OK, so i live in an area where i don't have a lot of choice for an out of hospital birth. i had my 2nd son unassisted because of this. bottom line...i found a midwife by the seat of my pants with my 3rd. she came for the birth the next day. very nice of her, i was very thankful. i paid her cash, her full price. i had PPd issues. she didn't call me for a 6 week appt. she called6 months later and said sorry she never called, she didn't want to bother me. ok, so i thought that was strange. but she is premed, and has 5 kids and a busy practice. so, i told myself.. anyway, my sister recently was one of her clients. again, she didn't follow up with the 6 week visit, never called and lost her placenta. her father died, she said. which i can totally understand.....so i'm pregnant. i called her and made an appt. i drove an hour to her house on the day and she wasn't home. i didn't have a cell or her number with me...i went home kind of pissed, but thinking she was at a birth or something, so i understood. she never called me, so i just kind of let it go, thinking i have plenty of time...i'm just 12 weeks....but i've been kind of feeling like maybe i should make other plans for care....she called yesterday and wanted to make an appt. i told her she missed our last one and she said sorry, her phone had broken and she had a chem final and her dad's friend died....etc, etc. my husband is totally not up for having her. he feels that what she charges is too much for how unprofessional things seem.. but i want to understand her point of view...yet i'm kind of wondering what's up. any thoughts?
need advice about situation--am i over reacting?
I wouldn't go with her. Sounds like she has too much on her plate and can't give you the attention you deserve. She didn't call you because she had a Chem final - did that just pop up at the last minute without her knowing it? Come on - how ridiculous. I am in school and I can tell you I know way in advance when my exams are. Plus her excuse that her phone was broken - what happens if you call her and are in labor and her phone is broken?
Sorry she is way too unprofessional for me and she needs to get out of the business. People are counting on her. You can't get a do over with a birth.
I had a MW like that for a couple months with my 2nd, I left. I never did get the money I had paid her back despite the contract saying I got X amount because she could never figure out what I had paid. I ended up just dropping it and moving on, I considered myself lucky I didn't stick with her. The interesting thing is that she is still around, still does fairly well for herself, but I know many clients that have left her for the same reasons I did, but she always has more. It always was one excuse after another with her.
so i just remembered that she also didn't file my sisters birth cert for like a month, even though my sister needed to leave the country asap, she kept getting too busy. out of line. i guess i'm still on the fence a bit because she backs up every other midwife around here. they all work together. I feel like my only other option is to go to a cnm in the hospital. which freaks me out. but i wonder what is worse? feeling like i'm always getting the wool pulled over my eyes, or taking the chance and going to the hospital?
I agree, too much on her plate. Tha'ts a shame. But I would go with another Midwife. I would try to find someone who doesn't take many clients at one time, so the chances of the MW you pick of being at your birth are pretty high. I do know some really great CNMs who do hospital births are and are all for the natural and no to little intervention. Try to find one that best suits you. Good luck!
Even if she backs your midwife up and ends up being there, the midwife you HIRE WILL come to do the 6 week post partum. Plus..did she do a 24 hour or 48, or 72 hour post partum, something in the immediate post partum to look for issues? That is one reason that homebirth clients tend to have a lower post partum morbidity and mortality rate...more face time in the immediate post partum, by whatever schedule the midwife uses... but NEVER seeing you? Uh, not cool. Very not cool.
Please don't go with this mw, mama. I've had 2 mws that put up some red flags with regard to organization and time for me (I've had 4 mws total). In the end, I was SO disappointed. In one case, the mw didn't come to my birth, she sent her brand new assistant mw, even after telling me that she would be the primary. In the other case, the mw did some dangerous things at the birth to "speed it along" and then, she never returned for any of the postpartum visits. In fact, the only time she called me (about 2 weeks later) was to ask question about the thank you gift we'd sent her just after the birth. She didn't even ask how I or the baby was! If yours is doing this now, accept the gift you've been given, to know that she's not going to be there for you and find someone else. Even if this woman is the normal back up, you can talk to the new mw and tell her to find another back up for your birth.
Tough one. Depends on the hospital. Do you know much about it? Have you interviewed the CNMs? Toured it? Gotten feedback from your tribal area?
Personally, the hospital where I had my DS is pretty great. I think I'd chose that hospital again over a lousy HB MW. But I think it is an exceptional hospital. Based on all my reading, I'd say probably 10% of American hospitals, at most, are this great. IOW, odds are NOT in your favor that you'd have a good hospital experience!
So if my options were:
1. Lousy HB MW
2. Typical American Hospital with CNMs
I'd go with the lousy HB MW if - and only if I felt that clinically, I liked how she practiced. IOW, is she not too hands off (i.e. does FHT checks like only hourly in 1st stage, slow & reluctant to transfer at signs of problems) or too hands-on (often AROM, rushing the 3rd stage, fingers all up in my vagina to 'help' stretching as I'm pushing, etc.)
The risks of the typical American hospital birth are very substantial, so a HB MW would have to be really bad to make me choose the hospital if I were healthy. (This is all assuming you have no other HB MW options, as you said.)
If I went with her, I'd just keep on her:
1. Make YOUR OWN RECORDS so you have the data in case of transfer
2. Make a detailed payment plan so she doesn't get paid if she blows you off for apts
3. Get receipts as soon as you hand her checks
4. Insist on getting a phone # & email & ask what expected turnaround times should be. Consider putting "teeth" to this agreement by getting her to agree to a lower fee if she's habitually non-responsive. After all, if she doesn't get back to you, why should you pay the full fee for her services if she wasn't actually PROVIDING those full services?
I personally never get in my car to drive to my MW for a prenatal apt until I talk to her on the phone - but that was her suggestion in case she's at a birth. If you need her urgently & get her voicemail, she asks that you call right back and she'll try to pick up. Since I don't need her "urgently" to confirm our prenatal apt, I leave a VM if she doesn't pick up & she always calls back within 5 minutes to confirm she is there. If I don't get a return call, I won't leave for the apt.
You never mention where you are, but I'm guessing a very rural area, since you feel that it's either this woman, or the hospital CNM... Have you tried posting in your tribal area? It's possible that a midwife might be willing to travel to you... My midwife in my first pregnancy was willing to travel up to 2 hours to attend births. Also, a local La Leche League leader (or whoever is closest to you), might have some ideas as well. But I'd try both, as it seems like both options are pretty crummy.