Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
But I don't trust the midwives either, I guess I should try to find a good one first and go from there.
That's exactly right, you find the care provider that honors and respects you, and practices evidence-based care.
Hiring "a midwife" is not enough - there are many awful midwives who don't care about their patients and force interventions on them. And of course there are wonderful doctors out there. But honestly, in terms of raw numbers, I'd think a CPM would be your best chance, but again, not just any CPM.
My midwife would have let me go without an exam. Even if she had reason to be concerned, she would have expressed her concern and explained her thought process, but I had the final say. Not all midwives are the same, though, many would have coerced you. Finding the right HCP is everything.
I guess I'd also recommend researching birth in more detail if you decide to have another. If you understood the specific risks and complications, you would feel more comfortable making decisions about them. If you don't know what's going on, someone can say to you "we have to check your cervix or your baby could die" and you would simply be afraid and not have any idea what to do except comply. But if you had more knowledge, you could say, "why, what is your specific concern?" and if they mumble something about "failure to progress" you can wave them off without fear. On the other hand, if they say "your baby's heart rate has been steadily dropping and I'm concerned about cord prolapse" you can make a more informed decision.
You said your labor was back labor? Honey, that is the worst. (Not speaking from experience). If you could do that, you'll be fine without an epi on the next one - but of course that's up to you to decide, and you can make that decision at the time. But once again education also helps, because as you know an epidural carries risks and often leads to other interventions.
Were you laying in bed during your labor or moving around? If in bed, that's considered to be excruciating for most laboring women (a few find it comfortable, at least for some time). Was your labor augmented by pitocin? Also excruciating and not comparable to natural labor.