Today’s blog post was written by a midwife supporter – Karen Yurish.
While I received numerous gifts of care from my midwives during my pregnancies and deliveries, the three I treasure most were their empowerment, patience, and attention. While in the tender stage of early pregnancy, it was easy to feel overwhelmed by everything new. From the first time I saw my midwives, I felt empowered--they trusted me to make the best decisions for myself and my baby and they trusted my body to successfully and safely birth my child. That reassurance at every prenatal visit gave me great confidence going into labor.
That confidence enabled me to trust my body through a day and a half of prodromal labor with my first daughter. In a birthing environment that often puts laboring women on a strict time schedule, the midwives waited patiently for my body to labor in its own way. I had returned home after my first visit to the hospital 12 hours into my prodromal labor, and the midwives trusted me to come back to the hospital when I felt my body was ready. After 36 hours of contractions that were never more than 10 minutes apart, I returned to the hospital and was delighted to learn I was finally dilated to four centimeters. My midwife‘s patience continued through my labor, sitting with me while I labored in the tub, supporting and encouraging me as I dilated the last few centimeters and breathed my way through transition, and patiently massaging my perineum through 45 minutes of pushing so I didn’t tear.
Finally, I am grateful for the attention I received from my midwives. Each prenatal visit ended with asking me if I had any questions--and I never felt rushed out of the office. They paid great attention to the details of the environment where I labored and delivered -turning off the fluorescent lights and bringing in a lamp for softer light, running the tub and keeping it warm, bringing me a pillow to use as I labored in the tub, warming me with hot blankets when I started to shake uncontrollably as I transitioned. They helped me try different laboring positions, refocused me, and attentively followed every aspect of my birth plan.
I am grateful for these gifts of care from my midwives; I feel blessed to have had such wonderful birth experiences.