Today I officially left my OBGYN practice and switched to a Midwifery Center. As I eagerly drove towards my intake meeting I was expecting this:
What I got was this:
Once inside, I stood in something akin to a bank teller’s line to register for my appointment. (What is that anyway? Why do I need to register for an appointment?) There was a snack bar to the left. A pharmacy. A newsstand. I waited in line and proceeded to sign HIPAA agreements and go over my contact information which I already imparted over the phone last week. This was not a Midwifery Center in my eyes, this was a corporate medical conglomerate in which a group of midwives worked. I was uncomfortable.
As a Birth Doula, Post Partum Doula and Homebirther I am not naiive to such a configuration but I was dumbstruck by actually seeing it action – by participating in it even.
In addition to the cog-in-a-wheel feeling, I also experienced, yet again, a complete disregard for my previous pregnancy losses:
Nurse: “I see here that this is your eighth pregnancy?”
Nurse: “Okay.” (typing) “That makes you gravida 8, para 1.” (Still looking at the screen) “Okay, what were … what happened to the other six?”
Me: “Losses, miscarriages.”
Nurse: “Okay!” (click, click, click) “This next section refers to … “
You don’t have to send me a bouquet of flowers but eye contact and a shred of humanity might make me, your paying client and vulnerable patient, more comfortable in your care.
I will meet with one of the seven Midwives on Monday morning. My expectations are low at this point so hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised. In fact, I still have a lot of hope every time I re-read this incredible birth story which took place in the same hospital with the same professionals: http://liajoy83.blogspot.com/2012/07/self-directed-birth-of-zena-joy.html. Thanks to the formidable Fiona Dill of Bermuda’s Great Beginnings for thinking of me and passing Lia Joy’s site along.
Another glimpse of hope as I followed a pregnant woman into the elevator; having just left the OBGYN clinic down the hall, she was carrying a tote emblazoned with the SIMILAC logo overflowing with free samples of formula. I trust that won’t be offered by a Midwifery Center.
As one of the most important days of my life, I will not dread labor and birth. I will move past this awkward appointment. I will read more birth stories, watch my DVDs, review my books, get inspired and remember it is ultimately, spiritually and solely my birth to create.