There are so many reasons why I love having a midwife and giving birth at her home. From the moment I chose my midwife, I had full peace about the whole process. She is not only there to deliver my baby, but also educate me and my husband about the whole process: Prenatal and postpartum of what comes with having a baby. With my first pregnancy, by the time I was ready to deliver I had no questions or fears about the process. Through each of our prenatal group sessions and the quality information I read on my own, I felt that I knew all I needed to know. Even going through my second pregnancy, I see how much I have forgotten and am so thankful to still have the group sessions to refresh my memory.
I am such a home body and choose being at home in my comfort zone quite often. Since midwives weren’t aloud to practice in Alabama, having my baby in my own home wasn’t an option. The next best thing was finding a midwife who delivers babies in her own home. Each time I go to her home I feel more and more at home and comfortable with my surroundings. It is where I bring life into this world and our family. I wanted a place where I could feel at home away from home. She has half of her home set up for births and our prenatal sessions. We sit in a living room for our group sessions and fully decorated and furnished bedrooms for giving birth. Its hard not to feel welcome when you walk in her front door.
With us having to drive almost 2 hours to see our midwife, I have come to appreciate having our group prenatal sessions each time. Our checkup takes about 15 minutes therefore, driving that distance for such a short amount of time would be a lot. I plan to do a whole blog post about what is discussed during our prenatal sessions soon so if you are interested in reading it, stay tuned!
As a first time mom, I had every single question you could think of about giving birth to a child. In our group sessions we discuss everything from diet to picking pediatricians to learning about the growth of your baby to nursing and all the in between. As a second time mom, all the same information is just as helpful in a different way. I am in a much different place in life than I was the first time, so the information speaks to me differently. Relate it to reading a book twice or watching a movie twice. You notice more detail the second time around, because you aren’t so focused on the story as a whole and what happens in the end.
If I need her, she’s there. Questions, concerns, problems: I can call or email and always expect a response in a short amount of time. If its an emergency I can call her first to let her know what is going on and she can make the decision whether I need to make a trip to the ER or what I can do fix the issue myself. It is so comforting to know that if needed she is there to help me. She is in the business for me; to help give me the best birth experience I could possibly dream about. She is with me from start to finish. I know that when I go into labor she will be the one with me when I arrive and stay with me until I go home.
Freedom & Flexibility
This mainly refers to the day of birth. The only time I can really relate her to a doctor experience at this point is because on the day of my first birth I didn’t see her much. She was there if I needed her but if I didn’t she just let us do our thing and she came in at the end to deliver my baby. That is why she requires first time moms to hire a doula (written about in my previous blog Preparing For Birth). Doula’s assist and help you as you labor.
On the day of my birth when I arrived at her house I wasn’t fully aware of how the process goes. She told me to rest, walk around, eat when I can, and let her know if I need her. At first I was like what?? You’re not going to be there to tell us what to do?? Turns out your body tells you what to do haha! I ended up loving it that way. I loved that my husband and I could just be together alone as we walked around the neighborhood. I love the deeper connection we experienced doing it on our own. Learning more about each other and how we become a team when things get hard and are painful. Once my mom arrived, it was just the three of us until it was time to deliver. I was in my comfort zone. Fully at peace and comfortable with my surroundings. Worried about absolutely nothing. Focusing only on getting my baby here safely. That excites me about this birth coming up; knowing a little bit more of what to expect and having another bonding experience with my husband, having the freedom to walk around, eat and drink when I need it to give me the stamina to endure the day, rest when I can, flexibility to adjust when needed.
Peace of Mind
I love having a midwife, because she brings me peace. I’m not worried about what if I or my baby needs to go to the hospital. She is the professional that has her only interest of our safety. She gives me peace that my job is to deliver. Her job is to access the situation and the signs that may need further attention. I may have a low stress level, but when asked the “what if” questions I don’t think twice about it. There is no what if to me. My midwife has years of experience. She has things set in place that works. If I follow her guidelines, I know I can expect a successful birth.
I love having a midwife, because she makes me feel at home the moment I walk in her front door. She educates me so I can feel confident in myself and my body. She makes herself available to me when I have questions, concerns, or emergencies. She provides the freedom and flexibility to make my birth plan come true. My midwife gives me a peace of mind. In the end, we all feel successful.
I’m thankful for my midwife everyday. I can’t imagine my births to be any other way. She makes my birth dreams happen.
As of January 2019, Alabama has officially legalized midwives practicing and able to deliver babies within a birth center! I could not be more excited for this new step in the birthing world. For us who travel hours to deliver with a midwife, we have been heard and more people are becoming aware of the success home births can bring! It gives options to moms who want them. The new bill is still very limiting for midwives, but it is a huge start!
What does that mean for me? I’ll continue this pregnancy and birth with my midwife in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My midwife is actually retiring in June this year and going to be living her best life sailing around the world with her husband. Her daughter, who is also a midwife and I have gotten to know during this pregnancy, will take over the business and continue giving moms the best experiences they can have. I will most likely have my next birth closer to home, if not in my own home. As of right now, I don’t think midwives in Alabama are able to deliver in home. I’m hoping within a few years they are able to work out those details and make that possible for when I’m ready to do it again.
Thanks for reading! If you had a birth with a midwife or are interested in having one, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.