Megan's midwifery story
Best of both worlds: a midwife in a hospital-setting
I have a very good friend who used the midwifery services for all of her children and I was able to be present for two of her three births. So, as soon as my husband and I found out we were pregnant, I knew where we were going to go and what we were going to do.
I chose the midwives, because I knew I wanted to be treated as a healthy mom who was just having a baby. I have a really clean bill of health and I had an easy time getting pregnant. I wanted to be treated like a person and not a patient. Everything that I had heard and learned about working with the midwives at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics led me to that easy decision–it was exactly in line with who I am and how I wanted my baby delivered.
My first time laboring with the midwives, I had ruptured, I wasn’t dilated, and I was zero effaced, so I knew I had a really long road ahead of me. Lynne Himmelriech was my midwife and her approach was perfect. I had an 18-hour-long labor and Lynne did everything that I could have hoped for. She followed my birth plan, she kept it tranquil and quiet, and when I wanted peace and be alone and invert into my laboring-mom mode, she made sure that happened.
When my son, Holden, finally arrived she honored my wishes and allowed him to be on my chest for nearly an hour. She gave me the gift of staring at my son for the first hour of his life–watching him cry, calm down, and then just look at me. Having that time to experience this true mother-child connection was one of the top moments of my life and Lynne allowed that to happen. So, of course I came back to the midwives to have my daughter, Cecilia.
When I was laboring for the second time, Christina Shutters was my midwife and she was wonderful. Again, when I arrived at the hospital I was barely dilated, but Christina was encouraging and gave me tips to get my body going naturally. Then, we had a bit of a scare. What took me five hours with Holden only took 45 minutes with Cecilia. Because things progressed so fast, her heart rate dropped very quickly and as soon as she was born they had to rush her to the isolette for the pediatric team to check things out. Fortunately, everything was okay and they were gone ten minutes later. That was enough excitement for me, but having that experience showed me that the team was prepared and available immediately if something would have gone terribly wrong.
I know that the midwives are assisting births every single day, but they really treated me like my story to motherhood was special and that it mattered. I could have just been another number in the system, but they never allowed me to feel that way. Instead, they allowed me to take control and ownership of my experience. I think the midwives are a great option for women who have a vision, because they allow you the autonomy to create the birth experience you want to have for yourself and for your family.