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can we talk about feedback/complaints on birth care?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Lots of birth stories come my way. Right now, I'm thinking of the less-than-happy ones; whenever someone complains about their provider (or nurse or apprentice), I generally ask if the storyteller ever considered talking to the dr or mw (or nurse or...)--sending a letter, making a call, even going to whatever agency 'above' the dr or mw may apply-- making concerns known. And most often, people are reluctant to do this. Well, most loathe confrontation...or at least, they do if they feel it will go nowhere, only make them feel worse. This is understandable, of course.

I should add that a few have said they *did* try to complain, to no avail--the mw didn't respond, or tried to turn the complaint around on them. Medical complaints got lost in red-tape-land...and came to naught. In a very few cases, issues raised with 'overseeing agencies' among hb mws or med workers only resulted in bureaucratic stonewalling-- "thanks we have it in hand now, don't worry your pretty little head over it" Which kind of makes the above point (feeling confrontation will go nowhere) a bit more sharp.

Still, seems to me that things won't change that might need to change, if people don't speak up. If many people have the same complaints about a doc, nurse, mw, but only 1 or a few actually complain to the provider or overseeing agency, then making change is less likely. On the other hand, if 9 out of 10 people with same complaint DID speak up, it seems to me that change would have to come about one way or another.

Anyone care to speak to this? Any experiences with attempting to raise concerns...or just the experience of having a complaint about a birth professional that you felt you could not air toward a positive change? Or even 'should not air', lest you become the target of negative peer pressure? Not so much looking for the particulars (unless you feel like saying it), more hoping to hear your feelings/views on the general topic. Help me understand...and maybe come up with some ideas to 'break the silence'. Y'know...the worst of things thrive in silence, silence is the best ally of poor care. Me, I like to make some noise now and then

Responses here or via pm will be very welcome.

Thanks!
post #2 of 57
Thread Starter 
Anyone?

I know that for many, including myself, just talking/venting about a problem is enough...enough to help me gain release from difficult emotions, to gain perspectives and insight, to feel supported...to heal, if there is any sense of injury, whether physical or emotional, large or small. Even I, who do like to make some noise , don't always make official complaints. Having done so, I know it can be tough to get results...and it only makes sense that people will naturally gravitate toward what feels good to themselves--and making complaints to providers or their overseeing agencies might not fall into that category!

So--no judgements here. Just hoping to hear from ppl who have had difficulties around birth care, anywhere, and your perspectives on seeking to make changes through complaints.

thanks!
post #3 of 57
I worked at the hospital where I had some huge problems including a major medical mistake that left my ds with neuro and digestive delays. Tattling or raising a fuss would have left me (a single mom with zero money who luckily had a job) homeless and unemployed with no chance at another healthcare job.
post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 
That definitely qualifies as a good reason not to complain, kittywitty. Wow. That just so sucks!
post #5 of 57
I had a fairly horrible experience with my first, and I did complain and yell and cry (I had been in labor for almost 48 hours at that point) at the doctors involved at the time, while I was being treated that way. But they of course dismissed my concerns. I seriously considered filing a complaint. I certainly had cause as there was misuse of medication involved and some safety concerns could have been easily stirred up, I think, if I had been persuasive and persistent.

Ultimately it was my mother who railed against me taking any action against the hospital, even writing a letter. I was a new overwhelmed mom, and my mother had offered her help during the first couple of weeks and withdrew it because I had dared to call what happened to me in the hospital abuse. It was abuse. People charged with my care threatened, bullied, yelled, denied me basic necessities, administered dangerous drugs without my consent, and almost killed my baby. What would you call it? But my mother was convinced I was overreacting and needed to handle things better, so she decided not to be there for me and then wallpapered it with a bunch of excuses. I still felt I needed her in my life at that time, so I left it alone. What was done was done. And I think she may have been so opposed in part because my aunt worked in that hospital - in a totally different department - and was concerned for her job. I wish she had just said that. I would have understood and it would have caused less turmoil in our relationship.

I wish I had filed a complaint. Ignoring my needs didn't help or save my relationship with my mother. And for my second I just stayed away from there. I don't plan on repeating the first experience just so I can have another opportunity to complain. It's been seven years, so raising concerns now would probably be pointless.
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing this...I can see that so many things can influence a decision of making a complaint, or not! I can see how, having experienced something so psychologically awful AND physically threatening to health, that someone would not have much heart for complaining. Particularly if the people we need for support in the aftermath have their own strong feelings against your complaining. We really do owe it to ourselves to look after our own healing, first, in whatever ways we can. The importance of making complaints surely pales by comparison to more immediate, pressing needs.

I said earlier that I like to make noise...and I do! But it's also true that having tried one way and another to make change by making noise, as the years pass I am less likely to make noise and more likely to look to my own needs, peace of mind, moving on. The results of my own efforts, and hearing stories like yours, make it seem like far too much trouble, more trouble than it's worth! I have helped some changes occur, by complaining and otherwise pro-actively pursuing changes...so I still believe in the power of speaking out, generally. And I'm more circumspect about all that now--most of the time.

Anyone out there have a homebirth experience which left them unhappy in some way? I hear almost as many hb stories where complaints are indicated--whether small issues or far worse....from people all over, now that I participate in this international forum Maybe I should say--even if so far you've been happy enough with your hb care, do you have any thoughts on what you might do/say, if you ever did have an unhappy experience that was specifically related to your care? Have you known others who had difficult experiences and complaints about their mws?

It seems to me that in dealing with large institutions like med care, one is more likely to have a harder time getting satisfaction...that really, most people are dissuaded from making complaints in the first place, because that institution is so imposing, intimidating, complicated. Heck, the reason so many docs get away with this crap is BECAUSE most people view them as intimidating in the first place. So I'm not surprised by the things that kittywitty and Qalliope say (tho both stories make me and )...I wonder if it's any easier for homebirth families, though--as I might be inclined to believe. Partly because I'm a hb fan, with a certain amt of prejudice, of course! But also because we are not talking about having to deal with a large, scary, entrenched institution....maybe a bit of a more personal, friendlier set of circumstances?

Anyone?
post #7 of 57
Hi! I am moving this to the Healing Birth Trauma forum. This does not seem to be a FYT topic.

Please read the Healing Birth Trauma forum guidelines before posting.



tinybutterfly
post #8 of 57
I did complain to the head of the NICU, nursing supervisor and wrote a long letter to the president of the hospital, copying to all involved. I did get results and it was very satisfying and healing.
post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for telling us about that, homewithtwinsmama! It's inspiring to know that your efforts did make a difference.

I know a mom of triplets who also made some noise about NICU care--while in the middle of that care w/her triplets--and she also made a lasting impression. In her case, it was about keeping her head in spite of the bullying awful chief of neonatology, and insisting on evidence based care, bringing such things as more time holding babies to her breast to bottlefeed them (necessary while they developed strength to suck), and other kangaroo-care-type things. She told me recently (her triplets are now 8) that she regrets having never filed a complaint against the doc--but to me it hardly matters since she DID make a diff at that hospital with her pro-active approach. Yeah, I could wish he would be taken in hand--I had a few words with him myself...on my part, asking him nicely about a couple things (I was my friend's doula/advocate), on his part--supremely nasty and arrogant.

He said, literally--"the only thing mom needs to do is follow everything I say, to the letter!" Very ugly--and an attitude really not called for in the face of my friendly and level questions to him. I just nodded, trying to suppress both my ire AND my giggle, thinking only, 'well sir, have you *met* my friend? Not the sort to just do as anyone says! Not to mention that that is probably the LAST thing I would ever say to a family...'

Anyway, thanks for sharing that story--it really is inspiring to me.
post #10 of 57
ugh, when I first started therapy the therapist suggested I go talk to the mw about what had happened. And I'm sitting there sobbing in her office and she really didn't seem to care. At least not to have anything to do with her. She did recommend my current therapist who is loads better. That doesn't really convey what I was getting at, I really feel like I got written off as a ppd nutcase rather than having a real problem.

I never really considered talking to the OB, because by the time it was really getting to me I never even considered that he'd remember me at all. Well I didn't really expect the mw to either, but I also didn't have the whole "I trusted you and you screwed me over" thing with him, since I'd y'know never seen him before.

So I'm not really sure if that answered your question or not, but there it is.
post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by somelady View Post
ugh, when I first started therapy the therapist suggested I go talk to the mw about what had happened. And I'm sitting there sobbing in her office and she really didn't seem to care. At least not to have anything to do with her. She did recommend my current therapist who is loads better. That doesn't really convey what I was getting at, I really feel like I got written off as a ppd nutcase rather than having a real problem.

I never really considered talking to the OB, because by the time it was really getting to me I never even considered that he'd remember me at all. Well I didn't really expect the mw to either, but I also didn't have the whole "I trusted you and you screwed me over" thing with him, since I'd y'know never seen him before.

So I'm not really sure if that answered your question or not, but there it is.
Thanks for responding. The part I bolded in your comment is a little confusing to me. Do you mean you were sitting in the midwife's office, and she was the one who didn't seem to care?

If so, this is sad! But I've heard and seen it before...heard from families who did not get through to the mw because she refused to take any responsibility, could not 'care' enough to consider complaints in light of what happened and how she might have contributed to distress of any sort. It's true enough in a situation where an OB is called in, that a mw may have very little control over what happens then (or NONE). Still, it seems to mean so much to us when people will hear us out, accept that they did have *some* part in things.

I also 'saw' this attitude in a mw who told me her story of a hb transfer for an emergency....not only did she not accompany transfer when she might well have prevented a very tragic outcome by doing so, also when she told me the story she clearly blamed the family for not following her instructions, and the hospital staff as well for *their* mistakes....mistakes they would have been hard put to make, if the mw had accompanied transfer and made the situation clear upon arrival. Her lack of any sense of responsibility or remorse was truly awful to behold..it made me feel shame for my profession. So--I do know that careproviders can sometimes be far too afraid of facing accountability; it is far easier to blame others, sidestepping any weight of the outcomes for families and just dismissing the complainer as in your case--by seeing you as a 'ppd nutcase'.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with that! But I'm glad you were able to get good help in healing from trauma later. I hear you about not having had the same expectations of the OB involved in your birth--that really can make all the difference in a person's perceptions of responsibility. Still--sometimes one's original care provider can be doing all they really can, and it is the OB called in at the last minute who does the damage. Yet if your mw believed this was the case, then it sure seems to me she might have given you a better response--and solid support in directing your grievance appropriately.
post #12 of 57
I did confront my MW about my birth (day 3 pp, talk about emotional!). She was very kind and open to the process, and apoligized for not being more supportive during the labor and for causing me pain when trying to remove the placenta. It also was nice to have her walk me through the labor, so that my pain muddled recollections could me matched up with her more percise chart notes.

However, she was a little defensive in stating that she did what needed doing to make me stable for hospital transport, and she didn't feel that she did anything wrong when she pulled on the cord, even though I suspect that it contributed to the PPH I experienced. As my husband said, some things I had issues with (like not feeling emotionally supported during the labor, and some things she said at the time) are more a faucet of her personality than something she can change, and therefore while I can let her know how I felt, it is unfair to expect her to be something she is not.

Overall, however, it was very healing to me to talk to the MW, get her "side" of my birth story, and let her know the issues I had with my labor, delivery, and PP care. I think it also helped me see my MW as a human being who is also struggling to deal with a tramatic situation. In some ways, I think she is even struggling more since she feels responsible for what happened. That made me feel better since it let me know that she does care about what happened to me.

It was very difficult to confront her, and I can see how some people would just let it all be water under the bridge. But I am less mad now, and more just sad that I didn't have the birth experience I desired. In the end, we did both turn out alright, and so I have come to grips with the fact that my MW did her very best, and I did my very best, and there is nothing more to be done but try to heal and deal with the emotions surrounding it.
post #13 of 57
With our NICU stay recently, I was treated poorly enough by the staff to develop at least borderline acute PTSD. My husband called to complain, and when I was feeling stronger I called to discuss things with the hospital administrator.

I don't think that the doctor who yelled at me for questioning his overtreatment of our daughter is facing any formal actions against him, but he evidently got put under enough pressure by the administrator to lie about having apologized to me for towering over me yelling while I sat and held a crying infant because I asked for an infectious disease consult. We were treated for presumed sepsis for 10 days in spite of negative cultures, negative x-rays, and no symptoms whatosever past her 2nd day in the NICU. They completely blew the diagnostics on her. They saw a 9 lbs 12 oz baby and thought "macrosomic" when she was extremely swollen with excess fluids. They couldn't differentiate between a healthy and an unhealthy high weight, and ignored the radiologist reports documenting fluid overload severe enough to spill over into my daughter's lungs.

But I was not going to win with the administrators on the medical issues, so I workd on stuff where I could win: on the "this is not how you treat parents of infants in NICU" front. And, as the hospital is going through a renovation, I suggested (and they are considering) creating a rooming in step down unit for families where the baby needs to be in the hospital but is stable enough to be with parents the whole time. I am going to follow up to see if they are going to create that sub-unit, because there is no reason why NICU has to be that bad for people who need to be there.
post #14 of 57
It was the MW's office, yeah.

The whole thing is kinda complicated, because from the outside it wasn't *that* bad (transfer for vacuum which came with a bonus epis w/o consent or notice or anything) and a lot of the actual trauma was (I think, still working on this part) the feeling of abandonment by the MW and my DH. So the problem isn't straightforward and I certainly wasn't explaining very well. But the whole experience was totally invalidating.
post #15 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarlady View Post
I did confront my MW about my birth (day 3 pp, talk about emotional!). She was very kind and open to the process, and apoligized for not being more supportive during the labor and for causing me pain when trying to remove the placenta. It also was nice to have her walk me through the labor, so that my pain muddled recollections could me matched up with her more percise chart notes.

However, she was a little defensive in stating that she did what needed doing to make me stable for hospital transport, and she didn't feel that she did anything wrong when she pulled on the cord, even though I suspect that it contributed to the PPH I experienced. As my husband said, some things I had issues with (like not feeling emotionally supported during the labor, and some things she said at the time) are more a faucet of her personality than something she can change, and therefore while I can let her know how I felt, it is unfair to expect her to be something she is not.

Overall, however, it was very healing to me to talk to the MW, get her "side" of my birth story, and let her know the issues I had with my labor, delivery, and PP care. I think it also helped me see my MW as a human being who is also struggling to deal with a tramatic situation. In some ways, I think she is even struggling more since she feels responsible for what happened. That made me feel better since it let me know that she does care about what happened to me.

It was very difficult to confront her, and I can see how some people would just let it all be water under the bridge. But I am less mad now, and more just sad that I didn't have the birth experience I desired. In the end, we did both turn out alright, and so I have come to grips with the fact that my MW did her very best, and I did my very best, and there is nothing more to be done but try to heal and deal with the emotions surrounding it.
Thanks so much for sharing all this--I've followed your story somewhat, and I'm really glad to hear all this. And you are right--it is not always 'someone's fault', but it is always 'what happened' and what we have to deal with/heal from. I think it's really lovely that she did sit with you and hear you, also helped you remember more about your birth--shared herself with you in your need. That by itself is healing to some degree! And it can be so hard, I know, to review a difficult birth--mws ARE only human, and for most our hearts are so engaged, we do our best but do not succeed every time in helping someone have a 'just right' birth (whether mistakes or simply circumstances are in play). Sounds like your 'complaint story' is a success story in important ways, and I'm glad to know it.
post #16 of 57
well, i'll try to make this quick but hopefully it'll help...my dd is 6 months old..I have a midwife eval I still cannot fill out. Part of it has been that the birth is still too "close" and my emotions are scrambled, I want to be able to give constructive criticism, not emotional mixed messages. I have been dealing with many symptoms of PTSD so "bringing up" the birth, esp in a context that makes me feel so vulnerable can be traumatic in itself. so that's one aspect.
second aspect...you tend build a trust with your careproviders, esp for me my midwives for 9 months or so before the birth and I was very happy with most of my prenatal care...it's still hard for me to even know how to acknowledge my incredibly mixed feelings, and the fact that someone I trusted to be there with certain va;lues they had demonstrated, answering questions about certain situations in a certain way then becoming like a different person during labour...it's painful to see that total betrayal of trust, I don't even know how to think of it.
third aspect, no support from most friends/community...because this practice is new and previously friends had to travel for midwives, and because many are friends or previously knew them, the attitude is "well, at least we have midwives!" and "it's so hard for them!" and the idea of the care being so fragile and 2nd rate care being better than no choice,that I should take the fall for my friends because they had uncomplicated births in which the mw did fine...I am very careful/diplomatic but I can't say anything remotely non positive without people literally cutting me off. midwives are like gods to them. even my doula was a friend, etc. I won't say more to protect privacy but there is a LOT more that complicates it in a small community...it's not just confrontation but ostrasization (is that a word) from my entire community that scares me.Anyone else (only 1 or 2) who had traumatic births I know here had doctors. People would be all over it if I wanted to share feedback on/with/to an ob.
post #17 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveneverfails View Post
With our NICU stay recently, I was treated poorly enough by the staff to develop at least borderline acute PTSD. My husband called to complain, and when I was feeling stronger I called to discuss things with the hospital administrator.

I don't think that the doctor who yelled at me for questioning his overtreatment of our daughter is facing any formal actions against him, but he evidently got put under enough pressure by the administrator to lie about having apologized to me for towering over me yelling while I sat and held a crying infant because I asked for an infectious disease consult. We were treated for presumed sepsis for 10 days in spite of negative cultures, negative x-rays, and no symptoms whatosever past her 2nd day in the NICU. They completely blew the diagnostics on her. They saw a 9 lbs 12 oz baby and thought "macrosomic" when she was extremely swollen with excess fluids. They couldn't differentiate between a healthy and an unhealthy high weight, and ignored the radiologist reports documenting fluid overload severe enough to spill over into my daughter's lungs.

But I was not going to win with the administrators on the medical issues, so I workd on stuff where I could win: on the "this is not how you treat parents of infants in NICU" front. And, as the hospital is going through a renovation, I suggested (and they are considering) creating a rooming in step down unit for families where the baby needs to be in the hospital but is stable enough to be with parents the whole time. I am going to follow up to see if they are going to create that sub-unit, because there is no reason why NICU has to be that bad for people who need to be there.
I appreciate hearing all these details...I remember your mentioning something briefly in another thread a little while back. You demonstrate that while complaining about the negatives may or may not have much impact, a person can prompt needed changes through a positive, pro-active approach. And that can be just as healing, if not moreso for some, than focussing exclusively on the issues of poor care. Well--women *should* have a safe, open-eared place to vent feelings and let care providers and admin know how their care went for them--and I do believe there is great value in discussing the 'negatives'. Just saying--as far as helping change occur, making positive suggestions is also important.

I hope the NICU step-down space does go through--that would be great.
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulawoman View Post
well, i'll try to make this quick but hopefully it'll help...my dd is 6 months old..I have a midwife eval I still cannot fill out. Part of it has been that the birth is still too "close" and my emotions are scrambled, I want to be able to give constructive criticism, not emotional mixed messages. I have been dealing with many symptoms of PTSD so "bringing up" the birth, esp in a context that makes me feel so vulnerable can be traumatic in itself. so that's one aspect.
second aspect...you tend build a trust with your careproviders, esp for me my midwives for 9 months or so before the birth and I was very happy with most of my prenatal care...it's still hard for me to even know how to acknowledge my incredibly mixed feelings, and the fact that someone I trusted to be there with certain va;lues they had demonstrated, answering questions about certain situations in a certain way then becoming like a different person during labour...it's painful to see that total betrayal of trust, I don't even know how to think of it.
third aspect, no support from most friends/community...because this practice is new and previously friends had to travel for midwives, and because many are friends or previously knew them, the attitude is "well, at least we have midwives!" and "it's so hard for them!" and the idea of the care being so fragile and 2nd rate care being better than no choice,that I should take the fall for my friends because they had uncomplicated births in which the mw did fine...I am very careful/diplomatic but I can't say anything remotely non positive without people literally cutting me off. midwives are like gods to them. even my doula was a friend, etc. I won't say more to protect privacy but there is a LOT more that complicates it in a small community...it's not just confrontation but ostrasization (is that a word) from my entire community that scares me.Anyone else (only 1 or 2) who had traumatic births I know here had doctors. People would be all over it if I wanted to share feedback on/with/to an ob.
I hear you on every word of this, doulawoman! Every word...and they all demonstrate how hard it can be to approach issues with hb care. I have seen this stuff myself, from the standpoint of a professional seeking to promote '1st rate care'--due to stories I've heard from families about that '2nd rate care' and their difficulties in effectively making complaints. And I've seen that while there are generally some people who agree that it is best to confront the issues (and the mws) in some way--with respect and courtesy if possible toward improved care--the majority of families and mws do seem to believe that any addressing of these issues/mws is essentially 'disloyal to midwifery'. And yes--have seen how so many fams see their mws as Saints/gods incapable of any bad thing no matter what the evidence--and how some mws like that status so very much that not only will they avoid hearing any complaints about their own care, they also will not help anyone address issues with another mw's care.

Yeah--the very same people (mws and fams both) who would be *all over* an OB for any perceived issues. When I point this out, the 'party line' seems to be that OBs are a highly supported, wealthy group with all the advantages--but we poor mws/homebirthers are an oppressed group that does better to maintain that strict loyalty/secrecy rather than make any problems for ourselves. And I can't even dismiss this attitude entirely--there is truth to the idea that we are oppressed, and need to be careful not to give 'THEM' (mainstream maternity care/politics) any ammo against us. Still--surely there has got to be a middle ground!

I hope you will find a way to fill out that evaluation of services--and forward it both to your mw and to any state midwifery org that may exist. I hear that this is difficult for you--and I really do know why--so of course I understand that you need to approach this (or not) in your own way and time. I wonder--might you get some help in doing this? However difficult it may be in terms of your strong feelings, I can't help but think it could be part of your healing to take this step...that is up to you entirely, of course--and there is no hurry about it.

Anyway, know that I do hear you, every word, and have shared your exact concerns from a professional's point of view. I much appreciate your taking the time to speak of this, and I send you good vibes for continued healing and finding a way to do/say whatever you most need to, on that healing path.
post #19 of 57
My first homebirth was wonderful. Pregnant the next time around, I continued care with the same midwife. I found my prenatal experience to be totally different. The midwife was going through a lot in her personal life, and our prenatal appointments were filled with her talking about her personal issues. We hardly discussed my pregnancy. I started feeling angry that I was paying her and not getting a service. Instead, I was the one giving a service....I spent our hour long appointments feeling like her therapist.

I was unsure how to handle the situation. I felt like I had a connection with her from my previous birth, plus we had also kept in touch afterwards and went to lunch a couple times, so I considered us casual friends. I would try to turn the convo at prenatals back to my prenatal care, but she'd go right back to her issues. I didn't want to hurt her feelings by leaving her practice so I hung in there. Eventually, I transferred to OB care due to some complications I was having, and I actually felt a sense of relief at having a good excuse for leaving her care. I realize now I was more concerned about hurting her feelings then I was about not getting the professional service I paid for. I put her over me. I think I've learned from that experience.
post #20 of 57
I felt like my midwife really dropped the ball with helping establish breastfeeding, and then did not properly manage what ended up being a critical level of jaundice.

I was a first-time mom, and I had the added pressure of my own mother who behaved very badly the day after the birth, part of it having to do with the breastfeeding. My midwife kept assuring me that breastfeeding was going fine, but I kept feeling like my baby was getting nothing. I was new and didn't know anything. My midwife even at some point, in response to my concerns, picked up my baby and said "does this look like a hungry baby to you?" My baby was fast asleep, we couldn't really wake her up. I really feel that my midwife should have known that a "sleepy baby" was a huge red flag. She never asked me how many diapers we were going through, or if there were any bowel movements. She seemed absolutely intent on everything being "just fiiiiiine."

I was so unsure, and I had my mother's huge pressure on me as well (to start formula feeding), and I just didn't know what to do. Finally the midwife dialed the number of a lactation consultant and handed me the phone (minor point, but I think it would have been a lot more professional if she had made the call herself, at least initially). The LC saved us, literally. My baby was so sick. We went straight to the ER. I kick myself to this day that I kept looking to my midwife for help rather than just taking matters in my own hands (but again, I didn't know what to do... I had never even heard of an LC at that point - and didn't trust doctors at all, knew they would just tell me I did everything wrong).

My LC was absolutely terrific in every way, and at some point she called my midwife to update her on the situation. The LC told me that the midwife was extremely defensive. Knowing the LC's personality, I doubt she was aggressive or hostile. And she didn't have an anti-homebirth agenda to turn me against the MW, in fact the LC was a huge defender of ours with the medical staff at the hospital (reminding everyone that homebirth does not cause jaundice, for example).

Anyway, did I talk to the MW about my feelings? No, I did not.

1) I felt raw and like I had no perspective. It took me so long to process it all. Years. I wasn't ready.

2) I felt protective of my midwife in a way - partly altruistic (for her, I still like her as a person), partly selfish (to defend my choice to homebirth and to hire her). So everyone is telling me (directly or, more often, indirectly) that I made a mistake, so I was defensive of it and kind of wanted to pretend it was all perfect. And I didn't want to cause trouble for my midwife, a lay midwife who works for women at great risk to herself (she's not illegal but if anyone wanted to make trouble, she'd be an easy target).

3) I didn't see how it would help. What would I say? "You apparently are incompetent and inexperienced. How could you not know?" Furthermore, I didn't want her to be so defensive about it that she would maybe make the same mistake again just out of pride. I hope she learned something from the experience without me having to draw her a picture.

4) And, yeah, I was a chicken on confronting at that time. Now that I'm a mama bear, I could and probably would have a talk.

She came for my 6 week PP visit, as she was obligated to, and we just chatted and made small talk and she left. No exam, no follow-up questions, nothing. Basically just fulfilled her obligation. I was fine with that. We probably both thought about just cancelling the appointment. I've never talked to her again.
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