It's been almost a month since Miss Margaret was born and in that month I've had the opportunity to tell my birth story to many people. As I've retold the story, I've reflected on my choice to again hire a midwife and birth at home. When I found out I was pregnant with Maggie, I debated going to a hospital where an epidural would be available to me. Looking back now, knowing the details of my pregnancy and delivery, I'm confident that I made the right choice and I'm finally able to concisely verbalize my reason.
In the last four weeks of my first pregnancy, I left each doctor's appointment in tears. With each visit, I became more discouraged and hopeless. Partly because my body wasn't showing any signs of moving towards labor, but mostly because my doctor didn't seem to have any confidence in my bodies ability to deliver a healthy baby. He even verbalized this once when he said that it was likely that my body might never go into labor on its own.
With my subsequent pregnancies when I was under the care of a midwife, I came to each of those last appointments discouraged. My midwife was ready and willing to listen to my concerns and see my tears. Then when my tears were shed, she would remind me that the baby still appeared to be healthy and strong, that being pregnant at 41 (or almost 42) weeks was still within normal parameters, and that she had every confidence that my body would go into labor.
With my doctor, I left in tears. With my midwife, I left with red eyes and a tentative smile. For me (I can't stress enough that I'm not trying to speak for anyone else), the hope inspired by my midwife's confidence was much sweeter than the relief of an epidural.
A friend of mine teasingly asked if the midwife was going to refund some of my money since she didn't make it for the birth. In my case, it would certainly be nice if she charged by the hour! But seriously, the confidence she reinforced in me (props to my first midwife, Holly, for beginning the process) was worth every penny. That confidence was...wait...is life changing.