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Low-Profile Midwifery

The editor of Compleat Mother told me that on page 123 of Michel Odent's The Farmer and the Obstetrician (out of print) the term "low-profile midwife" is used to describe what she saw in me in the Hands-Off Birth Story. (I need to send it to her, as a matter of fact. She wants it in the next issue.) She also gave me an assignment that is finished about GDM. I asked for feedback from 15 people. Two have answered. sigh Oh well, I am learning who to and not to send to, right?

Low-Profile Midwife.

I like that lots. Those I have shared the term with also like it lots. It seems to fit. There if I need to be or the mother needs me to be and not there if she doesn't. I like it lots. I should put it on my business cards. On the website. Somewhere.

And I want to share the information.

Oh, and I am!

I have a lot of the birthrape article written. I sent out 4 surveys to various lists and am getting replies from places I didn't even send them to! And the lists that I thought for sure I would hear from: two people. That is it. Interesting. I have gotten about 25 responses, however... and none from midwives at all. A couple of doulas, but no midwives. It just speaks to me that midwives just don't really see a problem at all with the status quo. And that bugs the crap out of me.

I read a lot of the piece to my partner the other night. I was alone at Cheesecake Factory for about 3 hours and wrote lots. I read some of it to her and she was as angry as I am at the invisibility of the pain and the issues that come up over and over in our birth stories. I didn't remember until a day or so ago that even my partner... even a STRONG and powerful woman like her... was abused during her birth. Told to shut up, not cuss, to roll over, to spread her legs, and then the doctor (a female) tried to cut her even though she pushed her son out in two contractions. The doctor had two other women delivering at the same time as my partner and she was "in a hurry." My love yelled at her to NOT cut her, so the doctor did something called a Ritgen Maneuver, usually reserved to tuck a head more deeply so it can be born with the smallest diameter, but she exaggerated the maneuver and she tore up and into her urethra. As this happened, the doctor said, "I hope you tear."

Afterwards, a stupid nurse put the same catheter inside her now-stitched up urethra 5 times before getting it into her bladder to drain the pee that couldn't come because of the rip. Not surprisingly, she had the UTI from hell afterwards with fever, antibiotics, and feeling like crap. Not the best situation for a new mama. All for a hurried doctor since there was zero medical issue with pushing out a 36 week, 6 pound baby in 2 pushes. And she did tear, asshole doctor. And you did it to her.

We had another birth this week... my other Low-Profile Midwife friend (LPM is the term I shall use forevermore) and I. It was a homebirth, but the baby transported an hour postpartum for odd unilateral twitching and then the mom transported about an hour after that for hypoglycemia/shock/rule out pulmonary embolism... you take your diagnosis. Both are well and home now (baby got home last night... at 5 days postpartum).

The transfer of care was gentle, respectful, and coordinated. We did not run into each other. We were balanced and comfortable with our respective roles. We remembered to watch both mom and baby even when both were being worked on. We'd left mom and dad together most of the labor and faced those demons of: the more I am in the room with them, the more I want to DO. So we stayed out of the room. Staring at someone never helps. I got an article written. And some stuff read. And my calendar up-to-date.

LPM allows me to Be what the mother wants and needs me to Be. Even if it is just Be-ing.

I need to finish the other birth story I began nearly two weeks ago (the baby is 2 weeks old on Tuesday). Maybe today.

I met a woman yesterday (and we had lunch together) who had UC twins (unplanned) with one vertex and the other a footling breech. She videotaped it and is selling it everywhere. I told her my UC friends were gonna be J that I got to spend time with her. She told me her friends would be J she got to spend time with me!

More, as always, but enough for now.

Reader Comments (2)

Barb, when I start midwifery school can I come be your apprentice? I think I would have to move in, where is it you live again? LOL


November 7, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterDynamic Doula

at the MANA conference, a close friend of mine did a talk on UC birth & midwives and showed a planned UC birth of twins - first vertex and 2nd footling. it was beautiful!

i think i know the UC birth you're speaking of - wasn't the mom a nurse? I remember seeing her pics. :)

November 8, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSage Femme

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