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Friday, March 10, 2006I 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.