I had my first visit with the midwife yesterday. Vermont seems to be all about the smaller, separated-but-interconnected-town-communities, which means that although Middlebury itself doesn't have any practicing midwives, Vergennes, a few towns over, does.
It took me a while, but I finally figured out the bus schedule well enough to get Miriam and me to my appointment in Vergennes, just on time. The 50-minute bus ride there was through beautiful, verdant countryside, dotted only occasionally by homes, farms, and Amish-built playground businesses.
The bus system here allows for up to 1/2-mile deviations from the route for stop requests, so Miriam and I were dropped off right at the midwife's office.
I hesitate to make the following observations for two reasons. First, because I don't want this to turn into an "everything is better here" post. Second, because so far I really only have had one experience here to compare with many back in Tucson.
But let me just say, I was very impressed with this midwifery practice. Their office was clean, tastefully furnished, and not overflowing with harried patients. The toys they had out for kids to play with were well organized, engaging, non-scary, and I didn't feel like I had to sanitize Miriam's hands immediately after contact with them. As an extra bonus, the receptionist spoke English intelligently, was helpful, did not talk smack or disclose private information about other patients right in front of me, and was not surly.
All of that is superficial. As far as the stuff that really matters go, the midwife is awesome. Our visit was unhurried, even with all the "catch-up" information they had to go through with me since I'm so far along already. She felt around for Sasha 2.0 and she thinks she has turned head-down (woo-hoo!), though she's not 100% positive. They'll check again in two weeks and send me in for a scan if they still can't tell for sure at that point. She also said it's OK if I stop standing on my head three times a day to try to turn the baby, which is good, because I wasn't doing it anyway.
So, anyway. Very enthused about the midwife. After the visit, Miriam and I walked around Vergennes for a while and spent time at the library's kids' section to kill the two hours until the next Middlebury bus came. We didn't get home from our 11 o'clock appointment until 3.30pm. Yes, it took six hours to complete the simple task of seeing the midwife, but my time means less here.
We'll go on a tour of the hospital's birthing center sometime next week. Fortunately, the hospital is right here in Middlebury, just a mile or two away from campus. I'll be sure to report all the juicy details of the facility there. For a teaser, let me just share with you the fact that this hospital does not offer epidurals, at all. More details to come.