It was dark by the time I got home from my prenatal appointment yesterday. My car was covered in a slushy, messy, frozen coating of snow and ice from driving three hours in a not-so-lovely storm. I had spent the previous night at my Mom's house in Athabasca so that I wouldn't have to make a round-trip from Fort McMurray to Plamondon for my appointment. When you're in your third trimester, a six hour trip in a car makes for a looooong day - no matter how many breaks you take - so I like to split it up when I can.
My kids missed me terribly and
squealed with delight when I walked in the door. It was my husband's
last day off and he was cooking up a storm in the kitchen: preparing to
serve up some slow-cooker meatballs. I really am so very lucky to have
such an amazing partner in life.
I missed them, too. But I was home and all was well.
When I first made the decision to apply for midwifery care at the
beginning of my third pregnancy, I did it with a very small amount of
hope that I would actually be accepted and thought that if I should get
so lucky, I would worry about the logistics then.
see, there are no midwives in the town I live in. That's right! ZERO
midwives...even though we have well over 100 babies born per month in
our one tiny hospital.
Being lucky enough to be
accepted into a midwifery practice for this baby also meant, for me,
that I would not be birthing my baby in my home town. It meant that I
would be travelling a total of six hours round trip for
every.single.appointment. It meant that I would have to pack up my
family and my life in the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. It meant
all of that but I was still absolutely OK with it - and I wouldn't be
the first mom to do it either!
So here I am now, in the
homestretch of my pregnancy and with all the travelling I've been doing
lately, it seems I've had a lot of time to think. My most recent trip
had me thinking hard about why midwifery care was so important to me and
why I was making all these sacrifices just to have the experience I've
been longing for since the birth of my first child five years ago.
was this trip that had me realize that it's not just the birth
"experience" that matters. My midwife and I had a great conversation
about birth plans and birth stories and she reminded me that the
"experience" really lies within the four walls of my own mind. This is
something I know well and often tell the moms I converse with work in my
work as a doula. But to hear someone say it back to me was exactly what
I realized that having a midwife is not just about
having a home birth. It's not just about having a "natural" birth
(whatever that really means these days). The most beneficial part I'm
realizing as a newbie mom to the midwifery model of care is that
responsibility for whatever kind of birth you want, is in YOUR hands.
Midwives encourage moms to research and make truly informed decisions.
They encourage moms to THINK about their bodies, their births and their
babies....something I'm noticing is becoming less of a thing these days
and I don't know why.
Don't get me wrong: I trust and respect
doctors just as much as the next guy but what I will never understand is
the countless number of moms who just "go with the flow" naively
throughout their entire pregnancies. Never asking questions. Never
wondering WHY induction and cesarean rates are so high. Never allowing
themselves to have a voice during a time in their life that is so
incredibly transformational. Just accepting the status quo as is.
Midwives change that!
They ask YOU why...
They ask you how YOU feel...
They ask what YOU want to do...
Because they know it matters.
a woman is tasked with having to make decisions for herself...she
educates herself. I truly believe that no matter what kind of birth a
mother has - natural, vaginal, med-free, epidural, induced, cesarean,
whatever - a few appointments with a midwife will give them the
confidence in themselves to know WHY they are experiencing what they are
experiencing. They will then take ownership of those experiences and
they will transform into motherhood with the kind of rock-solid
confidence and take-no-shit attitude that so many mamas are lacking
these days (my past-self included).
THIS is why midwifery care matters.
without even discussing the cost-saving a midwife provides, THIS is why
women (and men) around the world need to keep pressuring our goverments
to keep midwifery care alive.
If you agree, please feel free to share!
Peace & Health,