When I became pregnant with my first child in 2006, I knew immediately that I wanted an OBGYN to deliver my baby at the hospital. I wanted to ensure that every precaution be taken and that any medications or pain killers that may be required would be available to me. That would be the safest thing for me and my baby. A doctor would be the most knowledgeable about a healthy delivery right?
Because I had never experienced child birth before, I wanted the option for an epidural and I knew that with an OBGYN I could do that. I found a reliable OBGYN in town and eagerly went to every appointment. She would answer my questions and was available when I needed to see her. It just felt like something was missing…
When it came time to deliver, I had to be induced a week early. I eagerly awaited my doctor’s arrival, but sadly I waited and waited and waited. Finally she came to pop my water bag the following day and disappeared again. I was scared and needed reassurance that everything was ok but she was never there to explain what was happening. Her brief appearances left me confused. When the pain became too much to bear, I believed my only option was to get the epidural. That in itself was a huge mistake. It was horrifically painful and was administered incorrectly. I unfortunately was numb from the waist down, but could still feel every painful contraction.
In the end, my daughter was born 34 hours after I had been induced. . . by a nurse from the hospital.. . because my doctor left my bedside to retrieve her cell phone from her car. Needless to say, this is not what I had envisioned my delivery to be like.
When I became pregnant with my second child, I knew that there had to be a better experience for me. In the course of sharing my story with friends, co-workers, and family, I learned that there were midwives that could deliver my baby as well. Being from the Midwest, all I could think of was home birth, no drugs, and all natural. I didn’t think I wanted another epidural after my previous experience, but I certainly wanted the option. I didn’t want to be pressured by a midwife to not receive any medication and I most definitely wanted to deliver in a hospital. Could a midwife possibly be different than what I imagined?
Yes, yes, and yes! I had a complete misconception of what kind of services a midwife could provide as well as the type of labor and delivery I could expect. From the moment I came to the Alumbra, I was greeted with friendly knowledgeable staff and immediately felt a kind of camaraderie with everyone who worked there. I felt a genuine concern for my well-being and that of my child.
There were 3 midwives that I met with throughout my pregnancy, all of which I had the utmost confidence in. I knew that no matter when my bundle of joy may arrive, I would have the expertise I would need. My visits were family oriented and I was encouraged to bring my husband and daughter whenever I would like. Being that my daughter was 2, I was really glad she could join Mommy to hear the baby’s heartbeat and be a part of the experience.
Home birth was never mentioned nor did any of the midwives discourage me from the use of medication during labor. Instead, I was greeted with options of how to manage my pain if I chose not to get an epidural (which at this point I didn’t want). So when that blessed day came, I again was faced with being induced and the fear of my delivery being similar to my last.
Boy was I wrong! I was given the tools this time around to really manage my pain without relying on an epidural. I was shown how to properly use the birthing ball, the Jacuzzi bath, as well as the birthing bar. I did require some pain medication after laboring for several hours but was happy to see that my midwife didn’t judge me for it. Instead throughout my labor, she was there for me with encouraging words and a gentle hand. She didn’t leave me wondering where I was at in my labor but provided me with updates on my progress. Just when I thought the epidural may have been a good idea, she declared that it was time, and sure enough it was.
I pushed for 10 minutes, with the aid of the birthing bar, and my son entered the world into his father’s arms with the help of my midwife who made it all possible. Thanks to her coaching and the wonderful nurses, I did not require an episiotomy and my healing time was virtually 90% faster than my first child. In fact, I felt so good she had to remind me to take it easy for a while because I did just have a baby! I did not suffer any postpartum or “baby blues” and I truly credit it to the care and attention I was given during my labor and delivery.
For anyone who may be on the fence whether to go with an OBGYN or a midwife for their pregnancy, I will always recommend a midwife. The kind of care I received was unmatched and I will be forever grateful.