It has been raining babies these past few weeks, keeping Dr. James and I very busy! As I reflect back on the different birth experiences, what jumps out at me is 2 dramatically different birth stories. In one birth story, I was with a woman who seemed to effortlessly labor with and birth her beautiful baby girl in a hands and knees position. The lights were dim, relaxing spa music created a soothing environment, and dad helped to catch the baby girl just as we had planned. The other was a woman who underwent an induction of labor, and despite her total commitment to unmedicated birth and the incredible strength and dedication she brought to the table, she got the absolute opposite experience she had desired. We had a healthy mom and healthy baby at the end, but it required 36 hours of labor, multiple epidurals, and a cesarean delivery under general anesthesia to achieve it. Almost nothing on her birth plan unfolded the way she planned. I spent a lot of time with each mama in the days following the birth, admiring the new babies, debriefing the birth experiences, and offering support and advice for the postpartum period. What strikes me as amazing is how equally empowered these two women felt in the days following their births.
How is that possible? One thread of commonality is that both had a strong relationship with a trusted provider. What I love about midwifery is that at its core it’s about a relationship and sense of trust between a woman and her midwife. My objective is to develop a sense of rapport with a woman and her family through the journey of pregnancy, and then at the time of birth be a calming presence and offer guidance when obstacles arise. I aim to hold the space for the woman and her family to explore options, ask questions, review alternatives, and have time to process as we move through the birthing experience. The reality is that I (and all midwives and OBGYNs) have no idea how the birth will go, or how the baby will ultimately deliver. Sometimes babies dictate a different course of action than what a woman wants, and we need to be flexible. Having a trusted provider at your side, someone that you know is supportive of you and your desires, can make all the difference and make for an empowering experience regardless of the outcome. In thinking about my mama who ended up with a cesarean birth, she and her partner shared in the decision-making. They chose the epidural, they chose to proceed with surgery for delivery. They have total confidence that we exhausted all options. While safety of mom and baby is our absolute top priority, the journey is important too.
Dr. James and I work in a truly collaborative practice, where women have access to both a midwife and a doctor on a personal level throughout their pregnancy. Our goal is to build a relationship with you and enable your birthing experience to be one of the best experiences of your life. Regardless of whether you want an elective cesarean or an unmedicated birth using Hypnobabies and essential oils, having a supportive team by your side is critical to having a safe and empowering pregnancy and birth experience. Dr. James and I would love to be your team!