“So, you’re involved in Mid-WIFE-ery? What IS that anyway?”
“Wait, people still have their babies at HOME?”
“You went to school for HOW MANY years to become a midwife? But I thought midwives didn’t have any training …”
The thing about midwifery is that so many people have no idea what it is. Or that midwifery is a thriving profession worldwide helping countless folks have normal healthy births and healthy babies. So often, people don’t know that midwives provide excellent evidence-based care to birthing folks right here in the US, and that we all have gone through rigorous training and testing in order to practice. It’s rare, for example, that people know I’m licensed and regulated by the California Medical Board.
All of those things are true, and yet it’s not why people hire midwives. Sure, it might be a part of your decision, but rarely is it the deciding factor. Hiring a midwife is a decision you make with your heart. Is this someone I feel comfortable with? Can I see myself being vulnerable with them, birthing my baby with them, feeling safe with them? What if there’s an emergency, do I trust this person to take care of me and my family? Does my partner like them?
My clients open up with me and are vulnerable in countless powerful ways, so I’m going to take a moment and be vulnerable with you all.
Several years ago when I was a brand new baby midwife and I first started interviewing with potential birth clients, I was very nervous they wouldn’t want someone with as little experience as I had. I thought they’d want someone with DECADES of experience, who had birthed 12 children of their own at home, and who had single-handedly caught breech triplets in a snowstorm, walking 3 miles uphill both ways to get help, and who still saved the day. Ok, maybe I got a bit carried away with that last one. But you get the picture. I worried that I was inadequate because I didn’t have the numbers of births under my belt or the years in practice or advanced degrees of some of my colleagues.
So you might imagine that I was blown away when people hired me. And when we got to talking about why, it turns out that numbers and years and degrees aren’t the things your heart hones in on. My clients told me they knew immediately that I was the right midwife for them because I was kind, because I had a calming and loving presence, because my commitment to social justice helped them feel at home with me, because they knew I would be careful with their hearts and their bodies in labor, and because the kind of space I hold is exactly what they knew they needed to help them birth their baby.
So you can read all of the statistics and studies, do all of your due diligence, visit all the websites and read the opinions of strangers on the internet. But until you meet YOUR midwife, how on earth are you going to know that this is your midwife? Until you know what midwifery care can look like, how it feels to have individualized uncrushed care from someone working to get to know you and your family? Until you’ve experienced what a prenatal appointment is like where you and your partner and your older children are actively involved in assessing and maintaining your health and your baby’s wellbeing? Until you’ve labored under your own power, unrestricted and supported in your own home, surrounded by people who believe in you and your ability to do this great big thing 100%? Until you’ve imagined that for yourself, you might not even know you want a midwife or a homebirth. Until you know that this kind of care of is possible, you might not know that it’s something you want.
Which is exactly why you can schedule a FREE in-person consult with me before you make a firm decision about where you want to birth or what kind of care provider you want. An interview is a way to try it out, to see if I might be YOUR midwife. Heck, if you’ve got time this Saturday, you can swing by the Meet the Doula event that I’m sponsoring and see me in person, ask ALL of your questions, and start to think about whether I’d be a good fit as a care provider for you. Tickets are absolutely 100% free, but you need to RSVP. Register here.