Why I Chose A Midwife
I’m lucky. Here in Canada we have the option to be monitored by an OBGYN or a Midwife while pregnant at no cost. And truly, this is a luxury. Popular to common belief, you don’t need to be planning a home birth if you chose to go with a midwife and thankfully our hospitals accept their practices nicely and everyone gets along.
When I was fist pregnant with Baby Bear I knew I wanted a midwife. It wasn’t an option really, that was just the way it needed to be. For many ladies though, there’s a bit of confusion about what having a midwife is really like!
Not all midwives are “hippies” and promote natural methods over medical ones. In fact, I was much more of a Hippie than my primary midwife Jenn had every thought!
My experience with the midwifery clinic taught me more about birth and care than any weekend course could have and I am forever thankful to them. And because I truly adored my time with them I wanted to spend some time telling you exactly why I chose to be in the care of a midwife and not an OB.
Note: I’m not here to tell you that midwives are better than OB’s. We have some butt kicking doctors in this city! They work hard and truly do save lives with western medicine. I’m merely here to share my experience and what I loved.
Appointments with midwives are better
Throughout my pregnancy my appointments with Jen became something of a highlight. I could literally talk about myself for almost an hour! It was magnificent. We chatted about everything that was going through my mind. Worries, fears, confusions, stories. Everything.
Not once did I ever feel rushed or embarrassed (and believe me I asked a lot of dumb things!). she took the time to answer everything and just truly care about me.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I had to check in with an OB each week due to low amniotic fluid. This sucked massively. The appointment was scheduled at the hospital and wait times were anywhere from 20min-2 hours. While my OB was nice, friendly and sympathetic our appointment were under ten minutes. He looked at my scan, measured me asked about leaking and told me he’d see me next week. Joy.
I never realized how awesome the midwife clinic was until I had to meet with the OB! Honestly, midwife appointments were just more personal and relaxing.
They give you options you might not know you have
When you’re a first time preggo, you have no idea about all the tests and random crap they do post birth. They put drop things in their eyes, wrap the babes first and do a few other tests that I’ve long since forgotten.
My midwife not only took the time to explain every single test to me but she also told me which ones I was allowed to opt out of. We discussed risks, benefits, research and beliefs. She literally gave me every tool possible.
Not once did we sway me in any particular direction she just laid out all the facts and let me choose and accepted whichever choice I came to.
Midwives are a bit more sympathetic on the natural front
Obviously I had a birth plan for baby bear (which of course never really happens haha) but a few big things for me were:
- No oxytocin
- Delayed cord clamping
- Skin to skin
- Walking around/moving in labor
- Epidural only if necessary
My midwife was supportive of all of these and took a lot of time to calm me down when I’d get worked up about not hitting one of those goals. While my OB was fine with all of the options (I don’t think he cared very much either way) he took more of a view of “labor is a medical procedure period”.
I found my midwife to be a bit more comforting even if she was explaining that sometimes labor doesn’t always work that way. She took the time to understand where I was coming from mentally and make sure I wouldn’t be crushed if the outcome wasn’t what I’d hoped.
You get to leave quickly!
This is easily THRE BEST perk of all when it comes to having a midwife. I had Baby bear at 3:57am (I ended up having to have an epidural though not by much choice..) and I left the hospital AT 6AM. A mere two hours after having pushed her out (picture below all snuggled at home!)
It was effing amazing.
Part of the reason I was able to do this is that my labor had no major complications. Thus, n reason to stay. The other reason is that midwives come visit you within twenty four hours at home and again every couple of days to monitor the babe. The same that would be done in a hospital.
Now that said, I know plenty of mamas who liked their hospital stay. The nurses were helpful and they had help to nurse/feed and they could sleep. So much of this is preference.
But I was so goddamn happy to be able to come home, shower (I walked in the door at 6:15am after an epidural crazy right?) and go lay in the sun on my back deck with baby bear.
In fact, for the first 24 hours of her life Baby Bear was outside for most of it! I can’t explain how truly thankful I was that it worked out that way.
The taught me a lot about post birth
The thing is, no one really talks about post labor. About pain, ickiness and basic functioning. For me, I had no idea what to do with Baby Bear. I was almost scared of her. How did I know if she was wet (duh, check her??), how do I change a diaper? Can I lift her legs up like that? When will she be hungry? Honestly it was scary. You should need a licence for babies!
But my midwife helped me with all of it. While I had taken the local prenatal course open to parents, nothing compared to my midwife being able to show me exactly how to bathe baby bear or swaddle her.
I chose to birth with a midwife because I’m a hippie type persona and I wanted to avoid the medical side as much as I could. However, I became more and more thankful for my choice the more I was there.
I truly couldn’t have gotten through labor without such an amazing support system (seriously, I wanted to apologize to one of them for how many times I cursed at her and told her “she was wrong”). Sarah knew exactly how to help each time I needed her. As for before and after, it was a luxury working with Jenn my other midwife.
Pin these perks for other expecting mamas!
And as I gear up to do this all again, I’m so excited t be back at the clinic. I may know a little more this time around but it doesn’t mean I don’t still want someone to hold my hand.
What about you, have you gone the midwife route? What did you love?