Thinking about a private midwife and wondering if it is worth it? Read this lovely blog from our new client, Claire. Thank you Claire for sharing with us:-
First introduction to birth
It seemed when I first announced my pregnancy in 2013 a sudden but quite orderly queue of fellow mothers formed outside my door. Each one enthusiastically sharing their individual birth stories. Admittedly I revelled in each one, intrigued by the very mention of childbirth.
What I didn’t notice at the time was that there was quite a few common themes throughout each of their stories. Many consisted of fear, of pain, of worry…of close calls with their baby’s lives and sometimes their own. As I continued through my trimesters I became enthralled in the ‘one born every minute’ idea of birth. Hospital setting, bright lights, panicked dads and emergency C-sections.
Low and behold when the time came for me to have my son I had full expectations that my birth would take a similar format. I was scared and nervous so much so my contractions stopped fully as soon as my initial exam took place. The consultant was adamant I wasn’t in labour. My own body was telling me otherwise. I was kept in solely because there was a ‘blip’ on the monitor and they wanted to check me again later. In the elevator heading upstairs my contractions began again and so ensued the battle between my head and my heart. I knew I was in labour but the consultant told me otherwise…. What was I to know though she was the professional?
My ‘not labour’ was eventually deemed to be actual labour. What was to follow played out like many other birth stories we so often hear. I had almost 24hours to wait to meet my son and within that timeframe my own dramatic, painful, fearful birth story was slowly pieced together. Our first night in hospital was cold and lonely. My husband was made leave only a few hours after my son entered the world and I was alone and shell shocked and petrified of this tiny 8lb2oz baby and the mass of emotions that came with him.
We eventually (after 3 days) made it out of hospital and before I knew it I was regularly repeating the ‘a healthy baby is all that matters’ mantra and regaling other expectant mothers of my sons dramatic entrance.
Questioning the ‘norm’
It was over a year down the line when I eventually began to feel that perhaps the birth I, and so many of my friends and family had experienced wasn’t the only way things had to be. I began to emerge myself in the idea of homebirth. Despite not even trying to conceive I convinced my husband to attend a homebirth meeting with me. From that point I was hooked. Each and every woman who spoke about her experience glowed, there was no fear, no horror…just pure joy. How could I not want to experience this!
Some months later I attended a Private Midwives meeting in Avoca and met with Liz. I told the story of the birth of my son and cried. Liz was so compassionate and knowledgeable during that meeting I knew that I would be in safe hands if we did go ahead with another baby and chose to have a homebirth. All the clients we spoke with that day spoke of how amazing their births had been and how they put it down to the fantastic personal care by their midwives.
Quickly seeing the benefits of an alternative birth
Many months later I found out we were expecting. After my first trimester I contacted Private Midwives and arranged a meeting with their midwife Angela. I was really nervous for some reason! When Angela turned up however she seemed to ooze calmness and it was quite contagious! I felt immediately relaxed in her presence and so delighted that she would hopefully be helping me bring my next baby into the world! We went through all the details of my previous birth and I felt a sense of relief getting it off my chest in such a therapeutic way. My husband was also given an opportunity to share his take on our son’s birth.
Angela spoke to us about her own background, her training and how she came to be a homebirth midwife. I was very impressed with her level of experience and how she came to be involved in the world of homebirth. I could tell right off that she was the perfect midwife for us. She ticked all my boxes speaking about empowering women, supporting rather than forcing and above all the importance of being confident that I could do this!
We spoke about the benefit of having that one to one care in the comfort of our own home, being able to involve our son if we wished and how I would be supported to give birth in whichever way I felt was best for my body and my baby. My husband would not be side-lined this time, which was a big relief for him to hear. We also chatted about my enthusiasm for water birth and the logistics of filling a huge pool in our bedroom!
Throughout the nearly 2 hour meeting I truly felt that Angela was encouraging us to be a team as opposed to a hierarchy with her on the top. She also hugely reassured me that just because my son’s birth went one way that it did not mean my second birth would be the same. She probably doesn’t even realise this but that is one of the things that really made a huge difference to my mind frame and my confidence for this time around! I felt truly empowered to give birth for the first time ever.
I am counting down the days to my first antenatal visit with Angela now! I am excited for my birth. Nervous but not fearful. I am fully confident that I will have a happier and more peaceful birth experience thanks to private midwives and I look forward to sharing our positive homebirth story in July!