Pam/midwife (and those who want to know what crappy town I live in):
I am in Yuma, AZ, which is a very small town. A small town is fine but there's really nothing else around here. You have to drive 3 hours east to get to a big city (you hit outlying Phoenix after about 2.5 hours) and 3 hours west to get to another big city (outlying San Diego) and there is literally NOTHING in between (unless you count two little gas-station towns that are even smaller than Yuma).
We are a one-hospital town, and lemme tell you about labor/delivery triage.
Women who are in labor are evaluated for at least an hour in the "labor lounge" -- and are allowed only one visitor until they are assigned to a room! Which means I cannot practice continuous care, because my clients usually want their husbands with them in the "labor lounge." So I'm separated from my client for at least an hour, during which time she's getting checked, "traced," evaluated, given an IV, etc. If she happens to go in while she's crowning, then she has the baby in the "labor lounge" without me present, because you can only have ONE PERSON in there with you. No exceptions. *Le sigh*
When she finally gets assigned to a room, she can only have 3 people with her at a time. No exceptions. I'm lucky I get any clients at all, in my opinion!
So: we have only 5 ob/gyn offices here, all of which have at least one midwife on staff, but we do not have ANY midwife groups who aren't attached to an ob/gyn. So, every midwife works with a doctor. I have yet to see a midwife who truly practices the midwifery model of care as it has been explained to me, and as I've read about.
We have one midwife who attends homebirths -- but verrrrrrry quietly. She does not advertise. I only know she attends homebirths because she happened to be with a client when I mentioned that I want a homebirth someday for #4 and afterwards she pulled me aside and WHISPERED "call me."
I'm re-reading this and realizing that I'm really venting about the "system" in which I have to do my life's calling, and how frustrating it is for me. So thanks for reading it and allowing me to vent about it. I feel a little better now.