I know birth is mostly safe, but I feel better having a trained professional attend me for the small chance that her skills & equipment are necessary. I have a GREAT MW & I like her & her assistant very much. I definitely don't truly want to UC.
But I still can't help but feeling like, "Please - be QUIET and INVISIBLE!"
I just watched a few videos & in one, mama was pushing in water & MW is saying quietly, but enthusiastically, "Yes yes yes, that's it, good good!" & I'm thinking HOW ANNOYING!!!! I realize that mama may have loved the encouragement, but for me I was thinking "SHUT UP woman!"
Another video I saw 2 MWs were hanging over the edge of the tub up in the mama's face.
I've told my MW and her asst repeatedly at our hour-long prenatals that I want very, VERY hands-off care. I hope they really get it. I'm still nervous about it. But it also feels kinda rude saying, "Don't touch me, don't talk to me, keep away from me & out of my personal space except for occasional FHT checks." It feels rude...
Anyone else struggle with this strong desire for a UC-feel and how to make absolutely certain the MW & asst really "get it"?
Incidentally, with my DS I accidentally did all my laboring at home before leaving for hospital. Went much faster than I would have imagined for a first-timer. Doula hadn't even arrived yet, & DH was running about frantically packing while I was in transition. I LOVED the solitude and I'm worried about how the presence of others & their actions might get me "in my head" and out of my body - for example, suggesting position changes or telling me what sort of noises to make-- i.e. grunt low instead of higher-pitched as my doula said when she walked in the door. I'm afraid not being left alone will get me more "in my head" & make the whole thing harder for me.
I'm having the same feelings, so I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this!
I was pushing as my midwife showed up. She started to take my BP and I respectfully told her to "please don't touch me." And, she appreciated that and backed off.
Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)
Well you could just labor until you feel the time is close before calling them, and/or have a dedicated space...probably the bathroom, where no one is going to bother you. I have similar feelings. I'd really like to be left a lone, at the same time, during transition is when I need a doula and the encouragement. I think just talking about it with them often it'll probably get in to their heads. Also make sure you know exactly what they are going to do- ask how often they check things, and tell them you want to push on your own in a quiet space, they could still be there, but you could tell them that you would really like a peaceful environment. It'll probably be fine, don't stress too much! But if they get too touchy, just tell them you need your space. It's not rude, it's what your need.
I switched MWs towards the end of my second pg to find a MW who would basically hang out in the shadows but not do much with me. I got exactly what I wanted, she checked my BP once and other then that I was in a separate room, hiding basically. I switched rooms to give birth and she literally just stood back in the doorway, never said a word and never touched me, it was exactly what I wanted.
I wanted a UC with #3, Dh did not so we settled on hiring another MW that would stay downstairs, I didn't even have to see her if I didn't want to. We literally hired her just for the birth, I UPed that pg. I called when my labor was really picking up, and it was too late, DS was born 10 minutes later so she didn't make it. For #4 we'll probably have a similar set up but DH would prefer that I call sooner this time.
What type of preparation are you doing?
I don't think that it is rude at all. As an apprenticing midwife, a mothers/partners wishes are incredibly important and I would want to know what they want. If they want me to stay back and quiet, that is what I want to do.
Likewise, if a mother/partner wants more hands on, I want to know that too. It isn't our birth, it is yours.
wife - mother - midwife
The more you know, the worse it gets.
Just discuss it. If I had a client who wanted to be left alone and didn't want me to speak to her and such, I would stick a big post-it in her chart reminding me of this (I use post-its constantly to remind myself of client preferences) and I would follow it unless she changed her mind during the course of labor and suddenly asked me to become more involved. It is not an unusual request and certainly wouldn't offend me or bother me. I would just want to discuss ahead of time what it meant for the mother.... like does she still want heart tones done, but done quietly and with a headset to not disturb her? Does she want me to take photos or not? Does she want me to sit in another room or be in the room, but invisible? How long would she like that silence to last.... until after the placenta? Or the entire time I was there? Just take the time to consider what it is that you really want and then discuss it with your birth team so that you know you are all on the same page.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
Tell your MW how you feel and how you want your birth to go, I'm sure she'll understand and won't mind.
With my homebirth my MW was very silent and out of my way. I loved it. I wanted that UC feel without having a UC, and that is what I got. Now my MW did catch my son, which I don't mind. We wanted DH to catch, but when the time came we were positioned best for MW to do so. I was standing and squating with my MW on my right side and I was holding onto her back to help me stay up, and then her assistant was on my left side and I was doing the same. My DH was behind me holding cloth on my perineum and suctioning out ds2's mouth some since fluid was going in a little. When he came out my MW caught him, but only had him in her hands for a moment. I quickly sat down and she handed him to me and we sat there until the placenta came out. It was truly amazing, and I paid for exactly what I got. A nice birth that was hands off unless I needed it to be hands on :)
(I didn't read all the replies, so forgive me if I'm redundant.)
I'm an apprentice to a home birth midwife. Occasionally, at a birth, my preceptor and I will have a little exchange that goes something like, "I really want to just give them their space--they seem like they do really well when we're not in the room. I just don't want them to feel abandoned or anything." I have definitely heard from clients before that they would have liked their midwife *more* present (literally, physically), and from others that they wish she was less so.
My advice is to hire a midwife whose judgement you really trust, tell her of your preference to be "left alone" as much as possible (and feel free to spell out what that looks like to you--midwife in the room but quiet, midwife in the room but out of your line of sight, midwife in the next room unless checking heart tones or until pushing, whatever), and then trust that if she's "bothering" you during your labor, it's necessary (because you trust her judgement and you've clearly communicated your preferences.
As far as calling your midwife at the last minute...I don't know. As an apprentice who sometimes misses births (and who caught a baby 45 minutes before my preceptor arrived at a birth this morning), I say, "Eh." I think it's sort of bad advice, myself. It doesn't mean your midwife needs to be there from the moment labor begins, but give her a heads-up early on, and then call her when things are really moving, but not at the last minute. You're hiring her because you think her presence is valuable, so why intentionally do something that jeopardizes her being at your birth? Better to communicate your wishes clearly and trust her to honor them.
There is some excellent advice on this page and I've enjoyed reading it!
I have to say that while I truly love my MWs, I am also secretly wishing that they could just show up this time and stay out of the way unless I need them. Oh, and to come in and clean up all the mess and pamper me! HA! We have seriously talked about doing a UC at some point, but I don't know if I could ever truly be comfortable with it if my MWs weren't here. I *think* I would enjoy that feeling, though.
Loving wife to my hubby and mama to our 5 kiddos!
In one of the discussions I've had with the MW about this, she mentioned that she's fine with being hands off & even out of the room except for FHT checks. But she also said that sometimes Mamas request that, and end up wanting her & asst right there in the bathroom with her the entire time, whereas others are the opposite (think in advance they will want hands-on constant support & end up wanting solitude.) So she seems respectful of both the desire for solitude AND the fact that things can change in labor.
TBH, I'm probably worrying needlessly. I just have this fear that the presence of "medical experts" and the possibility that they'll give me "feedback" on things like position changes or vocalizations will be a major MAJOR disruption for me (i.e. get me thinking I'm not "DOING IT RIGHT" and get me all in my head.)
I think what I need to do is build an image of laboring with their support - a positive image of that too - rather than fearing that scenario as detrimental. Intellectually I realize I may react differently & want hand-holding, so I should be open to that being positive too. So I'm not sure why I have this fear that their presence could potentially be so negative. (LOL, OK, maybe I DO have a fear about which to create an art project as recommended by the book Birthing From Within.)
Haha, um, yeah.. about that...
Well, DH & I took Bradley for #1, but back then I was so focused on learning FACTS about birth - I was still paranoid about birthing in a hospital. I also focused on keeping up my exercise -- both regular fitness stuff - teaching aerobics & weight lifting, plus PG-specific "tilts & tucks" (yoga cat/cow) and kegels. That was "preparation" in my mind so I didn't do much else in the way of relaxation exercises. I'm trying to read some more now & try other relaxation exercises, but hypnosis has zero appeal for me.
TBH, I don't have much fear of pain, so "white-knuckle it" - use my big rented birth tub, and stay mobile are my "methods" for coping & they served me well with DS' birth.
I would just want to discuss ahead of time what it meant for the mother.... like does she still want heart tones done, but done quietly and with a headset to not disturb her? Does she want me to take photos or not? Does she want me to sit in another room or be in the room, but invisible? How long would she like that silence to last.... until after the placenta? Or the entire time I was there? Just take the time to consider what it is that you really want and then discuss it with your birth team so that you know you are all on the same page.
Oh excellent points! Yeah, I don't expect it to last until after the placenta. Once baby is out, I want a "WOO HOO!" celebratory atmosphere. Definitely no more time for quiet. :D I'd also be really appreciative if the MW or her asst could take photos, but I realize they have other duties as first priority, so I'd view that as a nice bonus.
I do want FHT checks, but I'm picturing her coming in, listening, giving me a thumbs up if everything is fine and walking out of the room again. I'm going to tell her not to even ask my permission to come check - she'll have permission in advance unless I wave her away to give me a moment.
Oh, ITA. Yes, I have no intentions of waiting until the last minute to call. Besides, she's a 45 min drive away, so I can't push it too far - and my 1st birth was less than 5 hours for 1st stage from the first, "Oh, hm, that was FINALLY a contraction," to urge-to-push, so this one could certainly be only like 2 hours total! I have to and will call her when anything is happening & keep her up to date. (She's already suggested I call her right away since it could be so fast.)