Written on August 18th:
I made our first doctors appointment today. We aren't scheduled until October 7th. That is my 12th week. Luckily I recently had my annual exam and everything came back good. If I hadn't seen the doctor in 2 1/2 + years (yes that is how long it had been since I had seen a doctor) I might have pushed to see the doctor sooner.
Throughout the past 2+ years I have been collecting information from many sources regarding natural birth, midwifery, birth centers, breastfeeding, etc. One book that was an eye-opener was Pushed (http://www.amazon.com/Pushed-Painful-Childbirth-Modern-Maternity/dp/0738210730). What I have learned is that being well informed and educated about your options is very important. I know some people thought it was weird that I was so interested in this material before even conceiving, but why would I want to wait until then to learn all this?!
In the spring I dragged Stan to a pregnancy work shop downtown at Sun People Dry Goods. This was a great introduction to the many options parents have in the Spokane area. We may have been the only couple in there who wasn't pregnant. What I took away from that was we had many options when it came to having a natural birth. We could chose to do a home birth with a midwife, we could go to a birthing center, we could take advantage of the hospitals that also had birth centers with midwifes and OB-GYNs or we could go with the more common approach of just an OB-GYN at a hospital.
After additional research I decided that delivery at a hospital was important to me, since I didn't want to take any chances that there could be complications. However, I also decided that it was important to utilize a midwife, instead of an OB-GYN. Through research and recommendations of a friend, I decided on Northwest OBGYN. They are part of the Providence Sacred Heart Hospital and have two midwifes on staff. As a side note, my step-father just went through a quadruple-bypass surgery at Sacred Heart in June. The medical staff was great and we were very impressed, which helped us make our decision to go with Sacred Heart.
As a happy surprise, I found out while scheduling our first appointment that the Northwest OB-GYN offered a New Beginnings class for parents in the first trimester. It will provide answers to many questions we might have. We will be taking the class on Monday, August 22.