Edited by 1babysmom - 3/19/13 at 7:42am
I think I get what you're saying.
You know how you labor, but I think you're saying you feel like something may be different this round, and you may want a midwife there for whatever reason, be it safety, comfort, etc. And you don't know how having someone there this time will affect your labor.
I don't really have experience with actually birthing, but from what I have mulled over in my mind, I sort of feel the same way. I don't feel like I could really be "myself" in labor and do what I need to do with someone there that is "in control." It would be nice to just be able to labor and not have to think so much about the safety aspects, but I know in the long run I would end up transporting, simply because I couldn't let go and surrender with someone "watching."
I've definitely considered hiring a midwife, going through all of the prenatals and whatnot, and then just not calling if I don't need her. Have you considered doing that? You can also always change your mind, even if she is there you can ask her to leave. It is your house, your birth, and you have the right to ask anyone you're uncomfortable with to leave at any point. I know it kind of seems like a waste of money and time, but depending on how you're feeling, this might help.
I actually feel the same way this time around. With my twins (despite everyone going OMG TWINS IS HIGH RISK), I absolutely had no question that I would birth them unassisted with no complications. And we had a quick, easy, straightforward twin birth.
But this time I feel like it's going to be different. For one, it is only one baby, so I know that will make a huge difference in my labor and birth. Twin and singleton births are just never the same. I actually feel more nervous delivering a singleton because my twins were so small and easy to birth!
So I have considered a midwife...but at the same time I feel exactly as you do. I don't want someone there who thinks they know better than I do and who thinks they can call the shots. It would totally hinder my labor.
I think we will go unassisted again, but perhaps be really prepared for a longer labor and a more difficult birth, and definitely be more prepared for any complications. I didn't feel like we were as "prepared" in that sense when I had the twins, but I also felt VERY strongly that nothing would go wrong. I think I just need to psyche myself up again. Lol.
I'm also unfortunate enough to only have ONE midwife in the area. Of course we hired her when we didn't know anything about UC. I was also expecting some sort of bonding with her. I thought having a midwife would be awesome. She made it pretty clear from the beginning though that it is really just a job to her, money in the bank. That and she said in the beginning that she is all about taking the natural approach to birth, and that isn't the case at all! Like you said, you really can't just hope the one midwife there will be great.
I don't know how the payment thing with the midwife where you are is, but mine required a non-refundable deposit on the birth fee at the first prenatal, which is ridiculous! It IS very annoying having to pay for someone's services you really don't even want. So I guess my point is midwives are really not all they are cracked up to be, and if you do decide to hire one, make sure you don't get stuck (paying a non-refundable deposit) with someone you can't even stand being in the same room with.
I think it's great you've already done it unassisted. To me it sounds like you just really don't want your in-laws there annoying hindering you, but people are pressuring you to have someone there. Maybe you could just tell your DH you want it to be just the two of you this time.
I've just decided to get a midwife this pregnancy, rather late in the game, as I'm almost 35 wks. My first two were unassisted, but I think this is the right choice for me this time around. My dh will be gone up till 2.5 wks before I'm due, so I feel like I'm covered for 1 wk before that as I don't feel comfortable birthing alone. Also, I know unassisted birth really stresses my dh out and he feels so overwhelmed and responsible. I think that a midwife will help even if she isn't in the room and is very hands-off which is what I am wanting. They do have to do fetal heart checks every 30 min, but since my last labor was 2 hrs from start to finish, I don't think it should be too often and annoying. I'm a little nervous, as unassisted is all I've known and hope I'm making the best decision. It's not that I'm scared of or think that unassisted is not for me, but because my dh isn't going to be home until 2.5 wks before and I could go into labor before that...and to help him feel less stressed I've decided that it won't be so terrible to have a midwife. I don't have to prove anything to anybody or myself, I just want what will work best for me, my dh, and this new little one. I hope that I will feel the same after this birth...I hope you can figure out what you need to do. ~Kristie
In my opinion: A midwife should use her expertize only as needed -- check vitals unobstrusively and with your permission, make a gentle suggestion or two to help correct a situation only if needed -- but never to "call" the shots. This is YOUR birth, YOUR baby and should be supported and protected along with you and YOUR way. When you need her to do more, she is there. Some people need the midwife to do more to begin with to help them; some do not. I like to "birth from within" -- and long before anyone 'wrote the book'. I also feel (as a mom and as a midwife) that it's good to have mutual respect. Most midwives undergo extensive and expensive training for that 'just in case' situation and can be helpful in many other ways, too. Yet the birthing mom is indeed more of the expert in her own "normal" than her midwife could be. But not all midwives are alike. Fortunately, most homebirth midwives are respectful. Having the midwife's additional expertize there in case of need is a good thing most of the time, including newborn exams (which can be done tenderly, at mom's side or even in her arms). I've had midwives at my own 5 births -- some who added positively to my experience as well as ones who seriously took away. Yes, I DO understand!
Reading these comments as a homebirthing - sometimes UC - mom also sparked some thoughts as a midwife.
It's sad that we midwives can be so disappointing. But I know every woman is looking for something different. For me it's a life's calling, but to be able to afford to provide care, and in some states "allowed", it also has to be a profession. It's expensive to learn and there the costs of providing services are much higher these days. (When I give care for free, my children do without my time along with some of their other needs, just like anyone else.)
I know how difficult it is, having had only one choice for a midwife but not feeling at all comfortable in a room with her. For some reason, we just did not communicate well with each other. Then she left the country for a vacation right before my EDD, without telling me. That one was an unexpected UC and I'm thankful for some very intensive additional training (midwives model of care) in precipitous, surprise breech birth (footling!) that had to be applied WHILE giving birth.
As you know, there are different types of midwifery trainings, certifications, etc. Most midwives must have a combination of skills and offer them (depending on state laws, too) but not impose something that is not wanted or unnecessary. It's good to communicate these things with each other, even if a woman changes her mind about something one way or another. The first free consultation that most of us offer is for sorting many of these things out ahead of time. I know that I would never want to put in so much time and effort to give preventive care, much less have someone pay a fee, when they don't really want the services. So wanting transient care, like just a prenatal checkup or two, can be a valuable help for some. They might negotiate, but it is also important to realize that the state can have requirements for taking someone into care to begin with.
On the other hand, a client can just change their mind and the services they already received may have helped them to feel positive toward an unassisted childbirth.
Each woman, baby, birth, family have their own preferences. We can offer all the individualized services possible but some will have a specific personality or expectation that some midwives can't fit. Meeting each other when one of us is having a bad day doesn't help either - ha ha! We can choose a different midwife -- some will travel a distance. Or if a woman feels UC is best for her, then that is a choice, too.
I know that the non-refundable fee is necessary to at least cover the costs and time of getting a new client started with the initial physical exam and chart opening, reserving the on-call dates (a six-week span), etc. It is so difficult to afford having a practice without being paid. As a mother as well as provider for my family, I would not think it fair to knowingly use someone for my own temporary care desires without also giving the midwife an informed choice in the matter. A midwife's life evolves around her clients' EDD's as it is which doesn't leave her a lot of other choices, either.
I've actually had clients who wanted all the tech part of the care they could get but since the rest was still based upon natural, they decided it was too natural for them (such as wanting to live on junk food) and at some point opted to go for hospital birth instead. Also ones who work in hospitals in very medically educated positions, who know they do not want to give birth in a hospital but they, too, want me to utilize as many diagnostics as possible during prenatals -- and end up with incredible, empowered home births!
This may be what keeps me going even when clients aren't able to keep up with their payments. The variety along with the joys is never boring. And I do often feel like midwives are a good option, especially when helping to correct (by natural means or otherwise, as needed) an unexpected complication that would otherwise have to be a transport. It took a long time and after 3 decades I'm still learning -- some tricks of the trade can't be learned overnight.
Having been in both situations, I know it has to be choice. It may be helpful for families planning UC's to have classes on what to do 'if'. For those parents who want to be even more prepared just in case, there are professional neonatal resuscitation courses (not 'infant resuscitation' -- newborn's needs in those first hours are quite different), along with correct suction techniques -- or when not to.
May all your UC's be blessed!
I've had three UC's and with this pregnancy I decided on a midwife because 1. baby's shoulders got suck with my third UC, and 2. they are now covered in my province (I live in Canada). With my third I got on all fours without actually knowing this is what you're supposed to do. I would rather have a midwife there to help me if this happens again.
SO IM 29 WKS AND INTERVIEWING MIDWIVES/DOULA'S..
I WILL BE A V-BAC...I HAVE HAD MY 1ST DAUGHTER IN THE CAR ON THE WAY TO BE INDUCED, MY SON WAS AN
UNECESSARY C-SECTION AND SO NOW IM INTERESTED IN DOING A NATURAL HOME BIRTH BUT AM HEARING AND READING ALL
SORTS OF CONCERNING THINGS..I LABORED VERY QUICKLY WITH MY 1ST CHILD AND THINK I WILL ALSO WITH THIS ONE.
MY MAIN CONCERN IS HAVING THE BABE AT HOME AND THEN GOING TO THE HOSP FOR CHECKUP(FOR BABE&ME) AND IM SCOLDED FOR
DOING SO AT HOME.
I WANT TO DO THIS UC..BUT HAVE HAD NO REAL EXPERIENCE IN THIS...ANY SUGGESTIONS OR EXPERIENCES THAT
WOULD BE HELPFUL IN MY SITUATION?!