Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reflections on Midwifery

We had our third working appointment with MH, our midwife, this morning, and the calmness and intimacy of these appointments reminds me why I’m so happy we’ve decided to homebirth with a midwife.

I look forward to our monthly appointments with MH with eager anticipation. Not only do our appointments bring us closer to our baby’s appearance in this world, but also any nervous energy and worry dissipate when we meet with her. Happily, with the exception of the cyst (our worry wart), the pregnancy and baby seem to be progressing and developing normally and most reassuring was her putting our fears about the cyst (a confirmed CPC) at bay. She has seen these before in other clients and they always disappear. Because our baby is active and the rest of the ultrasound was normal, we have little to no reason to worry about it.

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing (or not choosing) a particular form of obstetrical care. Some feel safer giving birth in a hospital with an obstetrician or nurse-midwife, some choose a doula to support labor in a hospital. For a number of reasons, I find homebirth so much more appealing. When I first recognized homebirth as a birth option several years ago, I immediately felt it made sense. As long as a pregnancy is normal, a woman’s body, while not perfectly designed, can birth a baby without intervention under most circumstances. I do recognize there are a lot of caveats in the previous statement and a number of conditions can necessitate transfer to a hospital, but we wanted to work with an experienced midwife who will help me birth naturally as long as it is medically possible and reasonable to do so. It will be nice to have support throughout the whole labor (unlike an obstetrician who intercedes from crowning to birth, but is by-and-large otherwise absent) and without a schedule – the labor will take as long as it needs.

Lastly, it will be nice to give birth in the calmness, intimacy and quiet of our house, especially with MH helping Garry and I work through the difficult parts of labor. Though I know labor and giving birth will be very hard (I’ve no illusions about that), I’ve only rarely felt worried that I won’t be able to get through labor without pain relief. Despite these occasional worries, I actually do think I will be able to do it. MH and Garry concur. MH said she had the impression from the start that I would be able to handle labor, and of course if Garry didn’t think so we wouldn’t have chosen homebirth as we both need to feel this is the right choice. I sometimes feel so excited at the thought of our baby actually being here, that despite how hard labor is or I imagine it to be, visualizing our baby in our arms and nursing at my breast is, I think, all I need to get through labor.

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