February 25, 2010

Midwife Crisis

Okay, so no crisis really. But my husband told me that's what I was having, and I thought it was funny.

Looking back now, it was a mistake not to interview more than one midwife before choosing one. We chose the one we did because we'd heard her name from someone and she's been practicing for 30 years. Seemed like a good choice.

I guess I was never completely comfortable with her. I didn't really feel a connection with her, or that my care was going beyond what it had at the OB I had with my last pregnancy. Over time, some things started to bother me. She's a little bit flighty. She's a little bit hard to get a hold of. She wrote one of my appointment cards wrong and I couldn't reach her to find out when the appointment was until it was too late & I had to reschedule. Twice I've tried to call her and found a message saying she's out of town with no note of who her backup is, just an impersonal emergency # to call. When faced with the fact that I have insulin resistance, she balked and said she couldn't be my provider because I'd had high blood sugars, which was a big fiasco. It got all straightened out in the end, but it didn't increase my confidence. I've also heard that she has a history of not getting to births on time, which would mean someone else delivering my baby. I talked to a woman today who had a home birth and this midwife showed up just 15 minutes before her baby was born.

Despite my ability to list all those concrete reasons, the main reason I began to feel uncomfortable may simply be personality clash. In my midwife, I want someone I feel more connected to than I would a doctor. I want someone warm, who I feel cares about me as a patient and about my baby. I want someone who makes me feel excited about this birth and baby. And I just haven't been getting that.

I was going along as if it didn't matter, and figuring maybe it wouldn't matter. I think that we do that a lot - I know multiple people who are or have been dis-satisfied with doctors or OBs but just "never got around" to switching or decided to just put up with it. Since we started our hypnobirthing class, I have been thinking about the birth a lot and decided that I SHOULDN'T just put up with it! It was late in my pregnancy to change midwives, but there is no good reason I shouldn't try to find someone I feel more comfortable with and who I will be confident about them attending my birth!

I met with a new midwife on Tuesday and I think she's great. I felt more connected with her right away, and she was much more warm and open. I think it's going to work out really well with her. She didn't bat an eye when I said I had insulin resistance, and doesn't see it as a problem since my blood sugars have been normal.

Of course when I saw the old midwife today I was too much of a chicken to say anything, opting instead for a handwritten note I'll write tonight and drop off tomorrow for her. I feel bad about it because, well, who wants to tell someone you don't like their care? The bottom line is that the main reason I'm leaving is that I don't like her style. That's not really very easy to say to someone's face.

In the end, it won't matter. I'll have to go back at least one more time to give her my medical coupon information and so that she can collect for the care she's given me so far. Other than that, I will probably never see her again. It still feels sticky and weird. But, it's all right. Because this may be the difference between having a so-so birth experience and feeling confident and assured going into it, and having the experience I really want.

Midwife crisis averted.


Kori said...

I am totally clutching my heart in panic here; why, why, why would ANYONE put up with sub-standard care? Whether it is a personality confllict of feelings of discomfort or whatever, these are our bodies-and in your case, your baby's body, LIFE, in their hands-so why do we feel like we have to settle for it? If every person who told you potentially negative things about this midwife stopped going to her, then she probably wouldn't be a mid-wife anymore. Grrr. I am glad you made the move to a different one. and hey, though I get the whole "note" thing, it is kind of passive-aggressive; you are paying her to provide your pre-natal care; therefore, you don't owen her an explanation at.all. for choosing someone else. :) Good luck, though-that is a hard one.

Kara said...

I'm glad you found someone you are comfortable with in the end. I think it's very important for you to feel connected and be comfortable and confident in your midwife. I hope to see you soon.

Dumblond said...

I'm happy for you that you made the decision to change. Not having confidence in the person who is going to be delivering your baby?! Yeah, not an option.