Welcome back friends and followers!
In light of all the love and support going around right now for our amazing Manitoba Midwives, I have decided that I am going to do my part and keep this fire burning bright! Our midwives need our support and they need to be recognized for the amazing work they do in Manitoba.
I am starting a blog series called "A Testimonial to Manitoba Midwives". I have asked fellow midwifery loving women to participate, allow me to take their photo, and allow me to share their stories. I hope that you will follow along with me and help spread the love!
I will start by interviewing myself!
Hello self, who are you? What do you do for a living? How many kids do you have? Tell me a little bit about you!
My name is Alicia, I am a photographer, the wife of a handsome pool guy and the mother of 2 amazing and crazy little boys who are 3 years old and 17 months old! They keep me busy and on my toes (especially since the littler one discovered he can climb... everything)! I drink more coffee than I should, I love a good book, and I love oogling beautiful birth images from fellow birth photographers around the world!
How did you come to know that midwifery care was an option to you and your family?
A long time friend of my husband married a beautiful midwife named Jocelyn. She became a good friend of mine, long before we were anywhere near the point of having kids, however I learned about midwifery care from her over the years! I was hooked from the get-go
How far into your pregnancy did you apply for midwifery care?
After learning about midwives, and the state of midwifery care in Manitoba, I was literally peeing on a stick as I was holding the phone dialing the intake number. I may have told the intake lady before I had even told my husband he was going to be a dad..... (shhh.... don't tell him that! I kid, he knows)
How far into your pregnancy were you when you learned that you had been accepted into care?
Since I had an "insider" so to speak, I knew the chances of being accepted into care were slim. I applied at every clinic in the city that offered midwifery services (there were 5) in the hopes that I would be accepted by 1 of them. Time went on, and I waited... and waited... and waited.... then the rejection letters started coming... and I cried. And panicked. 4 rejection letters. I was heartbroken. See, I personally witnessed a pretty terrible hospital experience that has affected my family immensely, and will continue to affect us for the rest of our lives. I was absolutely terrified of birthing a baby in a hospital. When I received a phone call 2 weeks after my last rejection letter came, I was OVER THE MOON! It seriously felt like I had won the lottery. I was 14 weeks at the time. For our second pregnancy, it was the same story. Peeing on a stick, holding the phone! I was hopeful that I would be accepted into care again and we were! Being a mom of a crazy toddler though, I don't remember when I was accepted the second time around, but I believe my first appointment with my amazing midwives was around 12 weeks.
Will you share your birth story/stories with us?
Keenan, my oldest, was born on November 1st, 2012 into the waiting hands of my midwife Megan! His labor was long.... very long. Since I was a first time mom, I had no clue what to expect and when I thought my water broke at 3:30am on Halloween, and I called Megan to let her know she and Danielle came down to asses me and check me out. They told me that we still had a long way to go, so go back to bed if I could. Hubs and I went grocery shopping. Went for a walk. I tried to rest, but contractions and I were not friends so that never happened. Fast forward to 8pm- arrive at the birth center and into the tub I went. And stayed there for a long time. Fast forward again to 3(ish)am and I'm pushing. And pushing. And pushing. I was a horrible pusher lol. Around 4:30am, still pushing and starting to make progress, things got a bit scary. Baby's heart rate dropped significantly, enough that Megan called paramedics and prepped me for potential intervention. But, with the support and encouragement of my amazing midwives, my mom and my husband, I managed to get my 8lb 8oz baby boy out at 5:03am. Turns out the stinker was trying to come out with his hand on his face.
Quinn's labor and delivery was much faster than his older brothers. On September 13th, I was taking photos at my niece's 1st birthday party and I was pretty sure I was in early labor. Fast forward to Keenan's bed time, and I was for sure in labor. We tried to go to bed, and I managed to get a solid 45 minutes of sleep before contractions woke me up again. I let hubs sleep, while I went to the living room to watch TV and sit on my ball and do my thing. I wasn't paying much attention to my contraction timer, but 1am rolled around and I looked and saw they were only about 2-3 minutes apart... uh oh. Woke hubby, called midwife around 1:30am and Janet says we'd better get going NOW. Call my dad to come stay with Keenan, and off we go to the birth center. Arrived there at 3am or so and after about 45 minutes I was ready to push. Baby Q wanted out but was stubborn and sunny side up. 2 and a half hours of pushing in, Janet and Joan got me doing barrel rolls on the bed in between pushes to try to get him to turn. From what my hubs tells me, when he finally did turn, I had him out in 3 pushes. All 9lbs 14oz of him. (I still hold that he was 10lbs when he was born... he had the biggest poop I'd ever seen within seconds of being out. Totally 2oz worth!)
What, in your opinion, was the most important part about the care you received from your Midwives?
It's so hard to pick a single most important aspect of the care I received from my team. Everything they do was so vital to me. They helped me make informed choices. They provided me with the "why's" to any test we did and everything was presented as a choice. They supported me and eased my fears. They never made me feel silly for asking questions... in fact, they welcomed it! I never felt rushed through my appointments and when it came time for me to bring my babies earthside, I felt as comfortable as any laboring mom ever could be! Not to mention the postpartum care we had! My baby Q was jaundiced and ended up needing a billi blanket, but thanks to our midwives advocating for us, and checking up on us regularly, we were allowed to care for our yellow baby in the comfort of our own home.
Would you recommend midwifery care to friends and family who are expecting?
Absolutely. No question. This level of involved and informative care changed my perception of birth entirely. They gave me the confidence I needed to make the decisions that were best for my family. Every family should have access to that kind of care.
Finally, who were your midwives? Do you have a message you would like to send them?