switching midwives

I switched midwives this week. Yeah, at 37 1/2 weeks, I traded my midwife for another. I’d previously been with an NHS midwife, even though I’d heard about one-to-one midwives back in the early fall. The difference between them is primarily continuity of care — you see the same one-to-one midwife throughout pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period, but with an NHS midwife, you generally get who’s on call at the time, so you may not necessarily get the midwife you’ve been seeing when you deliver the baby.

While I liked the idea of a one-to-one midwife, I felt bad about ditching the midwife I’d been seeing. But it’s not like my experience with her was amazing. In fact, it was just sub-par. She was nice and easygoing and laid-back, always saying we could go with what I wanted. But while she was definitely more personable than the somewhat snotty French-Canadian obstetrician I had while pregnant with Raspberry, during my appointments, the midwife often had her head down, busy filling in paperwork for my binder (I still don’t get why things can’t be done on computer). I also remember that at my very first appointment with her, she had to briefly deal with someone who’d just had a home birth and she made a passing comment about what a pain those were. Hmm.

Anyway this past week, Aurelie, who’s a one-to-one midwife, offered to take me on, if I so desired. We’d only met in mid-December and we both lamented not having met sooner. I mentioned to her that I’d love to go with her but felt bad about leaving my midwife. However the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me to switch. I was only having an average experience and if I had the chance to change things so I could have a better experience, why wouldn’t I do it? Moreover, not only do I prefer going with someone who knows me personally, but Aurelie’s values and beliefs are closer in line to ours — she’s an unschooler too (which is how we met) and lives more naturally like we do. While I can’t be certain, I’m pretty sure the NHS midwife is likely more mainstream.

After talking it over with Lucas, I decided to make the switch and yesterday, Aurelie came over to fill in all the information and talk over the birth plan. I love that much of what she does is evidence-based and that she’s able to cite reasons and studies for everything. She was very open and straightforward too, and talked us through all the logistics of having a water birth. Did I mention she’s going to provide us with a birthing pool for free too? How great is that? I’ve always really wanted a water birth, but the rental cost of a pool was a primary deterrent. I thought about maybe using the bathtub (especially after we got it re-caulked and it’s now mold-free!), and while doable, it’s not entirely ideal because it’s up against a wall. Now with the guarantee of a pool, I’m definitely doing it. At the blessingway on the weekend, Aurelie had mentioned that she’d love to take pictures of the women giving birth and I got excited about that, because I could certainly use someone else taking pictures, in addition to myself (yes, I still do want to take pictures during it all). The only kicker is that her camera is being fixed, and she’s not sure when she’ll get it back. But that’s obviously not really a big deal in the context of everything. She also has placenta bags, which means I don’t have to locate giant ziploc bags to store the placenta, and she so graciously brought over some A1-sized paper for me to make placenta prints as I’d previously asked her about how large the paper needs to be to accommodate a placenta.

The baby is at 38 weeks tomorrow and based on the appointment with Aurelie yesterday, its head is engaged and everything’s good to go. We’ve still got some stuff to pick up, like the extra towels needed for the birth (who knew even cheap towels could still be so expensive? Gotta keep looking around). I’m still mentally willing the baby to stay in a few more weeks, but of course they’ve got minds of their own so anything goes. Yeah, but really, kid, two more weeks, okay?

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