I just came back from my pap smear appt., which I set up with our HMO instead of having my mw do it because our insurance only covered it if done through the HMO. Anyhow, the whole experience reminded me of why I chose a midwife, and made me feel bad for those who can't choose or aren't aware of the alternatives.
First the male nurse takes me to the examining room and I tell him I'm 6 months pregnant, so he asks: "Any weight gain?" Duh, what do you think? I'm 6 months pregnant!!! Then he takes my blood pressure with the machine (instead of with the cuff and stethoscope) and it comes out 156/84, which is RIDICULOUSLY high, especially for me b/c I have low blood pressure. He seems surprised, and then when I tell him I'm there for a pap smear he looks up in shock: "But... you're PREGNANT!! I'm not sure that can be done!" Um, because of course you're a specialist in obstetrics... *sigh*
Then the doctor comes in and tells me that my blood pressure is insanely high and that I probably have pre-eclampsia, and that she will have to send me down to labor and delivery for a full work-up if my BP doesn't come down when she checks it again after the pap. She goes into a five-minute discourse about the dangers of pre-eclampsia and how it can harm my unborn child. Duh, if the machine is right, the only reason I have high BP is because I'm stressed out at being here, around doctors who scare pregnant women and who believe pregnancy and birth are medical emergencies. I tell her that I had just seen my mw on Friday and my BP was fine, but she doesn't listen.
She asks if I know the sex of the baby, and I consider telling her we've chosen not to have any u/s, but then I figure she would have a heart attack and I would have to walk out in my little paper gown with my butt showing, to give the nurse the heads-up.
She does the pap and then checks my BP the old-fashioned way, and wouldn't you know it, it's 120/70, which is perfectly fine considering she just spent 10 minutes trying to scare me into believing I had pre-eclampsia and my child was in grave danger. So she asks: "Who's your midwife?" I tell her: "She's a lay midwife, we're planning a home birth."
hahaha, you should've seen the look on her face! Absolutely priceless! She paused for a second, and then uttered the most judgmentally-loaded "Ohhhhhh" I've ever heard in my life, one of those "Ohhh"s that speak volumes. She wished me luck and thankfully left.
I am so grateful for what happened, because it's a reminder of how lucky I am to be able to afford a midwife and to have found one who truly cares about my health and thinks twice before scaring me. It totally reminded me of this "BirthsMart" video my SIL sent me:
More power to home birthers and natural mamas!!