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Home birth - is this normal?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well this is my 2nd post of the day....I'm almost 38 weeks along & planning a home birth. I'm feeling very uneasy and stressed today. My home visit (which was only going to be attended by the midwife's apprentice) was cancelled today. Shouldn't my midwife be coming to my home too? Also, my appt for next week was rescheduled & the midwife's apprentice said that they are now going to be 30 minutes long instead of the usual hour. I would think at this point, we would need more intensive appts rather than shorter appts. The midwife has a new job at a birthing center & I feel like I'm getting pushed to the side. I could go on and on about other issues but would love to know from others what they think.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Also, when I asked about an exam next week, the apprentice said I probably wouldn't be getting one. Don't they want to know if I'm dilated? I would like to know since baby has dropped a bunch.
post #3 of 10
I have my home visit tomorrow. I think it's only with the MW not her apprentice, though I think the apprentice will be spending more time here at the actual birth. I *think* I will get the very basic exam tomorrow but only because it's my first (bp, pee on stick, measure and doppler) but I am fairly certain that my MW doesn't do any internal exams, pretty much ever unless labour stalls or seems too difficult and there might be a cervical lip or I need my water broken. Possibly if I asked her sooner for some reason she would, but my understanding is there's no point it doesn't really mean much anyways. I'll have to admit, I'm very curious but knowing that it doesn't mean much I am trying not to care I am also 38 weeks, or actually a few days over (though the MW has my dates so today I am exactly 38 according to her).
post #4 of 10
Unless you don't have a proven pelvis, my hbmw doesn't do any internals.

I tend to think of an apprenticeship as happening under the direct supervision of the professional. I'd balk completely if my mw handed her apprentice the keys to my birth this late in my pregnancy. Then again, my mw's apprentice only started her apprenticeship weeks ago and has not been along for any of the ride until now.

I think the dynamics of the situation depend fully on how involved the apprentice has been from the beginning. If the apprentice is far along in her training, perhaps your mw has taken more of a back seat from the beginning, and thus, this has become the norm. If this hasn't been the case, I'd find my hbmw's absence in the very intimate last few weeks of pregnancy unsettling. It would completely unnerve me and I would definitely want to address it, directly, with her.

good luck to you!
post #5 of 10
The home visit is for the purposes of finding out where everything is, making sure you have everything they'll need right? I can see where the apprentice could do that on her own, but I understand wanting your midwife there. For me, the relationship itself is very important.

I never had any internal exams during pregnancy or labor until I was complete and ready to push. At this point it doesn't really tell you anything and would just be for curiosity's sake.

I'd be sad about the shorter appointments, but I guess there are only so many hours in a day. I would wonder, though, what happens if you're in labor when she's supposed to be working there?
post #6 of 10
My midwife said she doesn't do internal exams unless specifically requested or if it is a mom's first birth. She said moms can walk around dilated for several days/weeks before labor actually starts so she said it isn't as informative as many would believe.
post #7 of 10
Only our birth assistant comes to the home visit to set up supplies.

They only do one exam at 36 weeks to confirm the baby's head is down (if there is a question).

My appointments are all about 30 minutes long, but if I have questions and what not, I'm never rushed out of there. They always take the time to answer my questions and make sure I'm comfortable. I think that's more important than the length of time the appt is.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, all! The home visit went really well. I expressed my concerns to my midwife over the phone & she was very understanding.
post #9 of 10
I'm glad things went well and you got your concerns addressed.

As for vaginal exams in pregnancy, they don't give you a whole lot of helpful information. If you find out you are 1, 2, 3, even 4 cm dilated, so what? It does not tell you that labor will begin today, tomorrow, or next week. But it might set you up for anxiety thinking "any minute now" and if you end up going to 41 weeks or so (which is average for a first-time white mom according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health) you will have really run out of patience.

Plus vaginal exams at any time increase your risk of infection so the less the better, anytime, but especially before labor's even begun! (and especially after the bag of waters has broken!)

Best wishes!

I'm 38 weeks today too
post #10 of 10
I can understand your concerns. My appointments are shorter now, but more frequent. They're really just to check baby's heartrate, my blood pressure, pee on the stick, etc. Of course, this being my third baby, I'm not full of questions and needing major reassurance either. That could be a big part of it. I would think they'd allow a bit more time for a first-time mama getting very close to her due date.

I've never had an examination ahead of being in labour. Midwives just don't practice this regularly like docs do. It's not overly useful info, as you can walk around at 4 cms for over a week! I'd rather not have anyone poking around down there unnecessarily anyway - it's uncomfortable! I'm told that if I'm still pregnant next week (today's my due date), then they might check my progress and maybe strip my membranes - if I want.
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