I am a regular but have nc for this because I feel a bit pathetic. I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I am massively terrified of giving birth for all the usual reasons but something that is really bothering me is the thought of having a horrible midwife/doctor. I am very, very sensitive partly because it's just my personality and partly due to a MH condition and I am not really able to cope with people being abrupt or dismissive with me.
I keep hearing horror stories from friends and online about nasty midwives (no disrespect meant to any midwives on here as I'm sure most of you are lovely) and I'm worried I'll have one in labour.
You will always hear horror stories as people who have positive experiences probably won't shout about it.
I, for one had amazing midwives! I had the same one and a student throughout who went through everything - if I wanted Vit K injection, if I wanted baby passed straight to me or cleaned first, if dad would cut the cord so I felt really in control. She was lovely. As it was Christmas Day I then had the whole team of midwives as I was pushing, all cheering me on as I was having trouble. I felt like I had a team of cheerleaders with Santa hats on! It was brill.
If you choose a good hospital and get a good feel from it at your antenatal appointments, as I did, I'm sure you will be fine.
Do you have a partner who will speak for you? You need someone who will stand up for you if anything happens x
I am being silly to be honest as I will have two excellent birth partners with me - my DP and my Mum. My DP is lovely but not massively assertive (though he is able to be if he needs to be) and my Mum is very, very assertive so I know she will be able to support my needs. If I didn't have her there I probably would consider a Doula alongside my DP.
I think I have been put off as well because a few weeks ago I had a big gush of liquid (sorry tmi) that was probably discharge but I thought I should check...so I called the maternity line and the midwife on the other end was very, very dismissive. basically said 'why are you calling us for some extra discharge?'
How do you like your community midwife? Is it something you can discuss with her?
I think it would be worth you thinking in a lot of detail about your birth plan - not about the bits that you don't have a huge amount of control of (my birth centre water birth didn't happen as baby had other ideas, but it really didn't matter to me too much, but I worry about how I would have felt if I'd really over invested in things) but the things you do have control of. Go through it with your Mum and husband - what do you need them to do, how are you they going to do it.
I'd also put it in capitals on the very top (if you want to) something like 'The following triggers may affect my mental health. Please be sensitive...'.
The other thing - and its not something that really works for me, so I'm not talking about personal experience - is looking at natal hypnotherapy. I understand that if you are in so 'deep', its unlikely that you'll be hugely aware of things around you. You may find it works for you (and in allaying the 'normal' fears about childbirth)
jeni I don't have a community midwife I don't think....or at least I've not been told about or introduced to one, do you think this is something I should ask about?
fugg yes definitely a midwife!
I will think carefully about writing things on my birth plan that may trigger me and will talk to my mum. I have two hypnobirthing books - not sure how well it will work for me as I'm not really very good at relaxation or meditation techniques but I will certainly try!!
I think the key is having a strong advocate with you who will stand up for you if necessary - your mum sounds perfect for the job. Can you get together with her beforehand to go through what you would like her to do if the midwife is not treating you respectfully? Aims have a good guide on their website about your rights, I suggest you have a good read through that so that you are both well informed.
Jeni I don't have a specific midwife unfortunately. I saw one at my booking in appointment but as I chose to give birth at the midwife led unit she said she'd transfer me onto that team. My 16 week appointment was a group appointment with a midwife whose name I don't even know. I have my 25 week appointment in a couple of weeks so maybe I will get a named midwife then?!