Only a few more weeks until we meet our Mexican expat baby! El fecha del parto probable (the due date) is June 8, but since Spencer was two weeks early and I’ve heard that second babies are often early in general, nomad baby could arrive anytime. I just had my second to last doctor’s appointment. I didn’t realize how nervous I was about not knowing exactly what the birth process will be, until David and I went through everything with our doctor. I left the office feeling more serene and at peace than I have in weeks.
The ultrasound machine in our doctor’s office isn’t great, so today was the first time I actually saw our baby’s face–his nose, the curve of his eye in profile, his little mouth opening and closing. I’d forgotten what that feels like, to see your unborn child’s face for the first time. The testicles were also *very clear* this time, so I can finally decide what to do with those girl clothes languishing in the closet. I may keep them in hopes of giving them to a friend, but I can say goodbye to them for myself, which is a good feeling. Now we can really look forward to our boys’ brotherly love!
So what is it going to be like to have a Mexican expat baby?! Knock on wood, it looks like it’s going to be fabulous (other than the universe-rending pain, of course, which I am going to try to hynobirth myself right out of). Here’s a good quote I’ve recommended to David: “If a woman in labor doesn’t look like a goddess, someone isn’t treating her right.”
I’ll give birth in the same building in which I’ve been seeing my doctor. Plaza de Mayor is a beautiful old rose sandstone building with three floors centered gallery style around an open area that fills the building with natural light. In every nook and cranny you’re likely to find some kind of mural painting or relief design. Half the third floor is dedicated to a large Cesarean unit, and three smallish rooms on the other side of the third floor for natural labors. Each room has a lovely view onto the busy Plaza de la Paz. When we peeked into the rooms, no one was there. It doesn’t look like the clinic will be crowded. Apparently I’ll labor in one of these rooms, and then when it’s time to give birth, I’ll walk over a few feet to the dedicated birthing room. Women usually stay in hospital for one day with a natural birth, and two days with a Cesarean (WOW, that’s short).
Costs for having a Mexican Expat Baby
We had three hospital options: the clinic where my doctor is based, the more modern Centro Medico La Presa in a quiet neighborhood about the same distance from our house, or the general hospital outside of town. My doctor gave me a rough estimate of the price at CMP, which is between 25,000 and 27,000 pesos for a natural birth, or between $1,310 and $1,410 USD. The cost for a Cesarean would be between 35,000 and 37,000 pesos, or $1,830 – $1,935 USD.
At the clinic where my doctor is based, the cost is 19,660 pesos ($1,025) for a natural birth, and 27,000 pesos ($1,410) for a Cesarean. The cost of a natural birth includes the doctor’s care, pediatric care, an epidural, and a one-day clinic stay.
I don’t have the exact costs for the general hospital, but my doctor said they would be lower than the clinic. Having been to the crowded and lightless general hospital very far from our house, and given the clean simple sufficiency of the clinic, we opted for the clinic.
Including our doctor visits and ultrasounds, we’ll be spending just over $1,100 USD to give birth.
Can we take a minute here? OH MY GOD is this cheap. This total out of pocket cost for a birth with zero insurance is half of the yearly premium of many of the nomad insurance options we considered. This is one reason we’ve opted to self-insure — given that we’re young and in good health, our routine medical needs in every country have been a tenth of what we would have paid for an insurance plan. I admit that we’re banking on not needing a big-ticket item like a medical evacuation, a big operation, or a long hospital stay for a serious condition. Or, if the baby comes much too early, or if there are complications with the birth, we’ll obviously be paying much more. Given our medical histories, and the fact that our first child’s birth was natural and without complications, we’re comfortable with this level of risk.
I didn’t realize how nervous I was until our tour was over, and David and I were walking out of the clinic into the square. Plaza de la Paz is such a peaceful building, and now that I know exactly what to do and where to go when labor begins, I am so incredibly grateful. I’m also glad that the doctor said “No hay duda, es un niño” there’s no doubt it’s a boy. The feeling of certainty is wonderful, and I love my doctor more than ever–she’s quiet and serious, but so thorough and kind when she answers my questions, especially when I forget the word I’m looking for or make a mistake.
I can’t wait for our Mexican expat baby to come into the world in such a peaceful, caring environment. Next time I write will be to introduce you!
Image Credit: sebagee of Pixabay