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I'm having a midwife crisis (bit of a rant, really)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

This is my first pregnancy, and I've been looking for a midwife long-distance.  I thought I had found a midwife team that sounded very professional from their website and had delivered over 1000 babies, but when I talked with the midwife last night to ask her three basic questions, I was so disappointed.  :(  

 

She sounded basically like an OB-GYN who would do home births and kept suggesting u/s, tests, and doppler use even though I had specifically stated in one of my three questions that I did not want routine care using u/s and dopplers, and I didn't want any diagnostic tests for the baby unless deemed medically unavoidable.  I asked her if she used a fetoscope and she said she had one but preferred to use the doppler, and basically made it sound like she never used one and would bully me into using the doppler.  I felt like telling her: "I'm sure you prefer to have me give birth lying down, as well."

 

I also asked her if/how she handled twins and pointed out that I was simply asking because my mom is a twin and I had heard that that might raise my chances of having twins.  Without ever having met me, asked me how I felt or what symptoms I had had during my pregnancy, she stated in a condescending tone, as if I were completely out of touch with my body: "Oh, I'm sure you're not carrying twins because the symptoms are so powerful!"  As a matter of fact, my grandmother never once had morning sickness or any other so-called "powerful" symptoms during her pregnancy and gave birth to full-term twins, so there.

 

I always thought that midwives would be supportive of the mother's wishes and would be aware of the issues surrounding unnecessary procedures.  Now I'm on the hunt for a midwife that shares my philosophy and I'm starting to wonder how to find her... Any suggestions for what to look for on the websites?  I know they all still have availability because I sent out a ton of emails yesterday, but I also don't want to spend days on end interviewing one after another when I get back to San Diego...

 

If you got this far, thanks for reading this rant!  thumb.gif

post #2 of 14

Love the title of this thread, montessorimamma.

 

This is my first pregnancy, but I have had a lot of experience with health care providers (I was diagnosed with cancer over 10 years ago). Sometimes you just have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the proverbial prince. (I once went to a Naturopath who started talking with me about the negative energy in the universe and how the satan worshippers worked to release it together. I didn't go see her again. eyesroll.gif)

 

Look for clues on websites that indicate your values: low tech pregnancies supported . . .etc. Sometimes even the graphic design and the color choices will clue you in on whether you share similar values. Also, your life will be made much easier when you are back in the states and phone calls and visits are cheaper and easier.

 

Deep breathes. It will come. (This coming from the woman who just posted that she feels like an insecure 16-year-old again.) twins.gif  

post #3 of 14

Now I know this will probably sound really bad, but if you are looking for a short cut to narrow your search I would look at their pictures.  It's definitely not full proof and looks can be decieving, but I would give it a try.  I would honestly look for women that looked more natural, if they have there hair done all fancy and are in a suit I would assume she was more of a professional type then a "trust birth" type.  Especially if they have pictures of the births they have attended, look at the scene's see if it looks comfy cozy and what kind of positions the mothers are birthing in.  You may also want to look for a midwife that is not a CNM and is instead a lay-midwife or certified midwife.  A CNM first experiences with birth are from nursing school and a lay-midwifes first experience were probably as a apprentice midwife.

 

This is the route I would go if I have tones to choose from, we don't have that problem were we live there are only 2 hb midwives in our county and I interviewed them both.

post #4 of 14

I don't know if you've already tried this, but if not, post a thread in your Tribal Forum in the San Diego area (or whatever Tribe includes San Diego).  Tell in the thread what you are looking for in a midwife and a birth, and ask for recommendations.  MDC mamas are likely to know of midwives that may be otherwise hard to find, and they can give you personal information about their prenatal care and births with their midwives.  Invite them to PM you the information so that they feel  (and keep with the UA rules) saying names and sharing details (including negative ones).

 

Good luck!

post #5 of 14

Honestly, the more crunchy midwife in my area, based on her photos, ended up being the one we didn't like, who seemed more rigid about "her way." 

 

It's best to talk to the ones you are interested in - sometimes five minutes on the phone can make up your mind quickly.  The first time I talked to the midwife we chose on the phone, we were on the phone for an hour, just chatting away, and I knew she'd be perfect.  She does some things standard, based on what I can tell about her, but she's also been open to things I want.  (For instance, u/s aren't standard with her, but she has a backup OB that I have to see one time, and she said that if I wanted an u/s, just to let them know and they'd do it while I was there.  She also didn't seem to care if I wanted to do the triple/quad screen, stuff like that.)

post #6 of 14

Yeah, I'd say unfortunately, you need to talk to them all and even ideally meet them all (or all the ones you don't weed out pretty easily with the phone chat).  You will get a much better sense of who they are in person.

 

That said (and I hate to say this), but you may have to compromise on some aspects of your "ideal" MW.  I know in my area there are only about 4 MWs, so maybe I won't find one that fits my every hope, but I'll go with my gut on picking the one that is the *best* fit for me.  But I'm also sure there is a big spectrum on care even with HB MWs. . .my last MW (won't be able to use her again b/c we've moved since) was trained as a CNM and then went to HB, so she actually tended to be (like the one you talked to) a little more on the "clinical" side of things in some regards. But she had delivered almost 3,000 babies and I trusted her 100% to know when to intervene and when to let nature take it's course (and that was more important to me, then the fact that she did recommend the Vit K shot at birth and such--as she was also okay with clients refusing those things).  She did use doppler at each appt, but literally only for 10sec, as soon as she found the hb she took it off.  And personally, I was totally fine with this. . .but that's me.

 

I expect you will be able to find a MW that is way more on the low-tech side of things. . but she also may not have a slick website or a lot of web presence at all.  Also, I have to say that MWs have to worry about liability A LOT, if they get sued b/c of a bad outcome they can loose everything!.  So, sometimes when they say they must use doppler or the like, they are only protecting their own livelihood.  

 

I don't know if that helped at all. . .just rambling about my own experiences as usual!  :/  whoops.

post #7 of 14

You may not find the midwife you are looking for...at least not in your immediate area (but some midwives are willing to travel long distances, and sometimes you can rent a cabin or a hotel for your last month or so of pregnancy in your chosen midwife's town/city if she lives many hours away...there are options!).

 

As a midwifery student who came to midwifery through years of planning my own unassisted birth(s), I thought all non-CNM midwives (whether lay midwives, licensed, registered, or certified professional midwives) were birth trusting, hands-off, follow-mama's-lead types.  I was so very wrong!  Many women mistakenly believe that homebirth midwives are more "natural" and will support a pregnant/birthing woman in ALL her choices, but this is simply not true.  I have, so far, only met one midwife like that in real life...and I have met many midwives!

 

This is not to discourage you.  I agree with a previous poster who suggested you go to the "Finding Your Tribe" area of MDC and ask those ladies if they know of a truly birth-trusting, hands-off midwife in your area.  You may also want to contact Carla Hartley, founder of Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute (just google her to find her email addy...it is listed on AAMI's website...she will also friend you on facebook if you request) to see if she knows of any midwives in your area who will respect and support your choices in pregnancy and birth.

 

Good luck, Mama!!

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Can I just shout out a huge THANK YOU to all of you?  Your suggestions are really specific and helpful, and have given me perspective and hope.  I love you guys!!!joy.gif

post #9 of 14

Can I be really honest? I wouldn't rule people in or out based on appearance. I know LOTS of midwives, and like all other people, you really can't judge a book by the cover. So, look over the websites and if there is something about the way a person is putting themselves out there that completely turns you off, then cross them off the list. But, I would not make the assumption that a person who looks crunchy is going to be more hands off or a person who looks professional is going to be more medically minded. I look like a soccer mom, but all that means about me and my practice is that I like to shop at Old Navy :)

 

Talking with people on the phone and in person is absolutely the best way to find your midwife. You will likely know within a few minutes if you like someone's energy and feel good about them in their profession or if they drive you bananas and you don't want them anywhere near you. It is a big decision and it is ok if it takes you a few days to get through everyone.

post #10 of 14

As a doula who has worked with a lot of midwives, I would agree that you shouldn't rule anyone out until you have spent some time with them. And definitely don't decide based on whether they are a CNM or CPM/Direct Entry. I trained with a DEM who was wonderful and fabulous and very hands off. A few years later I attended a birth with a CNM grandmother type of midwife - she was more hands off than any of the Direct Entry midwives I had worked with! I was so impressed. And the only midwife in our area (who has now left) that ever attended breech births was a CNM turned CPM. So, it is absolutely true - midwives are as different from each other as any other group of people. My tried and true suggestion is to call all the doulas in your area (San Diego?) and ask them which homebirth midwives they have worked with and what did they like or not like. I guarantee you'll get some eye opening answers! And it will help you narrow your search after you interview everybody. Hope this helps!

 

Amy Hanson

Chicago Doula

post #11 of 14

I agree so much that you might just have to accept a few things that are less than your ideal.  For my daughter's birth I had two midwives.  One was very evidence based and the other was super touchy-feely woo woo.  I loved my prenatal appointments with the woo woo one, but during birth when there were a couple of (minor) complications I was incredibly grateful for both of them- especially the one who was more evidence based and by the book.  She made some really excellent quick decisions that I'm grateful for that kept me from having to go to the hospital after the birth.  That said, my midwives were both CNMs.  I am using a different CNM for this pregnancy (because we're moving).  I like having someone who trusts the process but is well trained to act when all doesn't go perfectly.  

 

   

post #12 of 14

I'm in the midst of my own MW search and I found this and thought it was really helpful and might be to you too! http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/collegeofmidwives.org/Citations%20or%20text%2002/homebirth[1].pdf

 

It's from Faith Gibson, who is something of a MW legend and just happens to be one of my local choices.  Anyway good luck to all of us on our MW searches!

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post

I'm in the midst of my own MW search and I found this and thought it was really helpful and might be to you too! http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/collegeofmidwives.org/Citations%20or%20text%2002/homebirth[1].pdf

 

It's from Faith Gibson, who is something of a MW legend and just happens to be one of my local choices.  Anyway good luck to all of us on our MW searches!


I interviewed Faith but she isn't comfortable with VBACs after a bad experience so I went with someone else. Are you on the peninsula?
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by waluso View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post

I'm in the midst of my own MW search and I found this and thought it was really helpful and might be to you too! http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/collegeofmidwives.org/Citations%20or%20text%2002/homebirth[1].pdf

 

It's from Faith Gibson, who is something of a MW legend and just happens to be one of my local choices.  Anyway good luck to all of us on our MW searches!




I interviewed Faith but she isn't comfortable with VBACs after a bad experience so I went with someone else. Are you on the peninsula?


Yep, we are. :)  You too???  So did you find a MW? Which one?  I am just starting my search and so far have been talking a bit with Ronnie Falco and Rosanna Davis. . .feel free to PM me if you wanna chat more. I'd love your 2cents if you've already talked to them and made a choice!

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