** Disclaimer: I want to start off by saying that what I wrote is all based on personal experiences. They are my opinions and nothing is medically proven. I strongly suggest that you do your own research and if you would like, take what I personally experienced as an input. ALSO I have NOTHING against Obgyns, doctors and medicated childbirth. I know there are circumstances that happen that need that interference and doctors are amazing at what they do. You choose what is best for you and your baby **
Hello everyone! I wanted to write about my personal pregnancy and birthing experience because I know that there isn’t much info out there about midwives. Which I think is so unfortunate!
In case any of you don’t know, I am a mother to a lovely son. He is now 3 months and the best little person in my life! First, I want to sort of mention what made me choose a midwife over an Obgyn. I actually started off with an Obgyn. I had Sutter Health and they were amazing. I love them. If you are ever looking for a new medical facility I strongly recommend them. Anyway, I remember I had some conflict of choosing what I wanted to do. A relative of mine did her own research on midwives and told me all about them but I was still on the fence about them. I know that midwives are portrayed as women back then that birthed women in bathtubs and used strange tools, like in the medieval times and didn’t have any other choice. So again, this was what I learned about them because of the media and/or history. BOY WAS I WRONG. I continued going to my Obgyn for about the first 4 months because of ultrasounds, gender reveal and to make sure everything was going okay alongside birth defects. During that time, I kept contemplating whether I should switch to having a midwife instead of an Obgyn.
REWIND (3 years): A few years ago, I had a hospitalization experience that was quite traumatic for me. I had been drugged by someone and it resulted into a seizure. Which sent me to the hospital, there I stayed for a week. I was in a coma for that week. When I woke up, I was still quite high. The high lasted about a week or so. Because of this experience I now suffer from anxiety.
FAST FORWARD (3 years): I now have bad vibes with hospitals, so this was the MAIN reason why I wanted to have a birth out of a hospital. I didn’t want to have a stressful, negative birthing experience and because of the incident that I went through I was terrified that this was going to affect me mentally, physically and emotionally, let alone probably STALL the birth. I wanted to give my child the BEST welcoming experience without having to put what I went through onto him. Because WHY? He is a pure, innocent small human being, that shouldn’t have to be affected by my mistakes.
Any who, I thought to myself. I want to have a POSITIVE birth experience and how could I possibly have one when I suffer from anxiety and am ABSOLUTELY terrified of giving birth.
All I knew about giving birth was that it HURT, you TEAR and you turn into a BEAST saying hurtful words to your significant other and those around you. All these negative things you learn, again from the media.
SIDE NOTE: I ALSO HAVE LOW TOLERANCE FOR PAIN…. So yes. I was very very scared.
I didn’t want that. So I did my research. I learned that midwives are licensed and are professionals at delivering babies. They go to school JUST for this. So why not trust one? When all they have learned about is purely babies. I then looked at birth centers. Yes, some hospitals call themselves birth centers, but to be honest. They technically aren’t. They just make it ‘look’ like it. So again do your research before because even if it says birth center, they may not allow everything you want for your birth.
If you don’t know what a birth center is, it’s a home-like facility that doesn’t provide routine interventions such as IV, etc. It’s a natural process that allows a safe space for the mother to give birth naturally.
So, I visited a birth center within the hospital setting, and yes they tried to make it look as homey as possible. But it didn’t feel right to me, it still felt like that scary hospital setting. I then looked up birth centers near me, and I found one near my home. I lived in San Jose and the birth center was 30 minutes away, in Morgan Hill.
** If you are looking for a midwife and a birth center and live around that area, I highly recommend her, she was absolutely amazing, and she’s just great! I definitely will go to her again for my second child. This is her birth center and she is the main midwife (Feel free to ask me for her info) **
She does tours of her birth center, and I checked it out. In that moment, I JUST KNEW. It felt right, the environment felt right, the vibe felt right, and I instantly felt comfortable. I knew this IS what I want. During the tour, you sit down with her and other folks that are interested and ask questions. Literally ask her about anything and everything. Whatever it was, she knew.
SIDE NOTE: I also looked into water birth and she provided that. So it was also a BIG plus.
Now what is the difference?
In my experience, my midwife was 100% for me and my baby’s well being. It wasn’t about going in waiting 10 minutes to be called in, another 10 minutes to get checked in and another 20 for her to arrive just so I could see her for 5 minutes. NO. It literally was an hour appointment about questions that I had for her, how I was feeling, checking in with the baby and any concerns I had, sometimes just to chat. It felt PERSONAL. It felt nice. It felt good to feel like she ACTUALLY cared and I wasn’t just any other patient on her list of patients.
Second reason was, she was 100% there. She gave me her personal phone number in case anything major happened with the baby. Emailing her was simple, easy and would get back to me within that 24 hrs. And if it wasn’t her that responded it was her assistant midwife (she has one to help with the birth — she was also amazing) Getting in contact wasn’t something I worried about, if I ever needed to.
Third reason, you get the same person for your birth! Yes, this was a big one for me. In the hospital it’s practically Russian roulette, you don’t have a choice. You just get what you get and you can’t stall the baby. No. If it’s coming, IT’S COMING. I had my midwife from beginning to end. She did mention that there is a backup midwife in case more than two births are happening BUT that usually doesn’t happen. You bond with your midwife and you become super comfortable making the experience more joyful.
Fourth reason, IT’S NATURAL. What I mean by this is that they always recommended natural herbs, medicine, and things of that sort whenever I needed it. For prenatal and postpartum. Let me tell you how amazing that is, knowing you don’t have to worry about taking medicines that could potentially hurt your baby. I was personally against taking any type of medicine. So this was perfect, everything was safe for both me and baby.
SIDE NOTE: They always check how the baby is positioned! This amazed me! She knew where every part was located just by touching my belly. So as the date got closer she made sure that the baby was in a good position and if he wasn’t then she would tell me ways to correct it. She mentioned that a lot of the time that back labor and LONG labor happens is because of how the baby is positioned. Isn’t that crazy. My Labor went from 12 PM till 1:00 AM [including early labor]. So mine was quite fast, considering it was my first child.
Which also brings me to this, I still had care after giving birth. They checked baby after birth for about a month and a half. AND THEY WENT TO VISIT ME AT HOME. Which was great being in recovery mode and all. Let me tell ya, during that time you definitely don’t want to see anyone, let alone go anywhere.
Fifth reason, they allow you to make it comfortable. Whatever you need to make your birthing experience the best. You also don’t need this big fancy Birth Plan, not unless you may need to transfer to the hospital because of medical interventions BUT everything that you could possibly want to do they allow. I don’t know about having sex, but you know. You could ask!
SIDE NOTE: Midwives do everything possible up until they know you need medical interventions. Since they are not licensed to do medical procedures on you, they do transfer you to their nearby hospital. And she GOES WITH YOU. Since she’s been your care provider, she knows everything about your birth. So yes, she’s still there 100%.
Sixth reason, they suggested many things to help me through my pregnancy. Such as prenatal massage, chiropractic and therapy [Because of my anxiety] And it wasn’t random ones either, they all knew these people. So yes, it was someone I trusted to go with. I do believe that all these helped me with my pregnancy AND my birth. I would do it all over again.
Seventh and quite a big reason why, I WAS ABLE TO HAVE A WATER BIRTH. Hospitals don’t allow you to give birth in water. Why? I’m not entirely sure on that one but I know it’s 100% safe. I asked. There’s actually information on the internet that say there are risks such as the baby can drown, or the cord would cut off baby’s oxygen or that the water could be contaminated and other’s I read about but I asked my midwife. And she said that none of those were possible. That it is in fact safe. Not only that, baby has been in water for his whole development cycle. Imagine coming out into the world in water? How much more stress-free could you possibly get?
Now, I want to say why I chose water birth. I wanted baby to come out as calmly as possible. I can’t begin to imagine coming out into this world where you don’t know anything. NOTHING. A big thing too was pain reliever. It did help me a lot. [Now, an important thing to note is that water birth is giving BIRTH IN WATER. So you go into the water until you need to push the baby out. Otherwise it may stall your labor, and trust me NO ONE wants that] The buoyancy promotes uterine contractions and improves the blood flow, so it gives you less pain and more oxygen to baby. Another thing, they say that your perineum also becomes more elastic, so less of a tear! Sounds great RIGHT?! It was. I absolutely enjoyed it. It relaxed me and since I suffer from anxiety, I thought it did help me a lot.
The funny thing though, I didn’t give birth to my son in water. I couldn’t. You see, I was in the water when it was time and I took about maybe an hour or so trying to push him out. I actually struggled in pushing, for some strange reason I just didn’t really understand how. So because I was taking a long time, I was just getting more and more exhausted so my midwife suggested I come out and birth on the bed. Even though I feared the pain, in that moment I JUST WANTED BABY OUT. So I came out and in about three pushes, Boom. Lyden was here!
Natural birth is something you just don’t know anything about, you don’t know what to expect, how it’s going to feel or what it will be like. Going into this was something I never thought I would be able to do. But guys, YOUR BODY KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT TO DO. Yes, it’s scary. But it’s doable. Thousands and thousands of women have given birth, even before medicine. And yes, sometimes medical attention is needed. But to be honest, the majority of the time that those things happen is because of the medical interventions you began with. One thing leads to another and next thing you know you have a c-section. What? So to prevent that, going natural is the best way to go. The thing that sucks, natural birth in a hospital is hard to do because everything is there. So it’s easily accessible.
Being prepared helped too. I try many many pain relieving methods and let me tell you I had some back labor. One of the things that helped me though was my husband putting all this pressure on my back. As well as a lot of movement. To be honest, it hurt. But it felt more annoying than painful because you didn’t get much of a break. Also, now being a mother for three months. Birth seem’s fairly easy. The hard part comes after.
Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear.Jane Weiderman
Posted in: Motherhood