International Day of the Midwife | The Life of K: International Day of the Midwife

Saturday, May 5, 2012

International Day of the Midwife

Today is International Day of the Midwife. I received excellent care from a team of midwives at the Midwifery Collective for both my pregnancies. Here is my story.

I found out I was pregnant Christmas Day 2008 and was very excited. Even better, I found out that my family doctor also delivered babies. Turns out that wasn't true and half way through my pregnancy I was shocked when she told me she would transfer my care to an obstetrician and gave me some recommendations. That wasn't what I wanted but set up an appointment with one of them.

In the meantime I called two local midwife clinics and got put on their waiting lists. Before my first OB appointment I got a call saying they had space at the Midwifery Collective. I was excited.

I remember telling my mom on the phone that I was going to be followed by a midwife instead of a doctor. She got silent. Finally she asked if I was planning a homebirth. I assured her that I was planning a hospital birth and that having a midwife didn't mean birthing at home with no drugs. She was relieved.

I had the rest of my prenatal appointments with the midwives. We were assigned a primary midwife and a secondary midwife and agreed to have a student tag along. Our appointments at the clinic were comfortable and never rushed. We were always warmly welcomed and sat on couches while my belly was measured and my blood pressure taken. Everything was explained in detail and we learned to trust my body and trust the midwives.

I had a relatively easy birth in that it went according to plan. My water broke, I laboured at home as long as I could, we met the midwives at the hospital where I laboured until Little J was born. (Little J's birth story here.) It was actually our secondary midwife and the student midwife at the birth. They were really great and the post-natal care was great too. Did you know that midwives visit you at home?

The day I found out I was pregnant with Baby K I called the Midwifery Collective to get on the waiting list. Turns out they give priority to returning clients so I was under their care for my entire pregnancy. Things had changed a little and we were assigned to a group of midwives and had our appointments with any of the 4 midwives in the group plus the student who was assigned to the group.

Again, the care we received was really great. Appointments felt like catching up with a friend. We didn't make it to the hospital this time and so our midwives didn't make it to Baby K's birth, but they took charge when they did arrive. (Baby K's birth story here.) It was because I had midwifery care that I didn't have to be transferred to the hospital. They were able to help me deliver the placenta and did all the post-natal care right in our house.

I cannot fully explain the quality of care we received and just how grateful we are for the prenatal care, the birth experiences, and the post-natal care we had. Our midwives (now practicing at the Ottawa South Midwives) were really great. I recommend midwifery care for anyone with a regular, low-risk pregnancy.

Don't tell my mom, but if I get pregnant again I am planning a homebirth. And hopefully my midwives will make it in time!

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