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Today was my first OB/GYN appt. I got a darling little ultrasound photo that I was looking to get and confirm that there really was a baby in me! Whee! It was great to see a little heart flickr. It was like it was flickering just for me!*gush*
We got shoved an amazing amount of paper work to fill out. To quote the nurse "your not terminating, right? I don't want to fill out all this paperwork if your doing that" Good grief! I guess that wasn't what I expected to hear first? I do feel like I heard more about genetic testing today and "in case of miscarriage" than any well wishes and positive reassurance. I'm trying to maintain a relaxed positive mindset about the health of our baby. I guess they just have to inform you though which I understand. Even my husband said "your being pregnant didn't really seem life changing till they handed you all this paper work!". I get what he means. It all feels so natural and simple (ie. baby is in you, you pop out baby in 9 months) until you hit this administrative shuffle surrounded a new life. (anyone seen the movie Brazil?) ... coupon books and forced prenatal class sign ups, wow overwhelming!
Anyways, from my understanding midwifes do prental care so I will be needing one soon. I guess even though I'm only 6 weeks, now is not to soon to search and interview, right?
Does anyone have any initial emails they sent off to midwives in reaching out to them for communication and to see if they were the right fit? Also, once you pin them down for an interview, does anyone have any questions to recommend asking? I'm kind of curious what the setting is for these interviews? Do you visit them or do they come see you? Are they long ? How much time do they seem comfortable talking to you for? (just thinking how doctors seem to give you 15 min. I assume midwifes are a little more generous with their time?!)
ok, sorry for the long rant and many many questions! I haven't any natural birth books yet to gather enough info, only the internet and these boards. Thanks in advance for your time!
The first thing you could do is pick up "the thinking women's guide to a better birth" which will really explain to you a lot of what you need to know to make decisions for your birth. But it sounds like you already know you want a home birth, so a lot of it may be n/a, but still good to know and will reassure you that your choice is the best one for you.
It is not too early to start looking at all, and yes, you will get much more personalized care with a midwife. The ones I saw were in an office and delivered in a hospital, and they were still so much open and willing to discuss things with me. I didn't feel bad or silly for asking them.
Here is a list of questions I saved some time ago:
Do you have guidelines or restrictions about who can give birth at home?
What is your definition of "high-risk"?
When do I call you?
How would you handle a hemorrhage? eating drinking, moving, blood tests,
What is your back-up system during pregnancy and labor—when you go on vacation, are sick or with another mother?
Have you ever missed a birth? If so, what were the circumstances?
Are you available 24 hours a day at all times?
What are your expectations of clients during pregnancy?
Can you recommend or will you loan to us appropriate books , videos, internet sites, etc. to help us prepare for homebirth?
Do you require or recommend that my husband and I take a childbirth education class or attend pregnancy discussion groups?
What do your checkups consist of?
Do you allow the mother to go past 42 weeks and still have a homebirth?
What are your standards for preeclampsia?
Do you come to my home any time before I go into labor?
Hospital and Obstetrician
What situations do you consult the Obstetrician for?
What problems or complications in pregnancy would mean that a physician would become my primary maternity caregiver?
Under what circumstances do you transfer to hospital?
What is your percentage of hospital transfers?
What is your Cesarean rate? What are the most common reasons?
What would be the plan of action if a transfer to hospital were necessary?
What care would you give me if I need to transfer?
Would you stay with me in the hospital? In the operating room? For how long after the birth?
What do you perceive your role to be during my labor?
What are your expectations of clients during birth?
What equipment and supplies do you bring to a birth?
How do you handle emergencies?
What natural comfort techniques do you provide?
What pharmaceutical drugs, homeopathics and/or herbs do you use at births?
What is your usual approach to a labor that is progressing slowly?
How often do you listen to baby during labor?
How many people are you comfortable with being present at the labor and birth?
How do you feel about having a doula at a homebirth?
How much time do you allow for the delivery of the placenta?
What is done with the placenta once its delivered?
Do you allow the placenta to be delivered underwater?
What is you episiotomy rate?
What happens if my perineum needs stitching/suturing?
What supplies do I need for the birth? Where can I purchase those supplies?
Do you help with cleanup?
How long do you stay after the birth?
How do I obtain the baby’s birth certificate?
How often do you come to see me after I give birth?
What do these visits include?
How often will I visit you after the birth?
What do these visits include?
Why are they important?
Do you examine the baby at any or all of your visits?
What does the examination include?
Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much Shauna! It's nearly everything I would ask and is a great guild line to help me fill in the blanks. It gets my ditsy pregnancy brain thinking!
So far I have added a few questions:
Do you correspond by email for non-emergency related questions?
If I wish to retain an ob/GYN's services for prenatal, will you be willing to give me dual pre-natal care?
Do you do ultrasounds?
Will you read through my birth plan and help us best to stick by our desires for my birth?
Do you help with lactation consultation?
.. and this goes along with equipment supplied but I also asked about a water birthing tub in specific and birth ball.
As soon as my darn amazon book order gets here I will be better versed on other details I might need to ask.
... another question, does anyone ever feel they had a bias towards one type of person or another? I am thinking mostly age or maybe how many births they have attended along side with experience? At first I thought maybe I would relate better with a younger woman, perhaps feel she can keep up with me moving around during the labor but then kind of changed my mind. Perhaps a women who seems more experienced, more like a mother or grandmother type would feel "right" somehow, like a wise woman who has seen it all and knows their intuition better regarding pregnant women? I'm definitely trying to go into this with a very open mind because I have no clue what I am looking for at this point!
You are welcome! And great additional questions. I've added those to my list too.
I can't help too much about what midwife would be right for you since I'm not there either, but I really think you'll know when you meet her. I did speak to a midwife about 6 months ago. She called me back right away and over the phone just seemed wonderful. She gave me a DVD that she helped create about homebirth. It's an absolutely wonderful video but when I finally met her in person when I picked it up, I didn't get the warm feelings towards her I felt on the phone initially. Her emails prior to that were increasingly short.
Now I admit, that as a hopeful first time mom, I've got tons of questions and perhaps I just bugged her. But that is me so I guess she wouldn't be a good fit. A midwife may be wonderful, as I have no doubt she is, but I'd like someone I really connect with, whether young or old.
It may take many interviews before you find that right one. Good luck in your search!
Eeep! I think I found my midwife today and I'm so excited. She seemed so wonderful, sat down right next to me on the couch and cozied up. She was so warm, friendly, insightful, smelled good and of course had a great natural approach to birth and labor. She has 31 years of experience and had just the right level of confidence about birth that I am looking for. She is definitely someone I am so comfortable with (considering I most likely will be nude for labor!) and DH loved her too. She had great stories to tell and one of those people who could give you recipes too. She almost seems to good to be true but I know she is. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders and I don't have to worry as much now. I've been anxious to get check ups and learn more about the baby in me!
I was going to post something similiar to this in the home birth forum, so I glad you posted! I've been curious how to narrow it down, and since I won't be in that area for a few more months, I will probably have to wait until then to start interviewing them. If you don't mind, I'll probably copy those questions for myself to give me an idea of what I want to ask the midwives I interview.
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (5) and Alexis (3)