MW appointment and my big hang-ups
I think it's pretty clear what upset you - you explained it really well - you just need to write it up again and send it to your midwife. Honestly, I personally would EXPECT that sort of treatment at a MW appointment, I think it's sort of normal although a perfunctory "I'm going to lift your shirt" or something wouldn't be amiss. But it didn't sound that out of line.
Your midwife NEEDS to know about this as it will definitely affect both your relationship with her, and her assistant, and your birth. I am 100% sure they would WANT you to be comfortable and they will welcome the feedback. Don't hesitate, just tell them about your issues and they will make sure that future exams will be by your permission for *everything*.
Thanks. I feel like I'm neurotic or something.
I actually started this post in the weekly thread and it just poured out. Then I re-read what I wrote and decided I didn't need to take the thread to a negative place and deleted. But, writing it out was a release or a way to understand why I was so upset for the last few days (the appointment was on Friday). I swear I'm sane...
I think I'll plan to write it down for my next MW appointment, it does help to organize my crazy thoughts, but I will tell her in person.
Sometimes neuroses are perfectly reasonable. This sounds like one of those times. There's no need to apologize for it. Human brains being what they are... and would you really WANT to be the sort of person who could go through a lot of trauma (or conversely, a lot of joy) without being affected? I don't think so. Own it. You're the patient, the client - it's their job to accommodate you, not vice versa. (I mean, within reason. It's not like your neurosis requires that THEY get naked when you do or anything.) You're just needing more control over what happens in that office. It's not like it's a really difficult request.
Would you consider sending an email or calling the MW soon instead of waiting for your next apt? If I were on the other side of this situation, hearing feed back a month from now, it wold be really hard to remember the apt and what happened. If it's fresh in her mind, she'll be better able to asses her actions and make adjustments now.
I can relate to your problem with doctors and anyone in that field who is not considerate of proper boundaries and etiquette, which that intern definitely sounds like she needs to learn a lesson or two. I'm also a very private person when it comes to my body, I don't like being touched by strangers unless it's truly necessary, like if I absolutely NEED to see a doctor (which is rare). I'm not even a fan of midwives, unless I find one that is truly "hands-off", which most are not. I had a UC last time and probably will this time, as well. I'm not saying that's the route you should go, too, just sharing my own experience. I've always felt a bit extreme compared to the general population when it comes to my body and how private I am, but I have my reasons (bad experience with doctors when I was a teenager due to an eating disorder plus being sexually abused as a child). All that said, I would definitely feel violated and disrespected if a medical professional did that to me, no matter if I had just met them or I've known them for a long time. She should have asked first, I don't care how excited she was to be the one in charge, that's just not acceptable. I would bring this up with your main midwife as soon as possible and stress how violating it felt so she fully understands what you experienced. I know it can be difficult to express how you feel, but if you want to feel comfortable having this midwife and possibly the intern at your birth (maybe you can request that she not be there?) then you need to speak up. If you keep it bottled up or downplay it then your resentment, distrust and other painful feelings will only get worse. Also, if it felt violating to you then that's enough to bring it up because we all have our own tolerance levels for things of this nature. It doesn't really serve any purpose to compare yourself to how others would react since it's your body, your baby, your birth--you need to make sure you get the care and respect that is right for you.
I think I disagree with spughy that that kind of brusque behavior is necessarily normal and expected. I feel like my midwives are always very respectful. They always ask, "shall we check in on baby now?" or something similar, which means they'll be listening for the heartbeat and measuring my uterus. I think they usually wait for me to lift my own shirt, and they always touch their hands to my arm first, to show me how cold/warm their hands are, and ask if it will be okay. So I never feel rushed with any of it.
That said, I'm a pretty open person who grew up with fairly hippie-ish parents, so *my* comfort levels are pretty easy going. spughy and everyone else are absolutely right that part of your relationship with your care providers is getting what *you*, specifically, need. Since you would feel better if you felt more in control over what was happening when, that is totally valid, and I would imagine they'll respond to it fine. They want you to feel comfortable, too! And it might be good for you to talk with them about some of the reasons for it, since who knows what will happen during the birth, and they might need to move quickly to keep things safe. So establishing a good connection now, and letting them know where you're coming from, I'm sure will help in the long run.
Good luck, and hugs if you want 'em.
I would totally support you sharing with your midwife about anything you feel. It is so important to create the atmosphere that supports you as the birthing mom, not just for the midwife to get done what she wants to.
Also opening up your vulnerabilities is really opening up your power. And being in your power place for birth is so important.
I can completely relate to your experience. I can have very strong emotional reactions to events and later the other person had no idea or seems clueless; but really it is a gift to the mw assistant to sharpen her sensitivity and to slow down and realize her most important job is to connect with you and to support your process.
Thanks for sharing.