I love being a midwife. I love connecting with new mamas and mamas-to-be, beautiful with round bellies alive with the life inside. I often tell an obviously-pregnant mom I see out in public, “You look great!” or, “You’re beautiful.” I wonder as I go on my way, is she having a hospital birth? A homebirth? Has she been educated? Is she a seeker, intent on the best for her and her baby? What will her birth story be? Should I stop and tell her I’m a midwife, and see if she cares to know? Does she know she has options? If she does, does she know where to find her perfect caregiver? Sometimes a mom doesn’t like the status quo modernized method of birthing and wants to be in charge, wanting a birth attendant that will listen and follow her desires, but doesn’t know where to find that perfect birth attendant! My friend Edie Wells, midwife formerly from Wisconsin, once told this humorous story:
I went to the local public library today.
For some reason, we got to talking about midwifery, and the librarian was telling me about her hospital birth, and how the nurses were bossing her around and she was very unhappy with them. At the time, she was an x-ray technician.
Anyhow, they said she needed an IV and she said she didn’t want it in the back of her hand, because it hurts there. She wanted it on the inside of her forearm. Of course, the nurse put it in the back of her hand. She said she kept pulling the catheter out just a little because it felt better, then the nurse would come in and shove it back in. So, she asked her husband to look on the tray and see if there was another IV catheter, which there was.
So…she inserted it in her forearm where she wanted it and when the nurse came back in, it was switched around!!! Can you believe it? Started her own IV!!! The nurse said she was going to put it back in her hand and she said, “Like HECK you are!” What a woman! There was more to the story of course – I enjoyed it thoroughly. She said “I’m a smart person, I read books.”
The question was raised later, “If she’s smart and reads books, how come she was birthing in the hospital?” Answer: she didn’t know she had a choice. Even though this woman’s children are grown, there are women even today, unsatisfied with highly-medicalized care, that don’t know that midwives still exist, or that there are options available.
I want every woman to know she has a choice. Hence, the lists of links to follow. Find midwives of all practice styles; find a doula that can help you cope with labor; find a childbirth educator that can help prepare you to make Informed Decisions. Then, when you have found that one, tell someone else that they, too, have a choice, and make a difference in another life!