Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Doing favors

A friend of mine recently told me that one of my midwives had told her "yeah, we did Christie a favor". I've spent a few days chewing on that, and of course, need to talk to the midwife before drawing any conclusions. Did she mean by agreeing to take me on as a client, by agreeing to proceed with a homebirth when he remained breech, or by not transferring due to the longer than anticipated labor. No matter her reply, I know that the word "favor" doesn't sit well with me at all.

I think what bothers me the most, is how indicative this is of the notion that women are not in the driver's seat for their births. It's ironic really, because I've often defended the thought that women can allow themselves to trust their care providers if they so desire. That doing so can be freeing. I think the concern for others is that in trusting a care provider, one can relinquish responsibility for the choices made. For me, trusting them was a recognition that I didn't have to know everything, and that there were some things of which I just needed to let go.

But I maintain that women are not done favors. No one cares about the well-being of their child more than a mother. Women, given the necessary information, are going to make the best decisions they can for the well-being of their family. These decisions are far from easy and very personal.

I get that midwives, and yes, even obstetricians often face dilemmas of which we are not even aware. But I continue to submit that if women are truly seen as partners in their care, many of the "what ifs" that providers fear, need not be feared. In the meantime, I'll keep chewing.


Momma Miller said...

Oh wow! The whole idea of my midwife discussing my birth care openly with any other mom doesn't sit well with me at all. Our decision to homebirth after two cesareans was considered very radical here. With OBs unwilling to VBAC, much less home birth, my experience was considered insane by some I'm sure. I would definitely want to confront my m/w if she were to tell others in my area that she "did me a favor." Favor usually implies that we owe something above and beyond the normal medical fees. I really hope that you get a comforting answer. I suppose there could have been extinuating circumstances for saying something like this.

Christie CC said...

Hi there,

Yes, which is why it doesn't sit right with me.

In her defense, she told my friend, so at least I hope she's not telling others this.

As to what favor implies, I'm not sure I've pondered that much, and certainly not in the context of my birth.

We decided together to proceed. I will be contacting her soon to get her version and will be sure to update. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

I'm very new to blogging, so I'm really happy to know there are people out there, lol.


Momma Miller said...

Hi Christie! I should have told you who I was. I've blocked my personal blog from my profile page because I have a lot of public visitors at my daughter's "girl hair" blog. Anyway, this is Shaye. We met through ICAN I guess almost a year ago. My personal blog is here: but I've neglected it lately (as school and motherhood has become extremely busy).

I have you in my Google reader (which is SO wonderful), so I'll definitely stay tuned. BTW, I was just thinking out loud in my ponderings on "favor." It may mean absolutely nothing or it may mean everything. Confrontation is certainly not easy. It's a skill that I must better develop if I care to be an excellent communicator!

Christie CC said...

Hi Shaye,

I was pretty sure who you were, but thanks for confirming.

And yes, confrontation is difficult. I'm not one to shy away from it (unless it involves a member of my family), but it's not easy either.

Oddly, I'm more curious than anything at this point. It just occurred to me as I read your comment that perhaps she was simply trying to convey that she wouldn't always be comfortable attending breech VBACs. I don't know, but I'm not going to get too worked up about it.

Thanks for reading! I love your hair blog, btw, and tried to get my dd excited about me trying some of the styles, but she didn't bite ;-).


labortrials said...


(And 'hi' Shaye!)

I think it's something that should be clarified. Think of it as an opportunity to educate... even midwives can be careless with the way the refer to their clients.

Hugs. It doesn't sit well with me either. I'm glad you're going to address it with the midwife!

~ Kimberly

pinky said...

There is actually a federal law against your health care provider speaking about your medical care to anyone who is not directly involved in providing care. It is part of the Hippa Act. It is a privacy act.

When someone asks me about a patient and they are not directly involved in that patients care, I tell them I cannot break federal law by telling them. That usually stops their questions. I think women need to feel that I am like a priest in the confession booth, only then can they trust I won't go blabing about how they handled labor and they can relax a bit.