I disagree. I'm very interested in learning about UC, b/c I feel that knowledge will enhance my skills as a midwife someday. That said, as a midwife I wouldn't be a UCers backup plan, and that decision was not made b/c I would likely miss the birth.
Not all, but most midwives choose this path out of a dedication to women, not out of being addicted to birth or whatever. But they've also seen and heard a lot, and that usually makes them very respectful of the power of birth and very aware of how sometimes a professional means the difference between a well baby and a baby who dies after birth. Yes- often the midiwfe was unnecessary, and that is great! But I don't have a crystal ball saying when that will be, so I won't take that risk.
So the idea of a layperson attending themselves at home drring the powerful force that is birth is not something the average midwife is ok with. I respect the choice to UC, but that doesn't mean I agree with it or would support it. And providing backup for a UC is about the most vocal kind of support there is. It also can put the midwife in a very difficult position. Mutual respect is a huge part of midwifery, and everyone being on the same page contributes to the safety. This situation is taking both of those factors out, and that would make most midwives very uncomfortable providing care. (which they would be forced to do in an unexpected situation in this case).
I hope it is ok to have shared my position here. I hope I have been as respectful as I intended to be. I also hope I've givien someone a little insight into why the midwives may have decided not to do UC backup. The midwife bashing on this thread has gotten very judgemental and harsh, but try to put yourself in their shoes.
I have a great friend who is finishing up (studying for her exam) to become a midwife and I LOVE her b/c she really does trust the birthing mama and birth itself, but I have learned from her that she does have to protect herself as the midwife.
Other than her though, most midwives I know are afraid of VBAC's or "post" dates or interfere in labor by telling the mom she has to lay on her back when she does not want to. Or they are just not morally sound, like not refunding a mama's money after 1 appointment or transfer of care (early on) or gossiping using a mama's real name, taking on too many clients, transferring when they said they normally wouldn't, etc. Sad, but true.
I think if the OP is paying this midwife no matter if she makes it to the birth or not is morally sound. She isn't asking her to be a back up 'just in case'...she has hired her and is going to see how the birth goes for her and I think that is totally OK.