The other day, to my dismay, we ‘graduated’ from our midwife. At her 6-week, final visit Aili clocked in at 11.5 lbs (most babies are about 2 lbs over birthweight at 6 weeks, ours managed to put on 3.5!) I’m sorry that we aren’t under her care anymore; having that support has been indescribably valuable. In fact, I’ve said numerous times over the past months that I don’t know how people do this without a midwife.
I think that midwifery still isn’t very well understood in our culture. Midwives aren’t witches or half-baked hippies with crystals and no education. They have full four-year degrees in midwifery care, and are trained to take care of the medical needs of women and their babies through pregnancy and delivery. There are extensive exams they need to pass in order to be licensed. Working with a midwife, you have the option to have your baby at home (which has proven to be as safe as hospital births for low-risk women) – – but many also have hospital privileges, so like us, you can deliver in the hospital if you choose. If something goes wrong – as it did in my case – the whole medical team, including midwife, nurses and physicians, work together.
What has impressed me most is the level of care we’ve received. In a medical system where you can’t find a family doctor and have to wait half a day in the emergency room, our midwife spent lots of time with us, both during pregnancy and after the delivery. She came to our home at the beginning, and got to know us better on a personal level. My prenantal appointments were usually 45 minutes to an hour, compared with the 15-minute appointment you might get with a GP or OB. Her care extended six weeks past delivery, and she came to our home to check up on us 1, 2, 3, and 5 days after Aili was born (after these first home visits, we went to visit her at her office). This simply wouldn’t happen if Aili had been delivered by an obstetrician. Our midwife has been invaluable in the tricky business of breastfeeding, and always available to answer questions by email or by phone. When you’re a first-time parent there are a LOT of questions, and I don’t know who you’d ask if your midwife wasn’t there to help out. This is a level of care you just can’t get anymore with a doctor, and I don’t know how I would have made it without her.
On top of that, our BC medical (MSP) covered the entire cost.
I hope that if you are considering having a baby, you’ll keep your mind open to having a midwife. It’s been an incredibly positive experience, and I’m sure you’ll find it as rewarding as we have.
There are many registered midwives in BC and I’m certain they’re all great. In case you’re interested in finding out more about ours, you can look her up at: www.mamalove.ca. Her name is Tracy, and she’s fantastic.
In other news, we’re back to the grind. With some reluctance, I let my sister go home to Edmonton last weekend, and Johnny went back to work. It was a short week, what with New Year’s Day being on Tuesday, but a challenging one all the same.
I ended up spending most of Wednesday in emergency (before you panic, I’m totally ok; let’s just chalk it up to ‘unfortunate side effects of childbirth’ and move on…) so my friends and saviors Alexa and Sean took Aili for the afternoon. There were a lot of people with Norwalk-like symptoms in the hospital so I didn’t want her there all that time. It was the first time I’d been away from her like that, and I was surprised by how much I missed her! Anyway, I’m ok, and all is fine with that.
But now the poor muffin’s come down with a cold. Coughing, sneezing, and lots of snot. Yuck! There are no effective cold medications for babies that teeny, so the best we can do is try to keep her upright and let her breathe steamy air with the hot shower running. Oh, and there’s the bulb that you use to suck the snot out of them, literally. Despite her sorrows, she’s been in remarkably good humour. That’s her daddy’s genes, because if it was me, I’d be shrieking for sure.
Uncle Paul came by to visit. He just got engaged (CONGRATULATIONS!), and maybe there are some babies in his future someday too. He’ll have to get a *tad* more comfortable with spit-up if that’s the case.