When I was pregnant with Chilly, I knew something wasn't right. Every time I went to my Dr. appointment, I would come home sick, tired, worried about something. I dreaded going in to see him. Don't get me wrong, I love my Dr. He is kind, jovial, and a bit nutty. Plus he is L.D.S. which was a big plus in my book. He delivered my first baby, and he did a fantastic job, I only had a couple of stitches! He was cool with my natural childbirth choice and all that. But I usually came home feeling icky.
I came home after my 24 week appointment (or somewhere around there) with the news that I probably had gestational diabetes, or that I would develop it soon. Because Harry had been over 9 pounds. I felt fine. I had no symptoms. The ultrasound that we had done the previous weeks showed a healthy baby.
So I got up the gumption to go and find a midwife that would accept me as a patient at such a late date. And I did, I found one, and I haven't looked back since.
My first appointment with Chris was a test. To see how much I liked her, to see how well she "worked" with our personalities. Big D included. She was so layed back, relaxed. She told me that she had 9 babies, each over 9 pounds, and she never once had GD. She even told me that she honestly believed that GD was a very unlikely disease for me. All my worries went out the window, and so did big D's. Little did I know, that she was conducting the same test about me! About my beliefs, my diet, my goals, my desires.
And then the day came, and although I was initially concerned with NOT going to a hospital, it totally felt natural. It was a blessing to see her in my bedroom, the most intimate setting in my house, totally at ease with showing my naked behind.
So this time, when I was having problems conceiving, who did I talk to? And who found out before most of my family? Yeah, no big surprise. Because a midwife is like a friend. Or a close Aunt, or grandma, or even mother. She treats all of you, and in so doing, she becomes much closer than any MD really can.
I went to my appointment today, a little worried, not because of all the weight I have thus far gained, nor all the unhealthy foods I have managed to keep down, not even the lack of movement from the imenent I have felt thus far. or even the pinched nerve that has been causing me daily excrusiating pain. Or my blood pressure which surely has been elevated due to family drama. None of that was on my mind as I crossed the parking lot to the office.
I had been to see Chris 2 times in this pregnancy thus far. With the first I was really worried about hearing a heartbeat, which we did hear, and the second time, I was just taken back from her blunt manner telling me that I was off a week. She just seemed, I don't know...off. Sort of grumpy, like she was having a bad day. So I had been sitting there stewing on this recent behavior for 5 weeks. I had spent the last 5 weeks wondering if I was doing something different, or if she had changed from her easygoing manner, to someone more business or dr. like.
As I walked into the tiny clinic, with my fears in my gut, I was greated by the fact that there was laughter coming from the room where she sees people. Laughter and smiles. I chose my seat carefully because I didn't want to hurt my already sore back. I sat there for 10 minutes listening to the ease in which she gave this mom to be advice about excersing. She talked to her abut sex, about pushing out a baby, and about traffic. random, I know, but it was sweet talk to me. When this other mom to be left the clinic, she had a smile on her face, and a bounce in her step, which, I assure you, is difficult when you are 9 months pregnant.
My turn. I peed, she took my test strip and told me it was fine. She asked my weight, she took my blood pressure, she measured my belly, she exclaimed she hadn't seen a belly look this wonderful all day! She told me I was beautiful, that my weight gain was excellent, that my blood pressure was amazing for what we were going through. And then we talked. See that is what she does. Not only did we talk about how I was feeling physically, but how I was feeling emotionally. How did I feel. well I was worried, I was a little depressed, emotional, hormonal. that sort of thing. And what did she do? She didn't perscribe any drugs, or give me any shots, she didn't scribble anything in her notebook. she looked at me and listened. NOt just with her ears, but with her heart. She explained some exercises for my back, she showed me some too. We talked, and we laughed.
See that is what a midwife does. She takes the time to take care of you, the whole you. She knows that a healthy baby needs a healthy mom too. That the most important part of a relationship between a baby and a mommy is love and trust. She teaches moms to trust in thier bodies and to love what is happening to them. To look upon pregnancy as a chance to touch divine.
She also introduced me to some associate midwives that will be practicing with her, and we all talked for much longer than any of us intended. When I finally left the office, with a hug from all three, I left so much lighter and confident than when I went in. There is no drug that can do that. There is no shot that can give me the knowledge that I can do this, that I can bring this baby into the world. That the best gift I can give my baby, is to love me, and to be happy with my life, my choices. To care for my body and my soul, in any way that I can.
That, dear readers, is the essence of midwivery.