Switching from an obstetrician to a midwife was, by far, the best decision I could have made regarding my prenatal care with my second baby. After being bullied into a C-section with my first child after only 18 hours of labor, I knew I had to switch caregivers if I was lucky enough to get pregnant again. So, before my husband and I even tried conceiving our daughter, I started doing my research to make the change.
She gave me a safety net during my pregnancy and delivery, and I always felt safe and strong knowing that she was there.
I knew that finding a doctor who also accepted patients striving for a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) would be tough, but I had no idea how tough. No one in my county would even contemplate offering me that option. So, after speaking with a friend who delivered her first baby naturally with a midwife, I decided that was the way to go. Thankfully, I found a clinic about an hour away who allowed their patients to attempt a VBAC if that's what they truly wanted.
I'll never forget the first time I met my midwife after my husband and I found out we were expecting baby number two. She must have thought I was insane because I asked for an ultrasound when I was only seven weeks pregnant. "Twins run in my family — like three straight generations," I said. "I feel a little crazy asking for an ultrasound so soon, but I'm nervous." "Oh, you're not nuts," my midwife said. "Let's see how many babies you have cooking in there!" There was only one.
After that relief set in, I sat on the bench with the stiff hospital gown around me. I felt like I finally found someone who didn't immediately dismiss me and my needs, and I knew I could relax a little. From there, my midwife asked, "Do you have any questions about this pregnancy right off of the bat? I know it's your second baby." Still a tad nervous, I took out a folded piece of paper I had tucked away behind my back." "I have 11," I said. "Well then," she said while pulling up a chair, ready to get comfortable. "Let's get started."
My midwife took the time to answer all 11 of my questions, most of them surrounding natural childbirth. If I had done that at my last doctor's office, any of the OBs would have scoffed at my list instead of giving me the time I deserved.
My midwife made me feel like a woman who was about to give life to another human being — not another number she needed to get through. Instead of just delivering babies, she made me feel like she wanted to focus on me being a strong mother and woman in order to deliver a baby. She helped me throughout my pregnancy, answering all of my questions anytime I needed her (and I had a lot!). Most importantly, she stood by my side during my 50-hour VBAC, even when I wanted to give up, because she believed in me. She didn't bully me into a C-section because I wasn't progressing fast enough for her. She always made sure me and the baby were safe, and then encouraged me to stick to my birth plan.
I know there are plenty of amazing and caring OBs out there. I just had a bad experience, and getting a midwife ended up fitting my personality and birth plan so well. She gave me a safety net during my pregnancy and delivery, and I always felt safe and strong knowing that she was there. I couldn't have done it without her.