What have your experiences been?
Amara ~ Married to my HS sweetheart, we're having a blast with baby Z (1/29/2011)
Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.
For DS's birth, she didn't have any apprentices at the time and we absolutely needed the midwife and her backup as all four of their hands were required to turn my guy around and help him out. I would be very uncomfortable with only one attendant.
Mama to DS1 (12/07), DS2 (4/11), and DD (6/22/14)
Finally diagnosed with APS after 3 s (11/09, 3/10, 7/13)
But there are also midwives here that have an assistant come to the homevisit and the birth. The couple doesn't really develope a relationship with her at all. She is just there to help the midwife.
I have done both of these as an apprentice.
wife - mother - midwife
The more you know, the worse it gets.
In Ontario where MWs are regulated, there must be a 2nd -- she shows up later than the first and becomes the baby's caregiver after the birth. If for some reason there wasn't a 2nd (like if every homebirther was giving birth at the same time) we'd have to go to the hospital per their regs. I don't think this ever happens though, thankfully, as their practice is large enough to provide full coverage. My husband didn't realize this until the other night (um, due in 3 weeks honey!) and all of a sudden felt much more comfortable knowing there would be two knowledgeable capable women helping us!
DCP to 1 busy munchkin! and a CRST too!
Mama to DS [05/21/08] & DD [09/16/10] 43 weeks 1 day!
But at my first birth I had two students and two midwives. At my second birth I had two midwives and 1 student who arrived too late for my fast labour. At my third birth I had two midwives and 1 student who did most of the practical care during my labour and birth.
Adrienne - Loving my DH, our daughter Harper (3/2011), our son Ezra (4/2013), and maybe a baby?? (Jan 2016)
My current team, with a different midwifery, began as three full midwives, of which at least two would be at the birth. One passed away during my pregnancy, and they have replaced her with an assistant/apprentice. I think all three will be at the birth, with a minimum of midwife plus assistant.
I would always want at least two attendants in some form, in that there may be situations requiring two sets of hands whether for mama alone, or after birth, one for mama, one for baby.
Do you have to pay a separate fee for your MW asst? Some of the HB MWs here charge it as a separate fee, but mine charges one flat global fee for everything - prenatals, birth, & the asst.
My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.
I don't think, however, that you have to go the hospital if the second midwife can't make it. The second midwife on call when my daughter was born was actually at the hospital delivering another baby when my midwife called her to come. The other baby was born the exact same minute as my daughter so she would have never made it. She called another midwife in the practice who wasn't on call and who made it just before the birth. It was a fast birth, though, and I doubt I would have made it to the hospital anyway. The primary midwife got there just after I started pushing.