Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Favorite Midwife

Speaking of babies and midwives (do I sound like a broken record, yet?), I ran into a former midwife at the store yesterday.

She delivered #3. His was the most exhilarating birth I've had and full of contradictions. He was my first unmedicated childbirth (by choice), and my first with a midwife. He was my biggest baby (9 lbs 11 oz), and he was fairly hard to push out. However, his birth, out of all of 'em, is still #1 for "best labor and delivery experience."
And I owe most of it to this midwife!

I saw her, and I said, "Are you Betty?" She smiled, immediately knew what I was going to say, and replied, "Yes."
"You won't remember me," I said, "but you delivered that boy over there." I pointed to #3 who will be turning FIVE in August (holy cow, I think I just about died when thinking about that).

We then talked a bit, and she said she was happy to see I was having another, etc. Then I asked her..."why did you leave?" (meaning the clinic I go to).

She frowned, and I heard the story.

Apparently, the "office" decided that four midwives were one too many, and they were losing money. They took a survey (well, they told Betty they took a survey) and it turns out she was the least liked, and so she was forced to quit. As we talked, I learned that she was getting paid more than the others because of her seniority (she delivered over 600 babies!), and she feels they unfairly forced her to leave because of that alone. Because of this --and being less than 5 years (or so) from retirement --she hasn't been able to work in a clinic ever since. She teaches nursing classes at a college and some hypnobirthing courses, instead of delivering babies.
I told her I was so sad for her, and frankly, I was quite upset. I informed her that I hadn't seen any kind of a "survey", and if I had, I would have loved the chance to rave about her! She was, by far, my favorite. In fact, when I think about it, I'm pretty sure she was everyone's favorite!

I'm not kidding, dear reader --this woman is a genius. A birthing genius. She blew my husband away with her knowledge, professionalism, and skill, and my husband, dear reader, has high standards. For example, when my #3, who was facing my thigh as he was being pushed out, ended up having the cord wrapped around his neck twice, my midwife (as she was working with me to push him out) took the time to look my husband in the eye and say, "Brandon, I have to get him out; I need to make sure he can breathe. Are you okay with me cutting the cord?"
Who says that? Who respects the father (and the mother) enough to ask a question like that? Of COURSE we want the baby to be safe.
But it gets better! The woman stayed with me my entire labor. She was patient and kind, and she didn't rush right out after cleaning me up. She was thoughtful, thorough, and in complete control of the environment --the environment she made sure was the exact one I wanted. Of course, it might have helped that she had complete empathy for pregnant women --she had 11 of her own children and is a grandmother. Her kindness shone through because of her past experiences, I'm sure of it!

Well, we parted ways, and she told me my words made her entire day and was happy to know that maybe it wasn't the patients who had disliked her (holy cow, I was near tears, dear reader), and I was so upset. I mean, I know there is some bitterness still there on her part (it's been less than 18 months; how could there not be?!), but I was already upset with one of the midwives at my clinic. Now to know they let her go over money?
But get this: after Betty left, another midwife left for another clinic. So, they only had two midwives. And then just recently they hired a new midwife (the one I really like).
So, my question is, why didn't they hire Betty back?? Makes me think this money-and-she's-the-favorite theory isn't so far off...Of course, I only see this one perspective; I only know a tiny bit about it. I could be completely wrong. However, it has reaffirmed the fears I felt about my clinic, and things are falling into place and clicking...

Interesting, interesting.

Oh, well. I honestly don't want to change clinics at this point (especially with them knowing all of my history and my birth plan and everything), and I really do love giving birth at the hospital near their office. But I think I may request that new midwife, now...maybe I could convince this little guy to show up on her on-call day? Maybe? Hmmm....

Have you ever had a doctor or midwife or pediatrician, etc. who you just loved?


Anonymous said...

I love the midwife who delivered #3 for me. That was one of my more difficult labors (not that any of them really qualifies as "difficult"--but it was three times as long as #2, so not at all what I was expecting--haha), and she was there through the whole thing. She was awesome. I wish she could have delivered all of my kids.

Of course, half of my kids came so fast we were lucky that anyone was there to catch them.

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

It's been a long time since I've had a baby, (almost 11 years), but I love our family doctor and he is the one who delivered my #2 (there are only 2 and they are 8 yrs apart). But as you know Cheryl, my husband has a very extensive medical backgroudn, anyway...he loves our doctor too. I think the main reason is because he is cautious, caring, he knows us, he trusts Giovanni and his opinions, and most of all, if he doesn't know the answer he is willing to tell you so, but he will help you find the answer. That makes me feel most secure. He won't "try" to find the answer and make things worse in the process.
As for all this stuff about midwives, etc...because like Ann wrote in a previous post...I haven't really studied up on it because Gio like the hospital aspect so that is what we did for our boys. But...I do like the fact that they are with you all the time.
When my #2 was born I had hypertension and they began to induce me at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon...They finally sent me home at 1 AM, after seeing the Doctor (who I love) only once.
I went back to the hospital at 6 AM, and finally saw him again about 11 AM when they gave me the potosium (sp??) and then at noon for the epidural. He didn't come back until 4 PM to say they might need to do a C-sections, then at 5 PM to say I was progressin some (thanks to a blessing from Gio), then he walked in about 630 PM when it was time for me to push. #2 was born at 650 PM. I found out later that night that he had delivered 10 babies between Friday at 5 PM and when my son was born.
How could he possibly give all those women his undivided attention? I like the midwife idea and if I were to have another one, which will NEVER happen (I'm almost 44) I think I would go that route.
$$$ does play a huge role in a Dr office or clinic and I'm sorry for your previous midwife! That is terrible. But the way the economy is right now, the one who makes the most usually gets the boot, and they are normally the ones who are worth their money in gold.

Also, as a PS, I was driving by your house last night on the way home and saw that the front sprinkler were on! Does that mean that you got the yard situation under control?
Have a great week!

Sara said...

wow, I'm glad you shared this! Betty delivered Ruby and I loved her as well. I can't believe they essentially forced her to quit. That's sad.

Nancy said...

Sadly, I've never had a favorite doctor or pediatrician. In fact, I'm so bitter about our former pediatrician that I have trouble trusting the medical world in general. I liked my OB's but I felt they always turned to numbers and statistics instead of the present situation. I'm still hopeful though. I'll have to track down Betty if I'm lucky to have another baby and have her consult me on what to do next.

Annette Lyon said...

I've had the same family doctor for 15 years. He's not perfect, but he knows our family inside and out, and he LISTENS to us. He'll bend over backwards to help, and I consider him not just a doctor but a friend.

So sad about Betty. :(

Cheryl said...

Just to clarify, I have had all my babies in hospitals. Having a midwife doesn't always equate homebirth --in fact, most midwives do deliver in hospital settings. :)
And yes! The sprinkler situation is resolved, hallelujah...

Jill said...

We love, love, loved our family practice doctor in Nebraska. He took care of Clint through West Nile, he deliverd both my babies, he's a great doctor and we miss him very much. I've had a lot of problems getting doctors here, no one will see you for an emergency unless you are an established patient, and I am not the type to spend money at the doctor when I am well. Clint and I say, at least weekly, how much we miss Dr. Pelton.
I hope that you get exactly what you want when #5 comes along. Good luck!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I have always found OBGYN's that are good listeners and professional. My current one delivered my 3rd and 4th children. My only complaint is that he has HUMONGOUS hands. We're talking sausage fingers! Owie.

I credit my boys' pediatrician with discovering our 2nd son's autism. I remember thinking that he was a bit of an alarmist, but I'm so grateful that he went out on a limb and suggested testing instead of the more common response of "wait & see". Our son started therapy at 9 months old, and has now attended mainstream (normal) classes throughout all of elementary. I KNOW that his progress wouldn't have been so quick or successful without the early intervention. I love that doctor for saving my son from more severe autism!

Emily & Co. said...

I had the same wonderful experience w/my NY midwife delivering #3...it was wonderful, not just because it was in upstate NY in the fall where my room overlooked one of the Finger Lakes, but also because my midwife asked my permission for EVERYTHING! Can I check you? Would you like me to break your water? Let me know when you feel ready to start pushing, etc. It was wonderful to be in control of that delivery experience! I LOVE midwives!

Julie said...

My OB/GYNs have all been awesome in the way that you've all described your midwives. I think you can find great OBs and great midwives and you can find crappy OBs and crappy midwives. It's something you've just got to be proactive about. And I've also loved my pediatricians...even when I've had disagreements with them. And I've had some heated disagreements with one of them. My current one, in fact, whom I love and wouldn't ever leave.

Never A True Aggie said...

My OB this last go around was really good. They did so much for me and really did a great job in the delivery. My favorite pediatrician was in Concord. She was fresh out of med school and way into the kids. She took her time and always spent at least 20 minutes with me asking questions, etc. I have a good one here, but not as good as that gal.

I will say in Concord, we had the BEST dentist. Dr. Williams, who is not retired. I saw him all through my childhood and teenage years. He saw my sister and her kids. He helped my niece (Melissa) get over her thumb sucking. He had her call him every day and report. When she had a good week, she could come in and get a toy. Who does that? He also came to my dad's funeral when he died. Again, what dentist does that? I miss him...and my teeth show it.

Alison Wonderland said...

I love our doctor, family practice as well as OB so he delivers 'em and then he's their pediatrician along with taking care of Sean and me.

Isn't it fun how life always comes back to numbers. Pbbbt!

Julie said...

Oh, I love my kids' dentist, too. He is the BEST kisser!

Amber said...

My last OB who delivered Bode was the best. Problem is she left the practice she was at and I need to find her again. She was just hilarious, irreverent and smart.

blogging and bliss~ said...

I guess you would say I am easy to please. I love my OB for my last 2 babies. He was awesome. He took the time to really listen and cared. Although he was not there for either delivery... my babies just come too fast.

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

i guessed i should have used better wording....gio likes the dr aspect. he is skeptical of anyone who doesn't have the dr by their name.....and even if the do he doesn't trust them. we've come across to many wacko's out there!
glad the lawn is doing better!

FoxyJ said...

I went to the same practice with my first, nearly six years ago. And Betty was also my favorite. Even though I ended up having a c-section at the end due to some complications, she still stopped by the hospital and gave me great advice. She also freaked out my husband a little at my first checkup when she invited him over to 'take a look around' at my anatomy :) She really was good at including the spouse in everything. Unfortunately after my first c-section and due to my other issues IHC said I could no longer attend the midwife clinic for my next pregnancy and I still feel bad about this. My new doctors were fine but I always felt like a number in their office and not a person. I'm pregnant again and back in Utah, and I'll probably go back to them since they did my previous two surgeries, but I don't really love my office visits.

My mom did home birth for all of us and I had expected to have an unmedicated birth in a hospital with a CNM. Unfortunately things didn't work out, but I felt like the midwives (especially Betty) did a great job giving me care and supporting me anyways with my needs.