It’s Cute How Stupid You Are {aka the 1st Midwife Appointment}

by tinysneakers

Switching to a midwife meant leaving a doctor I thought was great, a practice that was nearby, and waiting 4 more days for my first appointment. That four day wait was almost the deal breaker.

The first appointment is where everything happens: you get to ask a million questions, you learn all about pregnancy, and you find out what’s to come for the next nine months.

Or so I thought.

midwife experience

My first appointment at the new practice was actually just a nurse interview to go over my medical history. The husband was thrilled that I dragged him along to hear me answer questions about what 3rd cousins had diabetes and where every last member of my family was born.

Luckily, the next appointment-the real first appointment- wasn’t too long after that. But my expectations were still wrong. Completely wrong.

{Let me add here that at this point I was almost 11 weeks pregnant, yet no one at the new practice had confirmed that. They just believed me and my at-home pee test. Think of all the crazies they could get…}

This time around I thought for sure this appointment was going to be just an absolute blast. Wrong again.

In my mind, you go to a midwife because you want a whole-health, all-inclusive experience. Someone that will pay attention to the little things and not think the things you want to do are crazy. Like riding bikes for 24 hours and not being stuck in a bed during labor.

24 hour bike ride with mom

I suppose that was very stereotypical and narrow minded of me, but I’d heard good things about the practice and I was happy that I’d found somewhere to have a midwife experience without the hippie vibe.

Then I met the midwife.

midwife crisis

She was nice; casual; asked the right questions; focused on the right things {like not giving me antibiotics just because I might have a kidney infection. (I didn’t.)} And then we got to the exercise part…

I’d already confirmed with my regular ob/gyn that it was just fine for me to keep exercising and that he had no problem with me riding in a 24 hour cycling charity event at the end of July. {Obviously the real morning sickness hadn’t yet hit me at that point.} The deal? Keep hydrated, stay cool, and make sure I hadn’t lost my center of gravity yet. Check, check, and check.

But because I’m anal retentive and I wanted my current medical provider to know everything I was doing, I asked again. Here’s how it went down:

Midwife: You would be stupid to do that.

Me: Excuse me?

Midwife: You can ride your bike until your 60 years old, you can afford a nine month break.

Me: Ummm.

Midwife: There’s plenty of other people out there that can raise money. You’re the only one that can protect that fetus.

Me: Uhhh.

you're stupid

I was so surprised, shocked, flustered that I didn’t even know how to put words together to form even half a sentence for a response. I decided to let it go, realizing that the phrase “24 hour bike ride” probably wasn’t the best one to use, even though I explained the details.

Then it was time for the examination. The whole time I’m sitting on the uncomfortable table, I’m trying to decide whether I’m pissed off or if now I’m feeling guilty that I’m not “protecting my fetus”.  This time when the midwife comes into the room, I wasn’t so sure about this whole thing any more.  And then she couldn’t find my cervix. But that’s a story for another day. And probably not on the internet.

midwife examination

I left in a bit of a daze. I’d never even pulled out my notebook of questions- heaven forbid the response I’d get after my first question. Every single other person I encountered at the practice was great- the nurse was friendly and laid back, the check-in people weren’t rude, and the lab tech even fed me a snack before sucking 8 vials of my blood since I’d been there so long.

All I could think about as I left was whether I was going to have to switch practices again. Or just let it go…


If you’re catching up:

17 week pregnancy update

The first heartbeat

Ditching the doc

Playing catch up: the 1st 3 months of pregnancy

Hour by hour: the real morning sickness story

Telling the husband with pickles and ice cream

The second line: finding out I’m pregnant

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth @TheBareMidriff August 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

Oh no!!! I am absolutely outraged on your behalf. I am so so sorry you had to experience that, and then go through the intimate experience of a gyno exam with someone who had just attacked you in that way. As far as I’m concerned, she’s pretty stupid for calling you stupid, from a customer service standpoint – NEXT! Is there another midwife in that practice you could go to? I’ve seen a couple of midwives myself and they were the perfect combination of holistic health and medical expertise. I think you just got the wrong midwife.


Anna August 25, 2011 at 10:20 am

I hope you won’t let this midwife’s misguided advice change your plans. Advising you not to exercise is probably one of the Worst ways to protect your baby! Staying happy and healthy is going to keep your baby happy and healthy. If you need some additional support that current medical advise for exercising during pregnancy is outdated, check out She’s done a whole series on exercise during pregnant. I’m not affiliated with her in any way, I just think she’s awesome. Congrats on your baby!!


tinysneakers August 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thanks so much for the recommendation!


Beth August 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

Why is it so hard to find the right medical person?? SO frustrating! You’re not alone in this, believe me– the question now is do you give her another chance, or search for a another practice. You COULD give her a second chance — talk to her the next time and let her know you the two of you seem to have differing opinions about exercise, and then see how she responds.
Maybe the midwife isn’t as critical to your experience as the doula…will one be with you during your labor?


tinysneakers August 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I haven’t decided about a doula yet. I’m not so sure I could get Chris on board with that one, but I think we’ll just wait until we’re a little closer to really think about it. It’s hard to make decisions when you’ve never done it before!


Jen August 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

Oh no! I hope you switched practices or at least saw a new midwife in the practice. My RE did not want me biking any more the minute I got pregnant, BUT she also knew my history with falling, so I’m betting that had something to do with it. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story 🙂


tinysneakers August 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Haha yeah, I think the falling is the scary part- not so much the actual exercise. 😉


Shannon August 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Does your practice have a pool of midwives? Maybe you don’t have to work with that one anymore. That midwife is definitely lacking some social and customer service skills. There’s no way I’d want her with me during one of the most vulnerable times of my life.

Honestly, the only doctor appointments that I thought were a blast and full of useful information were the ultrasound appointments. I’m 3 days from my due date now and my last 12+ appointments were: leave a urine sample, get on the scale, measure my belly and listen to the heartbeat. In thought the last month of appointments would be full of “get you ready to birth” checks, but no. I have to count my lucky stars though that the only reason the appointments are boring is because I am having no problems with this pregnancy.


tinysneakers August 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Aww man, I was hoping they’d get more fun towards the end! I guess boring is better than eventful though. 😉


Lindsey Gray August 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow. Now, I’ve never had a child or any education in child bearing, but this seems a little harsh! A 24-hour bike ride might not be the best idea, but she made it sound like biking at all was a bad idea! As a fitness instructor I have spent A LOT of time talking to my pregnant and new mom friends. None of them have been told to not exercise unless they were put on bedrest! I would say bring it up again next appointment for clarification, and if it sounds like she is advising against any activity, drop her.


Run DMT August 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I had a similar experience during my third pregnancy. I wanted to run a marathon 5 months pregnant and my OB (a fellow runner) advised me not to do it. With my age and a third pregnancy, she felt there were too many risks. I was upset at first, but like so many other things, I saw it as another sacrifice that we moms make. It’s only 9 months and if something happened to your baby or you, you would never figure yourself. You’ve got a long road ahead of you for mama guilt. No need to start in utero.


lauren @ sassy molassy August 26, 2011 at 12:52 am

I’m glad that Theodora linked to your tiny sneakers posts so I can catch up! It was great to meet you at the Summit.


tinysneakers August 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

It was great meeting you too!! 🙂


ArtsyNina August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am

OK, that midwife is mental. Seriously. Find a new one!


Kristen @ The Concrete Runner August 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

O. M. G. Wow. Yeah, I’m sorry that happened to you – and SO glad I didn’t have an experience like that! Um, and I’m interested to hear about this whole not-being-able-to-find-your-cervix thing. That’s a little sketchy! I love that you keep us coming back for more… but I’m dying here!


Robin | Farewell, Stranger August 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Oh no! That’s horrible. I had a midwife and absolutely loved the experience. I’m sorry yours sucked.


Dwija {House Unseen} October 26, 2011 at 11:52 am

Uh, no. That woman is a loon. A woman who is physically fit has a much better chance of having a smooth labor and delivery, not to mention the post-partum period. If someone can’t express their disagreement without insulting you as a person, they should not be on hand when you deliver your baby. There is nothing more important than a good bedside manner for a medical professional while you’re delivering your baby because you being relaxed and happy and confident will allow nature to do the work for you. Someone who stresses you out will CAUSE complications. If she doesn’t start making you feel warm and fuzzy stat, you need to drop her. Seriously.


tinysneakers October 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm

It’s all good, she left the practice. 😉


TiffanyC February 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

I completely understand. When I was 12 weeks 2 nurses and a nurse practitioner could not find my uterus. They were pushing on my stomach and kept asking me if I was sure I’m pregnant. I’d taken 3 tests and had an ultrasound already. I was sure.


Ponky December 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

She’s right. Dehydration is very risky to a foetus and you WILL get dehydrated on a ride of that length of time. Don’t be so selfish. A cervix in early pregnancy IS difficult to find, so cut her a bit of slack.
And don’t waste your cash on a doula. They’re wannabe midwives who can’t get onto the course and completely pointless. Get a family member to do the backrubs.
Finally, quit whining. You’re only pregnant and guess what, billions of other women have done it before so get over yourself.


Kristen April 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

That’s really sad that you had such a bad experience with a midwife. I had both of my kids with the midwives at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. Awesome experience and most of the midwives were super nice and open to my opinions. I really hope you find someone you are comfortable with. Don’t just settle! This is your baby and your birth experience.


tinysneakers April 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I ended up with a fabulous midwife! (Actually group of midwives.) I had a great birth experience as well. I’m glad I stuck with my gut and found someone who respected me and vice versa.


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