I asked all the right questions the first time around. I interviewed several home birth midwives and asked questions like, What is your hospital transfer plan? What position(s) can I give birth in? How long past my due date will I be able to go before you recommend induction? What prenatal testing do you recommend? Under what situations would you transfer my care to an OB?
The midwives gave me all the “right” answers and I was satisfied. I declined to dig deeper and probe the unknowns, ask the hard questions, ask the unanswerable questions. As you will know from reading past posts, the midwives I hired ended up abandoning me carelessly when it was convenient for them. I am not sure I could have asked the questions that would have warned me away from them, but all the same I’ve been considering my questions more carefully as I interview new care providers. Baby #2 is not planned yet and I hope to have a well-established relationship by the time that happens.
Expect updates as I interview providers and post their answers to questions like these:
Because what matters most is not how someone behaves when everything is going well, but how they behave in a crisis: What types of birth situations make you nervous? Scared? How do you respond, and what does your training tell you about how to respond?
Because a health care provider’s approach to disagreement will determine whether and how they seek consent, and whether and how they respect patient autonomy: How would you handle a situation in which you and I disagreed about an aspect of my care?
Because the medical aspects of birth should not trump the spiritual ones: How do you support spiritual birth, regardless of type of birth and outcome?
Because methods for preserving the integrity of the perineum are part of an entire approach to childbirth, as body and mind are not simply connected, but are one and the same: How do you prevent tearing?
Because I think I want a certain type of birth experience: How would you support undisturbed birth?