Not a midwife YET, although I am a doula and pregnancy massage therapist.
I ran into a sticky situation with a pregnant client the other day--she had come in for her (first) pregnancy massage, and as I ALWAYS do with pregnant clients, I was asking her all sorts of questions and just generally chatting with her.
I should have realized her medical bias when she told me that she was 42 and having her first baby, and started telling me about all of the tests she had to have done. (Not saying that older moms are automatically allied with MDs, but because she had already had the wits scared out of her by her "advanced maternal age", I think she was more determined to believe in the medical profession as the saviors of her and her baby.)
Next she tells me "if my doctor really wanted to do a c-section, I wouldn't want to argue, because I wouldn't want to put the baby at risk." I explained that if the doctor wanted to do a c-section for convenience, or because of their own biases, arguing would not put her baby at risk. THEN she tells me "well, I've seen videos of natural childbirth, and I would NEVER do that . . . that kind of stress CAN'T be good for the baby."
I gently, calmly, quietly, responded that birth is a natural process and that women have been doing it for thousands of years. I then mentioned that the ALTERNATIVES to natural childbirth can have risks of their own . . . for instance, that an epidural can cause a precipitous drop in blood pressure that can be dangerous for mom and baby. My client shot back with "you can't say that! That's just not true--there are no statistics to back that up!"
I tried a little more to explain some of the realities of childbirth in America, with her fighting me tooth and nail on every point. Finally she said to me "you are speaking from a place of fear now, and I won't allow that around my pregnancy, so we're going to have to end this conversation." I apologized for making her feel uncomfortable, and we worked in silence for awhile. Eventually, though, she brought the subject up again, and was very angry and defensive, and decided to end the massage.
I spend the next hour in tears, feeling so TERRIBLE that I had upset/offended this woman, when all she wanted was a relaxing hour of massage. I think I need to work on separating myself a bit from my pregnancy massage clients, instead of putting on my "doula hat" . . . but then again, I feel so strongly that women in our society need to be able to make INFORMED decisions, and that so often they are not given adequate information to make a choice.
I don't know . . . the whole experience left me shaken as far as my ability to help my clients goes. I want to write it off as a one-time thing (the client had openly admitted to our receptionist that she was uptight and a control freak, so maybe that was all it was), but worry that I may overdo it again in my eagerness to help.
Not really sure if there was a point to my writing all of this, but just wanted to let you know that I understand your frustration and empathize with your plight. Good luck and good birthing!