May 5th is the International Day of the Midwife, and May is Midwifery Month! We invite you to celebrate with Mothering.com by helping us honor midwives and the important work they do every day.
Share your love of midwives by posting a short story or image in this thread about how midwifery care has affected your life---or post a tribute to a midwife who has made a difference in your community. You can share a birth story, an image of your birth or midwife, a memory or observation about midwifery care, or anything else that reflects the importance of midwives in our lives.
Please also share this thread with your friends and encourage them to post their stories as well. Mothering and our partners will be featuring these stories throughout the month, so this is a great place to tell the world what midwifery means to you.
Please ask for permission from the midwife before posting images or full names.
And keep your eye on Mothering.com for interesting features on midwifery all month long. You can stay up to date on the newest midwifery content in our Midwifery Special Report.
Photo of Geradine Simkins, President of MANA, Photo Credit: Greenhouse Birth Center, Okemos, Michigan
Looking forward to reading your responses!
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Thank you, Edana Hall!!!
I also enjoyed a potluck reunion after my baby was born and teas that she has hosted. So wonderful.
Oh wow....where do I start?? My midwife has helped me birth two beautiful sons, and now I go to her for all my well woman visits! She is so knowledgeable and has taught me so much about birth and my body's process. If it were not for her I would not have had my sons at home. She is truly AMAZING....thank you Hilary :D
A midwife help me as a teen mother to overcome the judgment and preconceived ideas about the kind of parent I'd be. She help me and my husband have an ideal birth and didn't judge us. My birth story can be found here. Because of her, I have defied all negative expectations of teen parents. I gave birth at home at 17, and now gently parent my two year old because she took us on as clients and helped us realize our potential despite our age.
To put a little plug in for her and the others: She has since moved to Colorado and I'm not sure when she'll be practicing again, but if anyone here reads this and ever considers Melissa Stallings as their midwife, do it! :) She's incredibly laid back but knows what she's doing. If you're in Memphis, TN, consider Full Circle Midwifery (memphismidwife.com). Missy is a midwife in training, but a very kind and loving person, and is definitely fit for the job. I didn't receive any care from Martina, but got to meet her at a home birth picnic, and she was very nice and I'd definitely have no apprehensions using her in the future.
I posted my first (and last) chain status on FB today in honor of midwives. Yay midwives!
After a 5 year infertility battle and going through multiple IVF cycles, we finally got pregnant with our miracle. We knew that we wanted to have the most natural experience, so we opted to give birth at a birth center with an amazing group of midwives. They helped us through the pregnancy jitters and taught me to trust my body. We were blessed with an amazing labor and delivery with the care of a very special midwife and a midwifery student. I truly birthed my own baby and was always in control. I am beyond thankful for my amazing experience and my amazing midwives!!!
I live in upstate NY, right outside of Albany, and I feel so lucky to be here. It's not because of the nature that surrounds my house, though it is beautiful. It's not because of the friends I've made, though they are wonderful. It's because it is here that I found my midwife, Kelly McDermott, who gave me the confidence and strength to birth my beautiful second baby girl in my home in the middle of one of the worst winter days of this year. She gave me everything I had dreamed of having in my first birth but didn't get in the hospital. Kelly made me feel completely safe, I trusted her and knew for certain that only if necessary would there be any interference in this most sacred and natural event. I don't have the proper words to explain how much this woman has done for me. I never thought I could have the courage to have a baby at home with no epidural. I have always been terrible with pain, a giant baby about it really. I had so little faith in myself that I questioned everyday whether I would end up in the hospital with an epidural after all. Having my baby with Kelly, in the comfort of my home, has given me the amazing gift of trusting myself in a way that I never have before. I will never forget my daughter's amazing birth and I share my story with as many women as I can, hoping that they too make the decision to empower themselves and own their birth experience in the way I was lucky enough to do.
After experiencing a traumatic emergency cesarean with my first child (thanks to my own stupidity and unnecessary medical intervention), I was determined to have a better birth the next time around. In the final weeks of my 2nd pregnancy, I found a local midwife that was willing to attend me in my home in spite of our financial concerns and state laws about independent midwifery. I did not have a successful homebirth that time, for no other reason than I was not mentally prepared (but did have a natural VBAC!).....but I went on to have the most beautiful homebirth with my third child, attended by that same midwife and her assistant.
I won't go into a ton of details, but one thing that meant so much to me was how she did not just concern herself with my pregnancy and the birth. She was like a counselor to me--like a sister. I remember going to her house and laying on her bed for hours and just pouring my heart out to her, crying all over her. She was literally there for me in every way I could have possibly needed her. She became a part of my family, and my life was forever changed thanks to her amazing love and support!!! I could never thank her enough for how she touched my heart and helped me achieve the most meaningful and spectacular accomplishment of my life!!
One night I realized that I hadn't felt my baby moving all day. It was nearing 11:00pm and I couldn't sleep because I was afraid for my baby. I called my midwife who lived 45min away from me. She told me that he had likely turned so that his kicks could no longer be felt then she drove to a halfway point between us to listen to my baby's heart beat so that I could stop worrying. I am so grateful to her for that. She attended both of my births and I will never take for granted the peaceful beginnings that my babies were able to have thanks to her (and to my husband and I =). Those beginnings affected my parenting from that point on. Thank you to all of the midwives who practice even in the face of opposition. I will be looking for ways to support you and fight for the rights of all mothers to make informed healthy choices for their families.
I have had three homebirths and a different midwife attended each one. The midwife who made the most impact on our lives is Roxanne (yes she assisted legally, no I did not contact her to ask her permission to share her last name on mothering.com as she is no longer a practicing midwife). Her wisdom and support have inspired me, 8 years later, to pursue a career in midwifery. She never intruded, never took control. She encouraged me to moo rather than squeal. She brushed my hair and invited me to smell the ginger blossoms my sister had collected when I was shaking my head insisting I couldn't and wouldn't birth my baby. She told me I didn't have to push if I didn't want to - so I didn't. And, wouldn't you know it, my daughter was born without me actively pushing. "Don't push the river, let it flow."
My daughter was born in December at the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in NC. It is a non-profit birth center with wonderful midwives. Leigh Anne, the midwife who delivered my daughter, took excellent care of all of us. For a few weeks following the birth, I was battling severe anemia and the "blues". She was so supportive and helpful with getting me over that hump. I definitely not only consider her an awesome midwife, but a good friend.
Our midwife was young, 28 years old, but very wise and empowering. When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted a home birth, but wanted to find a midwife that would make my husband as comfortable as I was. She was great in every way. She called herself "caregiver of the light", believing that all babies are born in light. I love her for this. For knowing that all babies are a special gift and it is our responsibility to bring them into this world in the most loving way.
Sadly, two months after our beautiful baby was born, and only two weeks ago, Briana Blackwelder, this amazing woman and midwife, died in a car accident. I like to think that now she is preparing those special spirits for entering this world.
This is her holding our little girl.
I am lucky enough to be a 30 minute drive from the only stand alone midwifery in Colorado, Mountain Midwifery Center. The group of midwives there has grown in the 2 years since I birthed my first child there and I'm looking forward to another amazing birth experience there in June. The owner, Tracy, and her husband sacrificed everything to give the women of the Denver area the chance to birth in a wonderful, caring environment and I am forever grateful to her for that. She has done so much for the profession in our state, she deserves a medal, or somethingI spread the word of midwifery whenever I can. Birthing there also introduced me to an amazing community of mothers, as well, that are local and supportive of natural mothering practices. I have to say midwives changed my life in so many ways.
Its my birthday, and i feel so lucky to have the day of he nidwife be my natal day. My midwife has helped me through 5 births, including shoulder dystocia, twins, PPH and a Bandle's ring all at home and all gently and beautifully. She has talked me down from the crazy cliff when i was 42 weeks pregnant and she has always reassured me that my body can do what it needs to. I am forever grateful to her , but because of my states laws i cannot print her name or photo.
14-1/2 years ago my second baby was born at home! I love this photo of Dianne Lawrence, our midwife at both births, giving him his newborn exam! Our 2 year-old daughter watched the entire birth, and held him right afterward. Their relationship got off to a fantastic start, and although they are now so BIG, they love each other so much, talking, laughing, gossiping... I am awed at their precious lives that got such a strong and loving start!
I have been blessed with two wonderful homebirths (after 2 less than great hospital births). Both homebirths were with Dawn, a truly amazing and compassionate midwife. She is my role model as I commence my own studies to become a midwife.
Our amazing midwife attended our first daughter's homebirth and of course when I became pregnant for the second time we looked forward to another loving birth with her. However at 34 weeks we discovered that our little baby no longer had a heartbeat. Our midwife accompanied us to the hospital and stayed there throughout my labor, advocating for me and asking the questions I didn't know to ask. She stayed with us most of the night but went home to rest for a bit and unfortunately missed the birth of our baby girl. She came up right away and spent most of the rest of the time with us while we were at the hospital. She truly went above and beyond for us. The middle name we gave our daughter is our midwife's middle name, a small way to thank her for her wonderful service. She is now my midwife again as we prepare to welcome another baby into our lives and we are so humbled to have her on this journey.
I love my midwife! She attended the birth of our first son, at a free standing birth center, and will be attending the upcoming birth of our daughter at home.
To save me time, here is a link to my birth story: http://parentingtips365.com/my-birth-story/
And here is a recent article I wrote on my blog about demystifying midwife-supported natural childbirth (part 1, misconceptions and facts about midwives): http://parentingtips365.com/2011/04/15/demystifying-midwife-supported-natural-childbirth-part-1-misconceptions-and-facts-about-midwives/
I had such a positive experience, I truly wish more women could experience the excellent care provided by midwives!
I loved my midwife! I have so many friends that birth with doctors and are fearful their whole pregnancy. They want to know how I didn't have those feelings. I tell them that it was all thanks to my wonderful midwife. She instilled confidence in me. She trusted that my body knew what to do and so did I. My midwife, Debbie, was my friend and not just my caretaker. She always had a smile and postive words for me. I wish that every woman could have someone like that care for them during the most special time of their life!
I've had three hospital/OB babies, two of whom were preemies and one full-term. Having the full-term baby has given me the confidence to switch to a midwife practice for my fourth pregnancy! I love going in to their office, where I always feel heard and valued. I'm currently 28 weeks and once again on modified bedrest with contractions - really hoping to make it to 36 weeks and beyond once again so I can deliver with the midwives!