Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why I Chose A Midwife

I know I touched onto this a little bit in my second blog entry, but I wanted to go a bit further into detail. And again, as I often do and will in future posts, I'll start out by saying that this is just my opinion and what works for me, so I don't want anyone reading to feel like I look down on anyone who decided to go with an obstetrician-gynecologist. I believe it should be everyone's personal decision. 

Since my mother chose a midwife for my birth, I knew a bit about them by asking questions, but I wasn't terribly well informed. To me, a midwife was a woman who came to your house when you were in labor to help deliver the baby naturally. Little did I know, that is just a small fraction of what a midwife does. Since my mother ended up having complications and needing to go to the hospital, I decided right off the bat that I did not want to have a midwife. I wanted to be in a hospital, where everything was monitored and if there were any complications, I would be right there and it could be taken care of immediately. I told Mike that I had my mind set, which he was okay with, but he had watched a documentary that he wanted me to see before making my final decision. It was "The Business of Being Born". I had no idea what kind of an affect that documentary would have on my decision. After sitting down and watching it, I found that everything I wanted for my birth would still be possible with a midwife, who would even encourage me wanting to have a natural birth.

Midwives really seem to push for natural births. If you think about it, women have been having babies for AGES. Back then, there was no pitocin or fetal monitoring; our bodies just instinctively knew what to do. I've never been physically present at an animal birth, but Mike has. It blew his mind that Chloe (our "Mama" cat) knew exactly what to do when she went into labor. So why would I need so much interference when my body already knows what to do? Now that being said, the survival rate of a newborn has gone up considerably, since there are often complications that need medical interference. Sometimes there is the need for induction drugs such as pitocin or surgery and there is not much you can do to avoid it. I understand this and I know if my life or the baby's life were in jeopardy, I would get a C-Section without hesitation. But I can still try to go as naturally as possible.

After making the decision to see a midwife, it was underlined in big red permanent marker even stronger that I had made the right decision. The midwifery, OB office and hospital are all literally on the same street. When we drove to the midwifery to make my first appointment, we ended up in the OB parking lot by accident. Not thinking, I walked in and was surprised to find it looked and felt very...medical. It just screamed doctor's office. It actually made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It may sound very hippie, but the place just gave off a vibe I didn't like. So I walked up to the front desk to make an appointment and was asked about a billion questions, including my name (twice). -.- They said they wouldn't be able to see me for about 60 days, meaning at my first appointment, I would have been about 14 weeks along. Usually you go in for the first appointment at 6-8 weeks. Crap. Well, whatever we need to do, I guess. Finally, she asked me if I had a preference about which OB I would like to see. I said that I would actually prefer a midwife...."Oh they are down the street.", she snipped. I felt like saying I was interested in a Chevy at a Ford dealership. >.< I was so embarrassed and felt like an idiot, but had no issue walking straight out and never looking back. I did not need to be treated like a chart.

When I arrived at the midwifery, it was like night and day. The walls were COVERED in photos of families with their newborns, everything was brighter and the lady at the reception was so friendly! She addressed me by name after she had asked for it (once) and told me they could see me at 8 weeks. :) They also already had all of my information on file, since I had gone to Urgent Care a while back, so that saved us a bit of time! I was treated like family from the moment I walked in and it made me feel very secure and cared for. I am sure if I had met an OB, I would have felt secure as well, but the midwifery seemed to meet my particular needs better.

The midwifery has three midwives, all of which could possibly be on call during my birth, so I will know the midwife who will help me deliver my baby no matter what. I have met all three of them and like them all for different reasons. I really appreciate how they boost a woman's confidence in the strength of her own body and don't panic if something seems a little off. I admit I can be an overemotional drama queen at times and having someone who goes at things in a calm and relaxed manner around me is beyond helpful. I also like that I can ask questions without them getting super technical about it and get thorough and detailed answers. All three of these women seem passionate about what they do and they've helped me become confident in my body and capability as an expecting mother. They have always been very upbeat and friendly at my appointments and have taken time to get to know me. I feel comfortable around them and they've even given me hugs. :) I just love the whole vibe and feel of the midwifery and I don't doubt my decision one bit. I also must add that I like how they involve Mike at the appointments and allow him to ask questions just like I do. Even though he isn't carrying our bean, he plays one of two important roles in this pregnancy and they really recognize that! 

For those of you who have never had experience with a midwife, the check-ups are just like they would be with an OB, just a bit less technical. They use the same equipment as they do at the doctor's office, even though they aren't technically doctors. I've had my pelvic exam, pap...all that good stuff. Every visit I pee in a cup, my weight and blood pressure are measured and we listen to the heartbeat using the doppler device. Now since the midwives aren't as technical, I never found out what my hCG levels were and I had to specifically ask if they'd break out their ancient WALL-E looking ultrasound machine for me to see baby at 10 weeks. I admit I would prefer to have had a dating scan by now, know by measurement how far along I am etc., but it really isn't necessary. I will have my dating scan and gender ultrasound within the next month at NM Sonographics, with an ultrasound technician. I will get a 4D ultrasound too with pictures and everything, so I will have that same awesome experience, just a little later on. Doing this later also makes it easier to detect gender, since the baby is bigger and sometimes in a better position to see his or her "parts". I have the option to do a screening test, which usually happens around this time, but I decided against it. So you really get the same experience and information, just with less ultrasounds and numbers.  

So in the end, I decided to give birth in a hospital with a midwife. If something goes wrong and a doctor needs to interfere, we are right there and can do that immediately. But I have the midwife there to help me stick to my birth plan, which is to go as naturally as possible. I've told all my midwives and Mike that I'd like to try and go without pain medication if I can and knowing I'll have "cheerleaders" there to help me do so is a great feeling. Knowing also that they won't force me to go without pain medication if I can't manage without is a nice feeling also! Hehe :) I like that my midwife will help me through my delivery not only physically, but emotionally as well which is exactly what I need and I know that's what Mike prefers as well.

I'd encourage any expecting mother, no matter if this is your first or 10th pregnancy, to watch "The Business of Being Born". I know for sure that it is on Netflix, which is where Mike and I watched it. Even if you are already seeing an OB and plan to stick with that, it's always great to inform yourself about all the possibilities. I know if I hadn't, I just would have had my first appointment two weeks ago and everything would be much different! 


6 comments:

  1. Im so glad you didnt go with dr fishers office!! Claudia went with the midwifes as well and i chose an ob\gyn in durango after three appointments with dr fisher. They were terrible to me especially the receptionist! And after the first time meeting the dr (getting my medical history) i didnt see him until the last time i went he came in checked a few things on me thrn left. He didnt look or even speak to me. Seeing as it was baby number 2 i knew that THAT was unacceptable. Not to mention i had a 600 dollar bill after they told me i was completely covered. So i went all the way to durango! And i LOVED LOVED LOVED them and the hospitol and the dr who delivered lucy (dr roach) he was soooo funny lol but that is definately a brave choice! I have preeclampsia high bloodpressure toxemia all this nasty stuff with my first pregnancy so the midwives recommended i see an actual obgyn. Luckily lucys pregnancy was a breeze!!!!

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    1. I am glad it all worked out in the end for you Sam! Everybody's pregnancies are different and everyone has their own reasons for whom they decide to see. I like getting opinions and perspectives from those who chose to go with an OB as well! I am glad we have several options to chose from! I hadn't heard very good things about the OBs in Farmington...you are the third person I've spoken to who had horrible experience! Claudia was actually the one who recommended the midwifery here in Farmington :)

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  2. I love this sweetheart! You have a very special way with words and you are honest, funny and interesting!! Count me IN!! :)))

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    1. Thank you for your support, auntie! :) <3

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  3. Midwifes are the best! The experience is so much better than appointments with an OB. So much more personal, but mostly, the belief midwives have in women's bodies is amazingly encouraging!

    I also recommend reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth if you haven't all ready. The first half of the book is filled with encouraging natural birth stories, and the second half of the book is just reaffirmation of the capabilities of a woman's body. I've read the book so many times, and I find myself rereading the positive childbirth stories with every pregnancy. Natural childbirth is truly a gift that unfortunately to many women never get the knowledge and encouragement to experience!

    Good luck!

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    1. Rebecca, I couldn't agree more! And thank you for the book tip! I looked it up on my kindle and found it :)

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Leah | www.sahmiam13.blogspot.com/