I have no idea how I learned about midwifery to be honest. I think it started with curiosity about the birth center as I am terrified of hospitals. From there I learned that only midwifes could deliver at the birth center and so I applied for a midwife.
How far into your pregnancy did you apply for midwifery care?
I applied for a midwife both times before I even told my husband I was pregnant. I knew the chances were slim that I would get one and so the second I found out I made a phone call to get on the list.
How far into your pregnancy did you find out you were accepted into care?
For my first I got a rejection letter within a month and with my second I found out I was accepted within a week
Are you willing to share your birth story/stories with us? We would love to hear!
For the first born I was in the care of an OB. I was happy with everything leading up to the birth and that was when everything went downhill. My water broke at , I had contractions for 5 hrs, and then everything stopped. I had no idea what to do and panicked. I called the hospital and the only response I got was "we are really busy" so I waited a few more hours and called again, and again "we are really busy" finally after 6 hrs of no contractions I decided to go down to the hospital. We were brought into triage where no one believed me that my water broke, the pulled the curtain back and had discussions about me as if the curtain was a sound barrier and I couldn't hear them. They kept saying "her story sounds real, but we just don't think her water broke" Believe me, it may have been my first kid, but no one soaks every single towel in their house with pee, my water had absolutely broke. Finally they decided to believe me and told me I would be induced. Because they were busy we were brought into a high risk room, that had no door, no toilet, and was the size of a closet right next to the nurses desk and the O.R. I was forced to be induced and had no clue what was going on. Through the process my nurse kept asking me if I wanted drugs, and I kept declining. I wanted a natural birth. During labour I had to walk down the hall to a semi public bathroom to go to the washroom, and my husband had to go down to the atrium to use a washroom, which meant him leaving my side for up to 30 minutes as sometimes the nurses weren't readily available to let him back in. Finally after 10 hours and absolutely no progress I caved and got an epidural. They messed up my epidural and ended up puncturing my spine, as a result I had epidural headaches for 3 weeks after my son was born, I was not able to walk, change a diaper, or even get up off the couch. 20 minutes after the epidural my son was born, apparently my body needed to relax. When he was born there was no discussion as to how I wanted it to happen, or the things I wanted to happen to him immediately after. Everything was just a process that I went along with. We were brought into another room after where we were forced to share with a lady who had just had a very traumatic birth which resulted in absolutely no sleep for us. My husband and I had discussions about everything afterwards and how the two of us were treated. Neither of us were happy whatsoever with the process.We both felt that we were just lead through their system and that my husband himself was not respected as part of the birth process at all.
For our second I applied for a midwife again and got accepted!! It was then that my eyes got opened to how things really should be. Each appointment was an hour long and was a full discussion and full of options. I learned so much about what happened with my other son that I was never told about. I was given information about each topic and resources to help educate myself. I brought family members with me who were curious about midwives and each time they took time to ease their minds and help educate them as well. I knew exactly what I wanted for my birth and my midwives were very accepting of that. When it came to give birth my on call midwife had just returned home from another long delivery and so I was put into the care of another midwife I had never met. This made me a bit nervous but there was something so welcoming about arriving at the birth center at and having 2 people standing there holding both doors open and welcoming you in. I was brought into an exam room and we found out I was only 2 cm dilated which was discouraging for all of us as it had appeared that things were moving much quicker than that. My midwife suggested that I do some figure 8's on a ball in the hallways and so we did that for about an hour, after that I moved into the shower and enjoyed the warm water on my back (I was having bad back labour) and we did that for about an hour. By this time it was and I was tired!!! I wanted to climb into a nice warm bed and sleep.... and so I did. My body must have known I was tired because things started to slow down drastically. My midwife let me take a bit of a nap and then she started to give me a pep talk. I'll never forget when she threatened to send me home..... that had me very scared!! I know now that she was never going to do that, but she knew that I needed something to get me going again and it worked. My baby was posterior and so she did some fancy things with a scarf (I think she called it Rebozos), and then had me maneuver in different ways to get the baby to move. At I got into the birth tub and things took off. By I was ready to start pushing although I had to breath through it for 27 minutes until another midwife arrived. Once everyone was there I pushed for 8 minutes and my son was born. The whole time I was in the tub my midwife held my hands and talked me through each and every contraction. She had people dumping warm water over my back, and my husband was applying pressure where I needed it. I held my son until the chord stopped pulsing and then shortly after he was handed to my husband for some skin on skin time as I got out of the tub. When I got out of the tub I was greeted by big warm blankets and the midwives were checking everything over to make sure everything was fine. My husband was included in the birth and guided as to how he could help me manage, and I was treated with respect and was asked and not told how I wanted things to be. Within 4.5 hours of him being born we were home and sleeping in our own bed. The next day my midwife came to check in on us, and then again a few days later. I have another appointment with my midwife and I can't wait to go in and see them again. The time and care that went into my pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care is amazing. The experience was so completely different from the first and I am so grateful that I was able to have the experience I wanted.
Would/do you recommend midwifery care to family and friends who are expecting? If so, why? If not, why not?
I would 100% recommend midwifery care to every single person I know. Regardless of what kind of a birth you want, or where you want it to happen a midwife can help you. To have the time and care given to you during this time in your life is invaluable and everyone should be privileged to have it.
Finally, who were your midwives? Do you have a message you would like to send them?
My midwives were Jen, Sheila, Theresa and Maren. My message to them is thank you for all that you do. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and be there for me, thank you for giving me the experience I wanted. I will never forget my experience with you!
**If you are looking for ways to help, you can sign the petition supporting our Midwives and Midwifery care in Manitoba. It can be found HERE.
***If you would like to be a part of this series, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to share your story!