A new acquaintance of mine, and a new member of our local birth community, recently posted her birth story, with associated pictures. Lovely!
Why a Midwife?
Her midwife, Stephanie Soderblom, is the owner of Nurturing Hearts Birth Services and the author of the blog Vita Mutari - she is amazing. Her doula, Rose, is one of the two doulas who attended my last birth - similarly amazing! I highly recommend them both.
Here is what she has to say about her decision to switch from OB care to a midwife:
"After several classes, I decided OK, maybe I could do natural childbirth, maybe. So at about 32 weeks pregnant I began discussing this with my OB/GYN. She responded with a slew of questions and comments from, "define no medical intervention" to "you know, there is no medal for doing it natural". Now, mind you, these are the last things you need to say to an already scared-ish first time mom....
"From the start, Stephanie cared more about me as an individual instead of a statistic. We met in her beautiful, small, cozy office. Neil and I sat on a couch, not a paper covered table (why do I have to sit on a sterile, paper wrapped table to be weighed & have my tummy measured on the outside?) . She talked with us about what kinds of parents we would be, what our fears were, how she could help us have the birth WE wanted. It was, after all, our child. Our appointments were an hour, not ten minutes. She used organic lotion on your belly that smooths in, instead of that cold goo at the doctors office. She taught Neil how to feel the position of the baby on the outside of my tummy. She listened to his heartbeat the old school way."
Her labor description is the essence of midwifery:
" Shockingly, there isn't much to do for a naturally laboring woman besides well, supporting her. So I labored (and labored) like they did in the old days, in the company of women (and my husband) that had walked that path before. That is where Rose, our doula came in. That was her job, to help me. Every minute I had her support, I was in my own space, comfortable (well... you know what I mean) confident and safe. I don't think I possess the right words to accurately describe what a room full of women, who have been called to help bring babies into this world, really feels like. It is probably like the safest hug you ever had, contrary to mainstream thought. Every well wish, positive vibe, good energy was present in my bedroom. The baby's heart rate was monitored, I wasn't disturbed or hooked up to anything. It was intense, but beautiful. While I labored, Stephanie and Rose massaged my arms and back and Stephanie knitted baby caps outside in the hall. That's what she does. Knits caps for all "her" babies they day they are born. No generic pink and blue stripes. Homemade, heartfelt, perfect. Every knit a prayer for the mama and baby in front of her."
This is how she concludes, regarding her decision to choose a midwife:
"So, for those people that are wondering about the quality of care and expertise that a midwife has, I think it is safe (no pun intended... really :) to say we hit the jackpot. This is not to say that people that see doctors are get less than quality care, not at all. There are fantastic doctors/nurse midwives/ nurses and hospitals. Don't misunderstand me. I am so glad that there are OB's out there, I am also so thankful that we were not in a situation that we needed one. This is just why we chose a midwife, what was best for our family.