I am deciding to use a midwife for my second pregnancy. It is NOT because I want a home birth. It is NOT because I want a water birth, or even because I want to labor and deliver with out medication. However, after doing my research I have decided that using a midwife is still the best route for me. Let me tell you why.
The labor and delivery of my first child was not traumatic in anyway. It was a fairly smooth 12 hour labor that ended with a gorgeous 7lb 5 oz little girl, absolutely taking my breath away. I did all the things that the majority of midwife patients opt out of, but I still felt strength, joy and satisfaction with the delivery I did have.
You can read a more detailed birth story here. To sum up quickly, I was admitted with only mild contractions because of how dilated I already was. I had an almost immediate epidural, then a few rounds of pitocin. Once I got to pushing I had my water manually broken and I also received an episiotomy.
My outlook going into my first delivery was that I had NEVER birthed a child. Yet, these nurses and doctors deliver babies daily. I trusted my nurses and my OB and I want to state clearly that I did NOT have that trust broken. Birthing Gemma was such an incredible moment in my life that I will never forget and will always look back on fondly.
So Why Change?
That’s the big question isn’t it. If I was so pleased with my delivery of Gemma, then why worry about changing anything. Remember how I said that my outlook during Gemma’s birth was that I had never done it before, so I was just going to roll with things?
Well, now I have birthed a baby before. Honestly it was as simple as that for me. Ultimately I want to feel more in control of myself and my baby as I bring him out of the womb and into the world. I use the word control lightly because we never have true control. Yet I wanted to be informed and empowered to make my own decisions about the birth I want or don’t want.
I decided to do more research. Something I refrained from with my first, because of the high level of anxiety I had around giving birth. I spent a lot of time reading about interventions and pain medication and the different options that women have when it comes to giving birth. I would encourage every woman to research birth and birthing options. You don’t have to wait until your second child like I did!
Another thing I did was talk to my husband. Dallas is extremely involved in the labor and delivery process. He actually helped deliver Gemma and he plans to do the same with Evander. So we got to discuss his thoughts on all the things I had researched. Yes, I am the one birthing the baby. However my husband is a CRUCIAL part of that experience and so I genuinely listen to his opinions and ideas on the birth he hopes I (and we) can have.
Why a Midwife?
Now we get to the point of the post. Why did I choose to use a midwife? After my research, deciding what kind of birthing experience I would like to have, and looking into what was available locally, midwifery was the best route.
The reason I decided to get a midwife ultimately boils down to empowerment. I wanted my birth of Evander to be in my hands. The midwives I have chosen have been nothing but encouraging of the birth experience that I’m wanting. They did not try to talk me out of wanting a planned epidural, yet they also understood my desire to not induce labor with Pitocin.
My midwives listened and agreed with my decision to birth in a hospital setting yet encouraged me in my hope to labor at home longer. They are trained and educated in how to use interventions in specific cases (or emergencies) yet, hold my same belief of only using an intervention if necessary (aka, to keep baby or me safe).
Do What’s Best for You
I’ve had to redirect a lot of assumptions I have gotten from others in response to my decision to use a midwife. It is the reason I wanted to take the time and explain. Using a midwife does not mean you have to have an un-medicated water birth with music and birth affirmations and a photographer… Just like using an OB does not automatically mean you have to have and epidural, pitocin, and interventions that ultimately lead to a C-Section.
I want to encourage every pregnant woman to take the time to research (no matter how scary). Gain as much knowledge as you can about the birthing process. Look at possible complications, different interventions, pain management and more. Seriously. Fill yourself with knowledge about this adventure you are about to embark on. Then make the decision that works best for you and your baby.
The truth is you won’t TRULY know until you experience it. The journey must be endured before there can be understanding. I believe that goes for baby number two as well. Anything can happen. So while I am making decisions about Evander’s birth, I am also holding my “birth plan” in open hands. My worth and your worth is not in the type of birth we have. Bringing a child into the world is pain and joy, strength and exhaustion, tears and laughter, the dark and the light. And it is worth it. Always.