Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthing Story: Why midwives?

It occurred to me as I thought about how I've presented my story thus far, that I completely left out how I came to the decision to birth with midwives rather than in a hospital with a MD. You may or may not be interested, but it's part of the story nonetheless. Sorry you're getting the disjointed version! You can read it in order when I publish my book.

I began my prenatal care in Cheyenne, WY with a phone call to a random OB/GYN. I asked the nurse at the office if there was anything in particular that needed to happen before we started trying to conceive. I called the same OB/GYN when my pregnancy test came up positive (all 5 of them!) and scheduled an appointment to come in. It was then that I remembered my intense fear of MDs and medical anythings of all kinds. A deep-rooted fear. A fear so deep, that I actually had thought about NOT having kids because of the thought of having to go to the hospital. I mean, an Ativan sort of anxiety.

True to the overachiever/scholar in me, I began researching birthing options. I stumbled across Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth and immediately bought it. I didn't have to read much of it to realize that birthing at a birthing center with midwives was a really good option for me. I ran it by David and he was on board with it. I found a birthing center outside Denver and made an appointment. The birthing center was nice, the midwife, Laura, was darling...I was prepared to continue all of my prenatal care and ultimately deliver there.

And then life threw a HUGE curve ball that included dual unemployment, a move to TN, and moving in with my parents for what we thought would be no more than 3 months (ended up being 15 months! So go ahead...ask me about the economy and how to survive!) I scrambled to find a birthing center with which to continue my prenatal care and realized that I was a short 1.5 hours away from The Farm, the very midwifery center established by Ina May Gaskin and her fellow midwife cronies. I made a phone call. Spoke with Pamela Hunt, one of the original midwives in "The Caravan," and discussed my situation. Pamela and her daughter-in-law Stacy were to become some of my most trusted friends during my pregnancy, depending on them to support me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Oh, the tears and hugs that were exchanged during my care! So I found myself having my records from Denver being sent to The Farm. When I called Denver, the midwife exclaimed, "You're delivering at the Farm! You have to let us know how it goes!" I didn't realize how famous it was - yet!

So, to recap - I chose midwives and ultimately a home birth because I am terrified of hospitals and medical procedures, I was pregnant, not dying!, and I loved the option to make decisions based on what fit us as a family and me as a woman.

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