Today was my last midwife appointment…EVER!! It was a very emotional day for me as I realized I was completing a chapter in my life. Midwives were a big part of all 3 of my children’s births. They provided the wisdom to get through 3.5 hrs of pushing with my first child. They mercifully broke my water after being 10 days over due, to allow my second son to make his 1 hr entrance into the world. They also stood beside me and held my hand while my dreams of another natural birth was squashed with the frank breech position of my daughter that led to a c-section. The support, the one on one attention and the ability to reach them any hour with any stupid question provide the kind nurturing atmosphere that made my childbearing experiences perfect!
WHY DID I CHOOSE A MIDWIFE, NOT AN OB/GYN?
Growing up, I always though when you were pregnant you would go to your OB/GYN and they would deliver the baby. I thought you didn’t have a choice, this was just the way it was, the same as going to the dentist for your teeth. This all changed after one enlightening course! In university, I was looking for a ‘filler’ course and came across a women studies course on female sexuality. The course synopsis sounded interested so I signed up. Little did I know it would be much more than a “filler “course! The course began looking at the perceived image of women in the community, then continued on discussing the role of women in family life and procreation. The course went into all the pros and cons and options and choices that a women has when becoming pregnant (ie. OB/GYN, Midwife, nurse, home birth, hospital birth, birthing centre etc.) I didn’t realize all these options existed and after doing more in depth research on each, I decided that Midwifes were for me!
ARE MIDWIFES COVERED?
According to Ontario Midwife Association
Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy, birth and newborn care and are completely funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Women who are not covered by OHIP are still eligible to have a midwife assist in their birth. A lot of pregnant moms I know were unaware that this service exists. I hope from reading this blog people are more informed.
My experience with midwives were amazing. You meet with your midwife team when you are about 10 weeks pregnant. They go into an in depth health history and ask you what you hope to get out of your pregnancy. I felt this was the most important thing they did. I provided me with a sense of control and allowed me to choose my own path, while still having the guidance and education required to provide me with the safest routes. The more I met with the midwives the more I loved them. It wasn’t a clinic setting (yes they had all the medical equipment and took measurements every visit) but more like walking in to a conversation with a friend. I was never a name on a piece of paper but person with a family and preferences. I am very close to my parents and my sisters and it was important to me (and them as I am the oldest!) to be involved in my pregnancy and labour process. The midwives didn’t even bat an eye. They welcomed everyone to my routine visits and my labours felt more like a party then a job. I loved the encouragement and support they gave me which allowed me to keep my goal of natural delivers (even though I did beg at some point to stray!). As I mentioned my 3rd delivery wasn’t my ideal delivery. I was 38 weeks and 5 days when I was told via ultrasound that my daughter was frank breech. Just my luck I went into labour at that moment. From the first phone call to my midwife letting her know to the moment I was lying on the operating table my midwife was there for me. She held my hand when my husband wasn’t allowed in the operating room until the deliver began, she hugged me when my daughter was born and she even reassured me that she knew of a good “clinic” for the hubby to visit when I was caught off guard by the nurse “are we tying your tubes?” question. Even though she didn’t deliver my daughter she was still there for me!
Thus as I close the childbearing chapter of my life and move on to watching my children grow and blossom, I say farewell midwives and THANK YOU!