Thursday was our first prenatal appointment at the Birth Center. T chose the midwife, an older woman named Fran who was just the kind of person you wanted to wrap your arms around and sit and have tea with. She was so kind and informative and comfortable! I couldn't have hoped for better.
That being said, I should mention that the center has 6 full time midwives and 1 part-timer. The center encourages their pregnant couples to meet each midwife, since you have no way of knowing who will be on call when you go into labor. Each subsequent appointment will be with another midwife.
We are also participating in something called Group Centering, which is a group of 8 couples who share due dates close to ours all going through the prenatal information and classes together. The first few appointments are individual, but starting in April we'll be doing most of our appointments with these other 7 couples. Excepting the ultrasound and any individual testing or bloodwork, of course.
The midwife running our Centering classes is one that T has had some personal experience with and one we've also heard some things about from others. She is not as ideal a midwife as our friend Fran. We are hoping that getting to know her will make our experience with her better, as she tends towards being uncertain and has a flaky air about her. I'm actually looking forward to the Centering classes, and I think both T and I are glad to be cared for at the birth center rather than at a hospital with an OB.
Anyway. Back to our first appointment, and Fran. First we were taken into a room where a medical assistant and an extern asked T a bunch of questions and filled out things on the computer, the MA directing the extern the entire time. They were great about the fact that I was not a man, nor the father. We explained about the donor and that we had his information with us.
I greatly appreciated the effort that Fran put into including me and changing the terms she used during the appointment. I felt welcome and valued.
Fran was very thorough with T, asking questions and providing several opportunities to bring up questions or concerns that we had. We discussed everything we'd hoped to discuss and more. One question we had was how were they going to determine T's estimated due date, as typical pregnancy calculations doesn't take into consideration that T's cycle is about four days longer than "the norm".
Since we knew the date T ovulated and when we inseminated, Fran was quite pleased with how accurate the dating was. According to her little calculation cardboard wheel thingy, using the date of conception we gave her, she said our EDD would be between August 31st and September 1st. Since the birth center only allows births at the center that are between 37 and 41 weeks, Fran padded our EDD and put us on September 1st. We are incredibly thankful that Fran understood our concerns of having too early a due date. On the flip side of that though, a later due date puts us backwards in our week count. We still haven't decided how to count, since the way we've been counting puts us further along and is very desirable to me, but counting the new way means we'd have to do a repeat of the seventh week. Frankly, that bums me out. We'll see.
They drew blood from T and collected a urine sample, and we made an appointment for February 7th. Hopefully at that time we'll get to hear the baby's heartbeat!