05 July 2009

Doctors, midwives, and how I don't like any of them

Doctors are pretty much jerks, and I don't think anyone here needs me to expand on that. We all know. (I should say that I like my current doctor better than any other I've had--I think it helps that I've got four kids and she seems to consider me experienced and insane enough not to need micromanaging.)

But I'm not on the midwife bandwagon either. I've had four, since we made extensive rounds between vicarage and my husband's second call. There was only one who didn't make me want to smack her. She's the one who ended up getting a delivery payment from us. (I'm not even counting one midwife I tried, who was a conventional doctor's toady and not a midwife for any practical purpose.) What I learned in trying to find a midwife is that midwives are much more familiar than doctors, and I don't mean just friendly. Familiar like, "Wow, I can't believe you just said that to someone you don't know at all." Faux familiarity is not something I want in the person handling my own personal body on a professional basis.

I know I'm callous and cold, as evidenced by the fact that I wouldn't want, say, my children present when I give birth to their sibling. But not everybody has a midwife-tolerant personality. This may be one reason that weird friend of yours insists on jerk doctors even though you've told her how you love your midwife so, so, sooooooooooo much.

The midwife/homebirth model is unappealing to me as a matter of taste. Not that I like hospitals, either. If it were possible, I'd give birth in a cave, alone, and emerge five months later when my clothes fit again. Non est disputandum, folks.

17 comments:

Dakotapam said...

I'm going to have to agree. I've managed to find fairly hands off Docs...who annoyed me only minimally. And, quite frankly, I enjoy them walking in at the last minute and catching a baby...in some ways it makes me feel less rushed.

I'm a pretty private birther...so having a stranger come into my home and help me deliver a baby, with my family around and all of my stuff getting dirty, and having to make sure everything is clean before the midwife shows up, is a big no thanks for me.

Plus...I like two days of room service...even if the food is bad and people keep taking my blood pressure...at least I am in bed and not answering the phone and worrying about the house.

I'm weird that way though.

And I KNOW docs can be jerks...I work at a hospital. But some actually care...a lot. The trick is to find them.

Gauntlets said...

That's right. It takes at least five months. I feel much better about myself now, and I thank you.

Rebekah said...

DP, I also felt on the spot and rushed during the birth that was attended by a midwife, especially when I stalled out for a few minutes at 10 cm. I should have been grateful for that break instead of feeling bad for keeping everyone from lunch.

Gauntlets, at least 5.

Reb. Mary said...

>>If it were possible, I'd give birth in a cave, alone, and emerge five months later when my clothes fit again<<

This should totally be a "birth plan" option. I'd choose it every time too.

Monique said...

If you haven't already, I would highly recommend everyone seeing, "The Business of Being Born" It's a documentary about homebirths. Although I'm not for homebirths, I found it to be very insightful and definately worthwhile. The movie has some major feminist undertones, but I think all of us here are smart enough to weed thru that stuff. Also, it's available on Netflix, however, my disclaimer is that there IS nudity and a lot of it. So maybe for ladies only? I actually watched it while hubby was away at a conference.

Kelly said...

Read this. You'll feel much better :)

http://www.indiana.edu/~ancmed/midwife.HTM

Just out of curiosity, did you deal with CNMs or lay midwives?

I'd prefer the cave option too, but will take home over a hospital any day. Everyone's different though and should be in whatever surroundings make them feel the most secure.

Rebekah said...

Monique, I watched that once when Dad was gone too. :D I agree; I'm not a blanket homebirth advocate but it is a very informative piece of work.

All CNMs, Kelly. We're not much into lay ministry around here. ;) I'm actually curious as to how one finds a lay midwife; I've tried with no luck. That may be due to our living in very homebirth-hostile territory. Legality aside, I'd think more seriously about homebirth for myself if we were close enough to well-equipped hospital for a quick transfer, but . . . .

Sarah Osbun said...

Can anyone recommend a good doctor in Fort Wayne? We're moving back there after vicarage.

Rev. A.L. Sorenson said...

For Fort Wayne you should contact Laura Gilbert CNM. She is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I found your article expressing some of my frustrations with Drs. especially when I go in with a sick child and it's always a VIRUS, or they tell me nothing I didn't already know or hadn't already figured out. I keep reminding myself the doctor is there to give me his knowledge and advice. I then take that knowledge and advice and use it how I see fit. But modern medicine seems to be behind times. Give me a good old fashioned Dr. from years ago any day.
I have had 2 hospital births (my first child - I didn't even know about home births to consider one, and my next to last child because our water bed heater caught on fire during labor, we had to drain bed, and go buy a new one all while I was in labor..... after all the hoopla and 2 days of labor I went in to the hosp. to make sure everything was okay and he was born) and 11 home births. One home birth was attended by our family Dr. and one home birth was attended by my husband (with God's help). The Dr. who did home birth's was a wonderful physician, but I would take a midwife at a birth any day over a male physician. We have used many different lay midwives, some have been great, some not, but they all knew their stuff and did their jobs well, personalities aside. As far as finding lay midwives check with couples who have had home births, natural health food stores for leads, other lay midwives usually can help you get in contact (they have contact list). Home birth is a wonderful experience - the midwives I had always cleaned my house while I was in labor if it needed it, prepared food, entertained my children, and even picked things from my garden....... after the birth they fixed me food, helped me shower, cleaned up and made my bed up with new sheets. I wouldn't trade a home birth and a good lay midwife for anything. Home birth is not for everyone - birth should be where you feel comfortable - but home birth is definitely worth considering. It's a great option! Debbie Stottlemyer

MooreMama said...

Rebekah - Ever googled unassisted childbirth? Not for me AT ALL, but then, I loved my hospital birth, attended by Dr Fabulous, two nurses, and DH.

Rebekah said...

MooreMama, I'm familiar with the concept. It will only happen here by accident, because what keeps me going back to hospitals is that the baby is far more likely to need to be there than I am.

Kelly said...

I was going to suggest freebirthing as well - don't quite think that's my cuppa but lots of folks rave about it.

I can definitely understand the concern with not having a hospital close enough for comfort in the event of a necessary transfer. If that were the case here it might cause me to alter my decision as well. Still, I know there has been a big push (no pun intended) to get a bill through the state legislature to allow direct entry midwives the ability to practice legally. Hopefully that will open up more and better options in the future. If you're ever interested in trying to find a DEM, I know of someone in your general vicinity who employed one and was happy with the way things went.

Gauntlets said...

I watched that Ricki Lake movie when my lord was out a'conferencing. Nice how we all wish to protect our husbands from the evils of the birthing industry, regardless of from whence those evils come. :D

I also watched a Web video RE: unassisted childbirth. I was really, really sorry about it afterward.

Rebekah said...

Kelly, how exciting! Do you think she'd be my backup in an emergency? She wouldn't have much time to get here, I'm fast. And when is this wretched state going to start being nicer to CNMs?

lisa said...

Congrats Sarah!!!

D. said...

Most areas have underground mw, but finding them is difficult. Your state may have a group named, "Friends of Missouri Midwives" or something like that and you can attend their meetings to find their cpm's or dem's.

Many cnm's are medwives.