My Experience with Certified Nurse Midwives
by Kaitlin Rose
"I chose to see a group of midwives working at a hospital as well as my home birth midwife for prenatal care (it was a women's service center within the hospital). There were a total of 17 midwives that rotated and were on call for deliveries. Patients could not choose one midwife, they got whoever was on call.
"My very first appointment, the midwife I saw that day said, hi and told me to lay down flat on my back. She set up some things on a little tray and told me, "put your legs up, I'm going to put my fingers inside of you now to check things out." Just like that. No "how are you today," "is this your first pregnancy," "how are you feeling, any morning sickness?" Nothing.
"When that was over, she pulled up my shirt, squirted some jelly on my skin and started checking for the babies heartbeat. All of this was done in complete silence. Uncomfortable. All of a sudden, I heard a little galloping sound come out of the speaker...she pulled away, wrote something down and started cleaning up. I said, "what was that?" in TEARS, and she said, "oh, that was your babies heartbeat." She walked toward the door to leave and I started crying. I was alone. My fiance was working. That was my first time hearing my little girl's heartbeat, first pregnancy... that woman ruined it.
"Every appointment after that was basically the same with a different "midwife" (I don't even like calling them that). My name was called, I stepped on the scale, I waited for the midwife, I was told to lay back, jelly, heartbeat, wipe up, reschedule, goodbye. I hated it.
"When I started seeing my home birth midwife at home... oh my god. The difference was breathtaking. She CARED! I remember the second time she came over I just had an appointment at the women's center the day before and she asked me what position my baby was in. I said, "I don't know, no one has ever felt my baby or belly before." She was in shock. Her hands on my skin felt simply amazing...and she told me what position my little girl was in by such swift motions.
"The very last time I went in for an appointment at the women's center, I got the midwife from the first appointment. It was okay - my fiance was with me for support and he always asked a LOT of questions (he basically initiated a lot of conversation at those appointments because I didn't want to talk to them). He asked that midwife a lot of questions that day and we walked out thankful, GRATEFUL, that we weren't even going to risk the CHANCE of her delivering our child into the world.
"Here's what she had to say:
1. I saw you signed the water birth consent form. I don't do water births. So, you can labor there, but when it comes to delivering your baby, you're going to have to get out (that's verbatim - I could never forget it).
2. I usually always do episiotomies. It's just safer for mom. I've seen women just fall apart down there and it's hard to put them back together (I was pregnant while she was saying this mind you - nice mental images of birth, huh?).
3. You can labor in almost any position you want... I don't know, there's not a lot of room... but laying on your back to deliver your baby is best for you, and for me. It's really hard to deliver babies when women are squatting. I almost always make them turn around.
"I was 36 weeks at this appointment and refused to schedule another, walking out of there feeling SO bad for the women who were patients there. I was, in fact, absolutely furious."
Stay tuned for Part 2!