A Love Letter To My Midwife

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Dear Beth,

Thank you for attending the birth of my baby.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you for your wisdom and knowledge.

Thank you for providing me with evidence-based care.

Thank you for taking an hour at every appointment to talk to me about how I was feeling, if I had any concerns, etc.

Thank you for trusting that I could make my own choices, being fully informed.

Thank you for presenting both sides of each issue and leaving decisions up to me.

Thank you for having a child-friendly office.

Thank you for coming to my home and running through some of the “what-if” scenarios with me and my husband. This is the path to obtaining fully informed consent. This is starkly different from my hospital experience.

Thank you for knowing it was time for you to come over before I even knew it.

Thank you for quietly asking if you could check my baby while I was in transition on the toilet.

Thank you for hanging back in the doorway and letting me labor as needed.

Thank you for being so quiet and peaceful and letting me stay in my zone.

Thank you for never doing anything unnecessary.

Thank you for being so calm when my baby was born 9 minutes after you arrived.

Thank you for catching my baby in a less than convenient way– in the doorway of my tiny bathroom.

Thank you for echoing my sentiments when I exclaimed in disbelief, “That was fucking awesome!”

Thank you for giving us plenty of time to quietly bond.

Thank you for waiting to cut the cord, without question.

Thank you for doing the newborn exam in my bedroom, after we had time to bond. This is common sense for a homebirth, but, again, so very different from my hospital experience.

Thank you for doing home visits to check on us during the postpartum period. Not having to worry about getting my newborn to a doctor’s office was a huge weight off my mind.

Thank you for continuing to be available to me and answer my questions after my baby was born.

Thank you for being such a blessing in our lives that we were truly sad when my pregnancy was over, knowing we wouldn’t see you as often.

Thank you for keeping alive the ancient tradition of tending to women during one of the most powerful, transformative times in our lives.

Thank you for being my midwife.

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13 thoughts on “A Love Letter To My Midwife”

  1. Kristen..
    I loved reading this. Thank you for posting it!! I just had my second home birth experience and, while both were fantastic, the second one just days ago sounds very similar to yours! My midwife arrived about 30 minutes before the baby flew out like a cannon ball, in the caul!!! And that was after a contraction or two on the toilet…
    I feel like I could’ve written your post myself, honestly, aside from the particulars of course. But I have the same love for my midwives. They made a mysterious process very very empowering and I’ll love them to the ends of time for all the care they gave me.
    So glad you had a beautiful trust on your midwife too, and had a great home birth!!!

  2. I am truly sick of propaganda like yours. Making all hospital experiences sound “anti-woman” is pathetic. To promote your own interest, you need not denigrate others. I had a beautiful birth with an epidural and a great ob/gyn…believe it or not…yes it’s true… In a hospital! My baby’s arrival into this world was no less meaningful and joyous to me because I have birth in a safer setting. Get off your soapbox please and let the rest of us breathe.

    1. I’m sorry– there must be some sort of reading comprehension issue here. How is ME talking about MY birth experience some sort of criticism of your preferences? I did not like my hospital birth experience for multiple reasons. I greatly preferred my homebirth experience for multiple reasons. I am so glad that you enjoyed your birth experience (but hospital birth is NOT safer for low-risk pregnancies regardless of what your beloved Dr Amy says [http://mana.org/index.php?q=blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes]).

      Can you point me to exactly where I said ALL hospital birth is anti-woman? I know this may be hard for you to fathom, but my letter to my midwife was actually not about you. Shocking right? Something about birth that isn’t aimed at you?! Believe it or not, my positive experience with my homebirth does not mean I’m denigrating others. At the very least let’s try to aim for a wee bit of intellectual honesty here.

      I forgot, since I mentioned the word “midwife” this must have been posted in that anti-natural birth group. I understand that it must be super validating to pretend to be victimized all the time but really– isn’t there something more important to do with your life? Your complete obsession with anyone who chooses to do things differently than you people is really disturbing :/

      1. I erased my rant…no place for it. In the case of medicalization of the normal physiological process of birth. In my opinion, and I’m sure everybody has one, the safest place for an epidural is in the hospital. I am not knocking ANY WOMAN’S choice. Any one who makes a clear informed decision is doing her job as the mother of her child and doing what she believes is best for her baby. Congratulations to all on their birth experience.

    2. Sara & Reason, you sound like the many women that are scarred by their birth experiences whether or not you consciously know it or can admit it. I’m sorry for that and truly wish that every woman could feel the way Kristen, myself and so many others have after our births. And I’m sorry for you and all those that feel inferior to the women that have had glorious births at home and want to thank our amazing midwives for attending us. Please don’t lash out at others, seek counseling so that you may heal.
      Kristen, CONGRATULATIONS on your birth and joining the community of women who know the love and guidance offered by amazing midwives during our transition to motherhood.

  3. Interesting that you choose to delete the last comment. I agree that women like you are ridiculous. You make yourself look good, you make other girls feel bad. Shame on you.

    1. I’ll just repost what I said above– and if you could do me a favor maybe post it in your “We Hate Everything Natural” group so the trolling can stop and y’all can spend your energy on something healthier? Thanks a bunch 😉

      I’m sorry– there must be some sort of reading comprehension issue here. How is ME talking about MY birth experience some sort of criticism of your preferences? I did not like my hospital birth experience for multiple reasons. I greatly preferred my homebirth experience for multiple reasons. I am so glad that you enjoyed your birth experience (but hospital birth is NOT safer for low-risk pregnancies regardless of what your beloved Dr Amy says [http://mana.org/index.php?q=blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes]).

      Can you point me to exactly where I said ALL hospital birth is anti-woman? I know this may be hard for you to fathom, but my letter to my midwife was actually not about you. Shocking right? Something about birth that isn’t aimed at you?! Believe it or not, my positive experience with my homebirth does not mean I’m denigrating others. At the very least let’s try to aim for a wee bit of intellectual honesty here.

      I forgot, since I mentioned the word “midwife” this must have been posted in that anti-natural birth group. I understand that it must be super validating to pretend to be victimized all the time but really– isn’t there something more important to do with your life? Your complete obsession with anyone who chooses to do things differently than you people is really disturbing :/

  4. I loved reading this! I had 2 hospital births and both were amazing! I didn’t think Kristin was condemning all hospital births, it sounded to me like she had a bad experience. I just heard a woman giving thanks for an incredible experience and caregiver. I feel the same way!!!

  5. Wow, your words echo exactly how I felt last year after my homebirth!! I can’t believe women can have anything negative to say about this post, that just blows my mind?! I had a horrible hospital birth with my first, 2 spiritual water births and 1 birthing stool birth at a freestanding birthing center AND 1 homebirth with my fifth. I am also blessed to be low risk, but I just could not step foot in another hospital after being forced to hold my first baby in the birth canal because the DR hadn’t shown up yet. UGH, no thank you. Never again. Worst pain of my entire life. All of your thank you statements for your midwife is EXACTLY how I felt after my non-hospital births. Until you feel those feelings, you just can’t understand what they mean. But anyone could and should at least respect your words. Great post mama! Don’t worry about others…

  6. I know this is an old post, but it is so spot-on! I speak from experience (2 hospital, 1 birth cernter & 5 homebirth babies) . There are care givers that EARN our love! All my home birth midwives have earned it, but not just them. I had an wonderful “on call” OB for baby #2 (21 yrs ago) while my Dr was on vacation. The OB wisely sent me back to labor a little longer at HOME. When I returned 8 hours later, he didn’t rush for medical intervention. He just encouraged me & let me labor in a safe place. When it came time to push I somehow mistook his leg for the bedpost & without comment, he just leaned forward and provided resistance for me! I’m sure his knee was bruised the next day! The nurse that day was just as amazing. She empowered me & gave me strength during the final hours of a long (24 hour) labor. Not every birth was that way. Dr for baby#1 stormed out of the delivery room angry because I refused an episiotomy. (I was scared when he left, but immediately, the nurses affirmed me by literally cheering for ME! – Love them!) The nurse at the birthing center (after an external version for transverse breach baby #4) whispered & tiptoed & let me labor with the lights out all night. I loved her! However the midwife at that birth -that I didn’t meet until baby was crowning – entered the room flipping on lights & yelling at me to turn -during a contraction- from my hands & knees onto my back so she could see the baby . (it was a busy night & she’d delivered 3 other babies – but still!) Because I have had both good & bad caregivers, I love seeing praise given where praise is due! Laboring Moms are in a powerful yet vulnerable place. A great caregiver calmly empower us & quietly guides us into trusting our well-designed bodies. They let it be all about Mom & Baby. And because they help us find our strength. we naturally LOVE them. Kuddos on a great post Kristen Tea!!

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