My thoughts on midwives – so far

When we first talked about being followed by a midwife for this pregnancy, I could see that my mother-in-law wasn’t too warm at the thought. She’s not one to try and skew our decision, but she did tell us that in her professional interactions with midwives she has found them to sometimes be too nonchalant about what she considers to be serious health issues. I went into it with that in mind: I figured that I knew enough, having had one normal and easy pregnancy/delivery, and what I didn’t know I could research. I knew I had resources I could tap in if I wasn’t satisfied with the information I was getting.

And frankly, the care I received was pretty much what I expected. Being followed by 4 different midwives (5 counting the fill-in), there was one instance when one talked about doing an extra ultrasound, and I had to bring it up with the midwife at the following exam because she personally would have skipped it, thinking it was most likely not needed. I could deal with that. I knew I was on top of things. I received some information I never received from my doctor the first time around – midwives pride themselves on allowing their patients to give informed consent. But overall, the information didn’t change anything and I went with all the same tests and procedures that my doctor did the first time around. I can’t say I have been really upset about something that I found out was done to me or my son the first time that shouldn’t have been done. I still think the care I received from my family doctor was top notch.

Now when I walked into the office this time, at 36 weeks, the midwife’s first words were “Well, your GBS test was negative, that’s at least one thing you have going for you”… I guess I must have given her a weird look… after which she said “You know your baby is footling breach, right?”

I think my reply was a bit confused… The baby is what? I didn’t know what “footling” meant. I know what breach means. I knew the baby was breach at the ultrasound (at 32 weeks). But 2 days after the ultrasound, at the next exam, the midwife said the baby had turned. To me, that meant case closed, everything is good, no? Well, apparently not. Apparently, they should have been a bit more worried about the breach thing. Footling breach is the worse position, with the baby feet down. If the baby was still in that position, there is no way I could have a vaginal delivery – not sure that I would want one anyway, but that’s another story.

What bothers me is, I had that exam at the midwife, then another one at 35 weeks. The midwife at that appointment also said the baby was head down, and that was it. Now at 36 weeks, the midwife (a different one at each of those 3 appointments) was saying that a follow-up ultrasound would be needed to assess the baby’s position. I can live with doing another ultrasound. But I wish I had been told that 3 weeks ago instead of being led to believe everything was normal.

In their defense, the two midwives that were present there today both still believe that the baby is head down. So chances are pretty good that the baby HAS turned and that everything will be fine. What I find hard is this difference of attitude, from “Your baby has turned, all is well” to “It feels like your baby has turned, but we should verify because if it hasn’t you’ll have some decisions to make”. Which brings me to those decisions: if I had known what the situation was 4 weeks ago, I would have already researched the possibility of a breach delivery. As of now, I don’t think I want to go there, but the alternative (again, if the baby hasn’t turned, which is still unlikely) is a C-section. Which, when planned, is usually done around 38 weeks. THAT’S IN 2 FREAKING WEEKS!

When that was mentioned, Zak and I looked at each other with the same air of panic. IF I was to have a c-section… Well, let’s just say we haven’t planned for that.

I’m not going to worry too much yet because I still have 4 different midwives that are convinced my baby is head down. But I’ll have an ultrasound this week to confirm and see if I have to panic. The appointment they managed to make is Friday pm – right around the time we were to celebrate our son’s third birthday. The invitations are out. So I’ll try to reschedule, and if I can’t I may have to go to the appointment alone, lest we end up with one very disappointed toddler. He’s already going to have to put up with a lot once the baby is born, I would like to at least make sure he has an enjoyable third birthday. So yeah, today was an awesome day.

I’m sure tomorrow will be better. I’m sure the baby is head down. I’m sure I’ll have a normal, vaginal birth. Right? But you know, from now on, I’m afraid every time someone will ask me what I think about midwifery, what will come to my mind is that midwife saying to me, at 36 weeks, “Well, after having a very quick and easy labor the first time around, you would be a prime candidate for breach delivery”. Pardon? I believe I would have to give informed consent first! My idea of a great time is not to discover when I’m already in labor that the baby is breach.

I’m just hoping the midwives redeem themselves at birth!

Comments are closed.