midstate SC mamas, ? about midwives, Lisa Byrd, etc. - Mothering Forums
North and South Carolina and Tennessee > midstate SC mamas, ? about midwives, Lisa Byrd, etc.
lava's Avatar lava 05:48 PM 05-12-2009
Think I'm posting this in the right place--was going to put it in pregnancy board but did a search and looks like provider questions mostly go on regional boards. May actually crosspost there (hope that's OK!).

So...I had my first 3 with Lexington Women's Care at Lexington Medical Center. Had okay experiences with the 1st 2 and a pretty crappy experience with the last 1. Also, we lived in Leesville then--now we live in Camden. And I'm pregnant with #4.

I believe I'm going to Covenant Birth Center in Lexington, where Lisa Byrd is the midwife in charge. I've been there and liked the facility and while Lisa and I didn't bond immediately (I felt like I bonded more with her staff) I didn't dislike her or anything--and I feel for the most part like they're my best option.

I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Lisa for several years since she began doing homebirths at Living Vine. But I also knew she was religious from her websites, etc.). I personally am atheist and dh is a "watered down Xian." Obviously, in SC I'm in the minority--and I'm OK with dealing with Christians as long as they're not aggressively so.

And I get that being a midwife probably tends to make one more spiritual--whether Xian, gnostic, pagan, womyn-centered, (yes I do believe one can be atheistically spiritual but that's a whole 'nother discussion) etc.--just because the act of birth is so powerful.

Anyway, though, now that I'm pregnant and kind of committed to Covenant Birth Center as the best option for me, I'm starting to second-guess myself. I knew about the religious references on the website but I missed the "No Greater Joy" (aka "To Train Up a Child" aka the Pearls) link the first time through. I was impressed that I've met with Lisa twice and there were no religious references whatsoever in our conversation--but the "TTUAC" website cards on the counter and the "Above Rubies" magazine in the lobby kind of offended me (OK, really offended me!--that's the kind of Xianity that I find blatantly offensive).

I'd like to ask her about this but then again if she can keep it out of our interactions for the next 6 months, so can I, KWIM? I've read here one mama (finding your tribe archives) said she knew her well and she would never push religion on anyone...then another mama said at their first meeting they got into an disagreement on I think a religious basis. Wonder if the 2nd mama brought it up? I don't want to ask Lisa and p*@@ her off if she can keep the 2 separate, KWIM? But then again I don't want it to come up later--and there is a part of me that hates giving $$$ to someone who supports those right-wing Xian groups.

Also, isn't it a contradiction in terms for them to push the Pearl's brand of religious child abuse and at the same time to have a "Happiest Baby on the Block" educator there? And isn't it a contradiction to have it staffed by working women and push "Above Rubies" (the woman as helpmeet only Xian ideal).

Oh, the other question I have about her is semi-political. I have to go to either Dr. Moore in Manning (about 80 minute drive for me) or the Rural Midwifery Center in Bamberg (about 105 minute drive for me) for 2 visits, one soon and one near the end of pregnancy, plus if I want a 20-week anatomic survey ultrasound (I do, which is also a whole 'nother discussion) I have to go to somewhere in Columbia (I didn't write it down and forget where). These 2 practices are apparently the only ones who work with her to make things kosher for her insurance, none in Columbia or Lexington. (It surprised me that LWC didn't work with her.)

I'm assuming they don't like the politics of the birth center's existence and the fact that she's done (still does? not sure) homebirths, and maybe they view her as competition (although that seems silly to me since only certain women are going to go to the birth center and they'll go there regardless, right?)--does anyone know if that is why or if there's anything else behind the lines there? That's actually the biggest PITA with going there--having to go elsewhere for a few visits, all else aside.

Sorry this is so long--but I'm hoping someone (PM me or answer in forum, wherever you're comfortable discussing!) will give me some insight here

Thanks, mamas!!!

crescentmoonmama's Avatar crescentmoonmama 12:33 PM 05-13-2009

Pm'ing you. I hear what you are saying, have my own POV, and also would like to refer you to another mama with another POV altogether. I feel that it's important to honor your instincts and to have a place to explore something before it becomes an issue.

I like that you are gathering information before doing anything. It may be that nothing needs to be done in the end - or not....
lava's Avatar lava 07:41 PM 05-13-2009
Anxiously awaiting your PM, crescentmoonmama!
(Yeah, I have the patience of a gnat )

Unfortunately, I did do one thing--I got pregnant! :

But I definitely appreciate different POV on the matter

DH says I'm overthinking it and I should let it go--but he's the one who brought it up for family discussion in the first place when I was trying to keep the "difficult" thoughts confined inside my head--and he's not the one having the baby! Glad you mamas I've never met take me more seriously than the man I've been married to for 13 years!

Danelle78's Avatar Danelle78 11:25 AM 05-14-2009
ON the political feeling you're getting about having to go to a dr. a certain number of times...it's statewide. All independent midwives have to send you for 'approval' for home or birthcenter births. A Dr. has to sign off that you are low risk. PITA.

As for the Christian thing, if she's not pushing it on you or trying to convert you and that's the ONLY thing that concerns you, I'd try to look past it. (Or try to look deeper to see if there's something else bothering me.) Esp. if you click with her staff which is who you'll spend the majority of the time with. Do you have a doula, using theirs???? My midwife was very Christian, but very hands-off which is what I wanted during my birth.

You can also talk to other midwives in your area to see if you click with them better.
lava's Avatar lava 11:02 AM 05-16-2009
Sorry, I've got several replies from you wonderful mamas in my PM box and these here, and I've been mute for a few days.

I've had a tummy bug and just felt awful. Will reply in the next few days, etc.--just wanted to check in and say thanks!

cwalker's Avatar cwalker 08:25 PM 05-19-2009
I think the physicians/ midwives she is referring you to are those that she has worked with for a long time. It is unlikely that LWC will support her because that practice is owned by Lexington Hospital so they are going to be resistant to supporting a midwife that has not been medically trained. Unfortunately many providers consider it a liability to work with a midwife.
MiracleMom05's Avatar MiracleMom05 12:27 AM 01-31-2010
When I was pregnant with my son, I had an interview w/Lisa and she told me that she'd had two horrible birth experiences working with pagan women and that she basically was scared that something would go wrong so she couldn't help me. I don't recommend her to anyone.

And uke: to her supporting the pearls.
jamie79's Avatar jamie79 05:42 PM 02-02-2010
I am a christian, however not the same flavor as Lisa Byrd. When I was pregnant, I checked out her website, but the Pearls thing was a MAJOR turn off. I think the people who support them must be either ignorant of the totality of what they promote or else not willing to admit it. I ended up NOT going there, but only because of insurance reasons. I went with LMC and had an awesome birth, but then I guess you had your experience with them already. Sorry, no advice, just wanted to say I hope you are able to make a decision that you have peace about!