With my 4th and final baby, after some conflicts with finding a local hospital-based midwife and hospital I was comfortable with (we had moved away from our homebase of fabulous midwives), I chose to birth at home with a licensed midwife. I was offered a few names by families in the area, but one name kept standing out: Linda Cowley.
If I was impressed by my hospital midwives and their relaxed ways in the office, being at home for my prenatal appointments was even better. When I told Linda I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the gestational diabetes lab work, she encouraged me to trust my gut and make the decision I was comfortable with. Knowing she trusted me to make decisions about my health helped me trust myself. I do believe we have inner wisdom that guides us, and this was a way I could build that up instead of the scare-tactics and what-ifs that often push us into making choices we don't feel good about.
Something I still find amazing is what was going on behind-the-scenes when I was in labor. I waited until 5:30 am to call Linda as I didn't want to wake her too early; little did I know, she was already awake because she had another mama in labor. This other woman had a history of fast labors. I am so grateful Linda was calm and selective in what information she shared with me that morning, meaning, she didn't say, "Oh, I was already up because another client is in labor." I would have panicked! Instead she said she would get ready and come see me...and we live about 45-ish minutes apart.
I was happy when Linda arrived. At some point she did share there was another labor happening, but since I was progressing, and she had the other birth covered with support, she was staying with me. I know she must have been checking in with the other family, but I never saw any of that -- all I saw was a patient, loving midwife whose focus was only on me.
I had an amazing experience of birth in my own bedroom -- even in my own bed! Surrounded by my family, my dog, and my midwife, with the familiar comforts of home, I could just be. There was no pressure, no fear, nothing to stop me from having my baby, my way. It sounds corny, but it was like having a guardian birth angel watching over me, keeping me and my baby safe. I knew she was trained to handle whatever might come our way, just as she was trained to let us know if our situation warranted transport (which it didn't).
I have decided, ultimately, it isn't the midwife herself that makes birth great -- it is the woman being able to grow into herself, under the protection and support a midwife like Linda offers. In the world, when it comes to pregnancy and birth, there aren't many places where this kind of nurturing exists. I am so grateful for a midwife who stood by me, who stood with me, as I was able to make this great leap into myself -- and to come through a more confident, able, and understanding woman, mother, and birth-worker. Thank you, Linda!
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)