Friday, October 4, 2013

Don't Judge a Midwife by Your Preconceptions

Today was a sad day. I helped two families deal with their separate experiences of loss. I was a witness to tears and pain and connection. Normally I don't have a problem doing what I do. I am able to see the hope instead of the tragedy. But today, I didn't have any defense against the sadness.

But that's not what this post is about. I've been doing too much bitching lately. This post is about yesterday's midwife appointment and how I found myself guilty of jumping to conclusions.

You see, since day one at our Birthing Center there has been a midwife that I've been dreading meeting with. Her photo on the website features her in some type of Yoga-like pose that makes her look like a zen-momma-midwife. Stories of her around the clinic are that she tends to be the most "strong-minded" and alternative in her beliefs (regarding things like circumcision, herbal remedies and vaccines). And the one experience I had with her over the phone when I was having some spotting left me with a bad taste in my mouth. As luck would have it, we've somehow missed meeting with her in our rotation of midwives. Until now.

I went into it with an inwardly sarcastic smile, knowing I wouldn't like her. Ooops. Just goes to show anyone I can be a judgmental bitch before I actually get to know someone. Because, really, I liked her. She's been doing this the longest and it shows. She was no-nonsense, calm, and knowledgeable. Here are some of the things I liked about her:

-When she raved (twice) about my blood work.
-When she told me I "look comfortable being pregnant."
-When she provided helpful suggestions and backed them up with research.
-When she told me my baby was extremely healthy, weighing in around 6 lbs, and could probably "come today" and still be healthy.
-When she didn't judge me (the first midwife so far!) for what I've been eating and said, "Sounds like that works for you."
-When I told her my biggest fear about giving birth is that the baby might be born not breathing, and she looked at me and said, "Mine too."
-When she told my husband I had a beautiful belly.
-When she recommended adding a glass of wine to my bathtime ritual as a "muscle relaxant" to keep my uterus calm. (Still not likely to happen - I'm too paranoid).
-When she told me my baby is in the "best possible" position for delivery (LOA).
-Most importantly....when she found baby's heartbeat right away and it sounded like heaven.

So yeah. Oops. I stand corrected against this poor midwife whom to date I haven't been able to talk about without rolling my eyes. Sorry, zen-momma-midwife-lady!

The craziest thing about yesterday's appointment (besides me being wrong), is that it impressed upon me the nearness of this impending ENORMOUS life change. I mean, the whole appointment felt different. We discussed prelabor signs, how and when to call, what to bring to the birth center, and post-partum care. She stressed to me that the baby could come any time now, especially as I myself was born at 36 weeks. She encouraged me to hurry up and stop working so I can enjoy my last time without kids. Basically, it just felt real. Since then, I've vacillated between terror, exhilaration, disbelief and shock. Now when I play my Calendar Game, I look at the month of October and see a bunch of days that could be baby's birthday. I mean, I realize I could still have almost 6 weeks to go, but I think that it sunk in that every day from now on is a possibility.

But, as I said before, I want to keep ticking off those "possible days" until we get much closer to the due date. I'm really not ready to give up my transition/preparing/self-care days before baby gets here. I feel like it's important for me to take this next step. Not to mention, I am going to need a week after I finish working to recover my strength in order to push this baby out!

I will leave you with a glimpse of the "beautiful belly."


  1. It IS a beautiful belly! :-) I'm so glad you had a good experience with this midwife! Like you, I have one midwife at my center that I just don't like. She is similar in having the strong-minded views and hippie vibes. I just don't respond to it. Although I've already met her maybe she'll grow on me as we get further along.

    How exciting that you're in the last stretch! I continue to be super excited for you and can't wait to hear about your birth experience. Take care of you!

  2. Hooray for good midwives! There are only two at the clinic I go to, so I've been seeing them both pretty much from the start -- yet I've still managed to swap opinions as far as which one I like best. It'll be interesting to see which one is on call when I go into labor and what that means for the whole experience.

    That belly is looking good! I was born almost two weeks overdue... so I'm hoping the pattern won't hold in my case!

  3. That is a great belly!

    Glad you had a good appointment with the midwife. It's starting to hit me now that I only have two months left that this baby is coming soon!! So much left to do!

  4. That IS a beautiful belly! I know I am also guilty of judging people before I give them a chance, but it's great to be proven wrong about our assumptions.

    Are you off work soon? I hope you do get a little time to yourself before baby arrives :)

  5. Beautiful, just beautiful!

    I probably would have judged her too, and assumed she'd be a total wackadoo. But sometimes people surprise you... in good ways! Glad to hear that this was the case.

  6. ah, you look great! you make me miss my pregnant belly! I'm glad you have these last few weeks off of work, I hope your little guy takes a few weeks to get here, and you have time to bask in your pregnancy. Seriously, really, really bask in it. Walk around target and let people smile at you. let old guys hold doors for you. eat an extra bowl of pasta.

    because, when the beautiful belly is transformed into a beautiful baby, it all changes... good changes, of course, but SO CHANGED.

  7. I'm so glad you had such a positive visit with her!

    I can't imagine absorbing so much heartache at work, especially with all the hormones. The thought of it just exhausts me. Especially children who are heartbroken, I don't think I could take it. You are really strong!

  8. You look lovely!! Whatever weight you've gained has clearly only gone to your belly... also very glad you managed to connect with this midwife -- I would definitely get my back up if I had to deal with someone anti-vaccine and even anti-circumcision, especially if they were the type to blindly disregard any/all arguments in support of these things. But it sounds like she's someone who is respectful of other people's wishes and intentions and is a good listener, and that's really what counts, especially on D-Day.

    Also, love that she suggested wine!

  9. Agree with everyone - any weight looks to be all belly, and beautiful at that! So glad you had a great meeting with the midwife. Even if I have little to no patience for anti-vaccine folks, ha (though sounds like she wasn't pushy which is most important!). Enjoy these last few days!

  10. You look fantastic!! Almost time! Can't wait for you to be a mommy!


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