with Jeff and Heidi Branch
They had the same interpreter throughout the process. In their discussion between themselves, Heidi and Jeff wanted to find someone with whom they felt comfortable. They asked for input from the larger community about interpreters involved in other birth experiences. They didn’t want the interpreter to be a distraction from the process for them, but wanted someone who knew what they were doing.
The interpreter they decided on was good with the midwife, and familiar with the terminology. The interpreter and midwife were there the entire time and gave lots of support through the tough times. Heidi noted that because it was Jeff’s first time, he was a little unsure at times. It was very important for them to feel comfortable with the interpreter. They had a back-up interpreter ready in case, but they were glad the interpreter they had worked with (and who had the background) was able to be there. She actually stayed for the full 22 hours.
Jeff felt the consistency from day 1 was very beneficial. They were able to call her when they went into the hospital, and she came. When Jeff and Heidi slept, the interpreter also slept. Before labor actually started, the three of them had discussed roles as part of a team effort. The focus was on flexibility, not strict adherence to the code of ethics. So, they had discussed possibilities beforehand. The comfort they gained from these discussions really made it all go smoothly.
It was also important that the interpreter knew the terminology, or was able to ask for repetition or how to spell something. The doctors often didn’t know how to spell it, and it turned into a humorous situation. But one in which Jeff and Heidi were able to learn a lot about medicines and what they were used for. Jeff wanted to know more than just the names of drugs, but how they would affect Heidi. Heidi really felt like the experience was equal to what any other couple would have, which meant that the interpreter’s work was really successful. Jeff also shared that the interpreter shared a lot from her own experience of having two children, and that was beneficial.