Thursday, April 21, 2011

And... It's a "No"

It's been awhile friends, I started this post weeks ago, and have finally found it in me to tell you the rest of the story. You may remember I had tried to see a local group of midwives in Asheville who are just plain awesome, in my opinion. Upon contacting them, I was originally told, no they wouldn't meet with me, I was automatically ruled out of their practice because of my type one diabetes. I sent a followup email explaining my birth history and asked if they would reconsider and at least meet with me to tell me no in person if they needed to. They happily agreed, and someone even visited the blog, I shared it with them in hopes it would explain a bit more. And here, then, is the rest of the story...

I had a wonderful meeting with one of the Midwives at the group I mentioned earlier. It was everything I hoped it would be and more! She listened to my story with the interest and trust I'd always hoped a medical practitioner would. She asked questions relevant to my and the baby's long term health and happiness. It wasn't all about my diabetes. Of course, we did talk about that, it is very important that she and the other midwives could trust me and my ability to control/manage the diabetes in order to protect myself and the baby. But, I left feeling like a whole person who was talking about having a baby, not like parts of me had been compartmentalized...ie...the mothering part separated from the baby part, separated from the diabetes part of me.

She was eager to hear the stories of my pregnancies and births to understand what had lead me to seek their care. We discussed the management of my diabetes during the pregnancies and during my births. And then she began to tell me about the practice and their overseeing physician.

After we finished speaking, the midwife said there was a practice meeting scheduled the following day at which all of the midwives would be present, and they could discuss the possibility of taking me on as a patient for a future pregnancy.

Things sounded to be going quite well among the midwives, I received an encouraging phone call a few days after our meeting that "things were going quite well" and that she "thought I would be happy with the results." YAY.

Then, two days later, the midwife phoned again, and I could instantly tell it was bad news from the tone in her voice. She had been advised to run the decision by the local group of perinatologists, and had called the woman she was most familiar with there. And can we all guess what she said...of course... she thought it would be "inadvisable" for me to be followed by the midwives and recommended they suggest to me to seek care with the high risk pregnancy clinic in the area.

Towards the end of the conversation, the midwife said, "humm... I wonder if they could follow your pregnancy and we could do the birth?" I think I must have been less than clear during my meeting with her, because this was my plan all along... to see both (the midwives and the perinatologist). I must add at this point though, that I was so discouraged by something else she had said that I was unable to even clarify my huge misrepresentation... "you definitely are not a candidate for home birth though", she'd said.

I was crushed. I won't lie. I wasn't expecting her to sign me up for home birth, but I was expecting something along the lines of... home birth would only be something we could discuss toward the very end of your pregnancy based on how everything was going and assuming it all looked pretty much as perfect as we could expect.

But to hear that we weren't even going to discuss it, I didn't feel like I was trying to be naive about it, I know it's nearly unheard of, and I certainly wouldn't want to have a homebirth if it were unwise for me or the baby, but, if all things were going swell, I'd love to have the option.

Ok, so now I've walked away from the whole process (to this point) feeling like I've been on a roller coaster. I can't think of anyone other than these women I'd like to have help bring a next child into the world because of their years of experience, their medical backgrounds, and their natural and holistic approach to birth... and yet, they too, seem to see me as an impending medical disaster when "the powers that be" warned them to be wary of me. The ups and downs... the great first meeting, their desire as a group to care for me, countered by the no home birth statement and the "no" from a local perinatologist were a lot for me to process.

It's been nearly 8 weeks since that visit. Life has been crazy enough during those weeks to keep me from writing, but it's not life that kept me from sharing this story, it was the hurt. I know the midwives are still open to having a conversation should we become pregnant, and there is MUCH to hope for just in that. However, seeing that there is still much stigma surrounding diabetes and pregnancy even in a town that embraces midwives, as Asheville does, saddens me.

On a MUCH MUCH happier note... A Dexcom fell from heaven onto my front porch last week!!!! I can't wait to tell you all about it... it's literally the most amazing thing that has happened in my 16 years of diabetes.

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