Having a baby in Mexico – Part 2 (Our first doctor appointment)

To tell, or not to tell: that is the question.

After finding out we were pregnant (read Part 1 for more on that), we decided to wait until the end of the first trimester to tell most people. However, there were a select few that got the inside scoop sooner. Of course, everybody offered their congratulations and hugs!

Christmas Eve (6.5 weeks along)

At six weeks along, I directed the Christmas Cantata at church. Rehearsals had been a little challenging, with morning sickness (which I felt in the afternoons and evenings) and fatigue, as well another cold! Fortunately, God gave me the strength to get through it all – with a smile.

Next, we had to decide where to have our baby: the U.S. or Mexico?

Being full-timers in Mexico means that traveling to the U.S. is only an occasional occurrence for us. It takes about 6-8.5 hours one-way to reach Tucson (the nearest large city), depending on how long the border crossing takes in Nogales, AZ (sometimes only 15 minutes and sometimes two hours).

We decided that making monthly trips for appointments, which then turn into weekly appointments near the end of the pregnancy, were just not worth it. Not to mention hotel stays, food, gas, and the likely necessity of staying in Tucson for 1-3 weeks around the time of the birth.

The other option would be staying with family, but really, we live in Mexico, so why not just stay here? Millions of babies have been born in Mexico. Why not ours?!

So, Mexico it is.

Is there a (good) doctor in the house?

We started by seeing one of the two doctors at our local clinic here in San Carlos. He asked me a few questions, gave me an order for lab work (blood and urine tests) to be done at a lab in Guaymas (our nearest city), then recommended two OB/GYN’s in Guaymas.

Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico

I had the lab work completed, then in January (12 weeks along),  saw one of the OB/GYN’s, Dr. Amador, Sr. Since he doesn’t speak much English, we (yes, M. comes to all my doctor appointments) brought a friend with us to translate. I also brought along a birth plan to discuss my preferences for the labor and delivery. We asked a lot of questions, let Dr. Amador look at my lab results, had our first ultrasound (so cute!) and vitals checked, then left feeling like we needed to possibly find a different doctor!

Here’s the rub:

approximately half of all babies born in Mexico are by c-section!

And I want a natural, vaginal birth, with no medication

(unless medically necessary).

From research and conversations with friends (gringos and Mexicans), I have discovered that there are many reasons for the high c-section rate:

  • Doctors and hospitals make more money
  • Doctors need to spend less time with their patients (laboring women take longer to have a baby!), creating a more convenient schedule
  • Many Mexican women prefer c-sections (and medications to avoid pain)
  • VBAC’s are rare, so after the first c-section all subsequent births are scheduled
  • Mexican women over 35 or categorized as “high risk” for various reasons (which may or may not be valid) are scheduled for c-sections, based on their doctor’s recommendation

In addition to the high c-section rate, some of the other concerns we had with Dr. Amador were:

  • He seemed uncomfortable with having M. in the delivery room (a definite priority for us!)
  • He wanted to “hook me up” as soon as possible, which would make moving around during labor very difficult (going through my entire labor on a bed on my back does not sound fun)
  • He didn’t ask much about my medical history, and just wrote down a few notes from my lab work (didn’t seem very thorough)
  • He was very surprised I wanted a natural birth with no medication, and seemed to think it was an unwise request (isn’t there a doctor out there that will help me try to have a successful unmedicated labor and delivery?)
  • He would absolutely induce labor if I was one week “overdue” (of course, I suppose that would really depend on me going to the hospital or not!)

As we left the office of Dr. Amador, Sr., we noticed that his son (also an OB/GYN) practiced there, too. After some discussion, M. and I decided that we would like to meet Dr. Amador, Jr. Perhaps he would speak more English and be more open-minded. If nothing else, we were determined to find a doctor we were more comfortable with.

For the moment, we held a picture of our tiny baby, and that made us smile!

Our first ultrasound at 6 weeks


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1 Comment

Filed under Life Journal, Pregnant in Mexico

One response to “Having a baby in Mexico – Part 2 (Our first doctor appointment)

  1. Anne

    Wow! I would have been frightened. But I am guessing that you were not because of your strong support system. I look forward to your next installment!

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