Today is such a bitter sweet day, Carter is now 6 weeks old, and we had our “graduation/discharge” appointment today with our Midwife group. He now weights 10lbs and is at the 48th percentile. We had to pack away all of his newborn clothes yesterday.
I’ve had a few people ask me/us, “how come we went the midwife route?”. I think I’ve always thought of doctors as being the ones to deliver babies but once I got into nursing school and saw that lots of moms had large tears and c-sections because the babe was born “on the doctors time”. This made me even more nervous about having a baby. But my friend had a baby with a midwife group and only had positive things to say (this was just over 5 years ago), until then when I thought midwives I only thought of home births, and yes many people still think this way. When family members heard that I had a midwife their next question was “are you doing a home birth?” I then explained to them what Im going to tell you…
Before we even got pregnant we had lots of friends get pregnant and go the midwife route here in Vancouver. Each one had their own reasons but the one group that we always heard wonderful things about was South Community Birthing Program.
So once we got pregnant we knew that the midwife way was what we wanted. We contacted South as soon as we returned from our trip from San Diego. They booked us for our 9 week (dating) ultrasound and an apt at the office the following week. It was a 45 min apt, we met two midwives and a doctor. (South Community has more than just midwives, its a team of doctors, midwives, duals, lactation consultants, nurses, nurse practitioners a nutritionist, and councillor).
Another reason why we love South are for their group sessions. (Some people are not real big fans of group) but I love being with other couples who are within a week or two of your due date. You meet once a month for the first 4 sessions then every other week until a month postpartum. We discussed nutrition, stages of labor, labor complications, breastfeeding, roles of duals, and then go into post babe care. We tell our birth stories as each baby comes along and of course its a great way of building community and meeting other moms. At group we also get our “tummies checked” (get babes heart rate, measure how big our bellies are, do our blood pressure, check our weight, and check our urine for protein and glucose. Once the babes are born they also get checked over (height weight, talk about any problems that you are having, ect)
I will say that I did have to call the team on call one morning (I was 37 weeks along). I was in so much pain all night, my lower left abdomen (more like just under my belly on the left hand side) the midwife called me back right away and was able to come over to my house to check me over. I had a feeling on what it was, and turns out I was right, Round Ligament pain. Not so much fun, and there isn’t too much that I can do, just wait it out. But none the less it was amazing not having to make an apt at the clinic. Her advice did help buy getting a supportive belt.
When I went into labour they were amazing, in fact I don’t even think amazing is the right word. I called them let them know that my water broke (because I was Group B Strep negative I was allowed to labor at home longer than most people) they told me to check in with them that evening if things hadn’t progressed or to call sooner if I would need them. They called me at 4pm that afternoon to check it, I was doing good so they said to call the on call person if I needed anything overnight. By 2am I called who was on call and told them wasn’t coping well with the pain that well. I also wanted to be checked over and get a Morphine/Gravol shot, because I wanted pain meds (they are not allowed to give them outside of the hospital), I had to go into Womens to get checked over. Once there I was put onto the monitor to get babe checked over. Found out that I was only 2cms, got lots of positive feedback from the team that I was doing well, (I really did need to hear that from my medical team) and that all I needed was some sleep, got my pain meds, and went home. They told me to call in the am once I woke up.
Now over 24hrs since my water broke, I went into clinic to meet with the midwives, they once again had lots of positive words for me and gave me a recipe for a cocktail to induce labor. That evening at 5pm they came over to my house to check me over (I love it when I don’t have to go anywhere and they come over, so convenient!) By 9pm I wanted to go to the hospital, I called the team and they met us there. I don’t think I can really describe the feelings that I had when you go into the hospital not really knowing what is going to happen and be greeted by people who you really trust, it’s like you know everything is going to be ok, even though in that moment you’re in so much pain with the contractions
Unfortunately I hadn’t progressed, so the discussion of an epidural took place. At South they lay everything out on the table and really let you decide what you want (to a point, unless your health or babes health is at risk). I didn’t feel forced to get the epidural and was comfortable with my decision to get one.
The team stayed with me the whole time (obviously not in my room but if I wanted them, they were there within a few minutes). When I was frustrated and disappointed that I wasn’t progressing like I wanted to they comforted us, and were always positive. I had my full trust in them, and not once did they disappoint. I was also so happy and relaxed (well a bit more relaxed) when I found out that they would be present in the OR for my c-section, I wanted not only Brent’s support, but the team who had been with us since babe was 9 weeks old there with us as well.
Once Carter was born they would check on us daily at the hospital, and even came to our house when Carter was 4 days old. They continued to see us weekly until today. Today he’s 6 weeks and we graduated from the program. It’s such a bittersweet moment. To leave them feels like I’m loosing my security blanket. If there was any questions or concerns over the last 6 weeks all I had to do was page the on call number and I could get help/answers 24/7. But I do have to end on a positive note, one of the doctors from the team, the LC and the NP opened a family practice that we are now apart of. So Carter will be seen by them, get all of his immunizations from them and will continue to take care of his, mine and Brents medical needs while we are in Vancouver. It feels so nice to have a GP, and to have one who we really love and trust.
And thats why we choose a midwife group over a doctors group. We wouldn’t have done it any other way and will be going back to South for baby #2 (when ever that happens).