On Monday, my midwife wrote the orders for me to have a twenty week ultrasound. I was a little nervous about the timeline, because Thursday would be my 20 week mark. I wasn't sure how long in advance these need to be scheduled, but I was imagining at least a week or two, and we are leaving for Arizona at the end of this month. I was anticipating needing to wait until after the trip, and my concern was that they wouldn't be able to get the measurements needed at that point.
The first number that I called was for the office that my midwife recommended. My fingers were crossed that they would accept our insurance. The office is a stand-alone facility, not related to any hospital or doctor's practice. I knew they'd be less confrontational about a homebirther coming in for a scan than a hospital would. If my midwife has been sending her clients there, then they are obviously familiar with the scenario. It was a huge bonus that their scans are done in 3D. I have never had a 3D scan before, and I think they are on a fine line between really cool, and a little creepy. I have only ever seen the still shots taken from them, but I've heard that seeing them live, with the baby moving etc, it is truly an experience. I was hoping we'd be able to get in. But alas, they do not accept our insurance. To pay out of pocket would be more than we can afford right now, especially for something that our insurance would cover if we just have the scan done elsewhere.
So, I called the number on the back of my insurance card, and asked the representative where I could go to have the scan done. She was very nice and polite. She gave me two numbers- one that is near Daryl's office, and one that is near our home. It would be better for Daryl to go to the one near his office, so I called there first. I waited on hold for a few minutes, and was greeted by someone who sounded like they hadn't had their morning coffee yet. She promptly transferred me to a scheduling service. Whatever happened to offices scheduling their own appointments? The woman at the scheduling service transferred me to Toledo Hospital. This is the conversation that I had with the woman there:
Me: I need to schedule an ultrasound for a 20 week anatomy scan in pregnancy
Lady: Okay... are you calling for a patient?
Me:No, I am the patient.
Lady: Are you calling from a doctor's office?
Me: No, I'm calling from my home.
Lady: Who's your doctor?
Me: My general practitionor is Dr. ____ but I do not have an OB/GYN. I'm seeing a midwife.
Lady: Yes, but who is the DOCTOR.
Me: There isn't one
Lady: There *has* to be.
Me: No, I am seeing a certified nurse midwife. She has physicians who she consults, but no one oversees her.
Lady: You're saying that you only see this midwife and no doctor
Me (getting irritated): Yes ma'am, She is a certified nurse midwife and I have an order here from her for an ultrasound, and I'd like to schedule it because you are the only facility that accepts my insurance.
Lady: Well, we don't *accept* appointments made by the patient, they need to be made by a doctor, so I suggest you find a doctor at this point.
I am not sure if she was simply unfamiliar with the situation, but she came off as being extremely rude and condescending. After being transferred quite a few more times, and talking to a lot more people, I finally figured out that there is one hospital that would allow me to make an appointment and accepts our insurance. So much for "choice" eh? When I called that hospital, I was transferred BACK to the scheduling agency. The woman on the phone just laughed and says that it's usually a circular trip around the phone circuits. Yeah, funny for her, but I just wasted my entire morning while my one year old systematically removed all of the red ornaments off of the christmas tree, because I was stuck on the phone.
At any rate, I got the appointment, which is all that really matters. Not only did I get an appointment, but to my surprise they had an opening for the very next morning. It was very early, 7:30, but if I didn't take that slot then I would have had to wait well over a month to get in. I took it!
Everything looks just perfect with the baby. She is measuring a little small, but the tech said it's nothing to worry about, some babies are just small. Everything else was right on track for a 20 week fetus. She was curled up into a tight little ball, with her head facing down. This was a little inconvenient, but we were able to get all of the measurements and diagnostic shots that we needed. One thing that this position was good for, was getting a shot between the legs. If you haven't figured out from my pronouns yet, we are going to be blessed with a little girl!
Here are a few really crummy pictures. I don't have the patience to work with the scanner, so I took a picture of the pictures. Also, because of the position of the baby, it was really hard to get a good profile shot. This is what we got!