At an appointment today, the nurse was asking me why I chose to go to midwives instead of OB’s. She had seen OB’s when she was pregnant, and told me that her practice was big, and she had rotated between at least 10 doctors, some of whom really didn’t match with her personality. Sometimes she felt like she heard different things at different appointments, depending on which provider she was seeing. She had hoped that when it came time to deliver her baby, she would get that 1 in 10 chance that the OB she really liked would be on call. And at the hospital during her labor and delivery, she felt like the nurses were having a party in her room. And no one had her back. She had to yell at them all to be quiet or get out while she was pushing her baby into the world.
I told her that I wanted a more personal experience. Since I only rotate between 3 midwives instead of the 10 OB’s (that would be my option if I went to an OB practice in town), they really know me and I feel comfortable asking them any questions I may have. I told her that I knew I wanted a natural childbirth, and I knew my midwives would respect my wishes and would not push unnecessary interventions. I told her that I felt like I had gotten to be friends with my midwives. “And we’re still friends with them,” my husband piped up. Oh, and I told her that I liked the fact that my midwife would sit with me throughout my entire delivery once I got to the hospital.
“Really?” The nurse was surprised and sounded a bit envious. “She is with you the whole time? Wow, I didn’t know that.”
This was someone who sees pregnant women all the time. And she didn’t know very much about what a midwife does or what her care could be like with a midwife. All too often, when I’m talking to people about midwifery, I get a similar reaction. I have to admit that before I chose midwifery care for my first pregnancy, I didn’t even know a lot of these things. I chose midwives mainly because I wanted personal care and I knew I wanted to try for a natural labor. But everything I learned and experienced sealed my decision during those 9 months.
When I tell people about midwifery care, I’m not trying to change their minds about medicine, and I’m not trying to persuade them that it’s necessarily right for them. But there are so many things that I didn’t know before I started seeing midwives, and I feel like I know so much more now. The best thing about it is that I feel like I have such a well rounded view about the care I will receive. I feel like I truly know what all of my options are. They are laid out in front of me, and I can talk honestly about them with my midwives. They listen genuinely to my concerns and I trust in their guidance. I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about my care providers, and I know that this is the best option for me—because I know what all of my options are. If you have any doubts about your care, or if you are unhappy with your care provider in any way, reach out and ask some questions. Find out what your options are, because when you are experiencing this amazing time in your life, you deserve to feel like your maternity care is a perfect fit.