Thursday, October 26, 2006


I called up FaeryLady. It seems I'm always on the verge of tears lately. Silly pregnancy hormones. Anyway, I told her I was upset with our conversation this morning and that I felt she was being harsh with me. I said I understood that as an apprentice, when I screw up, she needs to be blunt and straightforward and call me on it, but that as a pregnant mom, I needed her to be gentle with me. She said she was having difficulty doing that and that it was hard for her to compartmentalize that way. She then told me about something I said at our last prenatal day for my clients that upset her. We sort of got into an argument on the acceptability of a certain risk factor for homebirth. A client had asked me point blank what I would do and I answered honestly. It was not what FaeryLady would do. So, she was still upset about that.

I feel like lately it's just been one thing after another that she's been upset with me for. I've read some of the other midwives' in the US problems with their apprentices.... apprentices that badmouth them to clients behind their back, that call clients and give them contrary advice, that quit their apprenticeship early and then say they "apprenticed with so and so" and hang out their shingle. I've heard of apprentices that call up clients and tell them awful untrue things about their preceptor.

I think I've been a good apprentice. No. I think I've been a GREAT apprentice. I have not complained about what I'm asked to do, I've put up with many times changed minds about payment or not, I've driven 300 miles round trip to most of the births I've been to, etc. I've been loyal, hardworking, self-motivated and helpful. She can rely on me totally. So why do I feel like crap lately?

I guess it's an odd place in my apprenticeship to be on the cusp of being a full-fledged midwife myself, but still being under her wing. I guess I'm like the "16" of midwifery. In a couple years I'll be emancipated, but I'm not quite ready yet. I think I should get more freedoms and be treated like an adult, but she sees that I'm in many ways still a "kid". Also, I'm the first apprentice she has gotten to this point, so in a way, I'm the "first-born" and she's learning all about "parenting" on me.

I guess following this analogy to its logical end, that would explain the upheaval in our relationship. The teen years are usually rocky, aren't they?


Louisa said...

Question for you... Have you asked FaeryLady if she wants to be your midwife? That is, she's obviously your preceptor and I would assume also your friend (to whatever extent) but does she want to be your preceptor and your midwife for this pregnancy?
Because if she is having trouble compartmentalizing, and by this I mean being able to take off her teacher hat and put on her midwife hat, then perhaps it would be better if she didn't?
Would that be wierd?

One Hot Mama said...

I think it was always assumed, and knowing her like I do from working with her for four years, she would be greatly offended by the suggestion that I hire someone else.

It wouldn't be weird to me, but it might wreck our relationship. There is one other midwife that might be willing to come all the way to me for the birth, and for me, it might be more comfortable to hire someone else and not have those conflicts.

I guess maybe trying to broach the subject. I dont' know. It's confusing for me.

Louisa said...

Sure, it would be confusing to me too. I think you are a wise mama though, and you know in your heart where your best birth lies. From afar, though, it seems as though you might be saying you need something else than what your preceptor is offering. I could be dead wrong about that, but I do feel like you should listen to your gut. *Your* comfort is the most important thing for your pregnancy and birth. Where can you best find that comfort and care?

One Hot Mama said...

Well, the good thing is, I called up another midwife friend who recently graduated her apprenticeship. She has been an excellent sounding board for me because she knows the process. She offered to be my ear to hear all those little things and just bounce them off her. I really don't need "midwifing" at my birth, since I pretty much want to just be left alone to do everything myself. So, for the touchy-feely stuff, I'll call her. It will work.

Jenn said...

I guess I'm confused...why can't your preceptor be "blunt" AND "gentle" at the same time--regardless of whether you are pregnant or not? Don't we have to do that with our children pretty much constantly?