Along with writing about eco-living, I want to cover aspects of our health, wellness, etc. Yesterday Little Man and I went the park to enjoy the sunshine, some tasty treats and the chance to see the amazing midwives that helped bring LM into the world. It was, after all a client reunion picnic.
This got me thinking about what a tremendous role these women played in keeping both of us healthy and strong before and after the birth. So I wanted to write about midwives today, and why I would never consider going through another pregnancy without their help.
I was fortunate enough to have two sets of midwives. I taught in a remote town in Northern Quebec for the first half of my pregnancy (we found out I was pregnant a week before I left), and was under the care of incredible local, Inuit midwives while I was there. After Christmas I came home for good, and began seeing my Ontario midwives (whom I had only met once before leaving for Quebec in August).
Despite the cultural differences, and different backgrounds, both the Quebec and Ontario midwives had very similar approaches. Both made me feel as though Little Man and I were their most important patients. They always took the time to listen to my concerns and to give me well researched, often traditional, medical remedies/advice.
The hippy side of me loved talking about the benefits of breastfeeding, non-medicinal ways of treating pregnancy aches/discomfort, and intervention-free labour possibilities. When it came to medical testing that doctors routinely do, but which are optional, they gave me the pros and cons based on research and then asked us to make a choice, without pressuring us to make a certain choice. They were informative without being pushy.
The Dreamboat and I ended deciding to go with an intervention-free water birth at home. Our midwives supported us 100% and gave us all the information, and pep talks, that we needed. Generally there are two midwives at all home births, but when the big day came, we ended up with three because our primary midwife was also dealing with another birth at the hospital. All three were incredibly well-organized and professional. They gave me pointers (help with how to push and different positions for pushing) while still letting the Dreamboat and I have our space to enjoy the birth as a couple.
In the end we had an amazing experience with the best possible outcome, and it was largely due to the treatment we had from our midwives. It may seem odd to say this about medical professionals, but we bonded with them, and I feel a deep love and respect for all of them. As a woman whose mom died over a decade ago, it was like having three loving moms in the room with me doing exactly what I needed when I needed it.
So it should not be a surprise that I was itching to go to the client reunion to see these wonderful women again and to show them the health boy they each had a hand in helping grow. When Little Man was born, one of the midwives put a small blue cap on his head that said “A Midwife Helped Me Out.” It is such a fitting statement.
Here are pictures from the picnic of Little Man and his four amazing midwives (one of the midwives was not at the birth but we met with her frequently at our appointments). What I find most amusing about these pictures is that you can see the progression of watermelon eating going on.
Too busy eating watermelon to smile with Marie-Eve.
Almost gone with Marie-Eve, Mommy and Leslie.
Do you have any positive experience with midwives or doctors? If so, I would love to hear all about it in the comments below. I hate to leave this post with so many quasi-grumpy looking photos of Little Man. He had stayed up way past his bedtime the night before at a birthday party, hence the lack of his usual silly grins. He was still pretty good considering how done out he was, and I did manage to snap one smile just after he spotted ducks in the pond. So I will leave you with that.
Ontario College of Midwives (2012) The Facts About Home Birth in Ontario. [online] Available at: http://www.cmo.on.ca/documents/home-birth-sheet-FINAL.pdf [Accessed: 2012 May 5].
Sudburymidwives.com (n.d.) Care Overview. [online] Available at: http://www.sudburymidwives.com/Midwives/Care_Overview.html [Accessed: 6 May 2012].