I wrote about our decision to have a home birth here. This post is a a follow up post regarding how we then found our midwife . . . the dear soul who would see me in all the guts and glory, sweat and tears, swearing . . . and probably more swearing.
Please note, our search was not at length. I simply went with my gut. Here’s how it went down . . .
Since we were hoping to get pregnant sometime in 2014 (and thus a home birth), I knew I better take it seriously. I turned to google and found a plethora of midwives and a couple of birth centers in the Phoenix area. I read bios, reviews and tried my best to be thorough. I didn’t rush. I just “browsed” and took my time. Window shopping. Facebook stalking.
I narrowed my choices down to two midwives (there were plenty, these were just the two that immediately stood out to me for various reasons) and emailed my first choice. She (like most midwives) offered a free initial consultation and I took her up on it. We scheduled a time to meet. A few days later she had a family emergency and announced she was taking no new clients on for the rest of the year. No problem. Moving on. I shot an email to my second pick, we too scheduled a time and one afternoon after work I found myself in her home office.
NOW. Here is where I really messed up. As I drove to her home I realized I hadn’t written down one single question and I am horrible off the cuff. I’m very much “on the cuff” when it comes to speaking out loud. I really regret this and am here to tell you that there are TONS of resources online to help guide you as you come up with your own set of questions. However, that being said, I think it’s important to note that many women decide to have a home birth midway through their pregnancy, after already having seen an OB. So, while it is important to be thorough and confident, remember, this is not a situation to rush. Anyways, back to the part where I showed up totally unprepared and looking ever younger than normal. . .
I pulled up, knocked on the door and held my breath. Two ladies (my now midwife and her apprentice) opened the door, offered me tea and led me into a quaint home office. I felt so unprepared (my fault) but very much at home. They were calm, collective and (this might sound weird but I will explain further) a tad intimidating.
This (intimidation) was actually really reassuring to me. They intimidated me because they asked me questions I hadn’t thought of (not the other way around). They had answers to my own questions that were completely thorough and factual and they were bold. After giving them a rundown of my own health history, they shared with me their concerns, and they did not hold back.
I felt as though I had just met with an 80 year old woman who told me “what was up.” She was soft spoken but did not beat around the bush. When I am giving birth, I don’t want someone to pat my head. I have friends and family to do that. I want someone who knows what they are doing, knows what my body is doing and is not afraid to tell me to cowboy up. I want someone who believes in my body and it’s ability to do magic. The fact that she was wearing Doc Martens was icing on the cake, it might have even been the selling point. For the sake of her own privacy, we will call her “S.”
Fast forward a few months . . . once I got pregnant I knew I had time to further my midwife search but honestly, I really enjoyed S. I went with my gut and knew that for whatever reason (while I wasn’t hoping this would happen), I could always change my mind. Thus far, S and her apprentice have been amazing and I have no doubt they will continue to love on me. I have shot them emails and phone calls only to be followed up with an immediate response. I have shared with them my concerns, thoughts, feelings and they always give me their full attention. They regularly remind me that the decision is mine (I often ask, “can I?”) and that I get to make the call. In fact, a couple of times I have just straight out asked them to tell me what to do because I want their opinion, I want their insight even though the decision is mine.
No, my search wasn’t long. It could have been more thorough and I should have written down a list of my questions (believe me, some of the questions listed online are intense, tiger mom intense). But I asked the ones that were important to me, listened to my gut and have yet to look back. They always greet me with a hug and remind me to sit up straight. They talk to the little girl in my belly with great tenderness, even when she’s not cooperative and tries her best to “run away” from the doppler. Which is every time. They remind me that my body is made to give birth, birthing is not a sickness or a condition. It is what my body was made to do, and do well . . . whether or not I’m throwing things across the room when the whole “beautiful, natural birth” thing becomes a very raw reality. S has got my back.