Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why I Love My Midwife.

On Thursday, I was supposed to go straight from my ultrasound to my Midwife's office for a prenatal and some bloodwork. However, the ultrasound took much longer than anticipated, mostly because baby was not super cooperative, so by the time I got out I was already 15 minutes late and still 15 minutes away. I called MW and asked her what she wanted me to do and she asked me to come Friday instead. I agreed, and we set an appointment time for the afternoon. It was at 1:30, so Darrick wouldn't be able to be there, but that was no big deal.

Let me set up the scene for an appointment with my MW. Her office is in her home, in a back entrance. She lives about 15 minutes from us, in a pretty rural area where the norm is still to have horses and goats and other farm animals. To get to her house, you drive down a narrow gravel and dirt lane, and look for 'the house with the green roof'. It's a large ranch home with a huge backyard that houses 3 horses, 2 turkeys, some chickens, 3 (I think...maybe 4?) dogs, and an undetermined amount of cats. The cats all look exactly alike, so while I know there are at least 2, there could be JUST 2 or 14 for all I can tell.

Anyhow, when I pull up, I park in the dirt and walk to her office door. Next to the door is their oldest dog, a female who is blind and deaf and, MW reports, so sedate they often walk by and have to stop to make sure she's still breathing. Her office has dark wood floors, a comfy couch, a bathroom with a large tub (fun fact: her daughter's first child was born in that room, in the same bed in which her Grandmother was born), tons of books, and an exam table.

All these details are not the reason I love my midwife, but I will admit the feeling I get at her office helps my overall sense of calm when I'm with her. Luca and I got there early on Friday and she was with another patient, so we went out and looked at the horses and turkeys....who DOES that??? It's definitely NOT something I've ever done while waiting to see an OB.

After MW was done with her other patient, Luca and I went in and took a seat. Her apprentice was there, and we all talked for a bit about how things were going. As we were talking, the fax from the ultrasound place came through, so she grabbed it and sat next to me so I could read it as well. Most OBs wouldn't let you read the file, so that was pretty refreshing as well. The info was all stuff the Dr and genetic counselor at the ultrasound place had reviewed with me, but we talked about what it meant and what the next steps were. She then drew some blood for a regular panel, to be sure all my organs are functioning ok and I have no anemia. She let me refuse the HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia tests, since I've had them before and am in a monogomous relationship...who wants to pay for tests you don't really need? AND she was able to get my vein and get the blood in one shot, without having to stick me multiple times, dig around, and blow veins like most people do to me.

She also took my BP (normal) and had me get on the scale (2 pounds up, but this was after lunch so who counts that?). After that, we listened to the baby's heart beat. This was cool: she had me lie back a bit and she felt my belly for a few seconds, stopping and saying, "There's baby!". She grabbed the doppler, put it right where she'd felt baby, and got the HB right away. I was pretty amazed she was that accurate.

After all that was done, we sat for a bit and talked about random things: waterbirth (she loaned me a DVD to watch), dads and homebirth (a DVD on that, too), nutrition (I forgot my journal, so I'm bringing it next time), and what other tests she'll do in pregnancy. It's just so easy to talk to her, and her apprentice, and I adore them both. Keep in mind, while this is happening, Luca is running around the office playing with the toys, sitting in the kid chairs at the kid table, talking up a storm, etc....and no one bats an eye. They think it's important for kids to be there for these things, and the whole family to be involved as much as possible, which I also think is awesome.

When Luca and I left, both MW and Apprentice gave us hugs, and as we got in the car, I checked my clock. It had been over an hour. That's right: I'd spent over an hour with them, getting checked, talking, discussing my options for care (not what she insists I do, but what my choices are), and just generally discussing childbirth and kids and family. What's NOT to like about that?

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