Not having to cook for the whole summer isn't the only thing spoiling me these days. I'm wondering if I'll ever have such a good experience (so far) with a midwife again.
I remember reading Shannan's blog during her pregnancy and hearing her rave about her midwifery care. I had a midwife with Miriam, but the kinds of positive things that Shannan had to say about her experience didn't really jive with mine. I was mostly thankful for my midwife because I believe that if I had been under an OB's care, I would have had a C-section. For that alone, I was counting my blessings.
So now I'm happy to be able to say for myself that everything she said about midwifery care being an empowering, positive experience is true. I firmly believe that women should choose the kind of prenatal caregiver that will be best for them, whether it be an OB or a midwife. There are both kinds - terrible and wonderful - of each out there, and what matters is that you find the best match for your situation.
What I've experienced transferring from a midwife in Tucson to a midwife in Middlebury is the perfect example of that concept. You really can't make blanket statements like "midwives are better than OBs" because, as I said, there is so much variation within each method.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here is what a typical visit to the midwife in Tucson was like: Arrive ten minutes early, wait up to 70 minutes to be shown to a room (that was my longest wait; I think my shortest was more like 30 minutes), wait an additional 10 minutes to see the midwife after the nurse has done the weight and blood pressure check, chat with the midwife for no more than five minutes or so, do any exams that need to be done, and see you later. I leave feeling like I've just wasted two hours of my day to basically have my weight written down on a chart.
A visit to the midwife in Vergennes (a few towns over), on the other hand, looks more like this: Arrive 10 - 30 minutes early, depending on the bus schedule; pee in a cup and take my weight on my own while I wait; be seen on time or even early, depending on the midwife's schedule; chat with the midwife about whatever for what so far has been as long as I want. I imagine there is a time limit, but we haven't found it yet. Move into a different room to do any exams that need to be done, and see you later. I leave feeling confident, hopeful, and happy.
To be fair, I know there must be so many background circumstances at work here that I don't understand. Things like budgeting, funding, staff availability, size of population served, length of practice, etc. all contribute to the differences in experience listed above. But on the face of it, I realize now that I was not satisfied with the level of care I was receiving in Tucson. I felt unloved, unappreciated, and un-listened to - just another patient whose name they could never remember. In a medical sense, of course, I felt that I was in perfectly capable hands, and until seeing a midwife in Middlebury, I had been telling myself that that's all that matters.
So now I fear I'm spoiled forever as far as prenatal care goes because now I know what it can really be like. I've seen midwifery care's full potential and it would be hard to go back.
What were your experiences with prenatal care, whether it was with an OB or a midwife?