There are still a few people in my life who refuse to hear me and Steve tell about our prenatal care and birth experience with our midwives. I hesitated to write about this because, for my UC friends, there might be some gaps or some defensiveness or what have you. (I wish you only knew how much I respect and understand what it is that the UC families are about!!) but this is about midwifery, so maybe the few folks who need to read this will end up at my blog, and maybe they will finally get it. And if not, that's ok, too.
My midwives checked my blood pressure every visit. By hand. With a cuff. Carefully. More than once if needed.
My midwives checked my heart rate every visit. By hand. Carefully.
My first midwife weighed me because I wanted her to. My second one gave me the choice and I opted not to.
My midwives checked my urine with the medical strips. They also let me do it myself and left me the strips. I had a history of UTI's and of excessive protein in the urine and I wanted this done.
My midwives took blood from me at a few key points in my pregnancies. I do not remember them all but one was to see if my blood did the thing its supposed to do around 28 weeks and it did :) right on my couch. Lovely.
My midwives felt my tummy and felt my baby. They warmed their hands first and asked me and the baby's permission to touch us. Measuring the fundal height was only a small part of this, and it was funny to see how erratically the number grew and changed depending on position, etc. No freaking out when I "measured big" and no freaking out when I "shrank" one week.
My midwives used fetoscopes and the occasional Doppler to listen to my babies' heart tones. IT PISSES ME OFF WHEN CERTAIN PEOPLE KEEP INSISTING ON FORGETTING THIS! IT PISSES ME OFF WHEN I HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT SO-AND-SO'S BABY'S HEARTRATE DROPPED AND THANK GOODNESS THE DOCTOR/MACHINE "CAUGHT IT". OF COURSE MY MIDWIVES CHECKED HEARTTONES, OK?!!?!?
My midwives shared good books with me, dog eared ones with little pencil notes in the margins. Books like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, Mommy Diagnostics and Wise Woman Herbal.
My midwives turned me on to bulk teas and made me a lifelong fan.
My midwives turned me on to tinctures and insisted on Herb Pharm as their favorite brand available widely.
My midwives turned me on to Rainbow Lite prenatal vitamins and for the first time, my barfing lasted 4 months instead of 9.
My midwives took better care of me than anyone ever has in my life. They listened more than any shrink ever could, they respected me like an adult capable of making choices and they cared about me and my family and our journey to birth and beyond.
There really isn't anything else I can explain about Midwifery care.