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Discussion Starter #1
this could be a really, really long post, but I'm going to try to keep it simple. I am planning a homebirth with THE ONLY HB midwife covered by insurance anywhere near me. Non-insurance payment is not an option. I wrote on the general pregnancy board after our first meeting because I was so disappointed in how rushed the meeting was, and how little she explained about her practice or herself and how little she asked about me. It turned out that she had a hair appointment to get to (grrrr). The next meeting was fine. I then called her in between meetings with an unimportant question, but still a question, and she never called me back and never addressed the call at the next meeting. At the next meeting, I arrived on time, but was made to feel like I was intruding early (again, I could go into much more detail, but don't have time!). At this meeting (2 weeks ago now), she drew my blood to test for Hep. A immunity because I am going to China this Saturday. I called her one week ago to ask for an update and never heard back. I was ticked, but thought that perhaps she wasn't getting my messages. So I called this morning (6 days until trip), and asked if she got my message. She had me "remind" her of the message (which she had gotten!), and then said she had to drop her daughter off at daycare (fine, I understand), but that as soon as she got back I would be at the top of her pile. It has now been an hour and I haven't heard from her...and I am kind of freaking out. Basically, I don't know what to do. She has now not called me back on 2 occasions, one important, and I still don't feel comfortable at our visits. My only other option is hospital birth...and I can't even find a CNM that takes our insurance. Argh! What would you do?
 

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First of all mama, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">. I can imagine how frustrated you must be.<br><br>
There are no excuse for this mw's behavior- it is very unprofessional. She sounds very absent-minded. One of the trade-offs (its a good one for moms) when having a hb practice is the time you have to spend with your clients, being there for them nearly all the time, vs. being a practice with a gazillion other providers and having a set schedule and call time. Its not like she didn't know what she was getting into, yk? This kind of stuff just makes me so mad, particularly because I am working my tail off to finish school right now so I can one day open a hb midwifery practice. It ticks me off when I hear moms say there are being treated poorly and unprofessionally.<br><br>
If I were you, I'd be looking for a different hb mw. Even though this mw is the only one in your area who will take your insurance, I would at least talk to the other mws and let them know your situation. Many will happily work out a payment plan or other arrangement. I know several mamas in my area who have gotten reimbursed from their insurance for their CPM-attended homebirth. It is possible if you look for creative ways.<br><br>
Again, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> mama. Everything will work out.
 

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An hour to drop her daughter off and then return to her (I'm assuming home) office isn't much time. I'd give it another hour and then have a very clear talk with her about your expectations. She seems a little flighty, but if you don't address it, then she can't change or fix it.<br><br>
Hope she's contacted you by now.
 

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What do you think about a UC? You can still continue to hire her, but mentally adjust to consider her as backup, not primary.<br><br>
Since you said another midwife is not an option, that is the only thing I can think of, other than to arrange for a hospital birth.<br><br>
She is clearly telling you what kind of a midwife she is - she is unorganized, impersonal, forgetful, and doesn't particularly care about you as a person. She will not magically turn into an organized, personal, competent and caring midwife when your birth rolls around. I don't feel right at all trying to tell you otherwise.<br><br>
Even if she does attend your birth, I think you should be certain to be in the mental state where YOU are in charge, not her. Don't depend on her. Her role should be like an advisor, giving you input when YOU want. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed. (I had a very nice, wonderful, caring, organized midwife but not as experienced as I would have liked, and I wish I had taken this same advice for myself).
 

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I would find another mw or just go with the hospital. Aren't midwives supposed to give you better care?! I am sorry you have been treated like that.<br><br>
I kinda know how you feel, I almost had an interview with a mw who I don't think really cared! So now unless something changes I will be birthing in the hospital.
 

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{{Hugs}} That is not okay. Midwives are supposed to give you more time, be more personal, and really be centered around you. She is not doing that! You deserve more and personally, it would be enough that I would leave her care. I would continue to look for a CNM that your insurance allows (maybe call your insurance company), otherwise, if you are okay with it...consider a hospital birth. Good luck with your decision and I hope you find quality care soon!
 

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I would keep looking for a CNM.<br><br>
I didn't have any luck going through my insurance company to find one, they didn't even know what I was talking about.<br><br>
Instead I found the CNM's in the area that are working with and OB practice and called them to find out about the insurance.<br><br>
Good luck to you. I am sorry that you're experience hasn't been good so far.
 

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That does not sound like someone I'd want near me while in labor, much less when I needed something. I'm sorry you're having such a tough time finding someone who's going to give you the care you need and deserve. Ditto the suggestion to see if there are nearby OB practices that work with midwives who can use your insurance coverage and still have you see someone you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of your replies--guess what--she NEVER called yesterday! We are leaving early, early Saturday morning. Is that what "moving to the top of her priorities" looks like?! Are you kidding me! I was only upset that she hadn't called after an hour, because I know that she generally starts her appointments about a half hour after I called her. But now I am furious and confused. Also, I know she wasn't taking any new homebirths until September, so being called to a birth is not a possibility either. I also have to add that when she acknowledged that she got my message a week earlier and never returned it, she didn't apologize at all, just acted like I was sort of inconveniencing her for something that is outside the realm of her normal duties or something.<br>
A UC is not an option for us, it would make DH and I both too uncomfortable, but now I'm afraid that if we stay with her, we might have an accidental UC! Or a horrible hospital transfer with a doctor I've never met. So....I'm going to continue to search for an OB practice with a CNM, although every one I called so far has not taken our insurance. I want to move back to where we lived until October right now--a state with several birthing centers and lots of midwives. This is so frustrating!<br>
I think what scares me the most is losing a natural birth. I know that I am not going to feel comfortable laboring like I did with my daughter in a hospital setting (VERY vocal, naked, etc.). Argh. Thanks for listening.
 

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Can do you look into finding a doula and do a hospital birth with an OB? I would not like this MW, either. I guess my hospital births weren't so bad (especially if you wait to get to the hospital or if you labor at night without a dr. hovering over you). I might be in the minority on that one, but I would not be comfortable with HB with that MW, either.
 

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I wouldn't be comfortable continuing with that mw-- I don't think I'd be able to trust her. It sounds very possible that she never even sent off the Hep A test. Maybe that's why she's avoiding your calls now? At any rate, you have plenty of time to explore other options and it might be worth it to chat with other midwives in the area. Even if they aren't covered by your insurance they may be able to point you towards a "midwife-like OB" or another alternative.
 

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Just a thought: I would hate for that midwife to be paid by your insurance. She's getting a free ride, basically. If it were out of pocket, you'd have dumped her long ago. Well, make your choices for you and not for whether she deserves it or not, but I bet you a very nice meal out that she will let you down if you continue.<br><br>
If she is the only midwife-assisted homebirth option, I'd look at a hospital birth with an OB (AND A DOULA) or a UC. You've said UC isn't an option for you, so I guess that leaves the hospital birth. Honestly I think you'll either end up with a UC or a <b>very</b> frustrating experience if you count on her. Personally I'd prefer a UC to a hospital birth where I'd feel very stressed, but if the UC would stress you out, that's what matters in your case, and it's particularly worrisome if a UC would stress you given how likely it is you'd end up with one with this midwife.<br><br>
Sorry, I'm writing really badly today, don't even know why...
 

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I didn't follow my instincts about a midwife and regretted it. She wasn't terrible, but less than good and your mw sounds worse, to be honest.<br><br>
In your situation (if I couldn't work out payments with a midwife, qualify for medicaid with a midwife or was willing to UC) I would probably find an OB I could live with and a doula I loved to labor at home as long as possible. We have insurance, but I qualify for medicaid while pregnant. We haven't used it but would if it meant getting the best care provider for a birth.<br><br>
I am sorry you have to deal with this. I can't imagine what your mw is thinking. If you do change providers I would write a letter specifically explaining why you felt the need so that she has the opportunity to correct her ways.
 

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I'm submitting my birth to my insurance provider myself. Is that not an option for you? None of the HB midwives around here actually "take" insurance--it's up to the client to submit.<br><br>
I guess I'd start saving my pennies to pay for an HB out of pocket rather than going with a hospital birth. But that's because I'm afraid my whole body would freeze up and try to keep the baby in, and I'd end up with a c-section.
 

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In your situation, I would find a HB midwife in the area willing to work out a payment plan that works for you. I'd also let her know WHY you fired her. She needs to know how she treats her clients... it is probably too late for you to ever be comfortable with her, but perhaps her knowing the issue could create a better experience for future mama's.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>treeoflife3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15399050"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In your situation, I would find a HB midwife in the area willing to work out a payment plan that works for you. I'd also let her know WHY you fired her. She needs to know how she treats her clients... it is probably too late for you to ever be comfortable with her, but perhaps her knowing the issue could create a better experience for future mama's.</div>
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^ITA with this on both counts. When I am in practice I would absolutely want to know what issues a client had with my care. Her behavior is inappropriate, for sure, but she probably doesn't even realize how her lack of professionalism is affecting you. She needs your feedback.<br><br>
Your hb is out there, mama. I hate to think of any mama settling on having a hospital birth- or any type of birth they didn't want- because of insurance or money issues. Please try contacting some other mws and see what they can offer you- you might find that hb is more accessible that you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you again for all of your responses. I called her the next morning and she called back a few hours later--acted as if nothing was wrong (I had hoped she would at least apologize for not returning my call over a week earlier of the day before). She told me that I am not Hep. A immune. So I asked what we should do about it. She said to just be careful? Um, okay....that's what I had planned on doing until she brought it up as an issue at the previous visit and had my blood tested. And honestly, I'm not sure I would have had the shot anyhow, without knowing potential side effects, etc...but that got me to wondering--what happened? why did her opinion change? does she not want to order me a shot? It was strange. She did write me scrips for antibiotics (in case of MAJOR stomach issue that I had in Beijing several years ago, more like a security blanket for me) and immodium. She left them at a box near her house for me to pick up. Fine.<br><br>
The day she didn't call me back, I did find a hospital around here with a CNM staff. I made an appointment for today. But then I cancelled it because it felt SO wrong. My husband and I basically decided that the homebirth is THE most important thing to us, and that my MW's behavior is not enough to make us go to the hospital (my hubby is so super laid back that he doesn't even see any of this as a problem...). laohaire, I gave some more thought to UC, and decided that I'm not that uncomfortable with that. So basically, I am taking my care into my own hands in some ways (like, making <i>myself</i> comfortable with homebirth, not relying on the MW to do it if that makes any sense). I know she will be there at the birth, and she does have a great reputation (I know?), so I'm just going with that. We are on medicaid, and she takes it. None of the good CNMs affiliated with the better hospitals here take it. So...that is where I am.<br><br>
Thanks again for listening!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>yummama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402315"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">laohaire, I gave some more thought to UC, and decided that I'm not that uncomfortable with that. So basically, I am taking my care into my own hands in some ways (like, making <i>myself</i> comfortable with homebirth, not relying on the MW to do it if that makes any sense). I know she will be there at the birth, and she does have a great reputation (I know?), so I'm just going with that. We are on medicaid, and she takes it. None of the good CNMs affiliated with the better hospitals here take it. So...that is where I am.</div>
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Obviously it's your decision and your decision only, but I thought you might like to hear that I think that's a reasonable direction to take.<br><br>
It just really means, like you said, taking full responsibility. Which we should all do anyway, whether with a great midwife or a crappy one, whether we stay at home or go to the hospital - so this is almost a good thing to have this push to do it, really.<br><br>
What would this mean for me? It would mean I'd read up on UC and so-called "emergency childbirth." It would mean that if I felt like I had a problem at any point and the midwife wasn't there, was stalling, was blowing me off, was not listening, was not understanding, I'd proceed right to Plan B without her (whatever that might mean).<br><br>
Just as an example, my midwife kept reassuring me that my newborn was getting plenty of milk when I didn't think she was really getting anything at all from nursing. She didn't really look into my concerns, she just went the "everything is fiiiiiine" route. She even said "does this baby look hungry to you?" My newborn was fast asleep and we couldn't wake her. That's what they look like when they are slipping away. I spent a couple of days in utter anxiety, waiting for my midwife to help me. I should have picked up the damn phone as soon as I was worried and called the lactation consultant on my own, midwife be damned. My story has a happy ending, the LC was eventually called and DD admitted to the hospital, her life and our BFing relationship both saved by the LC. No thanks to the midwife. There are a million variations to my story, but I thought a concrete example might help you see what I mean.<br><br>
Your midwife (or OB), whether a great one or a crappy one, is your employee, your advisor. If she is not doing her job, if you have a concern that is not addressed, be in control. If you trust your midwife, you can be open to doing something you're not sure of, but only if you trust her and constantly re-evaluate that trust. Something like that might mean, your midwife suddenly and urgently makes you get into a position you don't want to be in - if you trust her, you trust that she has a reason to do it and you just shut up and do it. I guess you have to decide how much you trust her skill, a good thing to think about ahead of time. And don't be afraid to proceed without her if she doesn't show up, don't be afraid to kick her out (at least to the next room!) if she's interfering with you, don't be afraid to make your own decision to transfer (or not!) even if she's not around or disagreeing, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
laohaire--exactly what I meant, but in much better wording! Thank you! I was way to hands-and-brain-off with my last pregnancy, wanted everything done for reassurance (hospital birthing center, ultrasounds, lots of visits, etc). I really didn't take any responsibility and was actually in a bad place physically by the time I gave birth (gained 70 pounds!). This week I've realized that I cannot proceed with this pregnancy in the same way. I actually DO trust my midwife's skill level, so I don't picture the birth itself being a bad thing. She is transitioning to a single-person practice, and I think that might be where the issue lies (I'm not making excuses, just guessing what might be happening). Anyhow, when I called and made that appt. at the hospital, I felt physically ill afterwards. That's how I knew that I would have this baby at home no matter what!<br>
Thanks again, laohaire, your initial comment in this thread did actually make me reconsider how much trust I was putting in someone outside of myself. I really appreciate that.
 
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