Friday, February 7, 2014

Midwives for the Win

I did not get to have my births attended by midwives, but came close a couple of times. Today I bring you a guest post about using midwives (for more than just births!). Please scroll to the bottom for a bio on today's author, Meegs.

My dad hanging the "It's a Girl" sign.
My experience with midwives started at birth, when my Mama was one of the first women to give birth at the almost complete birth center in eastern Pennsylvania. I don't remember that experience, of course, but the midwife who delivered me and I are permanently connected as I carry her name in mine.

Seven years later and I was present at the same, now thriving, midwifery center for the birth of my younger brother. That experience I do remember, and it was that day which made it clear in my mind that a midwife was the only way I would go with my own childbirth experience. Even at seven years old I was able to see the care, compassion, and dedication these women have for mothers, babies, pregnancy, and birth.

My mom and I, soon after my brother was born.

As I got older I was able to experience firsthand some of the differences in care between standard practice OB/GYNs and midwife care. Nine years ago I made the permanent switch to a midwifery center for all of my gynecological care, and I won't ever go back. With a midwife, I know that they have built in the time for me to ask all the questions I want, without feeling rushed. And I get to do so at the beginning of my appointment, before they even ask me to take my clothes off. They take the time to get to know each patient on a personal level, and because of that are able to better understand you and your symptoms.

At my last OBGYN, the one that made my switch permanent, I often felt judged. Heaven forbid I wanted to ask a question about sex, self-pleasure, or anything out of the ordinary down below; I felt awkward, and there were many times I chickened out. Even with the wonderful, kind OBGYN I had growing up, there was always a feeling of them needing to go a little faster, move to the next patient.

My first snuggle with my baby girl.
With midwives, I've never felt rushed, and there was never a question I was too uncomfortable to ask. Their patience and willingness to talk things out led me to find the birth control that worked for me and with my body. Best of all, it led me to an amazing, homey, loving birth experience.

Pregnancy is not a handicap, and delivery is not something to be forced through as quickly as possible. With the right personalized guidance, both experiences can be hugely empowering. With midwives I am never just a number. My daughter is not just another baby. From the moment we joined them, we were valued, and in the case of my daughter, loved. As individuals.

I am so grateful for these wonderful women, with their understanding and appreciation of the power of a loving pregnancy and birth experience.

Meegs is a lover of the outdoors, a budding yogi, and a tattoo enthusiast trying to live her most authentic life. She is also a gentle Mama to the most amazing girl.

You can find her online at her personal blog, A New Day (also on facebook), as a contributor to Connected Mom, and posting reader questions on the Natural Parents Network's Facebook page.
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