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the MIL and the midwife

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yesterday my MIL asked, "so are you actually seeing a doctor yet or anything?" I said, "I have my 1st appointment at the end of the month." So she asks, "Where are you going?" I know what's coming, so I'm like, "uhhh, I'm going to someone in tampa" (duh).

"No, who's your doctor?"

"oh, well, I'm seeing a midwife at a birthing center."

here it comes, here it comes, from the MIL (who's an MD, darnit!), "You know, they're not really safe."

I explained briefly that she's well known, in an established clinic, they have an affiliation with MDs in case anything goes wrong, etc. etc. We'll see if this is the end of this or not. Meanwhile my own mom who's also an MD is like "whatever" she totally doesn't care. In fact she told me about an OB colleague of hers who said, "After going through this and knowing what we do to women, when it comes time for my own child I just want to go miles and miles away from anyone and any hospital."

Anyone else have familial opposition on the whole midwife/homebirth/nat'l birth thing?

i'm thinking I need to have on hand some JAMA, Lancet or other med journal studies to whip out if needed on questioning people. Actually most of MILs friends are docs so I'm expecting some tough questions later on when they find out abt the pregnancy and my mw decision.
post #2 of 14
My MIL was concerned at first, but once DH said HE approved of my decision (for last pregnancy), she was ok with it. My DH is a huge skeptic of anything natural, until he sees it really work. And I was able to show him all the studies and safety info, and he decided that it would be a safe decision, even though he was still skeptical of whether I could handle childbirth without pain medication. :

Now my MIL's mother and MIL's sisters were alot more skeptical, and they really gave me the 21 questions. Granny didn't think I should go home before 2 days after the birth, etc. None of them flat out told me it was a bad idea, but they all thought it.

Unfortunately, I didn't get my midwife-attended birth... I had PROM at 29 weeks and ended up in the hospital. I did get a pain medication free birth though, proving DH wrong. And after going through it once, DH feels better about using the midwives if I go full term this time. He even saved the money we were going to pay for the last birth, so we could still use it for this birth (since I was quitting my job and our income was cutting in half - makes it alot harder to come up with $2000).

I already got questioned by one of DH's aunts not too long ago about my midwife decision and whether I'd still do it with the next one. I told her YES. The hospital wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I do have an OB now that is really good with natural births, but I would still prefer the atmosphere of home, even if isn't my home (I have to go to a house across the state line to birth... only 15 minutes from my house though).

I say just tell those doctors that you've done your research, and it's your decision. They can deal with it!
post #3 of 14
Yup....right now EVERYONE has an opinion!
post #4 of 14
My step mom is an OB - so I am really in a bind. I'd like a midwife, but I feel an obligation to use her practice. The upside is I have known many of the physicians all my life and I know I will get great care, but, I end up having to argue many points or outright deny things sometimes, which can be tricky. It was OK with my son, though the OB who "delivered" him (I think I delivered him, myself) did not support my wishes for an unmedicated pregnancy and basically bullied me into an epidural. This time I am 1) hiring a doula, 2) going to make it clear all the way through that I did not appreciate that kind of "care" and 3) I am not going ot the hospital until the last minute. I'd actually like to go unassisted at home, but my dh doesn't support that at all, and I lose confidence in it if I know when it comes crunch time he is not supporting or confident. We've made some amends though - I asked my step mom if the docs in her practice would let my husband catch the baby himself - she didn't see why not, also my husband knows we are not rushing off the the ER at the first twinge and that I expect my wishes to be granted outright...we'll see how it goes.
post #5 of 14
my soon to be In laws live 2+ hrs away, so i am not really too concerned. My MIL (soon to be that is) works on the baby/mother ward doing aftercare and weve talked about babies/hospitals/births before.

I had a midwife with my last baby and will do that again this time around too. Ill still be delivering in a hospital but i love my hospitals set up (its a big homey room, you dotn share and you dont change rooms) and my midwife practices there. Cant wait!
post #6 of 14
Personally, I think the stats speak very well here. List of countries by infant mortality rate

The US is 184 out of 226 countries -- behind Cuba and just ahead of Croatia (not that I have anything against those countries, personally). In Finland, one of the lower-ranked countries on the list, homebirths are the norm for low-risk moms. In fact, the last I heard, under their social health care, if a low-risk mom wanted a hospital birth, she had to pay extra because it is considered medically unnecessary. Most of the 10 lowest countries have homebirth as the norm.

Of course, infant mortality rates are affected by more than just circumstances surrounding the birth -- it has to do with maternal prenatal and postnatal care, and post natal care for the infant. But still. The numbers are pretty amazing.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and info.... yeah, those numbers are pretty interesting. I guess I better just get used to the opposition. my MIL is a pediatrician and so when no vax/delayed vax comes up I know it's gonna be a big issue to. Heh, the MW issue will probably pale in comparison.
post #8 of 14
I think the big thing to remember is that it's YOUR life and YOUR child, not your MIL's, not your mother's either! So regardless of what they think or what credentials they have, YOU are the one that makes the decisions, not them. And if they're going to shun you over a decision like that, it's them being unreasonable, not you.

They will get over it when they see that beautiful grandchild.

Also, if it's your MIL, get your DH involved in fighting for you. My MIL knows not to cross me because DH will stand up to her and tell her to back off. And if your DH won't stand up and say it's yours and his decision, he needs to get a backbone. I know my husband left his parents and is cleaving unto his wife, so what his parents think is secondary to what he and I think about our children and how we birth/raise them. Luckily, we're mostly in agreement about stuff, but the midwife issue was a little scary to his family (my family was ok - my sister used a midwife).
post #9 of 14
Thank goodness I have never heard any negative comments from family about my choice to homebirth. I did hear a few things with my first, but aftyer that birth went so smoothly and then my other 2 also did, no one questions me doing homebirths.

It's your body, your baby, your choice. If a midwife is what feels right for you, follow that. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for your decision. Just research and educate yourself and that way you'll have lots of info to back it up and ultimately get them to leave you alone.
post #10 of 14
My MIL is a nurse and thinks "Doctors know best." She started to throw a fit about our homebirth with our first baby and my husband just stopped her cold by saying, "Mom, it is my wife's body and OUR baby and I don't want to hear another thing about it ever." Of course this time she has already made one snarky comment about it, "I guess you're going to see what's-her-face again." (even though the homebirth was amazing and perfect). I made sure I rubbed it in after the baby was born (see I told you homebirth was the right choice). Just make sure your MIL or any one else who is doubting your choices is NOT AT THE BIRTH. They can have a very negative influence on you and your husband. I told them they could come over after the baby was born and they were there within a half hour of his birth. It was very nice.
Good luck!
post #11 of 14
I'm trying to keep more private about these types of issues this time around. I spent so much time and energy with my first pregnancy explaining the midwife approach, the benefits of natural childbirth and birthcenters etc. and I regret it because it was too exhausting.

This time I'm going to keep my plans more private, have simple responses and maybe have some articles prepared to give to a questioning relative and ask them to do their own research.

Good luck!
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMom
I'm trying to keep more private about these types of issues this time around. I spent so much time and energy with my first pregnancy explaining the midwife approach, the benefits of natural childbirth and birthcenters etc. and I regret it because it was too exhausting.

This time I'm going to keep my plans more private, have simple responses and maybe have some articles prepared to give to a questioning relative and ask them to do their own research.

Good luck!
I'm doing the exact opposite this time. I live in an area that is SOOOOO closed-minded about anything other than mainstream, and this is not how I grew up! I get dirty looks for breastfeeding (since my child was a newborn) - I got yelled at by the lady at my church that organized my baby shower because I asked for no bottles or pacifiers since I would be breastfeeding (you mean you THINK you'll be breastfeeding... it doesn't work a lot of the time). I heard so many people tell me that I had no idea what I was getting myself into - that I'd be *begging* for the drugs during labor - that I'd give up on cloth diapering because the last pastor's wife did. Heck, my state made assisted homebirth illegal!

I'm not gonna shut up at all this time. I plan on reminding them that I'm *still* breastfeeding my 13 month old (hopefully will be tandem nursing), that I'm going to have TWO in cloth diapers, and I gave birth to a 9#3oz baby without meds after pushing for 3.5 hours, that I think it's rediculous that a woman can't give birth in her own home with a qualified professional when any Tom, Dick or Harry can "birth" a calf on their farm. I'm getting my son (and baby to be) advocacy wear from granolathreads.com to wear at every opportunity. I think these people who try and shut us up or undermine us in our strides to have healthy, normal families need an education... and need to see that not every woman is just going to bow to their "twilight sleep" and Karo syrup formula "wisdom". This is one area that really, really ticks me off.

(Goodness... the hormones are really flowing tonight... sorry )
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gen_here
I'm not gonna shut up at all this time.
Whoo hoo, mama, you let 'em have it! Luckily you're already a mom and can give them your "been there, done that" wisdom. As a first timer and somewhat young (22) I would think that ppl will we skeptical. Luckily I know several women who have used the mw and birthing ctr I'm going to. Today when I was speaking to a Medicaid rep she was asking to give the name of the doc. I told her I was going to Labor of Love, and she was like, "Ohhhhh, I looove that place." okay, phew!

Sweetiemommy: definitely agree that no doubters need to be at the birth. I am new in my area and was trying to brainstorm possible birth companions as I don't have close friends here yet. My sister was like, "how about your MIL?" I was like, "Are you kidding???!!!"

thanks everyone else for your ideas and support! I haven't decided yet if I'm gonna stay on the quiet or activist side about my birthing decision...I think I'll play it by ear.
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by poetesss
As a first timer and somewhat young (22) I would think that ppl will we skeptical.
I do understand I was a first timer last time, and "young" (27/28 compared to the average age in my husband's congregations of around 70 and 75). They all were skeptical - and they ALL had opinions =) But you know what, it was those opinions that helped get me through the rough parts of labor. I knew that I could either plug through because I *could* do it... or I could face the "I told you so"s for the rest of my life here. They had no idea that they were the most powerful motivators! In fact, my best friend just had her first child last night - and she said the same thing... it was all the people she knew were doubting her that got her through a difficult, LONG labor without meds.

You do whatever you think is best - know we won't be skeptical of you. Everyone who is a parent has to go through it a first time at some point... makes the second time around that much more fun
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