Monday, March 5, 2012

The Midwife, The Anesthesiologist, And Me (2)

The Midwife: Part Two

In this post I write all of the things that I really liked about having a midwife during labor and delivery.  Some of these things may not be unique to having a midwife, I don't know.  But this was what I liked about my experience, with my midwife.

One of the first things that really sold me on having a midwife deliver Heather was the appeal of not having an iv.  When I met with JoAnn in her office that first time I mentioned my issue with needles, and she said straight away, "Ok, no iv."  And I wanted to hug her.

That was all well and good until I tested positive for Group B Strep, so whatever. I had to have the iv anyway, but it was nice that she was willing to NOT make me have one.  Next time.

When she showed up at the hospital, she came bearing gifts.  I don't know if she made it herself, or if she paid someone to make it but it is definitely handmade, my very own personalized boppy. (Is that what they are called?)

The other nice benefit was that she was with me the entire time. When I got to the hospital, she showed up, and stayed with me. It was nice knowing she was there if I had questions (many - if for no other reason than to just take my mind off what my body was doing to me).  For example, she has delivered 2,300 babies (roughly). The largest baby she delivered was 11 pounds some ounces, it was the fifth baby that JoAnn had delivered for that mother, and the smallest baby that mom had was 10 pounds something, and she had all of them unmedicated. Now there is a warrior woman.  The smallest baby JoAnn delivered was just over 2 pounds.  The mom was not one of her patients, but was the daughter of a friend of hers. The daughter was in town visiting, and her mom had some concerns, so asked JoAnn just to look at her.  She was two months from her due date and dilated to a five.  She had no idea that she was in labor because she had never had a baby before and thought it was just false contractions.  It was too late to stop the baby from coming.  JoAnn said the baby lived.  These are the things that get me through contractions.

The other nice thing was that JoAnn let me get in the bathtub.  I got in, relaxed, Devin read to me, and I almost fell asleep.  It was so warm and peaceful and I could tell Heather liked it too.  She was almost born in there, but last minute I decided to get out.  (ask me personally if you want details for why.   Next time I'm hoping I can stay in the water.)  (DID I JUST SAY NEXT TIME?)

She was supportive and encouraging when it was time to push, and she was tough on me when she could tell I was being lazy.  She held my baby up so I could see her, giving me the motivation for one last push when I thought I could give no more.

She let me give Heather her very first bath.  I got back in the bathtub, and JoAnn helped me hold her (I was still shaking too much to hold her on my own) and I got to wash my precious baby when she was still so brand new.

After we got out of the bathtub that time, JoAnn got out some fancy lotion and gave me a foot massage and back massage.  It is amazing how good something so simple can feel when the rest of your body feels like garbage.

And that is why, if Heather had a middle name, it might have been JoAnn.  She is retiring in June, however, and that is why she will never deliver another of my babies. (What am I talking about, another?! Seriously.)  She is 59, and had hoped to make it to 60 before retiring, but she is tired, and has been having some health issues, and said it was time.  Don't worry about me though, I've gotten to know one of her partners at the practice, Jill.  She'll do a great job delivering my next baby.


  1. the backrub and foot massage are reasons enough to use a CNM!

  2. Yes, Amy. She hand makes all of the boppies she gives to her patients. So Feel special about that. I am so glad that your experience was as magical as mine! I wish I would have gotten in the tub. You make it sound wonderful!

  3. I had Elly with a Midwife at the hospital. Loved it. That's the way I will always go :) Glad you had a good experience!

  4. I am so unbelievably jealous.

    And I already like the sound of Jill . . . :)

    tee hee next time!

  5. I used the midwifes that deliver at the hospital here and LOVED it. I actually delivered standing at the side of the bed and was able to see Trent right away as they cleaned him off on the bed. I even cut the umbilical cord.

  6. If I had not known that my midwife was a midwife I would have thought she was an ob-gyn. I saw no difference between the service I had with her, and the service with my doctors. Maybe that's just UNC though. I guess what I'm trying to say is no more special attention than usual, and no foot massage. I'm happy you got the special treatment! She sounds like a nice lady.

    What is a midwife if he's a man? Do those exist?

  7. I used the midwifes that deliver at the hospital here and LOVED it. I actually delivered standing at the side of the bed and was able to see Trent right away as they cleaned him off on the bed. I even cut the umbilical cord.

  8. I had a midwife with Daniel, and loved the experience. Glad yours was positive as well!!