"With my first son, I was twenty weeks pregnant before I found a homebirth midwife, an LM (Licensed Midwife) educated in Washington State. Previously, I had been seeing a group of midwives and OB's who were affiliated with my local hospitals birth center. Every time I went there, I was weighed, measured, and told my BP was too high. It would take several checks before it would come down. The first time I had an appointment with my MW, she had me weigh myself in the bathroom down the hall, then trusted me to tell her, and my BP was lower than it had been my whole pregnancy. I knew I'd found "the one."
"She was great during my labor. I had several family members there, but she didn't mind at all. When my water broke at 10 cm it was stained with meconium and my boys heart rate dropped significantly. We ended up transferring to the hospital. Her assistant rode in the back of her subaru with me, assuring me it would be fine.
"My MW ended up seamlessly taking over the role of doula once we got to the room. She would give suggestions for positions to push, and thought that having me push with every other contraction would help with the baby's HB. It helped immensely. She even whispered in my ear that the OB was looking at using the vacuum and to make my pushes really count. I can't imagine pushing for 2 1/2 hours without her there. After my Samuel was born, she stayed and helped me breastfeed. She and her assistants went back to my house with my mom and sisters and cleaned up my house.
"With my second son, we were able to rent a birth tub through her, though we didn't use it much. She had some great herbal remedies for when my blood pressure began to creep up a bit. She was fabulous during my labor when I had a OP(occiput posterior) baby, and my labor dragged on and on. I felt like I had put my whole self in her hands. And she took wonderful care of me. Sometimes people talk about not relying on anything but their own bodies during labor, but I never feel like that, I feel like I need some one with me who knows what they are doing, because I'm 22 and don't know anything but what I've read in books!
"When Matthew was born, I was standing up against the headboard of my bed and birthed his big body over an intact perineum. He came out and was floppy and white. My MW was amazing, immediately called 911 and began administering oxygen. His heart rate was strong and steady but he was reluctant to come around. I'd almost say it was like he passed out as he was born. He perked up just as they arrived. She had it under control, even when the EMT's arrived and completely ignored her authority and essentially "stole" my perfectly healthy son and transported him to the ER for an hour. The next day she went and gave them a lecture on home birth and her role versus theirs. She was awesome.
"She was a great mixture of professional and warm. She was like a doctor, in the way that she was full of information and had such a direct and strong way about her, but she was a midwife at heart, warm and willing to be leaned on."