Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A midwife story

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I had to ditch my regular OB-GYN, who I found lackluster, impersonal, and unimpressive.  While I really can't make a huge judgment call on her specific medical skills, I desperately felt the need to have a connection to the person who I would meet with constantly for appointments and who would (potentially) deliver my child.
Very quickly, I reached the conclusion that I wanted a midwife, but I'd like to share a little bit more about how I came to that conclusion.  In college, I was fascinated with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, an historian who basically determined that midwives had a higher success rate of births than doctors in the early 1800s.  (Yes, I am a huge history dork, and yes, I realize that was two hundred years ago, but sometimes we're shocked by what still holds true today).
  So, I began my research, and came to the conclusion that a midwife was definitely worth checking out. Reading articles like this one, which discusses how midwives have a higher success rate of vaginal births, made me think that midwives still might have a leg up on a traditional OB.  And after all the horror stories I had heard about deliveries gone bad, I wasn't convinced that a traditional birth was necessarily the best route.  Plus, with the rates of C-sections soaring, the fact that the US has a higher rate of infant mortality than other developed countries, and knowing that I didn't want medical intervention unless it was absolutely necessary, I decided to go to a "meet and greet"at the Women's Health Associates to learn more about the midwives and see if it was really for me.  We met with Adrienne, and I immediately gravitated to her energetic and kind demeanor.  I appreciated the philosophy that childbirth is a natural process, not a medical condition, and was glad that she spent over an hour and a half answering our questions (four other couples were there with us).  I also appreciate the fact that the midwives have taken the time to get to know me and my husband; in fact, most of my first appointment with Valaree was just to learn about my background, my own birthing philosophy, and to answer any of my questions.  At first, it was a struggle to get used to the fact that a medical professional wanted to take the time to know more about me, but I quickly realized this was a great perk of a midwife -- a true interest in her patient as a human being.
I don't believe that OBs are bad people, but I do think that some of the medical practices that surround birth aren't necessarily the best.  Plus, I love that my midwife will be with me throughout my entire labor.  And, I wanted someone who would be understanding of my lifestyle, and the midwives are completely supportive of CrossFit and my dietary choices.  So far, it's been a highly positive experience, and I'm looking forward to my next appointment with them in September!

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