Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lesson Learned

Now that I have an ultrasound proving there's a baby hanging out in my lower abdomen, I guess I should get serious about getting excited about it. Up until this point, I've been kind of trying to ignore it, I guess. It's hard to put words to it but I'm just not interested in knowing, feeling, acting...pregnant. I'm sure it's a result of losing Ethan.

So, with the trying to ignore it, I kind of didn't get my act in gear to tell my midwife early on that I was pregnant. I kind of figured it didn't matter because they don't see you until you are 10-12 weeks anyway. Well, I can tell you today...DON'T WAIT TO CALL YOUR MIDWIFE!


Because you might end up with the problem I am currently faced with. Here's a list of all the midwives I've either had a child with or is listed as being providers for the birth center I want to deliver at....

Suellen Jeffrey, my midwife for Mika and Sammy (and the best one out there), lost her license when a baby was stillborn under her care. She'd be my first choice.

Amy Gordon, my midwife for both Sammy and Josh, is full for my due month.

Susan Sherwood, who's been in some small way involved with the births of all three of my kids, is full for my due month.

Dawn Wadleigh, who I was using with Ethan, is full for my due month.

Collette Lescantz's website and phone number are disconnected.

Nancy Spencer is out of the question. I won't even consider her.

Ann Olson is an hour away from my house.

Toni Jackson is an hour away from my house.

Gretchen Jones is an hour and a half from my house.

Peggy Thurston is over an hour away and across a toll bridge from my house.

Audrey Levine is 30 miles from my house and just called this morning to cancel my consultation. Two returning clients just called her and it is her policy to always see returning clients so she is now full and can't take me.

Constance Frey and Carolee Hall are also 30 miles away. I have a consultation with them. They've been very nice and helpful on the phone so far. I'm not thrilled with the idea of driving 30 minutes down the freeway, with three kids, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy, but it looks like I don't really have much choice in the matter. Scott usually attends all/most of my prenatal appointments but it is unlikely he'll be able to if I have to go so far away.

Pearl Place Midwives are CPMs affiliated with the birth center and hospital. They are full but another midwife got them to agree to take me. They are the ones that did my ultrasound yesterday. I'm not sure if I can stomach using them. They wouldn't allow me to bring my kids with me to the ultrasound; an experience the older two would have loved (they were at Josh's ultrasound). They want me to come to a paperwork appointment tomorrow but, again, I can't bring my children. They also wanted me to schedule my 12 week appointment which will be the first one where we can hear the baby's heart. Again, no children to that one either. You also have to meet all of their 6-7 midwives because you don't know which you'll end up getting at your birth. (What if you don't like one of them?) I can't imagine my children not being part of the prenatal experience; they've always been involved in the past. In fact, Mika even manned the doptone a few times for Sammy and Josh's prenatal appointments. As a homeschooling family, we do everything together. We have no regular babysitters. Josh has never been in the care of anyone other than Scott or I. And we aren't in a position where Scott can refuse work so I can go to prenatal appointments alone.

So I have four choices...

1. Drive 30 minutes each way for every appointment to see a midwife I've never heard of before this weekend.

2. Risk losing income while I go to the child and family UNfriendly large midwifery practice alone.

3. Go to someone over an hour away.

4. Plan a hospital birth with a midwife or OB.

At this point, we're going with choice number 1.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Deb said...

I vote to go w/ number 1 as well.

And always know you can call me up and ask me to watch the kids. I may not always be able to but if I can I'd be honored to help out!

But if it were me I'd much rather have the kids involved as well :)

The Four Week Vegan said...

Wow, who would have thought that July would be such a popular month to give birth. I hope #1 works out well for you or that your more favorite choices are able to squeeze you in.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a HUGE warning to you that they won't allow children in with you. That means they probably would override other wishes as well. My mom had 4 home births after me and I was present for 3 of them (almost had to catch one!!!! My stepdad took over instead.) because my moms midwife lived so far away. I had c-sections myself and it was not a fun experience! Good luck with what you choose.

Emily said...

That's a tough decision. I used Ann Olsen and Toni Erickson 3.5 years ago when I was expecting my son. We lived in Tacoma at at the time, and while the drive is a bit long, it was very worth it. There are great animals to see out the windows of the car are you get close and a couple great parks out that way to take breaks at. I'd be glad to tell you more about my experience with either of them, if you are interested.

And on a side note, I had my first with Nancy Spencer and would never, ever recommend her.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I stumbled across your blog months ago. I am so sorry to hear about your stillbirth. What a wonderful blessing to be expecting again! I know exactly what you are going thru with your concern over a midwife. I had one hospital birth, then started with Pearl Place CNMs, ended up with a homebirth with Amy Gordon and Susan Sherwood as assistant 3.5 and 10 months ago for both of my daughters. The LMs fill up almost immediately. Ok, to my news though! Great news for you! There is one midwife you didn't mention. I am a birth doula and have worked with her recently. She has a fairly new practice in the south end so she's NOT always full immediately! Her name is Marie Wakefield. Her info is halfway down this page: http://www.agentlerbirth.com/resources/resources.html.
Tell her Bethany Tilzey sent you!
I'd love to hear if she works for you! Oh, and I've done homebirths with Around the Circle Midwives and they are good :) But such a drive.... Feel free to email me: bethany@agentlerbirth.com. I'd be happy to tell you anything else I can about your options!

Anonymous said...

Keeping you in my prayers, I had 4 babies at home with our midwife. I know what you are going through about the choices to make.

I'll be back for visits to see how you are doing!!

God Bless.

Take care,

Mommy to One said...

What am I missing about Nancy Spencer? You and Emily are the first two I've EVER heard who didn't like her. I had no problems at all with her, so you've got me all curious now.

Anonymous said...

Thank yo so much for this post. I just found out that we're expecting #2 and do not want to birth at a hospital this time. This post encouraged me to look at the local midwives more closely, especially since my first appointment is at Pearl Place this Tuesday. How can they not want your other kids around?!!! Thanks again.


Lindsay and Ryan Karns said...

Hi! I know this is an old post...but I was just looking a little deeper into my midwife, Nancy Spencer, and I was curious as to why she wasn't an option for you. I am due in January, and I am just now having some uneasiness using her. Your advice is most appreciated!

JoAnn said...

She had a reputation of being more on the medical side of things. I've heard of incidences where she stripped membranes without consulting the mom first. I've heard several negative birth stories with things happening that should have never happened.

Lindsay and Ryan Karns said...

Thank you for getting back to me! I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dantanna79 said...

I am in agreement with the posts advising against Nancy Spencer. I recently had a baby with her as my midwife, and it did not go at all as planned. We had agreed to a birth plan, but not one item was honored. In addition, she had me deliver in a position that resulted in continued complications even several months after the birth. Her postpartum care advice is dangerous because of the combination of pain medications she recommended. I am not sure she treats everyone this way, but we were rushed through because another couple was waiting to have their baby. When we brought these concerns to her attention, she said we were the only ones who expressed these concerns. At times she would be sweet and caring, but other times she would insist on her way and would not take into account our thoughts, ideas, or concerns. I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend her to anyone else. I have heard from other people that years ago her practice was very different.

Mamaofboys said...

I came across your blog today researching reviews for Pearl Place. Coincidentally, I had a consult with Nancy Spencer today also and was interested to read the reviews about her. I was not happy to read about the "no children" policy at Pearl Place. I called my insurance and our plan only seems to cover CNM's, so I may need to pay cash to get the care I want. Who are the top few you would recommend? I live in Bonney Lake. Thank you :-)

Unknown said...

I am just now coming to terms with the disaster that was my birth with her :( she had me deliver flat in my back and super twisted to the point my back and hips dislocated. My son is 8 months old and is currently in physical therapy for damage he suffered at birth and I still deal with daily pain. This is the first review I have seen with a similar sounding experience.