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Very upset with my midwife

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm new here :)

 

I am almost 35 weeks pregnant with our third child, planning our first homebirth (an HBAC after a VBAC in 2010). I am running into problems with my midwife.

 

Last appointment, at 32 weeks, she arrived 2.5 hours late. She gave no explanation, but said she was sorry for being late. She had been late before, a little here and there but nothing major. One other time, she was quite a bit late but she had called to let me know not too long before my appointment that she was en route to see another (new) patient and would be late and I appreciated the call and was not upset.

 

I e-mailed her several days ago to see if we could reschedule our next appointment, which is on the 5th of October at 4pm, I asked if the 6th was available. She said no, she was in another county that day, and if I still wanted my appointment on the 5th, it would have to be between 5 and 6 because she was going to see a new patient that day and she was not going to make my appointment.

 

My husband e-mailed her. He said he didn't feel it was professional to be so late to an appointment and not call. He felt it wasn't ok to bump us and not let us know. We understand things come up and that appointments must be rescheduled, we understand that sometimes people are late for things and we certainly understand when we cannot reschedule for a certain day. She replied that he was being hostile (he was not) and that she was late for my 32 week appointment because of the rain and because her appointment with a NEW client ran late. 2 hours late. 

 

She said that she doesn't give specific appointment times, but general times, and that she's going to move to a "cable guy" approach, i.e. she will give very general time frames and will show up somewhere in that time frame, we will have to wait for her to come. She told him that this is the nature of midwifery, this is how it works. I feel she was hostile with him, and it was unnecessary. She could have said "I am sorry, I will call next time if I am late" and "I am working on a new process for scheduling" instead of going on the offensive.

 

She told me that she can send her birth assistant to come instead of her and she'll see me at 38 weeks. She did NOT tell me that she was late last time because she bumped me for a new patient, nor that she is moving to a "cable guy" scheduling system. 

 

I am feeling very hurt. I do not understand why I am being bumped so often for new patients. I do understand that things come up and she needs to be there for births or emergencies, but why am I less important than a new patient? My appointments are set a month in advance, and I do wish she'd call when she knows she won't be there. I have been crying all day. I really wanted this HBAC but I don't trust my midwife. I do not understand why I am not important enough to her for her to keep an appointment with me. I wanted to give up and call an OB at the local hospital today. I have never complained about her or about any lateness and I have been a good patient. My appointments never last too long and I have only called her once in concern about feeling poorly. 

 

My husband wants me to have the homebirth I want. He said he was getting excited and I think that's huge for a non-crunchy guy like him. I know this is not normal, several people have told me this is not ok. I don't know what I want to do now, other than to crawl into a hole and fast forward until the baby is here. I wished several times today for the baby to come before 37 weeks so I don't have to deal with her. I don't know what to say, but it has been suggested that I fire her. My options here are limited and I am far along, so I don't know if I will be able to get seen by a midwife or at a birthing center at this point. I am open to suggestions and comments, thank you :)

 

 


Edited by Jenga - 10/16/11 at 8:38am
post #2 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenga View PostI do not understand why I am not important enough to her for her to keep an appointment with me. I wanted to give up and call an OB at the local hospital today. I have never complained about her or about any lateness and I have been a good patient. My appointments never last too long and I have only called her once in concern about feeling poorly. 

 


IMHO, you need to have THIS conversation with her.  You need to tell her that you are losing trust because you feel unimportant.  If she can't resolve this, it might be time to either find a new mw or pursue another route.

 

Even if you bugged her 120 times over little things, you have hired her to be your HCP for this pregnancy.  And she isn't meeting your needs or living up to your expectations.

 

Also, I completely agree that it is unprofessional for her to push off appointments with you for new patients.  IMO, the only acceptable reason for canceling on a pregnant mama at the end of her pregnancy is for another mama in labor.  The last few weeks are hard, and seeing your mw is very important.  I really think you need to have a chat with her, and soon.

 

Hugs, mama.  

 

post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply. I am trying to figure out what I will say to her in response. I do not want to be "pawned off" onto an assistant. I really feel like if she can make time for new clients then she can make time for me, somehow. I do not think this is too much to ask, but I am trying to word my response to her so I am not "hostile" as well. 



I am very afraid that she'll just drop me and then I will be without a provider. Obviously I am emotional and upset right now, and this is not the only thing going on that is giving me stress, but it is the foremost problem. I can't think about it without crying and I don't want to ruin this birth experience. It will be the first one my husband is there for. I was not concious through the entire induction with my son and I was put out shortly after he was born, I didn't see him until the next day in the NICU. I want both of us to have a good birth experience together. That is why it is so important to me. Last time I gave birth it was by myself, in a room full of people who didn't speak my language. I had hired a doula and she was late, didn't make the birth and didn't leave her home when she said she would. I do not understand people who say they will do something and do not do it, especially when they are professionals and people are counting on them.

post #4 of 72

The fact that you don't trust your midwife speaks volumes.  Personally if you feel like that now I'd be very reluctant to have her at your birth.  She may not make it anyway if she's as unreliable as she's shown you.  This is something you will always have in your mind unless you do manage to have a chat with her, she's not hostile and she shows you that things have changed.

 

I'd probably be looking at another provider even though you are this far along.

 

Do you have any recommendations from friends?  Whether that be for a homebirth midwife, a hospital or a doula.

 

It is possible to have a non medicated and the type of birth you want in a hospital but I'd be getting recommendations from friends as for where to start if you want to go down this route.  But it may be pot luck as to what midwife you get on the day.  What about a family birth centre attached to a hospital?

post #5 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pkitty View Post

The fact that you don't trust your midwife speaks volumes.  Personally if you feel like that now I'd be very reluctant to have her at your birth.  She may not make it anyway if she's as unreliable as she's shown you.  This is something you will always have in your mind unless you do manage to have a chat with her, she's not hostile and she shows you that things have changed.

 

I'd probably be looking at another provider even though you are this far along.

 

Do you have any recommendations from friends?  Whether that be for a homebirth midwife, a hospital or a doula.

 

It is possible to have a non medicated and the type of birth you want in a hospital but I'd be getting recommendations from friends as for where to start if you want to go down this route.  But it may be pot luck as to what midwife you get on the day.  What about a family birth centre attached to a hospital?



 

I had an unmedicated, uncomplicated and unaugmented VBAC last year. I know it's possible, but I just didn't want it this time.


There are a few birth centers near me. One took me on as a client before our move here (we moved when I was around 17 weeks) and then their policies changed and they no longer do any VBACs. Another doesn't do VBACs either. I think that the last one near us also doesn't accept VBACs, but I'll have to call again to be sure. We just moved here in May after living overseas for 4 years. My family who have children are older, and I don't have any friends here who have kids or are pregnant. Someone I met online, who I've met in person now, recommended this midwife. 

 

I don't think my husband will want me to hire another doula, we hired one when he was deployed for the birth of our 19 month old and she didn't show. She blamed me for not coming on time and for not being prepared but eventually refunded our fees because she knew she was wrong. My husband is convinced that this can happen again, on some level he sees doulas and midwives to be similar and if one is capable of not being reliable then neither is the other, so he thinks. He wants me to be happy though, and he was getting excited. I think he feels we'll be burned again if we hire a doula.

post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 

sorry, I had an unmedicated, unaugmented and uncomplicated VBAC in a hospital* last year. But it was a German hospital and that's very different from an American one, I think.

post #7 of 72

I can't believe how poorly you have been treated by these so-called professionals.  I am sorry.  I would definitely fire the midwife.  It will be very difficult for you to labor and deliver with someone you don't trust, and who frankly, doesn't seem to care about you at all.

 

I know you have your heart set on a homebirth, but I would personally rather have a nice calm hospital birth with my husband and a good friend in attendance than at home with someone who is so hostile.  Plus, what if she doesn't show up for the birth?  Too risky.

 

Hugs to you.

 

 

post #8 of 72

This all sounds terrible!  :-(  

 

My biggest regret with the birth of my son was not calling my midwife on her nonsense and finding someone new.  I wanted everything to be stable and I wanted everyone to get along so I kept my mouth shut and it was a huge mistake.  

 

You need people in your birthing space who are trustworthy.  This kind of behavior is a dealbreaker in my opinion.  Now is when you need her the most! 

 

Explore your other options.  You deserve to have safe and reliable people attend your birth!  

post #9 of 72

You don't want that kind of energy ( tension between you) while you are in such a vulnerable position. You need people who you trust completely if you want a good birth experience. I would rather give birth in a hospital than have this awful midwife attend me.  If she is that defensive about a relatively minor issue what would she do if something went wrong in your birth- would she have your back or just be concerned with her own interests?

post #10 of 72

Two things:

 

First: Don't take the new client thing personally.  She is wrong to hang you out to dry but I'd be stunned if it had to do with you personally.

 

Two:  This "cable guy" thing is non-sense.  My mw was very, very professional.  That is why we hired her.  Of course when a birth comes up, everyone gets rescheduled, but rarely changed and appointment and it was at least a few days in advance for the one time she did.  We had an hour for each pre-natal visit except the first one which was 2 hours.  That gave us time to talk about anything.  Then I knew another client was coming so I'd leave.  I just don't see what is so tough about keeping appointments.  Even if she travels, she needs to build that into her schedule.

 

I'm not sure I have any advice about what to do.  Do you still feel good about her attending your birth? 

post #11 of 72

"Cable guy" approach? No, that wouldn't fly with me. It sounds more like she wants carte blanche to flake out on people and be late whenever she wants. I'm so sorry, mama. I would start exploring your other options immediately. This person doesn't sound reliable nor willing to take responsibility for her own actions. Jumping to defensiveness when a client is honest about their concerns is always a huge red flag IMO. If she's defensive and hostile about something so relatively minor, how will she behave when you're in labor? You need to be able to trust that she has your best interests and safety in mind at all times. Her behavior so far seems to indicate she might not be trustworthy.


How awful. I hope you can find an arrangement that works for you! hug.gif

post #12 of 72

Ugh, I feel for you mama! That sounds horrible. But it is not too late to switch, if you can find another midwife. I myself really do NOT want a hospital birth, but if you think you would be more relaxed there as opposed to at home with this midwife, and can't find another midwife, then go for it! She sounds very unprofessional. Hope you can figure something out!!!

post #13 of 72

My midwife now lets me know if she will be 10 min late! Also there is no time frame for apts. We just talk until we are done. This sounds very unprofessional to me. YOU hired her not the other way around. I really think you need to have no worries when it comes to her at your birth. It's time to talk to her and lay it all out. Good Luck!!

post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by amandasemele View Post

My midwife now lets me know if she will be 10 min late! Also there is no time frame for apts. We just talk until we are done. This sounds very unprofessional to me. YOU hired her not the other way around. I really think you need to have no worries when it comes to her at your birth. It's time to talk to her and lay it all out. Good Luck!!

.

Actually in reading over the way she is late for appointments she probably does what you are talking about at apointments, talk until done, and doesnt have time frames. She needs to be more organized and manage her time beter, and most likely have time frames. How far does she travel? She may be going too far, sometimes an office can organize these midwives, because the next clients come and everyone is aware there is someone else waiting. Basically she needs to have a better solution to this problem than the cable guy idea, everyone hates to be waiting for an undetermined time ...
Op, good idea for you to talk to this midwife yourself. seems like she is taking her established clients for granted. Take care
post #15 of 72
Thread Starter 

.


Edited by Jenga - 10/16/11 at 8:37am
post #16 of 72
Thread Starter 

My midwife ended up dropping me at 37.5 weeks. She was shown this post, and another from here and said she didn't trust me. We couldn't communicate properly with her, maybe her with us. 

It boiled down to the fact that there were assumptions made that we understood that there were other options than what she was giving us, and that she didn't realize it would be upsetting to use certain language when characterizing my husband's e-mail. But she didn't communicate either of that to us until she came to drop me. 

 

I have been urged to file a complaint with the board that licensed her.

I don't know if I'll do that yet, but we did find out that it wasn't ok to have a prenatal appointment with an assistant who was not specifically trained to do a medical exam without the midwife in the room. I haven't been seen by a practitioner in over a month now, and that makes me nervous. Mostly because I had early losses before and complications at the end of my first pregnancy.  Other midwives I have spoken to, other medical professionals and especially a nurse practitioner I am friend with (not OBs, yet.. as I haven't been able to see one if I end up having to use one for the rest of my pregnancy) have told me that what happened was not ok and also not my fault. 

 

 

I'm being told (not by her, but by people claiming to be former clients?) that I am a fighting in a war against women and babies, because of the c-section epidemic and the war on midwives. That I'm trying to hurt people and babies and make it so people can't have homebirths. That by making a post like my OP, I am trying to hurt normal people. I don't want to make it so that women can't have homebirth, I am not anti-natural birth or anti-homebirth at all. Honestly, that's hurtful. I haven't lied about anything or anyone. I came here looking for help and sharing my experience with others so I could find help and opinions as to what to do and to talk it through with other people. If I asked my inlaws or family, they'd tell me only hospitals are ok and safe and obviously I don't want to be told that this is what happens when someone uses a midwife, because I don't believe that to be true at all. If I was anti-midwife and anti-homebirth and anti-women and babies I would have never sought "alternative" care! 

 

It's possible that my experience is not the norm for this provider and it was a perfect storm of bad communication (in general, I guess) and hurt feelings on ours with a history of being let down by other providers coloring how we saw what was going on. I just know it was a bad experience. We'll likely end up with another hospital VBAC, but if we have another baby I'll be trying for a homebirth again.

 

Thanks for your help, ladies. 

post #17 of 72

wow, Im sorry you have to deal with those people and the midwife! It saddens me that people cannot own up to their mistakes and have to blame other people. Dont listen to them, you did nothing wrong.

post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenga View Post


I'm being told (not by her, but by people claiming to be former clients?) that I am a fighting in a war against women and babies, because of the c-section epidemic and the war on midwives. That I'm trying to hurt people and babies and make it so people can't have homebirths. That by making a post like my OP, I am trying to hurt normal people. I don't want to make it so that women can't have homebirth,


You are exactly doing what it will take for homebirth to be taken seriously!  Should we pretend that every hb is under the perfect circumstance?  We can't paint OB's with a broad brush, why would we want to do it with hb mw?  Don't take this personally.  Frankly, it's sad that someone would show her this post when you were truly trying to figure out the right thing to do.  I know and interviewed with a mw who is completely unqualified and unsafe and I would tell anyone who asks that it's my opinion of her.  I fear for her attending anyone's birth.  Ohio doesn't support hb and there are no liscensing abilities her and no partnerships with Drs and hospitals.  I would love to have that.  HB isn't for everyone and shouldn't be looked at lightly.  This is serious business and you have every right to get the truth and do what you and your partner feel comfortable with.

 

(((HUGS)))

 

post #19 of 72
Thread Starter 

I hope to find a new provider soon, at this point we're grasping at straws to find one who will take me. It took about a half week to get my records, and I couldn't make appointments until I had them. 

 

I need to find one asap, I haven't had one with a midwife since 32 weeks. We never intended to do a UP, and it makes us uncomfortable (but we don't judge people who do that, it's just not for us). I really hope I can find a midwife at a local hospital, but at this point I'll be lucky to find a provider before I go into labor. It makes me sad to think about our plans ending up this way, but whether we have a baby at home or in the car or in a hospital, we'll have a healthy baby. Probably sometime in the next week and a half. 

 

Maybe we just know better for next time. I hope my husband will support using a midwife next time. 

post #20 of 72

Oh my. How awful. I hope you get a new MW soon. Praying for you.

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