When I became pregnant there was no doubt that I would choose a midwife and during my pregnancy, that decision was confirmed over and over. Through the various tests, including amniocentesis and extra late term ultrasounds, having someone to talk me through the process and results made things so much less stressful. My husband and I both felt fully informed and armed to make decisions about tests and ultimately, the birth of our son.
Before my actual delivery day, I used to joke that I was preparing to walk into the birthing room with my midwife, squat down, and pop out my baby. This was not how it happened - not even close.
A string of ultrasounds predicted a birthweight approaching 11lbs and when after a week of trying all the things there was no sign of a baby, the decision was made to start the induction process. As it turned out, I went into early labour the morning I was scheduled for the gel. I have a very clear memory of early morning phone calls with Linley, me anxious and unsure and her totally calm and reassuring.
Later that morning when I showed up at the hospital and labour did not progress, I was given a choice - go home and see what happens or deliver my son via C-section later that afternoon, and a list of possible outcomes for a large baby that likely wouldn't "pop out" as I had planned. I was terrified. And also so afraid and embarrassed to call my midwife and admit that my "squat down and have a baby" plan was maybe not going to work. I might still be pregnant if Linley had not offered calm reassurance that whatever I chose was the right choice for us and that she would be there for us through it all. With an extra hand in the delivery room and a willing OB, we were able to bring our son into this world via skin-to-skin C-section. Linley talked me through the procedure and let me know what was happening. From almost the very moment he was removed from my belly, my son was on my chest, held fast and secure by one of my arms but both of Linley's. I have met all kinds of women who have had just as many C-section birth experiences and I can only say that I have no regrets and only positive emotion. I truly believe that this in large part to having a team of midwives who supported my experience from the beginning and empowered me to make the right decisions for my body and my child.
Everyone speaks about aftercare, and it is so true that in those early, weepy days of working out feedings, and sleep and caring for an incision, that having the same people who cared for me throughout my pregnancy show up at my door and continue to provide support was invaluable. My son was not a championship nurser but my entire team of midwives offered suggestions and coaching that got us both on track. Their patience and experience, even when I was unsure and anxious, helped me to realize my abilities as a mom.