I'm looking for women's personal experiences with midwives. Please contribute if you can!

I'm working on a series of blog posts for my blog: www.MamasAndBabies.blogspot.com about the midwifery model of care. I'm looking for input from women about their experiences with doctors and midwives. Even if your experience has been from an outside perspective (friend or family of the mother, doula, etc.) I would love to hear from you. It would be particularly helpful if you've had experiences with both doctors and midwives, but any input will be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you can contribute!

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Emily, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful experiences! I love this, and it was wonderful how your midwife worked with the medical staff in both cases, even though the EMT's didn't respect her role. I like how your story reflects what's done if a transfer is needed. I think it's important to let people know we're not just staying home and crossing our fingers that all goes well. Do you have a photo I can include with your story on my blog?
I'll try to get you one! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
Ladies, I would love to include photos with your stories. If you share your story, please let me know if I can use your profile photo from here, or if there's another photo you can email to me to use. If you prefer not to have a photo included, I will totally respect that. I just love to have photos of mothers and their cute babies with the stories I post :)
I used a widwife for the home birth of my first child and it was the most rewarding and amazing experience I have ever had. I am currently pregnant with my second child due the 1st week of february and will be using my same midwife. I am always happy to share my experience with people to help enlighten others about midwifes and home births. For both pregnancies I saw/see a doctor just in case things dont work out at home. That way I'd be firmiliar with whos helping deliver my baby. Please let me know what you are looking for. Ex. do you want me to share my birth story, or the differences between what kind of service I recieve from my midwife vs my doctor, or how my relationship is with my midwife, or all of it. Again, I love to share my experience so I would be glad to help provide you with any information.
Nicole, for the series on midwifery I would love to have you write about differences in services from your midwife compared to your doctor, and your relationship with your midwife. If you'd like to share your birth story I will gladly post that separately. I'm always looking for more birth stories to post :)
Hi Cherylyn,
When my husband a I got pregnant with our first child we already had plans to use a midwife. It was something I had wanted to do for years because I dont like the hustle and bustle of hospitals with the possibility of going through several different nursing staff during shift changes and I also had a horrible experience with a spinal tap. When I was getting my tap done the doctor said dont worry its like an epidural. (which I had never had one, so at the time it didnt mean anything to me) Well after the tap I ended up with a spinal migraine that left me incapacitated for about a week. The words of the doctor stuck with me... If the tap has similar side effects as an epidural and I was in my room in complete darkness for a week what would I do if I had an epidural for labor and I experienced the same thing? What about my baby and the bonding? It knew that an epidural was out of the question for me. So that is how I ended up wanting to use a midwife.

I found my midwife through the place we took the Bradley birth classes. I see my midwife for all my prenatal care and I see a doctor for some of my prenatal visits as well. The reasons why I see both is one, being that if things dont go as planned for my home birth I would somewhat know who would be helping deliver my baby and two, is pretty much because it seems to make everyone I know feel better about my decision even though it shouldnt matter. The funny thing is that when you tell people that you see a doctor as a back up it makes them feel at ease even though my doctor really doesnt know me at all.

From my experience seeing both my midwife and my doctor are 2 totally different things. With my midwife she gave me the time and patience and respect I was looking for. Every prenatal apt we had was at least an hour long. She really cared about what was happening to my body physically and emotionally. She even wanted to make sure my husband was doing well during my pregnancy. She cared about us as a whole. Even though I felt very educated on pregnancy and child birth my midwife had so much information and real experiences to share that it was better than any reading I could have done. I learned so much from her.

As for my doctor it is exactly what I try to avoid. Its chaotic and busy and I spend most of my time waiting. I usually end up waiting for at least 15 to 20 minutes before I get to go in a room. Then the nurse sees me first. She weighs me, takes my B.P. and a urine sample. The nurse asks me the usual questions. What meds are you on? Do you have any cramping, bleeding or abnormal discharge? Then she leaves and I wait in the room some more to see my doctor. When my doctor comes in she asks the same cramping, bleeding, discharge question that the nurse already asked me and she asks me how I'm feeling and if I have any questions. Then she measures my uterus and we listen the the baby's heart beat. Then thats it. I get about 5 to 7 minutes with my doctor and I'm on my way.

I feel somewhat satisfied how the apts go because I get everything else I want and need from my midwife. I do feel the sense of being rushed while I'm there and feel there is such a lack of personal touch. I also feel like the only information I would get from my doctor is if I brought in a list of questions. (which they wouldn't have that much time to answer anyway) I cant imagine not having a midwife who spends the time to help me learn and prepare as much as possible. I feel like there is so much information women dont get from there doctors unless the woman pursues it.

Im not against doctors or hospital births because I feel its important for a woman to do whats comfortable for her. From my experience I think too many women just trust their doctors and do whatever they say and that is not always the best way to go through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I feel so many women may not being getting the opportunity to learn about birth and pregnancy and what their rights or choices or options actually are.

I have an amazing relationship with my midwife. I consider my midwife to be a part of my family she was there for me in all aspects of the most important time of our lives, not only for the pregnancy, labor and delivery but even for questions after the baby was born. I remember calling her a 12am in tears because I was having trouble nursing. I dont know anyone that can call their doctor at that time for that kind of question let alone even calling their doc at all. I tried calling my doctor once before for a question about my child. My daughter had a diaper rash we couldnt clear up I just wanted to know if there were other creams or natural ways to help other than what we were already doing. Well when I called the nurse took my call and said "I cant give you suggestions without seeing it you need to make an apt". So I called my midwife she gave me two suggestions, I tried one and in 2 days the rash was gone.

Everything I had imagined on how I would want my midwife to be and how I pictured my labor and delivery came true. It was the best experience I have ever had. I am pregnant with my second child right now and due February 7th. Again I see my wonderful midwife and I see the same doctor as well for the prenatals. I love seeing my midwife and love the interaction she has with my first daughter that she helped bring into this world. I am really looking forward to having another home birth with her again.
Nicole, thank you so much for sharing this! Your experiences are very similar to mine, since I've seen OB's and a home birth midwife, and I agree with what you've said because I've found it to be true. Do you have a photo I can include with your story?
I have not personally given birth, but am a DONA birth doula and working on becoming a CBE. Where I grew up(southwest NH) midwifery and natural birth is the norm and it is what made what to get on this path. I grew up thinking childbirth was a normal event. Not one that needed to be induced or numbed. There was a free standing birth center at the end of my street and my favorite thing was to go on walks and see if the "new baby" sign was up and the info on it. All gyno care I ever received as a teen and young adult was by a CNM, and she made me want to be proactive in my own health, instead of fearful. When I was 17, I went to a DONA training to become a doula and fell in love with birth.

I moved to Chicago to get my Bachelors in Nursing and to attend midwifery school. Since being in IL I have worked with mostly OB's and it has been very disappointing with one exception. There is one OB I have worked with multiple times who is part of a group with four midwives. The way he practices compared to other OB's is night and day. He allows pushing in any position, he does not rush mom and lets her do things at her own pace. He allows dad to catch the baby all by him self if he wants, he is anti-circumcision and applauds parents for opting not to cut. C-sections are only for women and babies who are in true distress and he doesn't believe in pushing pain meds or time tables. When I asked him if this was his normal practice or only the practice when he is a CNM backup, he said that the CNMs showed him what birth should look like and he never looked back.

Samantha
Thank you Samantha! What a wonderful perspective! I wish I had grown up in such a wonderful birth environment as you did.

Samantha,

That place in IL with the OB and 4 midwives... was it West Suburban Midwives in Oak Park? Thanks.

No it is in Elk Grove(Northwest OB/GYN and Midwifery) before the new change. I haven't worked with them in 18months as I'm doing mostly city deliveries, but have heard some other good stories since then. I have a twin mom due with them in Jan(it will be her 3rd and 4th with the group) and we'll see how the new changes are.
I had an OB and a midwife. What do you want to know? My OB was lame and my midwife was fabulous. I quit seeing my OB at 38 weeks when she began talking induction (for no medical reason at all!). My midwife came over to my house at 3 a.m. when my milk came in. The difference between the medical and midwifery models of care are so vast.

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