i love how they are called visits and not appointments. my friend lisa, who has had all three of her children at home with a midwife, told me when we first found out we were expecting that midwife visits are all very personable and comfortable. this is so true.
we interviewed alisa two weeks ago, and because at the time i was already reaching my 14th week, i didn't want to interview anyone else and just wanted some good, prenatal care already. i had contacted her the day before and she called me back the next morning saying she could come over right away if we weren't doing anything. i tried my hardest to avoid the cracks in my morning voice and told her we'd been up and would love to see her that morning. then we frantically picked up the house for 30 minutes, and just as she knocked on the door, my stomach decided to resist all the cleaning without eating and i had to run o the bathroom to puke. nonetheless, it was a very nice interview, and we fell in love with her right away. she even let us listen to the baby's heartbeat, during which the baby moved and the heartbeat became louder - "she's right there! right under the doppler!" what an experience.
the first official visit this morning was over a cup of tea in her cozy little home office. pictures of babies she has delivered were tacked all over the door, and a cast of a pregnant belly was on the wall. there was an avacado-green chair with pink paisly pillow, and the little bed was covered in a velvety, purple blanket. it was all very cheery and colorful. she listened to the heartbeat again while i lay on the bed, (this time the little guy kicked - "that was a kick! did you feel it?") and gushed over how "beautifully" my uterus was growing, and said the baby is very healthy. listening to the baby is quite a joy, especially when she puts on a kung fu show for us in the middle of it. i only wish i could feel it!
she drew blood to test for anemia and took a urine sample, with which she was able to tell me i'm dehydrated and need to eat more protein. she explained how internal exams in the medical world are usually done at the first visit to help guess how big of a baby can come through the pelvis, but that a woman's joints become very loose when she is closer to giving birth, and that she does internal exams at this time, when it's easier to tell. she also explained that in the medical world, PAP smears are given to women who are pregnant, but she doesn't like to assign them to her clients, because they can cause miscarriages. she said she's known too many women who have a PAP smear one day, and start cramping and bleeding the next. she suggested having one after the baby is born, when she is around 6 to 8 weeks old.
the thing i love about midwives and the whole home birth experience is that it is viewed as a very natural thing, not as a disease or a sickness. women are given more of the freedom to choose how they want their pregnancy to go, how they want their baby delivered, and not without educated professionals helping them, encouraging them, and developing a bond with them along the way. i've found since i have been doing research on homebirth for the past year or so that natural birth is an amazing, positive, and empowering experience, and i find myself actually looking forward to giving birth, not dreading it. it really is a beautiful thing.