Upset with midwife - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Please let me vent about my failed homebirth.
My midwife did not diagnose my gestational diabetes. I went ahead on my own to have my blood tested and gave her all the
results since I was concerned with the results. She kept telling
me it was fine, "don't worry that is what you pay me to do" and
basically made me feel like a hypochondriac. So I believed her.
Well I ended up with a 12 lb baby, had to get transferred to the
hospital, she ended up with major shoulder dystocia and I was
told by the doctor and my midwife that she would have died if
she was born at home.
It was very scary and traumatic for both of us, and to top it off
I will be out $1000 because that portion went to pay the hospital
I then went to a dr. for my 6 week postpartum because I didn't
want to go back to my midwife. Well this doctor just reamed me
out for being so stupid to go to a midwife in the first place and
on and on.
It just upsets me so much that this had to even happen if my
glucose was monitored everything would have been fine. I also
hate the fact that every one who hears about this now has such
a bad opinion of midwives.
Do you feel that I am justified in being upset with her. This is
my last birth and I really wanted it to be special and it ended so
badly. My baby is fine though so I can't complain about that
but it still was scary.

Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 9 Old 02-13-2003, 12:05 AM
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Congratulations on your baby! I am really so sorry to hear how badly your birth went. I think anyone in your position would be very angry and quite disappointed as well. It is too bad that a situation like this reflects so badly on midwifery but that's not your problem. Your job is to take care of your baby and yourself. I am glad you both came through it okay.
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#3 of 9 Old 02-13-2003, 02:15 PM
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You sound like you need to work some things out. Maybe hire a doula who is neutral, but has quite a bit of experience. Go through your prenatal care, and bounce the occurances off her, to see what she thinks. Then call your midwife and schedule a meeting.

Many midwives believe that gestational diabetes is a myth. I am not a midwife, I'm a nurse, but I think that it is routinely mis-diagnosed (ie, poor diet leads to high levels). Veryvery few women really develop gd, and most are actually borderline Type II diabetics anyhow, and just have never had their sugars checked before. Maybe your levels weren't so high that she was concerned, and thought that diet would take care of it. Maybe she felt that the *way* the test was performed skewed the results and so didn't believe them. Or maybe she was just negligent. But I think it is worth it, for your own piece of mind as well as her experience anc reputation, for you to sit down with her and tell her your concerns and ask your questions and give her a chance to explain herself. If she was wrong, she needs to know how it impacted you, she needs to learn to handle things differently next time. We are all human, and sometimes we make poor judgement calls.

As for the doc, that was out of line. How could he do that to you? We had that experience once. We transported a baby for meconium aspiration--the NICU doc told the mom, while the babe was *still on a ventilator*, "Well, what do you expect, endangering your baby's life like that, having her out of the hospital?" Our doc was furious, and called her on it. The NICU doc was so arrogant, and said we get what we deserve for not inducing at 40 weeks (this babe was 42+ weeks). We would have to transport half our clientel if we induced that early! So our doc asked why we have such good outcomes (1% NICU admission rate, 3% c-section rate, something like 98% of our babes have an initial APGAR of above 6) while the hospital has such poor outcomes. The NICU doc said it was pure luck. Whatever. If the doc has a problem with the care you received, though, he needs to take it up with your midwife, not with you. That is insensitive to you and completely unprofessional. As well as the doc and midwife telling you your baby would have died at far as I know, there is nothing that is done in the hospital for shoulder dystocia that can't be done at home. That comment, too, sounds out of line to me.

I am sorry you feel like your homebirth was a failure. I hope you can find some closure as well as some anwers to your very valid questions and concerns. I hope you find someone who can go over all your medical records--both your midwife's and your hospital ones-- with you, a neutral third party (a doula would be good, or a nurse who is neutral) to help you understand what happend and help you get some specific questions and concerns formulated. I think it would help you to do this. I'm glad your daughter is fine now; I had some scary pregnancy and post partum events (for example, when we were driving to the doc for a two day check, a car ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and totally smashed the car in front of us...I couldn't take my daughter anywhere for weeks after that, I was so scared of car wrecks!). I know that residual feeling of fear, that "what it". For me, it helped to work through that, to address the what ifs.

I hope something in my post is helpful to you!
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#4 of 9 Old 02-13-2003, 02:17 PM
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what lorijds said
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#5 of 9 Old 02-13-2003, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I did talk to a diabetes consultant and showed her my results
and she said I definitely has GD. She said a MD would of put me
on a diet and monitored my glucose levels and I might possibly
be put on insulin.
As for my midwife I wrote her a letter letting her know how I
feel and said that I hoped that this didn't happen to any of her
other patients. She has not responded.
I hate too how this looks badly on midwives.
I agree that Dr. was totally out of line. I wish I would have walked out but I was naked from the waist down.
It just is upsetting when this could have been avoided by dieting
which would have been no problem.
Also I have a 40% chance of getting type II diabetes in the next
ten years.
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#6 of 9 Old 02-13-2003, 06:16 PM
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I would just add to what Lorijds said that diet and even adding insulin have not corrolated with a consistant reduction in birth weight. It corrolates more closely with what mom weights (the more mom weights, the more likely the baby is to be "macrosomic" - more than 10 lbs. or so). And a large baby doesn't necessarily equal a shoulder dystocia - many are caused by obstetric management of the birth. You can look at Henci Goer's website ( for more info.
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#7 of 9 Old 02-16-2003, 12:09 AM
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Frank Sinatra was born at home to a mother with diabetes. He weighed 15#. The midwife thought he was dead and put him under cold running water. He lived as you know.

He was also an only child, unknown in most Italian families.

I am only telling you this b/c it has happened before and turned out well.

BTW, his mother died in a plane crash which happened in the snowy mountains. The cause of her death was not the crash or the exposure in the mountains, but her diabetic condition.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get - acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, allergies, diabetes, eczema, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, AFP, ASIA, CFS, GBS, JPA, JRA, LGS, LKS, MS, POF, POTS, RA, SJS, SLE, SPD, TPI, Henoch-Schonlein purpua, fibromyalgia, Retts Syndrome, encephalitis, Hughes Syndrome, neurological damage, coma, or death."

~paraphrased from "Forrest Gump"~
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#8 of 9 Old 02-16-2003, 04:19 AM
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Personally I think she should have honored your instincts, I'm glad though that you and your sweet babe came through!
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#9 of 9 Old 02-17-2003, 02:41 AM
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Ugh! I am so sorry sweetie! I will be a midwife one day and I will never treat my pg ladies the way you were treated. She owes you to sit down and you guys work it out. She shouldn't let you just sit and hurt and mourn the loss of your homebirth alone. I am so sorry!

Yes this would make mainstreamers very wary of midwife's and I think that is so sad.

I am so happy that you and baby are fine. Don't listen to people who tell you that you were stupid and put your baby in danger. You were doing a wonderful thing for your it a gentle is not your fault that things went the way they did! You are not broken for birth!

I hope you can heal...and feel free to vent to me all you want! I will always listen. If you ever get a reply from the midwife let us know what she said.
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