"When my husband a I got pregnant with our first child we already had plans to use a midwife. It was something I had wanted to do for years because I don't like the hustle and bustle of hospitals with the possibility of going through several different nursing staff during shift changes and I also had a horrible experience with a spinal tap. When I was getting my tap done the doctor said don't worry its like an epidural (which I had never had one, so at the time it didn't mean anything to me). Well after the tap I ended up with a spinal migraine that left me incapacitated for about a week. The words of the doctor stuck with me... If the tap has similar side effects as an epidural and I was in my room in complete darkness for a week what would I do if I had an epidural for labor and I experienced the same thing? What about my baby and the bonding? It knew that an epidural was out of the question for me. So that is how I ended up wanting to use a midwife.
"I found my midwife through the place we took the Bradley birth classes. I see my midwife for all my prenatal care and I see a doctor for some of my prenatal visits as well. The reasons why I see both is one, being that if things don't go as planned for my home birth I would somewhat know who would be helping deliver my baby and two, is pretty much because it seems to make everyone I know feel better about my decision even though it shouldn't matter. The funny thing is that when you tell people that you see a doctor as a back up it makes them feel at ease even though my doctor really doesn't know me at all.
"From my experience seeing both my midwife and my doctor are 2 totally different things. With my midwife she gave me the time and patience and respect I was looking for. Every prenatal appointment we had was at least an hour long. She really cared about what was happening to my body physically and emotionally. She even wanted to make sure my husband was doing well during my pregnancy. She cared about us as a whole. Even though I felt very educated on pregnancy and child birth my midwife had so much information and real experiences to share that it was better than any reading I could have done. I learned so much from her.
"As for my doctor it is exactly what I try to avoid. It's chaotic and busy and I spend most of my time waiting. I usually end up waiting for at least 15 to 20 minutes before I get to go in a room. Then the nurse sees me first. She weighs me, takes my B.P. and a urine sample. The nurse asks me the usual questions. What meds are you on? Do you have any cramping, bleeding or abnormal discharge? Then she leaves and I wait in the room some more to see my doctor. When my doctor comes in she asks the same cramping, bleeding, discharge question that the nurse already asked me and she asks me how I'm feeling and if I have any questions. Then she measures my uterus and we listen the the baby's heart beat. Then that's it. I get about 5 to 7 minutes with my doctor and I'm on my way.
"I feel somewhat satisfied how the appointments go because I get everything else I want and need from my midwife. I do feel the sense of being rushed while I'm there and feel there is such a lack of personal touch. I also feel like the only information I would get from my doctor is if I brought in a list of questions. (which they wouldn't have that much time to answer anyway) I cant imagine not having a midwife who spends the time to help me learn and prepare as much as possible. I feel like there is so much information women don't get from their doctors unless the woman pursues it.
"I'm not against doctors or hospital births because I feel its important for a woman to do what's comfortable for her. From my experience I think too many women just trust their doctors and do whatever they say and that is not always the best way to go through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I feel so many women may not being getting the opportunity to learn about birth and pregnancy and what their rights or choices or options actually are.
"I have an amazing relationship with my midwife. I consider my midwife to be a part of my family. She was there for me in all aspects of the most important time of our lives, not only for the pregnancy, labor and delivery but even for questions after the baby was born. I remember calling her a 12am in tears because I was having trouble nursing. I don't know anyone that can call their doctor at that time for that kind of question let alone even calling their doc at all. I tried calling my doctor once before for a question about my child. My daughter had a diaper rash we couldn't clear up. I just wanted to know if there were other creams or natural ways to help other than what we were already doing. Well when I called the nurse took my call and said "I can't give you suggestions without seeing it you need to make an appointment". So I called my midwife, she gave me two suggestions, I tried one and in 2 days the rash was gone.
"Everything I had imagined on how I would want my midwife to be and how I pictured my labor and delivery came true. It was the best experience I have ever had. I am pregnant with my second child right now and due February 7th. Again I see my wonderful midwife and I see the same doctor as well for the prenatals. I love seeing my midwife and love the interaction she has with my first daughter that she helped bring into this world. I am really looking forward to having another home birth with her again."