Well, I met with the midwife today and had a very fruitful discussion and felt much better afterward. I felt like I could be completely honest and open with her, without any passive-aggressiveness or hiding of information. She asked a lot of questions that indicated she really understood my concerns. She talked about how she had seen a lot of "bossy" midwives (direct-entry ones) in action. She asked whether my fear was about having a midwife present in general, or just whether or not she'd really do what she said she'd do, in the heat of things. (And I replied: a little of both). She said she'd be thrilled to sit back and just silently observe the birth and not have to "do" anything, since usually her women want her to do more things.I've been thinking a lot about how my unassisted birth has changed what I want in a midwife. This is something that I mentioned in my dissertation: women who have had UCs, and then choose a midwife for a subsequent birth, usually look for midwives who are very hands-off and who take a backseat role, rather than directing or managing the birth. I know some women really like midwives who are very hands-on and in-your-face, who coach you through contractions, give lots of direction and suggestions, provide perineal massage or support, etc. But I prefer otherwise.
We talked about some specifics like 3rd stage routines, hats/suctioning/towels (she doesn't do hats or suctioning anyway), whether or not I wanted guidance when the baby was crowning if she saw me blasting the baby out or something like a nuchal hand (I still would prefer not for the most part). I indicated my wish to have her remain silent and out of sight until I initiated contact, except of course if there was something worrisome that warranted action or extra observation (SD, hemorrhage, baby struggling with the transition to breathing). She said that she gets the feeling that I know what I'm doing and also that I am being completely upfront with her. She still would like to be in the room for the actual birth, but provided all is well would be happy to step out fairly soon after the birth and just periodically peek in the room to be sure we both look well. She said (even without my asking) that it would be no problem to only have her there and keep the assistant(s) somewhere else in the house the whole time, only calling them in in the case of an emergency. Which is exactly what I would have wanted anyway.
When we were talking about heart tones, she said that the normal protocol is, once pushing begins, to listen every other contraction but if the baby has been quite happy, she will listen less frequently, knowing the baby has the reserves to make it through labor. Good to know she doesn't have to rigidly adhere to certain protocols. There was lots more we talked about--I was there for 1 1/2 hours after all!--but I think I summarized all the basic points of our conversation....
I do admit that there is part of me having a hard time admitting that I am hiring a midwife--the vain part that does find a certain sense of pride in having an unassisted birth, the part that wants to do everything myself and sees assistance as a sign of weakness. Just being honest here; I do recognize that I have those fleeting thoughts. I know that I need to let that need for an image, a certain label on my birth, go. It doesn't matter at all, except that I am doing what is best for this particular pregnancy and birth. It is not a sign of weakness to have someone there if that is what is right.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I figured I probably should update on the conversation I had with my midwife, back when I was having some concerns about her role at my birth. So here are some excerpts from my journal, back in January, when we spoke at length about my worries:
Posted by Rixa Freeze at Wednesday, April 15, 2009