Hooray for midwifery care!

16 Nov

Caitlyn and I had our first appointment with our team of midwives. It was such a lovely experience and I am so grateful and happy that we are choosing midwifery care. One of my closest friends is a student midwife, so she gave me the advice to call and get on the list with a couple of practices the second I confirmed my pregnancy. Lucky me, I got a call back the very same day and we were in. Given that there is a shortage of midwives in Canada and particularly in the city we live in, we are so lucky to be working with these amazing women.

I left our final appointment at the fertility clinic with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. While I am so thankful that IVF worked this time, I am thoroughly sick of being treated like a patient — someone who is assumed to be broken and needs to be diagnosed, drugged and “fixed.” When we had our post-ultrasound exit appointment, the doctor tried to convince me to choose obstetrical care, because IVF pregnancies are supposedly “high risk.” This advice came from a doctor who was obviously old school and who was looking at my file for only the second time ever. He also mentioned that I am a bit “heavier” and may be at risk for hypertension. Of course this set me off.

The reality is that midwives are well-equipped to handle prenatal care and deliveries of uncomplicated pregnancies. And if complications arise, they consult with an OB. It’s the best of both worlds — woman-centred care coupled with additional advice if needed.

The midwives we met were warm and accommodating. They emphasized that birth is a natural and normal process that rarely needs to be treated as a medical emergency. As the future mamas, my wife and I get to make choices about the tests we want to take part in, the way we want the birth to happen and the risks we are willing to take as future parents. This was so comforting to hear and such a contrast from the high tech world of the fertility clinic. Oh, and our midwife said there is no reason for me to weigh myself. I will just keep on taking my vitamins, eating well and exercising as much as I can handle. Which makes total sense. She expressed no concerns about my size.

I am so glad we chose midwifery care. Now Cait and I need to decide if we want to do the Integrated Prenatal Screening. I am leaning toward no, and my wife is leaning toward yes. Given that I am young, healthy, and don’t have any genetic problems in my family, I am inclined to skip the tests.

If you are or were recently pregnant, what decision did you make about the testing? I am interested to hear how you made your decision.

2 Responses to “Hooray for midwifery care!”

  1. Hazel Cohen November 18, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I love this post. (of course)

  2. Sam November 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Yay midwives! I don’t think your weight will come up at all unless you bring it up. My midwife never asked about weight gain (in comparison with a pregnant coworker who was regularly weighed by her doc) and I never brought it up. I still don’t know exaxtly how much I gained as I forgot to weigh at the outset and forgot to weigh in the last few weeks. I hope you will have it blissfully remain outside of the realm of attention and importance.

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