SuzyQ has patiently waited for a response to a question she raised last month: why a midwife?
I knew from the get-go that I wanted a drug-free ("natural," though some are offended by that term) delivery. The stereotypical busy, uninterested OB/GYN in a sterile white room filled with beeping machines just didn't say comfortable to me, and I knew that would be essential for relaxation. Certainly all OB/GYNs don't devalue and depersonalize the mother and her partner, but they are all medical trained and therefore more apt to prescribe medicine as the be-all, cure-all; to be preoccupied with other patients; to deliver in a hospital setting; and to order a C-section. I needed someone that said warmth, compassion, caring, understanding ... I needed someone who would be there for the whole process, not just the end of the pushing and periodic check-ups. I wanted a warm, dimly lit environment where I could play my own relaxing music (ocean waves for Bean) and it was important to not have medical equipment in the background (research has shown the mere visual or auditory suggestion of medical equipment or intervention/drugs makes for a dramatic increase in the use of it during labor).
I knew my options of midwives varied: they range from almost no scholarly background to specialized nurses or certified nurse practitioners (CNPs), which is what I selected. I wanted to avoid the hospital (too impersonal, sterile, close to medical equipment ...) but I didn't want to deliver at home (it's an apartment, I have three pets, and it's my first child so I didn't feel comfortable enough being that far away from medical help if I needed it). I looked online a bit and discovered the lucky coincidence that I live near a birthing center in Cambridge. The birthing center is an old Victorian house with waterbirthing tubs in each bedroom and it's right across from the hospital in case you need emergency attention. Perfect option, since it was a midpoint between home and hospital.
My insurance covered midwives (most do; I think midwives are generally cheaper than doctors anyway), so I picked up the phone, took a tour, meet the midwives on staff, and started going to monthly check-ups. My midwife gave me all kinds of great advice (yoga poses, Kegels, breathing, etc.) and made me feel like a human being. Not a take-a-number-have-a-seat type of setting.
If I had to do it again, I would have a midwife again and even consider a home birth. The most comfortable part of my labor experience was the time I was at home -- by far. I was in almost no pain for those eight hours and I was completely relaxed (which makes the cervix dilated go much quicker as well).
Bean's crying; gotta run. Hubby has off -- happy Fourth, everyone! Celebrate one of the few nonmaterial holidays left! -- and is making blueberry pancakes. We went for a walk in the rain earlier this morning. Love having him and baby home together.
Thanks for being patient, SuzyQ! :0)