I reluctantly returned to my misinformed midwife for my 24 week prenatal visit. I'm still extremely annoyed with her, but my attempts to find another hospital-delivering midwife that will take my current health insurance without a referral and a whole slew of inconveniences has been nearly impossible.
And, I figured that at least for the next few weeks that I have the military health insurance, I can stick it out, or better, pee in her cup, use her doppler, and go on my merry way.
But merry was being optimistic.
Apparently even she was surprised that I came back, having "crossed my name off her list" as she informed me. It's one thing to write someone off when they've been a dick to you, but another when it's a patient that you just gave terribly incorrect information to and never followed up to offer an apology.
Fine. She's a busy midwife who doesn't have time to call. But instead of saying "I know you were really annoyed and if I were you I wouldn't have come back," you might want to say something else. Anything else!
How is that supposed to instill confidence in your skill as a health professional?
So, then I informed her that a reader had emailed to tell me that one in three Asian women have an ecogenic cardio marker show up on their ultrasounds, thinking that it was an interesting factoid that she would want to take note of and possibly research for future situations.
Instead, she replied "See! I would never have known that you were Oriental!" along with some other ridiculous and totally unnecessary stories about her Oriental nurses from Guam and does that really make them Oriental and it's hard to know what characterizes ORIENTALS.
Apparently, she hasn't yet entered the year 2008 (or 1999, or even 1992, or hell 1987), because the use of the word "Oriental" to describe anything but rugs and food is like using the words "mentally retarded" or "handicapped."
They might have been "acceptable" in the 1960's but clearly a health professional who's worth her weight in cervical mucus should know that those terms are inappropriate and borderline offensive.
Part of it is generational, as my own 100% Chinese mother still uses the term. And if you're not "hip" to current APA appropriate language, which I understand that many folks may not be, I'm always happy to offer a simple correction and send you on your enlightened way.
But she should know. She should know that an ecogenic cardio marker is a weak and controversial marker for Down's Syndrome. She should know that the term "oriental" isn't kosher.
And she should never assume that because someone appears fairly white, except to small children and psychiatric patients who call me "Mulan," that they don't have a diverse ethnic background.
Hello, Midwife. Welcome to the USA!
So, know that I'm still searching for a new midwife. If I can stick it out through my 28-week visit (aka the sugar test extravaganza) then I'll be switching after that point. Perhaps to a home birth midwife (still iffy on that) or to another hospital-delivering midwife. Hell, I'll even take a super cool OB-GYN at this point.
Sure, you don't have to be up on racial terminology to be a great midwife. But my feeling is that birth isn't just a regular old hospital procedure. And the person pulling my child from me, or hopefully, catching her as she flies out, should be someone I trust and respect.
I just don't trust someone who obviously hasn't read a medical journal or a psychology journal in a good ten years and walks around in bright orange Crocs with jiblets (or whatever they're called).
We all have our limits.