Fluorescent Care

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:

Minnesota Birth Center

What I got was this:

UW Midwifery Center

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.

Pick a door. Any door.

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?”
Me:  “Yes.”
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.


2 thoughts on “Fluorescent Care

  1. I seriously have to think that they assume most people don’t want a big deal made of lost pregnancies. It doesn’t seem like they awkwardly avoid it, from your descriptions, but that they rather treat it as if it was another piece of clinical data. I have to wonder if that isn’t what most people prefer, or what clinicians think most people prefer. It’s too common for it to just be lack of compassion or courtesy. More like that’s how they’re instructed to respond.

    Love you.


  2. Pingback: Exit Only « Black Panty Salvation

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