Homebirth midwife in Houston - VBAC - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 11-12-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all - I have posted before about finding a VBAC friendly provider and after a lot of thought have decided to go the homebirth route. At least that is how I feel at this moment I wanted to ask you all for midwife recommendations. Tell me who you like and why. Please feel free to PM me if there is anything you want to keep private. Also, please tell me who to stay away from if you had a bad experience. I know there has been some discussion about this before but I couldn't find any up to date stuff. I was having a hard time searching this forum for some reason. Thanks in advance to all!
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#2 of 27 Old 11-12-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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I use Chris Duffy and love her. I know she takes VBAC- even did a VBA4C awhile back I believe.

Feel free to pm me if you'd like. I'm happy to answer any questions.

-Angela
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#3 of 27 Old 11-12-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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Maria - I recently received a very positive recommendation for Kellie Moeller from another doula. She is taking over for Pat Jones who is retiring (I think). Her website is www.homebirthexperience.com. I hope this helps!

Heather, Mommy to Matthew 9/7/05 and Eli : 2/11/09
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#4 of 27 Old 11-14-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Sandra McDonald and Carol Schumacher both attend VBACs. I think both of them are really cool women. Good luck!
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#5 of 27 Old 11-18-2007, 08:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaverdi View Post
Sandra McDonald and Carol Schumacher both attend VBACs. I think both of them are really cool women. Good luck!
Sandra is wonderful! She's my MW and definitely does VBACs. Just had my 2nd with her 7 weeks ago, and couldn't ask for anyone better!

I obviously just found this thread, and saw your post on ICAN-Houston earlier. But, just for the record, I also really liked Sandra's assistant for both of my births, Paula Davis. She's based on the north side of town, while Sandra's on the southwest (though Sandra does all home visits - no travelling for the client!).

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#6 of 27 Old 11-18-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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most of the MWs that I know in houston to VBACs, I know Pat Jones does, and so does Jackie Griggs. Both are great.

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#7 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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most of the MWs that I know in houston to VBACs, I know Pat Jones does, and so does Jackie Griggs. Both are great.
I have heard that Pat is no longer accepting new clients. Also, last I *heard* she wouldn't take VBAC unless you'd already had a VBAC after the section.

-Angela
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#8 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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I have heard that Pat is no longer accepting new clients. Also, last I *heard* she wouldn't take VBAC unless you'd already had a VBAC after the section.

-Angela
I saw her last monday and we actually talked about that. She definately is but she is just being very particular about who she takes...

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#9 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Interesting to know.

Personally I would not recommend Pat Jones. I'd be happy to explain in PM to anyone interested.

-Angela
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#10 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Well just to be fair, I would also recommend Pat Jones highly. She was our midwife for our HBAC (she was out of town for the birth) but her care prior to that was excellent and I have no reason to believe it would have changed during labor.

Angela,
You seem to take every opportunity to bash her, I wish you could just post openly about exactly what happened. I know the story and I don't particularly think that her request was out of line. I understand that you may have had a personally conflict with her and that her style didn't mesh with yours, but there is no denying that she is an excellent midwife with the outcomes to prove it.
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#11 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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I have outlined my issues with her publicly before, but it's been awhile, so since you ask, I will again.
Though I will note, I have been careful NOT to "bash" her publicly in general, merely stating that I do not recommend her personally.

First- she dropped me at 28 weeks for refusing any GD testing. I had no risk factors. In interviewing I had specifically asked if there was any testing that if I refused I would be dropped. I was assured no such thing would happen.

Next- I was not pleased that she never knew who we were. Each appointment was like meeting her for the first time. She remembered nothing about us, our philosophy or wishes. To the extent that, at our last appointment (at 28 weeks) she said to my husband- aren't you happy to find out pregnancy isn't an illness or injury? Huh? We came in there from the interview saying that.

Next- she never seemed comfortable with my husband there (the most mild-mannered guy in the world) She never spoke to him or interacted with him in any way. He is my partner in life and in pregnancy and birth. It is important to me that a midwife can interact with him.

Also- her practice seemed fear based. She always brought up worst case scenarios and was always concerned about covering herself first and foremost (testing- any specific testing, I'd ask what we would gain from it in information and how that would change our actions, she would say it looked bad if she didn't have it on file) I feel strongly that fear based care is very dangerous.

Then- after she dropped me, she was quite rude to my new midwife, insisting I had never paid her anything. I had to send her a copy of a canceled check proving that I had, indeed, paid her fees.

I think she is a sweet, kind person, who means well. I do not recommend her as a caregiver.

-Angela
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#12 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Now back to your regularly scheduled recommendations

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sandra McDonald!

Her cards say "There's no place like home" and it's totally true.

She is as hands-on or as hands-off as need be. She is fine with testing and fine with not.

I'm a little tired of hearing about the 11 lb baby she caught in January (I believe the lady ate Blue Bell for 9 months?), but I understand her point, too. She just doesn't want me to go through that after having 2 7-pounders.

Anyway, I love her. I love the way she interacts with my children and my husband. I can get personal or not. She is not a freak about me taking Zoloft and she completely treats us as educated adults fully able to make our own decisions (unlike many OB's and med-wives).

And yes, she does it ALL - VACS, twins, breech, all of it! If there's no real reason to transfer, you will not be transferred. I have also heard stories of her being the midwife that other midwives call if they run into anything out of the ordinary (breech, etc.).

Good Luck making your decision!
--LEE
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#13 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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My understanding is that when Sandra McDonald became a midwife, she lived in mid-TX where the hospitals were scary and people were having VBACs with twins, and basically just about everything.

Carol began her midwifery career in Utah where there are just lots and lots and lots of babies born.
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#14 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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My understanding is that when Sandra McDonald became a midwife, she lived in mid-TX where the hospitals were scary and people were having VBACs with twins, and basically just about everything.
Yep, I remember Sandra telling me that when she was starting out they'd get calls on the order of, "I'm having my baby, VBAC, at home, and you can come - or not." And so they'd go!

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#15 of 27 Old 11-19-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Now back to your regularly scheduled recommendations

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sandra McDonald!

I have also heard stories of her being the midwife that other midwives call if they run into anything out of the ordinary (breech, etc.).


--LEE
yep. she was one of my friends midwives and she is just great!
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#16 of 27 Old 11-22-2007, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I met Carol this week and liked her a lot in the interview. She has all the traits I am looking for in a midwife, the only thing I was a little thrown by is the fact that she has only caught 60 babies. She has been at more births, but only been the main midwife for 60 births. Anyone have any input on this? How much experience is good enough? How much is too little? So far, she has definitely been the best fit with me, in terms of personality and just 'clicking'.
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#17 of 27 Old 11-22-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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For me, it's not the # of babies someone has caught. It's how they work, how they interact with me, how comfortable I feel with them, etc.

It's a relationship, ya know?

But I don't make a list of questions. I just go and talk to them and see how they work. Also though, I'm totally not afraid of switching midwives/care providers at even the last minute. YMMV.
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#18 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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I agree that it's not about the number of babies a MW has caught. If I chose one who'd only caught 60, I might want to make sure she had a more experienced one as a back-up.
--LEE
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#19 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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The number is pretty meaningless IMO.

-Angela
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#20 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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I have to recommend Chris Duffy. She is an awesome midwife and will take just about any client. If she doesn't know an answer, she will help you find one and be sure to educate herself along the way. She meets you where you are. If you want the testing, she can accomodate it. If you don't want testing, that is fine too. She is very peaceful and easy going and is a pleasure to work with. She is great with kids and husbands. We always went to her appointments as a family. She would let my girls hear the heart beat and kept them very involved in everything. Chris is a wonderful person and midwife and I would recommend her without any hesitation at all.

I don't live in the Houston area any more but I can't imagine having any more babies without Chris.
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#21 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really liked Chris in the initial interview and have not decided against her at all, I just felt a little uneasy because she said she doesn't want me to go over 40 weeks, and that made me feel really pressured. It sounded a little like what doctors say (even though she is NOT a med-wife at all) and it kind of stressed me out. She said the baby could get too big for me to birth....uugghhh. I don't need to deal with that. Obviously she can't use pitocin, etc to induce but she said she would "do everything and anything to start my labor". The myth of if you go past 40 weeks your baby will be too big and you won't be able to birth really irritates me and being a VBAC I really feel I need to be with someone that is going to be completely supportive and believe in my ability to birth my baby. In any case I have heard from lots of people that it's good to interview several midwives, so I am doing that and want to find the right fit for me, which is not to say that would be the "best" midwife in town, just the "best" fit for me. And thank you all so much for all your advice.... keep it coming!
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#22 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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paula davis is great. she is in porter, but she came all the way to pearland for me. (although i might have been the exception her daughter is my best friend)

you can find her listed on the ATM site.
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#23 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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I really liked Chris in the initial interview and have not decided against her at all, I just felt a little uneasy because she said she doesn't want me to go over 40 weeks, and that made me feel really pressured. It sounded a little like what doctors say (even though she is NOT a med-wife at all) and it kind of stressed me out. She said the baby could get too big for me to birth....uugghhh. I don't need to deal with that. Obviously she can't use pitocin, etc to induce but she said she would "do everything and anything to start my labor". The myth of if you go past 40 weeks your baby will be too big and you won't be able to birth really irritates me and being a VBAC I really feel I need to be with someone that is going to be completely supportive and believe in my ability to birth my baby. In any case I have heard from lots of people that it's good to interview several midwives, so I am doing that and want to find the right fit for me, which is not to say that would be the "best" midwife in town, just the "best" fit for me. And thank you all so much for all your advice.... keep it coming!
Very interesting... I wonder why she said that... FWIW with dd I was 41 weeks 2 days and there was not a whisper of worry about "going over"

-Angela
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#24 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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I really liked Chris in the initial interview and have not decided against her at all, I just felt a little uneasy because she said she doesn't want me to go over 40 weeks, and that made me feel really pressured. It sounded a little like what doctors say (even though she is NOT a med-wife at all) and it kind of stressed me out. She said the baby could get too big for me to birth....uugghhh. I don't need to deal with that. Obviously she can't use pitocin, etc to induce but she said she would "do everything and anything to start my labor". The myth of if you go past 40 weeks your baby will be too big and you won't be able to birth really irritates me and being a VBAC I really feel I need to be with someone that is going to be completely supportive and believe in my ability to birth my baby. In any case I have heard from lots of people that it's good to interview several midwives, so I am doing that and want to find the right fit for me, which is not to say that would be the "best" midwife in town, just the "best" fit for me. And thank you all so much for all your advice.... keep it coming!

i would run far far away from anyone who said that... and i like Chris.

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#25 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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I agree that is a scary thing to say.

And I agree that you need to find the midwife that is right for YOU. That does not leave you with doubts.
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#26 of 27 Old 11-25-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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: (Interested in all things VBAC) Background on me - I had a hospital, MD-attended VBAC last July!

What about Cathy Rude? She attended two homebirths for a good friend. I met her with the first one, and having heard about my c-birth, she asked me what I planned for my next birth as if she were interested in taking me on as a client.

I haven't heard of anyone's VBAC experience w/her, but my friend liked her. I saw her again at the BIRTH fair and introduced myself and another friend who is pregnant and hoping for a VBAC and she asked my friend what her plans for birth are.

BTW - the 40 wks thing - good instincts about not wanting that pressure. Seems like every practitioner has her "thing" that worries her.
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#27 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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I really liked Chris in the initial interview and have not decided against her at all, I just felt a little uneasy because she said she doesn't want me to go over 40 weeks, and that made me feel really pressured. It sounded a little like what doctors say (even though she is NOT a med-wife at all) and it kind of stressed me out. She said the baby could get too big for me to birth....uugghhh. I don't need to deal with that. Obviously she can't use pitocin, etc to induce but she said she would "do everything and anything to start my labor". The myth of if you go past 40 weeks your baby will be too big and you won't be able to birth really irritates me and being a VBAC I really feel I need to be with someone that is going to be completely supportive and believe in my ability to birth my baby. In any case I have heard from lots of people that it's good to interview several midwives, so I am doing that and want to find the right fit for me, which is not to say that would be the "best" midwife in town, just the "best" fit for me. And thank you all so much for all your advice.... keep it coming!
Hello, Merojas!

This is Chris. I am so sorry that you felt pressured. I hope you had or are about to have a great homebirth!

I cannot imagine saying that, but I must have said something like that. With recent changes in the midwifery law, our scope of practice is up to 42 weeks. If I can find a justification for going longer I will, as other's here can attest. With a VBAC the concern is that the risk of rupture goes up as you go past 40 weeks. It is still a relatively small risk, but a greater risk none the less. I would never say, "You're 40 weeks, bye." I have not ever had to transport a VBAC. They tend to be well motivated to adopt excellent nutrition and exercise in order to avoid pre-ecclampsia.

The types of things we could try to encourage labor starting at 38 weeks would be evening primrose oil orally and surrounding the cervix, raspberry leaf tea, lots of raw foods, using a breast pump, and having lots of sex (dads like that). I do not recommend castor oil.

Almost all my mom's like to do what they can to encourage labor. Haven't had one tell me yet, oh darn, I'm in labor, I wanted to go 42 weeks.

Regards,
Chris Duffy, BS LM CNHP ND
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