A Certified Professional Midwife such as myself only cares for low-risk pregnancies so I have to determine whether a client fits that criterion. I have an objective list of diseases or circumstances that might "risk out" a potential client. And the prospective client has the right to determine if I'm a "fit" for her. So I encourage all potential clients to meet me for a free consultation visit to see if we want to pursue things further.
If we decide we want to pursue a midwife/client relationship, the initial visit will take 1˝ to 2 hours, as I take a comprehensive look at the client, and her medical and gynecological history. I will also perform a blood draw at that time. The follow-up prenatal visits last 30-45 minutes, although if a client needs more time with me, all she has to do is ask.
I do mainly home births, although I have access to birth centers in Grand Prairie (near Dallas) and Peaster (near Weatherford), if you desire to have a birth center birth. I provide complete prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. My clients see me every 4 weeks until week 30, then every 2 weeks until week 36, then every week until birth. I will make a home visit to your home around week 34 so that I can be sure of the location of your house and also check on your birth supplies.
I give continuous childbirth education with prenatal visits throughout the prenatal period. I do all the normal blood draws/lab work. Every prenatal visit I will check your weight, blood pressure, pulse, fundal height, urine, and fetal heart tones. Every so often I will check your temperature and your iron level, and if I see a need, I will do a blood glucose check. I focus on nutrition, herbs, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle so that you can have the optimal pregnancy and a very healthy baby. Most of the time, I see my clients at my home in De Leon. I have, however, done some home visits. There will be an extra charge for these situations.
After the birth, I will come to your home at 1-2 days postpartum to check on you and the baby and to do the first heel stick — called a newborn screen — on the baby. It tests for 28 very serious metabolic diseases. Then I will see you again at 2 weeks — to do a second newborn screen — then at 10-12 weeks postpartum. The last checkup will include a PAP smear, if you so desire.
I sometimes practice with an apprentice, who will be with me for most of the prenatal appointments so that you feel very comfortable with both of us when time comes for your labor and birth. If I do not have an apprentice at the time, I will always have an assistant at your birth. My apprentices are midwifery students, and the way they learn midwifery skills is through practice. This is the way all midwives have learned their skills.
All of this is included in my fee, which is $3000. I may have to adjust the fee to cover extra miles if you are further than 50 miles from me. I require a $400 non-refundable deposit on the first visit, and you may work out payments for the balance of the fee.
Not included in the fee is an ultrasound, which most of the time I don't consider to be necessary in a low-risk pregnancy. I do sometimes recommend an ultrasound, so my clients need to be prepared in case I consider one is necessary in their pregnancy. I have access to ultrasound technicians that take my clients in Peaster, Grand Prairie, Hurst, or Dallas, and their fee is approximately $120, which is very reasonable. If I have an assistant or backup midwife, her fee will also be due at the birth. This can range between $100 and $300.
You will also be responsible to purchase some supplies for the birth, which will run approximately $50, depending on the supplies that you already have at home. If you choose to rent my birth pool, the charge for that is $100.
If you transfer care to another midwife or doctor before your 36th week, I will give you a partial refund if it is due you, or I will send you a statement for any fees that you still owe me. After 36 weeks, even if you end up having the baby at a hospital, there will be no refund. The reason for this is that if I take a client to the hospital, it ends up being more work for me, rather than less. And going to the hospital is always stressful, for the midwife as well as for the client.
I will be happy to check on your insurance to see if they will cover the birth, but I require my fee to be paid up front. After the birth of the baby, I will give you an itemized statement so that you may file the insurance. Most insurance companies are realizing the wisdom of covering home birth, as it is a safe and economical alternative for the majority of people.
Usually, midwife clients do not have a backup physician. Mostly this is because the physicians are unwilling to take the "liability" risk because of clauses in their malpractice insurance.
If during the course of the pregnancy, I feel that you need to see a physician, I will discuss this with you, and then you will make an appointment with the doctor of your choice. In pregnancy this is most often for things such as bladder/kidney infections, etc. If you don’t know which doctor to use, I will help refer you to one.
If, during labor, I feel that you need to go to the hospital for any reason, I will make a call to the closest hospital to alert the Labor & Delivery nurses that we are headed that way, and to let them know what the situation is. Usually I go with the client and her husband to the hospital by car. If an ambulance is necessary, then I call the ambulance and follow it to the hospital.
If you would like to speak with some of my former clients, I have many references that would be more than happy to share their experience with you. Most of the clients that I serve stay in touch with me.
I'm very happily married to my husband of more than two decades — Jackie. He is my best friend.
We have three children whom we enjoy immensely. They are scattering out now, going to exciting new places and beginning their adult lives. Natalie is soon to be married and living in Arizona, Emily is in California, and Timothy is in Texas.
I also enjoy music, and love to play the piano, whether it’s at church, at home, or anywhere else. I've been playing the piano since I was eight years old. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the lessons!
I also love to knit, crochet, and sew. Often at a birth I will pick up needles or a hook and get going while I wait for the baby...
My parents and grandparents are Texans, but I'm a transplant, having been born and grown up in Mexico. This means that I'm completely bilingual with Spanish and English, and love using both languages to serve my community. I learned Spanish the easy way, as a young child, and I love to tell people that I didn’t know that English was my first language until I was 12 years old!