Hi everyone. I am about 13 weeks in my first pregnancy and have been planning a homebirth with Evelyn. So far we have had 3 meetings scheduled with her or someone in her office, and 2 out of the 3 have had to be rescheduled due to births. I really like Evelyn and completely recognize this is the reality of working with a busy solo-practice homebirth midwife. But, my partner is getting irritated by the scheduling inconveniences.
My question to those of you who have used Special Beginnings is, did you have any scheduling issues with them? Did they ever cancel your appointments because of births, etc., or other reasons? I know there are multiple midwives there, so I would think this is less of a problem, but I have also heard from friends who have dealt with other multiple midwife practices (not SB) that they had lots of appointments cancelled.
Thanks for any help with this. I would like to stick with Evelyn but don't need the stress of my partner getting frustrated every time this happens. I am hoping to figure out if there would be a similar problem with SB and then have a nice long talk with him :-)
Rather than SB, did you want to consider another HB MW? I think Evelyn & KC take on more clients per month than my MW - Karen Webster - does. I'm 34W now & have been seeing her since 8 weeks or so and not ONCE has she rescheduled. Actually, once she was at a birth, but when I called before leaving to go to her place, she said she was only about 30 min behind, so I still had my apt.
I ruled out SB with my first just because it was too far & inconvenient. But now that I know an FSBC has nothing, from a safety perspective, that an HB MW doesn't bring with her, I totally ruled it out anyway. (Unless of course the FSBC is much closer to hospital for transfer than your home would be. That would be the only way in which FSBC would be safer.)
Thanks Meg. I have ruled out other HB midwives--unfortunately--due to insurance. I have to use a BCBS preferred provider to get coverage and just can't justify spending all that money out of pocket when I get 100% coverage with a preferred provider. Crappy, huh?
That said, if someone has had similar insurance issues and gotten coverage--or knows of another HB midwife who is a preferred BCBS provider--I would love to hear about it.
:) I have Anthem BCBS & am getting coverage for Karen Webster at the in-network level. They haven't told me what the global amount they allow is (they say they can't, which is really odd) but gave me a ball park. Ya know how your statements of coverage come in (after the fact) & state what the provider billed, then what the insurance covered? Often the latter is less - but you're not responsible anyway?
Well, since KW isn't contracted with BCBS, I have to make up the remainder, but it won't be too bad. About 2/3 of her fee should be covered, perhaps more. KC bills insurance too. (& I would have had some out-of-pocket expenses even if I went to Upper Chesapeake again - so it really won't be much more.)
I got the in-network level coverage because I just called and asked if they covered HB - they said yes - then I asked if I could get an "exception" for KW to be covered at in-network level since there were no in-network providers of HB services, and I got it! It was surprisingly easy... LOL, almost seemed too good to be true, but I have the letter!!
Just to answer your original question if you are still considering Special Beginnings. I used them for my first birth and up until about 28 weeks with my second (had to switch providers because we moved). I only had them reschedule an appointment once throughout all those visits and they offered to still keep my same appointment so the rescheduling was my choice. I arrived for my appointment and after sitting in the waiting room for about 20 minutes they came and told me that they were in the middle of several births so the wait could be another 30 minutes or so. They said I could wait if I wanted or I could reschedule, it was totally up to me depending on if I could wait or felt like waiting.
All my other appointments were always kept scheduled and I don't think I ever sat in the waiting room for more than 10 minutes. That was one of the many things I always loved about them, I never had to wait long and the MW was always the one that came to the lobby to get me so it wasn't like a nurse came to get me and then left me sitting in the exam room forever waiting to see the MW.
I loved everything about SB!
I had my daughter at Special Beginnings in 2008 and I did have to wait a few times because of births (never more than 15 minutes). Maybe once I got a call a few hours before my appointment to reschedule because they were so backed up from several births that day that they didn't think they'd have time to fit everyone in. They do have more midwives than a solo practice but they also have a lot more clients.
The only person I know who's never been bumped or delayed by a birth for a prenatal appointment is my SIL who used an enormous OB-GYN practice with, like, 13 OBs and 5-6 midwives. Since the midwives did not attend births, they were always on hand to do prenatals.
So far, I haven't had any delays this pregnancy with my CPM. She's in the process of becoming a CNM, and while I won't get 100% coverage from my BCBS Fed Employee plan, I will get a decent chunk covered under out-of-network benefits. Feel free to PM me if you have questions or want a rec.
Mom to (11/08) and (4/11)
Lauren - I'd be interested to have your CPM's info if you're willing to share. I have fed bcbc too and might want to use yours for next preg if she's a CNM by then. I'll PM you. TIA!
Mama to my beautiful DS born 11/09 and sweet DD born 1/12. Malaika 3/11 (8 wks).
Thanks Jeska and everyone for your replies. After a long talk with my husband this weekend (and lots of arm-twisting), it turns out he is actually much more comfortable with being in a birth center, but hadn't said so because he didn't want to influence my decision. I have also thought about it a lot and think Special Beginnings is the right place for us at this time. We both realize that homebirth is just as safe as being in the birthing center, but I think our stress levels will be lower with the birthing center (for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do specifically with homebirth or any of the lovely midwives we spoke to). We are excited about our decision, and can't wait to get to know everyone there.
We really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences! Good luck everyone :-)
I think the best aspect of this thread is that it led you to "the discussion". Good for you! As a doula/CBE I love home births, but Special Beginnings is a great alternative as well. I think you will really like the midwives there. We had a wonderful experience there with our 2nd DD, and was just there for a New Year's Eve birth and was reminded of how comfortable it can be. Feel free to pm if you have any specific questions.