Did you know that October 5-11 is National Midwifery Week?
Of course, we should celebrate the compassion, integrity, and tranquility that midwives provide everyday. But in honor of this special week, if you know a midwife, give her a shout out. Give her a big 'ole hug. Let her know how important she is and how much you value her work.
At the beginning of my college career, I had no idea what a midwife was. I may have been familiar with the term, but the work that a midwife does? I'm not sure I knew about that. When I enrolled in a class at I.U. focusing on labor, birth, and the family, that's when I began to learn about midwifery. Through volunteer work in my early years at BABS as well as through doula work, I put faces to the term "midwife." These women are thoughtful, educated, and fun people to be around. No wonder many women feel at ease in their presence! No doubt, this is important for birth as laboring women need to feel comfortable in order to let go and bring their babes earth side.
Naturally, when we found out we were pregnant, hiring a midwife for our birth was a no brainer. I can idealize what my winter birth could be like: At home, snow falling outside, husband holding me, midwife and doula close by, a cozy atmosphere, birth pool set up in the living room. I get mushy just thinking about it.
But, just as any other life event, sometimes things don't go as planned. I may not get the soft lit room or even want to be touched by my husband. :)
My midwife doesn't promise me those things, but she supports me in knowing it's what I prefer. She understands that pregnancy and birth are normal. She helps me to understand that I have options. My midwife is not just there to "deliver" my baby, although she is highly skilled and very knowledgable. She is there to help guide me and remind me that my body is strong…that I am a woman and am capable of giving birth. My midwife sits down with me prenatally and takes time to listen to me and answer any questions I have. She provides evidence-based care and gives me the information that I need so that my husband and I can make informed decisions for our baby and family. My midwife is hands-on and gets to know my husband and I as people, not patients. She knows that every woman is unique--that each mother's experience is different but always life-impacting.
These are just a few of the reasons why I love my midwife.