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Were you dissapointed with your midwife? - Page 3

post #41 of 84
Crystal, I certainly did not mean to imply that her inappropriate actions were your fault. What I did mean to convey is that midwives are humans and in reality there are good and bad, just like any profession. that's why I find it amusing when people call me and say, oh, well, I don't want a lay midwife, I want a CNM? OK, but that's doesn't mean better care.

I think there were probably warning signs before your actual labor and i would hope that others reading this need to understand that if you are having warniing signs, or uncomfortable feelings, do not think it will get better during the labor and birth. It will not. If your doc has a 99% episotomy rate (which one around here does and brags about it), don't think you will be that 1% or somehow change his views.

Regardless of what happened, you now need to process it, learn from it, heal and move on. You can't change what happened, nor can you change the midwife. But you need to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. that you do have control over.

There are groups that do birth counseling, I can't remember anybody's name off the top of my head, but I think that would be quite helpful.

I always think it's good to ask the midwife for references to give a call and to try to find out from others about her and her experiences.

But some things I don't find as concerning, I guess. Things like whether she gave birth or not, things like complaining of being tired (maybe inappropriate, but she probably wasn't even thinking about that), having a cold (what would be the alternative, if she didn't come? that's a hard spot to be in? I can't stop attending every time I get a bit sick, I have to use my judgement, wash my hands, sometimes i might wear a mask if I'm really coughing or something, but far worse, to leave people in the air-I do have backup,but still, not always a certainty), using the birth stool (you can refuse, right? hard probably with your first, thinking you have to do everything she says, but you will probably need to learn to say no to any health care provider).

Not meaning to sound harsh, although maybe it is, just giving my opinion. for what it may be worth...

I think maybe the healthiest thing for you is to get birth counseling and let it go with the midwife. Otherwise, you will keep rehashing and feel more frustrated if you don't get a good response from her. You aren't responsible for her response, just your own...
post #42 of 84
"I read once that (who's the Frenchman, with the waterbirth?) Say that he found Women Labored best alone, in the dark (not pitch black, but dim), with some water. This sounds REALLY good to me.

-Crystal"

I cannot agree with this enough!!! That was how I labored 3 weeks ago--completely alone, in my dimly lit bathroom in the water-- and I will never labor another way again.
post #43 of 84
Crystal - that letter is good. I hope you find some healing in sending it. I'm sorry that your experience was negative and harmful to your psyche and body.

What is hard about these issues is that women sometimes expect to be treated poorly by doctors - they're super busy, egotistical, etc. But when you have a homebirth midwife, the goal of the relationship is trust and mutual respect. So you let your guard down. It makes it doubly hard when something like this happens.

Peace to you, mama. It pains me to hear stories like this. It hurts even more to know that there are likely former clients of mine that have complaints about my care that aren't speaking up.
post #44 of 84
Michel Odent perhaps?

to Crystal and all of us who have known this personal grief
post #45 of 84
yeah, Michel Odent favors privacy (not your midwife sitting next to your privacy) but total privacy, quiet and low light.
post #46 of 84
Crystal

This is very hard for you and I think you're right in saying you're not up for a face to face with your MW. I don't mean that as an insult by any means. You sound vulnerable, becoming aware of what happened and a bit unsteady as you try to wrap your brain around it all. As so much of your letter seems apologetic (and be assured *you* have no reason to apologize for anything) I think you need much more time before ever confronting the MW in person.

FWIW I'd definitely work on the letter a lot, maybe even putting it away for a month at a time between revisions, if you ever intended to send it to a grievance board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_joy View Post
Here is my letter to my Midwife, it's just a first draft. DO you think anything should be changed?
<snip>
I harbor certain resentments towards myself because I feel that I should have done better, I feel that I should have been able to express my wishes more clearly, and been more in control of the situation.
I'm not thinking of a specific phrasing but consider a segue about what you needed from a MW at that point was not to take control but to encourage you to express your needs and preferences... then go into the disappointment in her actions.

As to the rest instead of addressing your concerns chronologically, which might allow the MW to dismiss them as nitpicking, consider picking three main issues with the MW's action at your birth, state them, and then give examples to support. I think it might more effectively drive your points to the MW's shortcomings rather than isolated actions.

For example...
* Sacred event in your life treated as an inconvenience.
....Ex: Consistently referring to you as a "job"
....making excuse to leave in morning and saying should have slept at home and missed most of the labor instead

* Interventions for speed or HCP convenience rather than medical indication
....homeopathics
....holding back cervical lip
....insisting on painful birth on stool rather than comfortable waterbirth

* Not respecting your boundaries
....refusing to remove hand from cervix until mother demanded it
....when you wanted to continue laboring in the tub, getting others to physically remove you with *no* medical indication
....refusing to talk to anyone but you about papers, at that moment, when you expressed your limited ability at that moment and preference

You could then talk about the great gap between the midwifery model of care and her actions. I'm not sure how to work it in but somehow state if those interventions were for medical necessity rather than for expediency and the MW's personal comfort, she failed as a MW to explain such to her client and so obtain informed consent.

While I think reorganizing the body of the letter can make it more forceful and effective, I really appreciate the conclusion is cordial but not letting her the least bit off the hook by expressing how her actions at your birth have continued to impact you.

It's a lot of work processing through violation by a trusted person.

I wish you comfort through the journey and great release and freedom as you complete what you need to do.

~BV
post #47 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi315 View Post
...Regardless of what happened, you now need to process it, learn from it, heal and move on. You can't change what happened, nor can you change the midwife. But you need to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. that you do have control over.
I recognize I'm bringing my own birth rape baggage to the table *but* IMO that is what she is trying to do. She's given no indication of only feeling whole *if* the MW affirms her feelings/experience. She's not demanding the MW change but merely bringing to her attention major insensitivities in her treatment of clients and serious boundary violations.

Quote:
I always think it's good to ask the midwife for references to give a call and to try to find out from others about her and her experiences.
What is your point? Are you trying to say she got what she deserved because she didn't research the MW well enough in advance? If not are you trying to give her helpful advice for a future birth? If so 1) she's no where near that point right now and 2) as she's already found out this is a common enough theme in her MW's practice, I'm sure she already knows that well from experience. Like I said, I have my own sensitivity to this due to past abuse *but* I still think that comment was neither necessary nor helpful.

Quote:
Not meaning to sound harsh, although maybe it is, just giving my opinion. for what it may be worth...

I think maybe the healthiest thing for you is to get birth counseling and let it go with the midwife. Otherwise, you will keep rehashing and feel more frustrated if you don't get a good response from her. You aren't responsible for her response, just your own...
It's interesting we're reading the same posts. What leads you to assume the OP is unhealthily rehashing and fixating instead of healthfully processing and releasing?

To this thread generally, I don't think anyone should discourage a woman from sharing her story, especially if it is one of violation on a path to healing.

I avoided MWs like lepers for years. I've told my story to people in the NCB community and watched jaws drop in shock and horror at my MWs reckless, life endangering actions but still I was encouraged to keep it quiet, not rock the boat, and not hamper the midwifery movement and the freedom and choice it brings women. Well I think that is the same "us versus them", round the wagons, the patients are the enemy and we must protect our own mentality that infuriates so many MWs when they see it in OBs.

If women don't speak out and the midwifery community refuses to hold its own accountable, they deserve the same scorn they reserve for the obstetric community.

~BV
post #48 of 84
Crystal,

My heart breaks for what you went through. I am so sorry that you were violated in that way. You are a courageous woman...brave, to face this and express your feelings in that letter. Send it. And do not hesitate to send a letter to her board. If it helps one woman...just one, from being victimized by her, you will be doing a good thing.

Take good care of yourself. Heal yourself.
post #49 of 84
I didn't say she shouldn't process through what happened or share her story. i just think that by going face to face and confronting the midwife, may backfire if she is still feeling vulnerable and in the long term make things worse.

People that deal with birth trauma often recommend that you share your story with others who have had similar experiences, work through the pain and emotions in a safe environment, write a letter to the abuser, and if you decide to confront her, do so with another person, hopefully a birth trauma counselor.

I never said she deserved her treatment, i said I hoped others reading it learned from it. Because anytime we go through bad things in life, one of the good that can come from it is that we teach others and save them from the same pain.

By suggesting that others research their hcps, whether it be midwife, family doc, whatever, get references, talk to others, I am hoping people won't blindly think that just because someone has the initials or even the experience makes them a good fit for them.

an example is a local surgeon, who is an excellent surgeon, btw, but I can't stand the man. professionally when I am working in the hospital and personally because I see him in neighborhood functions. and because I know that about him, what an @ss his is, I wouldn't go to him. And if you talk to his former patients they will tell you what an @ss he is, it's not a secret.

Maybe I will stop posting because I think that I am being misinterpreted. I don't blame the op, I just want her to find the strength to move past this, heal, get outside help. and I don't think that trying to talk with the midwife, or meet with her is going to accomplish that. In fact, I fear it will just cause more pain and suffering.

Crystal, i do hope you heal, I hope you have a wonderful birth next time if you have another baby.

And btw, I am seeing someone tomorrow who is 38 weeks and decided that they wanted to change because they are having bad vibes from their current midwife who has done some things she hasn't been comfortable with. So we will meet and decide if she wants me to be her midwife. Others might not take someone so late in pregnancy, but I firmly believe women need to be a good fit and if she is getting bad vibes, deserves to be able to change.
post #50 of 84
Thread Starter 
Maggi315, I don't find your comments, however unintentionally harsh, helpful, healing or empowering.

I feel sad sometimes when people seem to forget that the posters are real people, with genuine emotions.

-Crystal
post #51 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi315 View Post
And btw, I am seeing someone tomorrow who is 38 weeks and decided that they wanted to change because they are having bad vibes from their current midwife who has done some things she hasn't been comfortable with. So we will meet and decide if she wants me to be her midwife. Others might not take someone so late in pregnancy, but I firmly believe women need to be a good fit and if she is getting bad vibes, deserves to be able to change.


I wonder, have you ever had a client tell you that she was dissapointed in your care? Did you tell her to get over it? Did you tell her that she put you on a pedestal, and therefore it was a natural let down? I surely hope not.

-Crystal
post #52 of 84
Your letter is good, but is not as clear about your disappointment as your OP and other posts. I think you could probably take out most of the apologies and niceties and it would more accurately match the OP.

I do know Penny Simpkin does post-birth mediation - and she pulls no punches, but has a reputation for being very fair (doesn't take the side of the midwife at all). I think she does phone work, too.

I'm really sorry. I'm not sure what else would help, but I didn't want to read and not respond.
post #53 of 84
sorry you didn't find my posts helpful...anyway, cynthia good mojab does birth counseling and has written some articles about it. I don't know her website off the top of my head, but I do think she does long distance counseling.

On penny simkins site, she has a questionnaire type of thing to evaluate your birth and send to your midwife, which breaks down your feelings and thoughts. She wrote it with some check boxes to help people put what they are feeling into words.

I know there's another group in california that does counseling and assists people when they want to confront their attendant, helps walk them through, gives support afterward,but i can't remember their names, maybe you could google them?

good luck, I am truly sorry you had a bad experience...

I haven't had a client tell me they were disappointed in my care, i would hope I would be able to work through it with them, but unfortunately, some midwives I know would not be open to that kind of thing, that was my fear, I guess in suggesting that you not confront directly without another person or support.
post #54 of 84
I am so very sorry for your experience!

I wasn't real thrilled with the midwife I used for my second birth. There was a point where I was in transition for hours (cervical lip that wouldn't budge for a loooonnng time) it was in the middle of the night, I had back to back contractions-thought I was dying-i tried to call out to my husband to help me and the midwife woke up (she was asleep) to tell me he needed to rest and for me to leave him alone (!!!) I'd been up all day and night and he'd gotten periodic naps. I felt so isolated. Finally my dear friend who was there heard me and sat with me and held me. ...that's the only thing that kept me from going hysterical. I felt ABANDONED and in sheer hell from the pain.

I never confronted her and it's been 11 years. Sometimes it still stings.
post #55 of 84
By suggesting that others research their hcps, whether it be midwife, family doc, whatever, get references, talk to others, I am hoping people won't blindly think that just because someone has the initials or even the experience makes them a good fit for them.

i agree that people should research their providers and try to find the best fit. but, i do not like the implication that people don't do this, or that if they don't like their provider during or after the fact, they haven't done their research.

i know that there are people who don't, but in my experience, they are actually a minority. most of my friends ask the group for references, research different ones, go on their own 'vibes' from the practitioner and so on. i know that i do this.

but there is also another wrinkle--even doing this does not guarentee a 'good fit.' for me, i have very specific ideas about health care, but my insurance company doesn't agree. to get coverage and the incentive benefits, i have to go to these kinds of health care providers, not those. and then, even among those, there is "the network." my choices are very limited.

so you can imagine how difficult it is to find someone in so small a field of people, even with recommendations. i have, to date, only found people whom i can marginally tolerate.

when it comes to birth, it's even tougher. beyond insurance company issues (they prefer hospital birth), you have the fact that my region has mostly CNMs and not CPMs or DEMs. Most are connected to a birth center or hospital and don't do home birth.

I want a UC with midwife as back up (on call), and most CNMs would not agree with this. CPMs are hard to find, and i've found two that seem like the 'sort' that will support UC.

I have yet to interview them and ask for references, though one comes very highly recommended from HBers in my area.

What are the odds that even if these two women is supportive of UC and will be back up, that we'll "get along?" or that we'll "gel" as a client-provider? I don't think the odds are that great.

and that's not to say that we're not nice people. i'm sure that both midwives are great women and caregivers, and i'm a nice person. but, i also know that not everyone gets along with everyone and would feel comfortable having them in such an intimate environment even if they do 'get along.'

so, even if i've done all that i can, that doesn't mean that the provider and I are going to "fit." and even if we don't fit, i may have to go with her anyway just because she's the best option that i have.

and if i come out of it feeling like i didn't get the care i wanted, it wouldn't necessarily be because she's a bad person or i'm a bad person or whatever--but simply because we didn't gel.

but what choice, really, did we have aside from moving to another place with more midwives?
post #56 of 84
Thread Starter 

Yes

I was in a very similar situation. The MW who attended my birth was the onyl one in the state that would come to me for a HB. Although she wasn't perfect (her partner was amazing, though) I stuck with her because my other option involved sitting in a ferry line, riding a ferry for an hour, driving for an hour and THEN either being at a birth center or the hospital. Pretty lame all around.

I think MW's should follow up on whatever promises they make regarding theri care. If they frequently refer to the MW model of non-interventionist, mother centered, respectful care, they should provide it.

AT one point my MW's parnted sat my DH down to tell HIM how to deliver the baby. She thought we wouldn't call them (The other MW was sceduled to come unless she was over worked..although she was and came any way) because that day the main MW had had a pretty thorough freak out where she asked me to come to their clinic to have the baby. They are a 3 hour drive and a ferry ride away. Uch. My only other options were even worse though. So. Yeah, I chose to stick with her, but there wasn't much of a choice there.

-Crystal
post #57 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_joy View Post
What do you mean by this? What do you consider the limitations of having a practitioner? I am wonderign because I am seriously considering the idea of not having an attendant next time.
CHeck out Laurie Morgan's book, The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth. I've had a hospital waterbirth, attended both hospital births and midwife-attended homebirth which were very hands-off, and had a UC, and for me having any sort of attendant would definitely not be an option if I were to have any more kids. It's a completely different experience, in ways I doubt I could even explain. The book I mentioned does a pretty decent job with at least some of it!
post #58 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
CHeck out Laurie Morgan's book, The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth. I've had a hospital waterbirth, attended both hospital births and midwife-attended homebirth which were very hands-off, and had a UC, and for me having any sort of attendant would definitely not be an option if I were to have any more kids. It's a completely different experience, in ways I doubt I could even explain. The book I mentioned does a pretty decent job with at least some of it!
Thanks! I'll try it out.

-Crystal
post #59 of 84
I had an annoying situation with my first midwife - a CNM, hospital delivery. I felt bullied by her into pitocin, when I was willing to continue with a slower labor and there were no signs of distress/concern. It was frustrating b/c I couldn't negotiate while in labor. But I was able to put my foot down in certain ways, and even though I had pitocin, I was otherwise medication free and had pretty close to the birth I wanted.

For my second birth, I went with a lay midwife and a home birth. there were warning signs that she was flaky (late, cancelled appts.), but I felt I had no other options b/c of where I live. The birth went fine - she arrived to me pushing, baby born 15 minutes later. I had a 2nd degree tear, which she stitched, then a few hours after my birth she left (there was another woman in labor). She then abandoned me - no follow-up visit, no calls, nothing. I was VERY worried that my tear wasn't healing right and needed post-partum care. She finally came to see me a few weeks later (after I'd left multiple voice mails, some while sobbing) - to find that I might need my tear re-stitched. Then she flaked again and didn't come back to re-stitch me. I ended up going to a CNM at 4 weeks, to find out my tear was completely mis-stitched and infected. Prescription cream cleared up the infection, but the CNM wouldn't re-stitch my tear that soon post partum. I was able to get my HB midwife to make an appt. for the correction - and she let me down again. Never showed up, never called from me, I've never heard form her since (DS is 6 months old). By the time the CNM saw me for follow-up, it was too far along for re-stitching. I'm scared to go back to the CNM, b/c I'm scared that she's going to tell me I need surgical correction if I want to have any more kids.

really, really, I feel your pain. It's an incredible violation of trust, and very hurtful. I think your letter is well-written. Good luck finding healing.
post #60 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i'm looking at midwives in the area, and just reading the birth stories--though these women who hired these midwives are very happy with their births--i see what i consider to be a lot of intervention. that makes me nervous.
I'm going through the same thing right now. I'm trying to find a midwifery practice locally that I'll be happy with so I can determine what to do about my maternity insurance rider, which I will need to have in place in January before getting pregnant. In NC, only CNMs are legally allowed to deliver babies, so I don't have much variety to choose from. (I've heard I could still use a CPM, but my husband is veeery nervous about that idea and I have no idea how I'd go about doing that anyway)

The practice I'm looking at has had glowing reviews from a lot of people, but like zoebird, I've read birth stories written by mothers who used them on blogs & livejournal that indicated that they're pretty interventionist.

I'm finding it very interesting to read all of this because I don't want to enter into these kinds of situations if it can be helped...
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