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Bloody annoyed

(25 Posts)
Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 13:16:55

Had my 37 week midwife appt today and found myself being patronised for wanting a home birth.
Apparently that sort of thing only happens in "London and those places", not up North!
The only thing I have written in my maternity notes section so far is NO forceps unless completely necessary (a pointless thing to write really) and this was met with much amusement as "obviously in theory it would be ideal to have a straightforward birth, thats what we all want but sometimes we cant have it...". Well of course, but she explained this like a straightforward birth was a entirely a matter of chance and not very attainable.
This is my first baby. Its been a very easy low risk pregnancy and I hate hospitals. Have been reading a lot of Ina May Gaskin so feel assured that I have very good chances of delivering this baby naturally and well. I thought it was the job of the midwife to support your decisions/birth plan, not actively try and talk you out of it and ruin your confidence??
The highlight of this conversation was when she asked if Id like the injection in my leg to bring out the placenta. Again I said if entirely necessary then yes, but otherwise Id deliver it myself. She grinned and added, "and what if you were bleeding like mad and haemorraging (spelling?), would you have it then??" Lovely bit of scaremongering I must say!
I just hope when it comes to the crunch and I have to ring up the Labour ward, shes not the one that comes to my door.
Has anyone else had this kind of conversation with their midwives before? And if so, did you manage to stick to your birthplan as much as you naturally could?
Ive came home feeling really deflated and stupid sad

KatyCustard Tue 12-Jul-11 13:30:29

That sounds horrendous! What a sarky cow! Somewhere in all your notes/paperwork you should have the number of the midwives supervisor. I really think you should make a list of things you are unhappy about, and then give them a ring. (I write it all down so I can't be flustered on the phone and forget what I was trying to say.) You are entitled to advice, not sarcastic comments.

KateeTheBump Tue 12-Jul-11 13:33:49

Can you change midwives? If you can, I would as you need someone who is supportive whilst you give birth! This one sounds like a miserable old stick! Keep the Ina May Gaskin stuff in mind, don't let this one woman spoil your confidence. One thing you could do, if there's still time, is think about a doula - someone who can stand up for you during the birth (try to see if there's one in your area). You will be inviting the mw into your home, remember that, so it should be someone you're completely happy with.

Good luck! And you're not stupid - and you're perfectly capable of birthing this baby, remember that smile

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 13:53:09

As soon as I told dp what happened he said I should complain too, but I feel I shouldnt yet incase shes right and it does indeed turn out to be a difficult birth! I suppose Id feel more confident if this wasnt my first, know what I mean. Saying that, after a day of thought its likely Im gonna pick up the phone and discuss that appt with someone.
Thanks for that link KateeTheBump, Ive found a girl not too far away on there, dont know a lot about doula's but am now giving it serious thought.. is it possible to have a doula present but not a midwife? Im really put off them after today sad she wasnt even my usual one, havent seen my own for weeks, for the past few appts its been a different one every time!

grubbalo Tue 12-Jul-11 13:54:09

Horrible attitude to have and even if you went in there with the hippyish attitude possible she should be supportive and helpful even if she thinks it's utter balderdash!

Have you got a homebirth group near you? Or alternatively maybe your local NCT group could help suggest someone? You may well find that this particular midwife has a real reputation and that there are other much more helpful ones in your area.

You are perfectly entitled to a homebirth, keep your confidence up.

Good luck

KateeTheBump Tue 12-Jul-11 14:02:09

I think you'd have to go for a (private) independent mw if you wanted to cut the community mws out altogether. But a doula will act as intermediary and as a barrier to the mw, to give you the space to do what you need to do, as I understand it.

Give it some thought, write your grievances down, and if you still feel strongly about it in a day or two, complain - she will only be giving some other poor woman a hard time if not!

nicolamumof3 Tue 12-Jul-11 14:31:14

sounds like a right bitch tbh! horrible, yes they should support you in your birth choices you are right. Don't let this one mw put you off. Of course the majority of births are easy and straightforward. And of course you are an intelligent adult and know sometimes things don't go to plan, no need for those comments at all. Complain deffo.

reikizen Tue 12-Jul-11 14:40:53

Is there any chance you could just put this down to experience and not rush in to complain? Just a thought but it seems like on MN recently there is nothing to do in a situation but dash off a complaint. That won't change the fact that it has happened, and personally I think it's quite Alan Bennett that she suggested home births happen in London and those places! Try to see the humerous side instead of looking for a reason to be outraged and upset. Maybe she was having a bad day and would be a lovely midwife to turn up at your door.
I'm sure your labour and birth will be wonderful but you can't control all the people that may cross your path in the run up to it so it may be better to work on strategies for coping with this rather than inviting strangers to become outraged on your behalf. Btw, I do understand your point, I just think you have read too much into the conversation.

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 14:42:21

Ive just looked up homebirth groups and there are none specifically for that in my area confused the only classes that discuss that arent happening til September apparently, way after my due date.
That was another thing - Ive only attended one antenatal class and that was about breastfeeding so I felt really crap about that. I missed the rest partially due to financial reasons and partially due to them being quite a distance away; so instead Ive done a lot of reading and speaking to friends who have had babies.
The Labour and Birth class sounded like it would be a bit too much for me to handle, the breastfeeding one even included a video that showed a womans caesarian and I thought bloody hell just cos we're preg doesnt mean we all want graphic viewing of births sad
Hmm Im not in a position to go private at all. Thanks for the support and advice everyone, apart from dp I have no other good outlets to vent about this situation!

mo3d Tue 12-Jul-11 14:47:37

How can you read too much into 'and what if we're bleeding to death'. If that's really what she said, then that's awful.

We all want a natural birth but if things go wrong, of course we all want whatever it takes to delivery the baby safely. Poor OP feels she can't complain just in case her delivery doesn't go to plan. The mw is there to help and advise you, not speak to you as she did, whether she had a bad day or not!

reikizen Tue 12-Jul-11 14:52:36

Sorry, all I meant was, that as always on a forum such as this we only hear one version of the conversation and I am always wary of jumping up to join in and critisise when I wasn't even present. The midwife's choice of words may have not been entirely appropriate but it may be that she has been up all night assisting at a home birth and is mightily tired for example. Who knows, the woman she was attending to may have had a massive haemhorrage and the situation may have been fresh in her mind. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and then make your conclusions ime.

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 14:56:27

Ah reikizen she had that false, smiley way with her that a few other mw's have adopted since I started talking about homebirths, she wasnt in a negative sort of mood or anything. At one point, she said "Ive been a midwife for 6 years and I will have a baby one day so Ive got to accept these realities aswell..", and I felt she was doing herself a disservice thinking that way about what are "realities" IYKWIM.

mo3d Tue 12-Jul-11 14:57:30

I think sometimes people just want to vent their grievances and be listened to.

mo3d Tue 12-Jul-11 14:59:10

I meant you becca not the mw

MummyAbroad Tue 12-Jul-11 14:59:41


I had a successful natural birth after reading Ina May (great book!) but it was no thanks to the labour ward midwife who ended up delivering me in the middle of the night (I went to a midwife led birth unit at 10cms but there were no midwifes just a doctor and labour ward nurse who were very anti anything "natural") I was ridiculed every time I requested something (choose my own position for birth, use oil to massage the perinium etc) and generally bullied into doing things their way. I had a doula with me (thank god!)

a few points I would like to make to you:

1)with all due respect to reikeizen I dont think her advice is helpful if you feel up to complaining DO. Now is not the time to go along with what everyone else wants and just try to keep the peace, childbirth will have a very long lasting impression on you and if you are left feeling resentful and bitter its a hard thing to get over (speaks from experience)

2) doulas are fab if you can afford them. Dont worry about the midwife being in the room - they are hardly there! Mine kept leaving me alone for long stretches anyway (hours) so if my doula hadnt been there I would have felt really abandoned! (husband was there, but a bit shell shocked and not much use!)

3) The best piece of advice my doula gave me, I unfortunately didnt take. You are entitled to request a change of midwife at the birth if you dont like the one you get. Ask any potential doulas what experience they have with the hospital in question, lots of them know what time nurses/midwives change their shifts, who the "good" midwives are etc.

4) You havent missed much from not attending NHS antenatal classes. I did and it was really pathetic. I learnt much more from Ina May and another great book called "Birthing from Within"

best of luck to you!

mo3d Tue 12-Jul-11 15:00:21

Oh goodness, you realise I meant that it was good you felt you could vent your grievances and be listened to, right? smile

KateeTheBump Tue 12-Jul-11 15:04:28

I see your point reikizen, but I think in this situation the OP has made it clear that this encounter has knocked her off her stride and made her feel bad about herself. MW and health care 'professionals' should recognise the effects of their words/actions and should act with the patient's best interest at heart. If someone is more comfortable giving birth at home rather than in a medicalised environment they should not be frightened into a hospital birth... this is the 21st century, not 1982.

All the OP wanted was some reassurance, not for a load of people to rush in and get indignant on her behalf, I'm sure! smile

NigellaLawless Tue 12-Jul-11 15:04:56

So sorry for you having this experience, it must have been really frustrating/annoying/upsetting.

I have never heard anything so bonkers as a midwife saying that home births don't happen up North. I live in Tyneside (you don't get much further north than that without leaving the country) and my midwives have been incredibly supportive of my request for a home birth and say its really quite common in our area, in fact at my last appointment my midwife told me about two home births she had delivered the previous week.

There is nothing worse (in my view) than northerners reinforcing the stereotype that we are a backwards bunch up here!!! angry

Is she the only midwife available to you? I have two that cover my GP practise so can see either one.

Hope you get some sort of happy resolution to this

sparklytoes Tue 12-Jul-11 15:08:44

I think this midwifes attitude is appalling and you have every right to make your thoughts known to her supervisor. This is your birth and whilst its important that her expertise is acknowledged and taken account of, you have the right to express your preferences, whatever they may be. Maybe you should send her a copy of the book "childbirth without fear" by Grantly Dick -Read. Its old, but the basic ideas are really sound. Her comments to you go against the basic idea that women should be encouraged to feel comfortable about birthing - and approach it without fear.
I agree with others on here that a Doula might be a good option, or even ask if there was anyway that you could ensure she was not at your birth? Others on her team may not share her unhelpful attitude.
RE. homebirths only happening in London....what a load of rubbish! I'm up North and apparently they are on the increase massively in my area. Midwifes are very supportive here whilst taking care to explain what circumstances they would want to transfer you to hospital.

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 15:38:00

Nigella/Sparklytoes I live in Wearside, I cant believe the change in attitude just up the road?! Youre both very fortunate, I feel completely alone on this in my area.
MummyAbroad thats exactly the kind of experience Im afraid of ending up having; I know its a case of mind over matter but in such a situation as child birth it is so intimidating getting information from the professionals that goes against the grain, no wonder some births go awry. Its especially frustrating when said midwives havent been pregnant themselves before!!
I must emphasise that I am not the type of person to complain lightly - this is only the second time in my life Ive felt I possibly should - and that apart from anger I feel quite sorry for the woman for feeling so inclined to take the attitude she did. Theres not much sign of any open-mindedness in my neck of the woods, unfortunately!

lovemysleep Tue 12-Jul-11 15:54:39

Fully sympathise op!
I am hoping for a HB too - at my first booking in appointment with the MW, she said something along the lines of "I'm sure you'll have no problems with the birth, as long as you don't want to do something daft like a HB!" - she had to seriously backtrack when I told her that I did. I thought she was very unprofessional.
At the next appointment, she told me all about the lovely cuts that were being made to MW services, and how there will only be 2 MW's to cover about a 30 mile radius for HB's. I get the impression she's not really into them, don't you????
This is my second child, and whilst my labour experience in hospital was good with DD, I would like to be at home with this one. I am desperate to avoid forceps like you, and the postnatal ward was vile.
However, I am trying to keep an open-mind so that I don't get too upset if I have to go to hospital. I have a natal hynotherapy CD, and will also be looking into other ways to get through the labour.
I had brilliant MW's when I lived in Nottingham - 6 years later, and I'm in Worcester, and so far, I'm not very impressed - there's the one I mentioned, and then the other that I came across, couldn't get you in and out of your appointment quick enough!

MummyAbroad Tue 12-Jul-11 16:20:57

for what its worth becca I think you have a very good chance of having a successful natural birth, that fact that you are aware of and tackling so many issues now means you are already ahead of the game. I feel sorry for the poor women who trust and believe these kinds of unhelpful midwives, as they are usually the ones who end up having to face the "realities" Stick to your guns, try and avoid/ignore anyone who doesnt share your philosophy and dont let anyone destroy your confidence in yourself, it is what will get you through. Instinct is such a powerful thing when it comes to childbirth, trust it always, your own experience and knowledge of your body is a lot stronger than her 6 years of midwifry.

ksaunders Tue 12-Jul-11 16:46:01

Beccabop, I don't know about home births as I don't know anyone that has had one. I just wanted to say that you should put what you want in your birth plan, talk it all through with your OH (or whoever will be with you) so that they can ensure it is followed as much as is possible. You may not be in a position to know what is going on at the time! Secondly I just wanted to add, don't dismiss the idea of the injection to speed up delivery of the placenta as more importantly it helps to slow the bleeding. My sister wasn't given the injection even though she said she wanted it and ended up in surgery to stem the flow. She avoided a transfusion but was on iron tablets for a few weeks and they made her feel crap, which didn't help when looking after your first, newborn child!

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 16:58:27

lovemysleep what a thoroughly demoralising comment at your first booking in appt, Im really shocked at that!! I agree, there seems to be a lot of bias. Good luck to you I hope your birthing goes very well, then it'll be down in your notes for future sceptical mw's to read about!!
Thanks MummyAbroad Im of exactly the same beliefs. Its a shame you end up feeling like your "fighting the system" though isnt it; had no idea it would be like this.
Hopefully baby will make an appearance in a very swift manner and before my next scheduled mw appt smile
Thanks for the comments girls, I really appreciate it.

Beccabop Tue 12-Jul-11 17:06:35

Thanks Ksaunders, Ive got that injection written down for if the need arises. Im surprised your sister wasnt offered it confused

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