This is precisely why I chose a lay midwife and not a doctor (a rant) - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. mischievous.gif

 

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!  bigeyes.gif 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:

 

http://youtu.be/p4t9lmTU_Ng

 

More power to home birthers and natural mamas!! grouphug.gif


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Old 10-06-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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I was torn between laughing because it was such an awful visit, and crying for you because it was so awful. I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant experience, but it sounds like you made it through without letting it get you down, but instead indignant for those who don't have (and/or don't know they have) better options than that kind of pregnancy and birth experience. Shaking my head and rolling my eyes at the medical practitioners you saw today, and sending a great big high five to you!!


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Old 10-06-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience today.  But not all doctors are like that ;)  Please don't feel sorry for me.  I am certainly aware of the alternatives and I *chose* my doctor.

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Old 10-06-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softlysinging View Post

I'm sorry you had a bad experience today.  But not all doctors are like that ;)  Please don't feel sorry for me.  I am certainly aware of the alternatives and I *chose* my doctor.


I agree that if you know the alternatives and you choose a doctor that supports you (and there ARE some of those), then that's great!  thumb.gif What makes me sad are women who are stuck with a doctor who doesn't support them, either because they can't choose or don't know that they can. 

 


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Old 10-06-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softlysinging View Post

I'm sorry you had a bad experience today.  But not all doctors are like that ;)  Please don't feel sorry for me.  I am certainly aware of the alternatives and I *chose* my doctor.

Amen.  There are a *lot* of women in the world that happily birth in hospitals with physicians and are fully aware of what they're doing.  And there are a lot of women that *happily* pick a physician because they want that person's expertise and don't feel the need to micro-manage the birthing experience.

 

Pilar - just as you thought the people today were judgmental your post is showing clear judgment from the other side.  Please just know that it doesn't come across any better when you're feeling "sad" for those of us that CHOOSE the "alternatives" even when we can "afford a midwife."

 

Just food for thought.

 

And I am sorry that was your experience today.  Hearing experience like this make me happy that I'm afforded the option to hand pick all my care providers.
 

 


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Old 10-06-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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This is my first pregnancy/birth with a CPM, and honestly, if I had known that this option existed, I probably would have gone for it right from the get go.  I even commented to DH, after my last midwife appointment (when she sat on the couch with me chatting and doing the "medical" stuff and whatnot, for an hour, at 7pm on a Friday night, so that he could be there too), was how drastically different it was from seeing an OB.  I was like, "The nurse weighs you, takes your BP and tests your urine, you sit in an exam room waiting for 20 minutes, the doctor breezes in, listens to the heartbeat, measures you, and walks out in 10 minutes or less."  (This is his first baby.)

 

Luckily, my midwife has a fantastic OB that does her backup, but I can only imagine what it's like to see a doctor that has no clue! 


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Old 10-06-2011, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All I said was:

 

"...made me feel bad for those who can't choose" -- > meaning those who might want a different option but are stuck with a crappy doctor because of insurance limitations or because there aren't any other options where she lives, and

 

"...or aren't aware of the alternatives" --> meaning those who might not know that there ARE alternatives, if they want them.  We all know that many women don't KNOW that they have choices, or are misinformed about the safety of said choices.

 

I never said "I feel sorry for those who ACTIVELY CHOOSE a doctor", because I strongly believe that every woman should have the right to choose and should be supported in her choice as long as it is informed. 

 

I'm not quite sure why some people are reading things I didn't write, but it's interesting nonetheless. winky.gif  


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Old 10-06-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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I love how you not only marked this is a rant, but also stated very, very clearly that you feel bad for those who are not ABLE to choose (forced to either an unassisted homebirth that they may not feel comfortable doing or with a lone group of OBs, for example, because of being in a small town. Just a few of the MULTITUDE of reasons one may not be able to choose an out-of-hospital birth, even if they wanted one) or who are not AWARE of their choice and yet a few ladies still choose to take offense to your post. It is fairly amusing, but I'm sorry you are also not getting the support you ought to be getting and came here for. That is ridiculous that the dr. treated you that way! If only every OB was fully educated on the matter of birth being a normal process of life, rather than as a medical condition, women could consistently get the best of borth worlds!



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Old 10-06-2011, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love how you not only marked this is a rant, but also stated very, very clearly that you feel bad for those who are not ABLE to choose (forced to either an unassisted homebirth that they may not feel comfortable doing or with a lone group of OBs, for example, because of being in a small town. Just a few of the MULTITUDE of reasons one may not be able to choose an out-of-hospital birth, even if they wanted one) or who are not AWARE of their choice and yet a few ladies still choose to take offense to your post. It is fairly amusing, but I'm sorry you are also not getting the support you ought to be getting and came here for. That is ridiculous that the dr. treated you that way! If only every OB was fully educated on the matter of birth being a normal process of life, rather than as a medical condition, women could consistently get the best of borth worlds!

 

Thanks GreenMamma. :)  I'm actually amused at why some people "misread" my statements, I find it very interesting from a psychological perspective!  You're so right in pointing out that if only OBs were more fully educated, we could get the best of both worlds... Perhaps one day the tide will turn.  We can only hope.  :)

 


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Old 10-07-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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Well, I didn't mean to "amuse" you either.  If I misread your comments, I'm sorry. but combined with your title "This is precisely why I chose a lay midwife and not a doctor", the other sentence read to me that in your opinion people who did not choose a midwife were EITHER unable to choose OR unaware of their options.  

 

As I said, I'm sorry you had bad experience, it sounds like that practice does suck.  

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Old 10-07-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Your experience sounds exactly like what I experience every single time I step into pretty much any doctor's office. I personally don't trust the judgement of a medical doctor, unless I am visibly and obviously sick, which is why I avoid them as much as I can. I just don't want to deal with their lectures and the type of stuff you experienced today.

 

When I was 12 weeks pregnant I had to go to the emergency room due to cramping and dizziness. Turns out, I was dehydrated and had some electrolyte levels that were off as well as hypoglycemia. The doctor there tried to tell me that because of the "complications" I was having, I should leave my midwife and plans for a homebirth, and transfer to an OBGYN. He said "midwives are fine for uncomplicated normal pregnancies, but your experiencing some problems". Wow, really? Dehydration and low blood sugar makes me high risk? Fascinating. 

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was 12 weeks pregnant I had to go to the emergency room due to cramping and dizziness. Turns out, I was dehydrated and had some electrolyte levels that were off as well as hypoglycemia. The doctor there tried to tell me that because of the "complications" I was having, I should leave my midwife and plans for a homebirth, and transfer to an OBGYN. He said "midwives are fine for uncomplicated normal pregnancies, but your experiencing some problems". Wow, really? Dehydration and low blood sugar makes me high risk? Fascinating. 


Exactly!  This doctor actually looked giddy that she had found something WRONG with me (although the only thing that was wrong was their blood pressure machine), and a little disappointed when my BP came back normal the second time.  Apparently, being pregnant is high-risk.  :)  Go figure...

 


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Old 10-07-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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Montessorimama - I'm sorry you had that experience and I'm sorry that others misinterpreted your post. I thought it was pretty clear that you were just stating your experience and opinion and not judging others.

 

Personally I have both a homebirth midwife and OB because I'm planning a homebirth vbac.  So far it has worked fairly well, although I'm getting tired of going to so many appts. I haven't directly told my OB I'm planning a homebirth because I know it would put her in a difficult position from a liability perspective in CA, but I have told her I want to labor at home as long as possible and am working with a midwife. I have so far been really surprised that my OB has been laidback and defers to me on decisions. For example, she was fine with me skipping the GTT test (I told her I was testing with a glucometer with the midwife and she thought that was great). She also would have been fine with me taking it after drinking OJ or something like that, or skipping it altogether (although she warned me that the hospital would test the baby's blood sugar after birth if I skipped the test). I was all geared up for a fight and it was fine. Hopefully it will continue to go that way. She also said she is ok with me laboring at home as long as I can (she said they would "like" to see me come in around 6-7cm dilated). But I think she is an exception. I have seen other drs in her practice and they were much more authoritarian in their approach.  I don't get why drs don't see their role as there to provide information and their recommendation, but the final decisions should be ours.

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Old 10-07-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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I've been to an OB practice and was treated really well.  I don't think what you're describing is typical. 

 

That said, I'm on midwife assisted birth #2, so I love the midwifery model.  My midwives have all been RNs though (some were CNMs and one is a CPM), but I appreciate and seek out a "both and" model when it comes to birth.  I want someone with who uses the midwifery model of care but has medical training and credentials in case we need to transfer. 

 

I know I'm extremely lucky that I've been able to find and afford such wonderful midwives and I often wish that it was easier for other women to the same if that was their choice.  I'm certainly not judgmental of friends who want the OB model though.  I get it and it makes sense.  One of my BFFs had an elective c-section and will again and she's just as attached to her DD as I am. 


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Old 10-11-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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LOL, unfortunately, I didn't have the option of a midwife with my last 3 pregnancies (at least I didn't realize it until I was 30 weeks with the last pregnancy, and no midwife really wanted to take me on then). This time I've found one, who seems great so far. It just feels so much more personal and we are aiming for a waterbirth, which I am really looking forward to. She's a little worried for me because I had Epi's the last 3 times (only the first was kind of by choice...long stories) but I feel confident I can get through it just fine. They did the Epi when I was 8 cm and literally just got the needle out of me when baby started crowning so that was a total waste because then I couldn't get up right after!

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in that I know exactly how you feel. I felt like a total number that was just being pushed through a system the last few times and so I felt a little differently about the other pregnancy vs. this time around. People still think I'm weird because I've chosen a midwife and water birth (was going to try home, but decided not to because I really don't want the audience) but it's my body, not theirs!

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