When I was pregnant I started my care with my OBGYN with every expectation that I would be delivering our little one in the traditional hospital setting.
Hospitals have always given me the creepies- in my life a visit to the hospital was surrounded by sorrow and grief. It was by no means a place of joy where I would think of life being brought forth. Now I know that hospitals are places of healing an care, but that had not been my experience and I would be overcome with fears every time I thought of labor and delivery. I didn’t want to be hooked up to wires, I didn’t want interventions pushed on me, I didn’t want the hustle and bustle and to be surrounded by strangers when I was at my most vulnerable. So to try and find comfort I went to visit one of my friends who had recently given birth, she introduced me to a different kind of birth.
We scheduled a tour of the birth center and in just a few weeks we were fully under the care of Celebrate Birth- a birth center with prenatal and postpartum care offered by a team of midwives. Both of our mothers had some reservations with us choosing not give birth at the hospital, but I felt such a weight lifted off of me not having to worry about the sterile environment I so dreaded. So what exactly are the benefits of a midwife or birth center- let me fill you in!
At my OBGYN I really did like my doctor; however, every appointment I would wait for a fairly long time to be seen only to feel as if the appointment was rushed so they could move on to the next patient. I never gained the comfort level to be able to ask personal questions or questions I knew were probably silly. From day one at my midwives office everyone was so kind and really took their time to get to know me. As they see fewer patients they made that personal connection with me and it felt as if I was being seen by family. I never felt rushed, in fact I was often times invited to stay longer and ask questions or grab a snack and some water before carrying on with my day. They really got to know me which paid off during labor as they already knew my fears and concerns and were able to talk me through them.
One great benefit of a midwife is fewer interventions. While some interventions are necessary cary, some hospitals have a bad rep for offering a c-section or pain medication just to move the process along. Being that I wanted a natural medicine-free birth, I didn’t want to spend my time in labor denying medications or being offered alternative routes.
A Different Approach to Pregnancy
At a hospital or OBGYN birth is often viewed as a medical condition that must be treated using various methods. This could not be farther from the truth. Just like losing your baby teeth or going through puberty (is anyone else still uncomfortable with that word even as a grown adult?!) your body knows what it’s doing. Your were created to create life, grow a healthy child, and safely deliver them into this world.
The midwives really helped me grasp this concept and realize that this wasn’t a condition I was facing, but a miraculous act of love. My body was not against me. I learned to get me heart, mind, and body all tuned in together to create this little miracle.
I was at my OB until 21 weeks along. I remember at that time already being takes to about interventions if baby boy stayed breech. This was way too early in the pregnancy to be concerning any woman with the prospect of a breech baby. At every appointment I felt stressed about it my weight, activity level, and what I had been eating.
I had a completely different experience at the birth center. My emotional and physical health were viewed as equally important. I was never made to feel as if I was doing anything wrong or wasn’t doing enough. And when baby in fact had not turned they gave me advise to help coax little man along instead of insisting on a c-section.
Maybe one of the most important things of all they were 100% focused on the family we were creating. They offered me and my husband encouragement and support. They helped him realize ways that he could help me and show me the support I needed in pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. We functioned together so well during labor and the weeks that followed- much of that was thanks to the care they provided.
A Different Approach to Birth
Childbirth is hard. Period. And our societies view of childbirth has us believing that we are incapable of giving birth without intervention and medication. That could not be more wrong. Through the midwives I learned to trust my body. It knows how to give birth, all I have to do is sit back and let it.
At the birth center I was able to move freely without being hooked up to IV’s and machines. I was encouraged to move, eat, drink, and vocalize. I had the midwife and my husband cheering me along every step of the way, reassuring me that I COULD do it. It was truly an amazing experience.
I came into Birth and pregnancy with so many fears and anxieties, but I learned to manage them with the help of the ladies at the birth center. I learned to embrace the simple joy and beauty found in every moment of pregnancy and delivery. I can’t wait till next time when I can start my care at the midwives!