I have an admittedly unfounded, entirely non-medically-based belief that the way a baby enters the world impacts them in some way. And I don’t mean whether they come vaginally or by c-section, but instead the atmosphere surrounding their birth.
For that reason, I always hoped that when my time came, I’d be able to have a peaceful labor and birth.
Largely thanks to Hollywood’s common depictions of panicked women drenched in sweat, wailing through contractions, “peaceful” was probably the last word that came to mind when I imagined a hospital birth. Instead, I chose to deliver my first son under the care of a midwife at the Waco Birth Center.
Over the nine months leading up to my son’s birth, I got to spend many hours with my midwife and her two students. This is what I loved about using a midwife.
First of all, I loved using a midwife/birth center model of care because I knew that when the time came to deliver my son, I would be attended by the same three women who had been at every one of my prenatal appointments, rather than whoever happened to be on call that night.
I also loved getting to know those three women over the course of my prenatal care. Driving to every appointment felt like I was driving to meet up with friends. My check-ups never took the entire hour allotted for them, but I often stayed the whole hour anyway just hanging out, chatting, and laughing with my midwives. I actually started getting sad the closer we got to my due date because I knew it meant my time with the staff was drawing to a close.
That said, I loved using a midwife because the relationships I built during that time didn’t come to an end just because my baby was born. Even now, I love swinging by the birth center just to catch up with the team. It’s so fun knowing that the people who cared for my son while he was in my womb and brought him into the world can continue to be part of his life.
I loved using a midwife because of the care and support I received when the big moment finally arrived. Most of those hours I was laboring are a blur to me, but I specifically remember hearing my midwife pray over me at one point. That’s a moment I think will stay in my heart forever. All three midwives were present while I labored, and they spent those hours cheering me on and helping me move around and get as comfortable as possible.
Once my son finally arrived, they treated him with such deep love and tenderness that filled my brand new mama heart to the brim.
I loved using a midwife because my pregnancy and labor were honored as a natural occurrence for which my body was equipped, rather than a medical condition to be monitored and treated.
While in labor, I was able to move freely around the birthing suite without having to be confined to a bed or hooked up to an IV. Then, my midwife released us to go home hours, rather than days, after my son arrived. And boy did it feel good to climb into my own bed after that marathon of a night!
And lastly, I loved using a midwife because of how it impacted my mindset. As I approached my due date, my midwives cultivated in me a spirit of excitement—I was legitimately so excited to experience labor.
It seems like in modern society there is a narrative of fear surrounding birth. A majority of women fear the pain and doubt their ability to push through it without an epidural or some form of painkillers.
My midwives constantly reminded me that birth is a natural event for which women were literally designed. The more I learned about how a mother’s and her baby’s bodies adapt to get that baby out, the more firmly I believed that I was capable. My midwives changed the narrative for me to, “you can do it, you were made to it, and we will help you do it in every way we can.”
As crazy as it sounds (and trust me, it sounds crazy even to me), I remember that while I was holding my brand new baby boy in my arms for the first time, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t wait to do that again.”
Labor is intense, no doubt, but it is also the most beautiful and empowering event I’ve ever experienced. My midwives made sure I went into it prepared and confident, and came out the other end proud and in awe. Women’s bodies are an amazing tool; I loved using a midwife because they made sure my pregnancy and labor were a celebration of that fact.