Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hooray for Midwives

It is International Day of the Midwife. We're at home with a teething Scarlett instead of at the Midwife "celebration" tonight, so I will take a few moments to share how happy we are to have a baby that was born with the help of midwives-oh so long ago.

Our midwives were Joy and Shianna (and we hope to work with them again) from the Cochrane Community Midwives. It was worth driving out to the farm for our monthly and then weekly appointments. It felt like driving out to the farm of Ina May Gaskin fame!

Why I loved our experience:
  • Our midwives spent time with us at our regular prenatal visits (we had 1/2 hour visits).
  • Prenatal visits themselves are empowering as I would take care of such things as my weight changes, urine pH, etc.
  • The midwives we worked with during our prenatal care were with us for our birth (shocking concept, I can't imagine a rotating team of 8 doctors!)
  • They supported us in whatever birth we wanted. Sure, we had nothing extreme in mind, but they didn't question us unless it was going to affect my health or the baby's health.
  • They provided lots of information for us to make an educated decision about such things as Vit K, using oxytocin after birth, and eye drops for baby.
  • They were able to refer us to like minded birth classes and health professionals.
  • They laughed when I asked who would "catch" the baby.
  • And of course our birth. Not a word of stress was added to the fact that my labor started on day 10 after my due date. I labored for 12 hours and got to experience it all-showers, walking the stairs, many labor positions, and I have no idea what else for that 12 hours. They came when I needed them, left us alone when we needed it (just in another room) and kept me out of the birth pool since I was slow to dilate. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours-in many different locations in the house too, including the birth pool, on the birthing stool, and they made me walk around as the head was partly crowned. I could not have made myself do that. For a birth junkie, it was all the perfect experience.
  • They asked us if we had a boy or a girl, instead of telling us.
  • Not to mention the midwives enabled us to have the home birth that I believe was the most gentle, non-invasive way for Scarlett to enter the world.
  • And after the birth-we had visits multiple times over the week to help with breastfeeding and baby care. We saw them until 6 weeks after the birth. And it took us until then to figure out breastfeeding anyways.

Did I get it all? Not to mention that it is lovely to be surrounded by individuals that believe in the strength of the woman's body and the process of natural birth, the way it is supposed to be. I wish all women could experience birth in this way.

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