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First Visit with the Midwife

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I realized that even apart from stats and general posts on midwives, some of the readers here might be interested to hear how midwifery care differs from what they may be used to. So, I'll also be posting recaps of my appointments to sort of share the journey.

Had my first appointment with my new midwife this past Wednesday. I came home just absolutely floored at the different in style of this appointment and a typical appointment with my old OB.

The drive was close to the same, 35 minutes instead of 25...so I can deal with that. Though this drive was through the country, including a nice trek down a gravel road. LOL. My appointment was set for 1pm and my friend Rachel went with me to help corral Elnora and to meet the midwife since Rachel will once again be one of my labor support team.

The first nice difference was...the lack of time in the waiting room. Greg and I would typically spend 1 to 2 hours waiting for our appointments, even if we had an early morning appointment. Here, I walked up to her front door, she answered before I knocked and we headed into the living room for our visit.

We talked for about half an hour about how she became a midwife (was helping her oldest daughter look into careers and ended up becoming a midwife while her daughter went to nursing school), how long she'd been practicing (12 years), how many babies she'd caught (over 500) and her usual client type. (half Amish, half "English".) We talked about her experience (she's delivered twins, breech, even footling breech) and her philosophies. We asked questions about how she'd handle different circumstance and generally had a great chat to find out that we were on the same page.

Here were the things that really sealed it for me though...

1.) She asked if I was having trouble with nausea. Everyone who knows me know I vomit at the drop of a hat when I'm pregnant. So, she counseled me on proper protein intake, suggested that I try eating peanut butter or a hard boiled egg when I wake up in the middle of the night, talked about how to keep my blood sugar stable and explained how all of those contributed to nausea. My OB simply offered me a prescription.

2.) We talked about my first labor, which was long and frustrating. She asked lots of questions. When I mentioned how horrible it was to get checked for dialation, she asked for more info. I told her that no one, not even my OB could ever find my cervix. She explained that many women have "posterior cervix" well into labor and that this condition can cause labor to move agonalizing slow. She also said that you can sometimes diagnose a tendancy for this before, or early on in labor and there are things you can do to correct it. My OBs solution was "hook her up to pitocin, that will speed things up."

3.) Her general attitude was very laid back, but also gave off a clear air of confidence. She's been there done that and handled situations that many OBs have never seen. (few OBs deliver breech babies (let alone footling breech) anymore, same for twins) She's also delivered in the middle of nowhere (Amish country) without immediate access to a hospital for transfer and she's confident in her ability to handle things. She made it clear that she feels strongly that God has created a process that works and for the most part, if we don't mess with it, it will continue to work.

It was also funny to find that her backup, in case she has an emergency when I go into labor, is a woman in Johnstown that was next on my list to call. She attends the church of friends of ours and we've heard great things about her.

In all, I spent nearly two hours there. She checked all the same things that an OB would have, but she also treated me like a person, not like the next patient on the list. Though at my OB office when being checked with Doppler, I've never had a cat step on me. LOL. Kind of funny actually, she has this beautiful cat, very friendly. He jumped up on the bed when she pulled out the doppler and stood near me. It's still early (10-11ish weeks) so she wasn't sure she'd find a heartbeat. As she moved the Doppler around the cat would sometimes put his paw up on poke me on the tummy, sort of like "ok, try over here." We all had a good laugh. :)

Overall, a very cool experience. I'm glad that we've decided to go this route. I'm looking forward to taking Greg to meet her on my next appointment.

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  1. Blogger AnnieM | 7:28 AM |  

    Hi! I've never posted here before, but I am going thru the exact same thing right now. I am 12 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and still nursing baby #1 who is 26 months. I decided on using a midwife this time and met her for the first time this week. I was very uneasy about being told I'd need to wean. It never happend. My midwife saw no reason for me to wean. Yay!I love the laid back approach she uses. It is very calming.

  2. Blogger honey | 10:53 AM |  

    that is so totally cool! I so want to go the midwife route if I ever get to have another pregnancy. Your experience sounds like what I want for myself and my babies.

  3. Anonymous Jax | 12:15 PM |  

    That's a wakeup call for me to realise that we're doing pretty well over here with our access to midwives. Not that we're guaranteed our assigned one for birth, and in fact if you do a hospital birth you're pretty much guaranteed *not* to have your community midwife around. Yet another reason for homebirth over here - continuity of care :)

  4. Blogger Carrie Lauth | 8:31 AM |  

    I'm so glad you're going with a homebirth. It's so wonderful! All the best to you

  5. Anonymous the SmockLady | 9:37 AM |  

    That's great. I'[m hoping to find the right one for us if we are so blessed again.

    The cat thing really made me laugh. I gotta share this:
    When I was preggeres with our first I had a day near the end of my second trimester of total exhaustion. My cat, Skipper, would curl up with me anytime I would hit the bed for a rest. But if something was wrong, even before I knew it, he would curl up on my chest or next to it if I was on my side. When I had the flu a few years back he only left my side to use his litter box, not even to eat. Anyway, I was on my back propped a wee bit by a couple of pillows with my knees bent up. Skipper decided he would nap on that large lump on my belly. Being a small frame cat he curled up looking much like a kitten. We were quite still and relaxed and enjoying the quiet and solitude when all of a sudden my baby woke up and decided that the cat should not be sleeping on her. she gave a kick like you wouldn't believe and I have never felt with any of my babies (5 of them). Skipper was in the air, in cat-like manner, in less than a second and I could sware that from my view he was at least 3 feet high from my belly. He came down right next to me and immediately began slapping (with clawless paw) at my belly. Then up on both hind feet and boxing my baby's kicks. If you have never seen a cat box, you've missed quite an experience. I so wish that I had known that was going to happen because I would have set up a video camera and won the top prize for Funniest Video Ever!

  6. Blogger Marcia McCulley, NP, LM | 12:53 AM |  

    These comments are so heart-warming.

  7. Blogger Marcia McCulley, NP, LM | 12:54 AM |  

    This is a very informative blog.

  8. Blogger Jennifer | 5:31 AM |  

    Gotta say, it's really cool to read the responses to this post. Glad you guys were up for me expanding. I think things are going to get interesting. So much more subject matter to cover when you expand from one topic to two. :)

  9. Anonymous Mama C-ta | 11:34 AM |  

    Just had to say I love that VBAC shirt. I need me one of those! I must admit for some reason this is making me more depressed over my choices during last pregnancy and I just have so many doubts I'll make the right ones for me next time. Kind of hard to explain but having a husband so anti-home births (b/c of the what if's not "that's just weird" type of thing) and the self-doubt I'd be able to handle it are a few reasons!

  10. Blogger Jennifer | 11:38 AM |  

    Hey! Don't be so hard on yourself Mama!

    No matter how much you plan, things can still go wrong. I was prepared out the wazoo for Nora's birth and I still ended up with an epidural pushing on my back. Sometimes things happen.

    That's part of why I'll be home this time...the hospital is a difficult environment to have a natural birth in.

    Maybe, hopefully, I'll be able to provide some info here that will help you educate/reassure your hubby on the idea.

    Otherwise, do you live near a birth center? Good alternative when home birth doesn't fly...

  11. Blogger Blue Moon Mama | 9:47 AM |  

    I had a great experience with my midwife when I gave birth to the squeaker. It was amazing. She just let my body do its thing. (And I was lucky to have a short, relatively painless first-time labor.)

    Good luck!

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