This is baby number three for me, due in October 2016, and I am currently under the care of a midwife team in Calgary, Alberta.
Let me state here and now that I know that pregnancy and childbirth is different for everyone. Your feelings and wants for your own birth might be very different from mine, and I support that completely. I’m an advocate for all womens birth choices, and promote education, thought and discussion. Above all, I support a world where women support eachother with love and kindness. So, with that comment-diffusing disclaimer out of the way…
I suffered a trauma with my firstborn in October 2004, and was actually paralyzed by my epidural. You can read about that experience on my personal blog here, if you want to hear more.
In an effort to avoid complications arising from interventions as much as possible, I signed up for Midwife care with #2, but didn’t make it off the waiting list. Gun shy from my first experience that had gone awry, I was hesitant to have another hospital birth- but after meeting with a doula, I became much more comfortable with the establishment of my birth plan and the hopefully minimal inclusion of Doctors and Hospitals. Birth #2 was a complete success. I delivered a healthy baby boy, completely intervention-free, in July 2014 at the Foothills Hospital here in Calgary. My doula and husband were present, and baby was born 2 short hours after arrival at the hospital. Most of my laboring was done at home, which really helped.
So, now I am on number 3 and feeling like a bit of an old pro (haha).
Because both of my experiences were so very different, and because of my decade-long research efforts on childbirth, medical options, natural options, and the risks and benefits of both, I feel very confident in my desire to have a midwife attended birth.
It boils down to 3 things for me.
I actually wrote them as a manifesto of sorts to help empower myself during the healing process of my birth-trauma aftermath. They are written as such, and might sound funny because of that fact, so bear with me.
They are very personal statements, written for myself specifically, and not intended as lectures or criticism to others, or anything of the sort.
1. I trust my body and my baby. I know we can do this as simply as possible and I know I am prepared to keep my body focused and moving through each labor stage with the tools that I have learned. Meditation, breathing, massage and a birthing ball are my go to tools. I believe millions of years of women birthing before me have evolutionarily tuned my body to be an ultimate baby birther.
2. I have researched enough to know bad things can happen and I can accept any complications that might warrant a change of plans. I am not too stubborn to reject medical interventions when completely necessary, and I trust my midwife’s extensive training and judgment. But until cause indicates otherwise, I will approach labor in a positive and natural way with hope and optimism.
3. I want to experience the closeness with my child and the empowerment for myself that a truly natural childbirth can offer. Even though my circumstances require me to use the hospital as my location, rather than my home or a birthing centre, I can get closer to my dream birth by exercising my right to choose a midwife over an OBGYN. I have studied birth stories and seen images and videos that depict the calm and natural process that I am searching for.
And I just thought of a fourth reason yesterday while at my midwife’s office…
I really like the plush, comfy daybed I get to lay down on during my visits, instead of the cold, hard, doctors exam table!😉