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#5 of 17 Old 10-29-2006, 03:29 AM
 
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She did not accompany the person to the hospital for a transport for failure to progress.

WRT insurance reimbursement: Also, Carol Schumacher will work with insurance, bill them directly, not you. 713-728-3439

Also, several homebirth midwives will drive to you for prenatals...especially if you pay a little more. Or you could use it as an excuse to pick up veggies at the farmer's market on the day?

www.texasmidwives.com Call the midwives listed. They will tell you straight out what their insurance policies are.
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#6 of 17 Old 10-29-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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my midwife, Paula Davis, takes insurance. She is a direct entry though, not CNM.
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#7 of 17 Old 10-29-2006, 03:36 AM
 
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Here's another thing: DON'T ASSUME THE INSURANCE IS TELLING THE TRUTH.

I can't say this loud enough.

Just because they say they don't pay for homebirth over the phone, doesn't mean they don't pay for homebirths. Call the midwives and ask them directly.
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#8 of 17 Old 10-30-2006, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the replies.
I have so much to think about and I needed all these ideas.

I have heard stories of insurance cos paying for Homebirth after the fact- but its just taking that chance that I am afraid of- we simply cannot afford another $3000 dollars in debt. And Chris Duffy is over $3000 now- I can't remember exactly, but I remember it being closer to 3500, I interviewed her in june.

I went and saw an OB last week and am seriously considering just staying home during labor and "accidentally" delivering at home. that way all my prenatal care is covered. and I did find an OB who atleast meshes with my wishes, hes no midwife, but he has an older, wiser view of pregnancy/birth than a lot of these young C-section happy docs.

I duuno- i feel conflicted. a safe homebirth is of course priceless. am I making a big mistake by trading in midwifery care over money?

I cant lie- the money issue is huge. I mean- right now I cant afford to stay home with my baby- I plan to, but we still havent figured out how to pay bills when I do, as a nurse I just make so much more than my husband, a teacher at Sam Houston.

anybody seen any money trees lately?

Mary
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#9 of 17 Old 10-30-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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Who's your insurance? Chris worked wonders with ours (United) Even though all their stuff said they'd pay 80%, she got them to pay 100%

-Angela
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#10 of 17 Old 10-31-2006, 11:58 AM
 
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You might give Sally Witte a call. She isn't a CNM, but a good midwife IMO. She's really good at being hands-off if that is what you want. She helped me through my last pregnancy. I basicly wanted a UC with a midwife sitting in my livingroom in case I wanted her.....she fulfilled ALL of my wishes. I was very pleased. Its been 3 years since then, but I remember her being much cheaper than the rest of the midwives I contacted. She's worth having a conversation with IMO.

(BTW, I think I may know you....I'm Christina from LLL )
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#11 of 17 Old 10-31-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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I second the Paula Davis recommendation. She is awesome and very close to you!!! Her office is out of Conroe, but honestly, she came to my house for about 50 percent of my appts...

She is super flex on payment and was willing to work with us..
Give her a call

Blessings
Karen
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#12 of 17 Old 11-04-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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First, congratulations!!!!!

I have to recommend Paula Davis, she's not a CNM, but she is an RN. She is the state expert on neonatal resusitation (sp?)

She saved my baby's life (long story, but I suspect you know it already!!)

Good luck
Allison
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#13 of 17 Old 11-06-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nursemeh View Post
I duuno- i feel conflicted. a safe homebirth is of course priceless. am I making a big mistake by trading in midwifery care over money?
IMvhO, yes. It is a mistake to not do everything in your power to get midwifery care, even when it costs you money. OB care is not even in the same league, even if it were 100% free.

I have been in your situation, and I will tell you, that when we were poor grad students, and had only a $25 copay for a birth center, we still opted for a homebirth midwife.

Where did we get the money?

We sold an instrument we weren't using. I took extra hours I didn't have time or energy to take. And we MADE our money work better for us.

We also arranged with the midwife upfront our payment plan. AND, Angela is right, many midwives here can bill your insurance directly or work something out in amazing ways.

You. never. know. unless. you. call. And explain your situation.

Carol Schumacher bills insurance directly, depending on your insurance.
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#14 of 17 Old 11-16-2006, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Such loving, sincere advice- thanks so much!

I've been working on some bartering/payment options and am almost ready to make a final decision on a midwife. I will probably continue to see the OB I picked for prenatals, as long as I feel comfortable. I picked a really old, experienced fellow, not one these young useless OBs(so excited about everything-ready to section in a heartbeat) so far he's pretty harmless, as far as prenatals go, and that way I get labs and an ultrasound paid for on insurance.

I can use his labwork for my midwife and save some change there.

Mamverdi writes:
"It is a mistake to not do everything in your power to get midwifery care, even when it costs you money. OB care is not even in the same league, even if it were 100% free."

I actually know this all too well- deep in my soul I know this. Thats why the money worries are eating away at me. We were so very fortunate to have my daughter in London, a homebirth that was completely covered on our NHS insurance- national healthcare- imagine that! It didnt cost me dime (pence) and the icing was 5 months paid maternity leave. So I should just suck it up and foot the bill this time around, right?

well- thats what I am doing. Making the cash to pay the midwife.

And what do I do to make the cash to pay the midwife?

Well, I worked a little extra tonight actually, which is why I am on the computer at this ungodly hour. I can't sleep. why?

Tonight I assisted in the unneccessary induction of an aprox 36-37 week infant who was supposed to be 39 weeks, small for dates. Hmmmmmmmm, this skinny little thing, whose cord was cut aprox 2 minutes after delivery, depriving her of an essential 60-120mls of oxygen rich blood, starting have respiratory stress issues. thanky Lawdy we were in the HOSPITAL where all of these TRAINED PROFESSIONALS were there to do retarded things to her in the name of her "HEALTH" useless suctioning, staring at her on a warmer, 5 feet from her mother, for almost 30 minutes. these trained profressionals were discussing, plotting, conspiring, writing down vital signs. Finally, mom got to hold(and with my humble assistance, breastfeed her little girl, skin to skin at my insistence. OF course, the talk of blood sugars and supplementing began, NICU protocols, the baby's health is at stake so lets give formula supplements???

sometimes I feel like I work on Mars and am dealing with Martians. After 45 minutes of skin to skin that baby's respiratory rate was stable, no distress, temp stable. But-- she couldn't stay there, could she???

well, of course not, she must be removed and then bathed on a warmer, the most ridiculous cruel thing to do to a 2 hour old infant. their delicate, sensitive skin rubbed and scrubbed by some lunatic trying like mad to remove that icky vernix.

ok,its just occured to me that I am ranting.

I'll stop now and go lay down and fall gently to sleep with my baby's delicate movements within as my lullaby. I will sleep better having gotten that all off my chest. sorry, but thanks for letting me vent.

goodnight.
mary
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#15 of 17 Old 11-19-2006, 05:57 AM
 
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The work you do is not for nothing Mary. Maybe even just one part of that child's entry into the world was more gentle than it would have been. I admire anyone who can stick around to attempt to buffer life on the "inside" of the medical establishment.
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#16 of 17 Old 11-19-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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I *just* got an email from Chris- she hired a billing company and can now bill insurance directly! You might give her a call.

-Angela
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#17 of 17 Old 11-29-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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I currently go to Kathy myself and haven't had any issues. Other than being told I was having a boy since I was 20 wks by an outside ultrasound tech and then by Kathy at 29 wks to then find out at a 4D ultrasound place when I was 30wks that I was, in fact, having a GIRL. Other than that I've had a very blessed experience.

My baby's GD is in Jan so I'll keep updates on the progress.

I definitely understand the money factor being the determining factor for your birth. That is what initially attracted us to birthing centers. Thankfully, Kathy takes our insurance so things worked out. It sounds like since you've got experience with having a home birth that that is the route you'll take. I wish you much success on your birth and don't get discouraged.
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