Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Completing the process: saying goodbye to my midwives

I said goodbye to my amazing midwives, Lisa and Rachel. It was me and Remi's final visit with them post-partum. I feel great and am completely healed. Remi is thriving and gaining chubby baby fat (10lbs. and 10 oz.). I am very happy with the care I received, as well as my baby, with these ladies.

Remington with Lisa and Rachel

I started seeing Lisa and Rachel in February when I was about 7 weeks pregnant. From the beginning, it was very different and a far more personal experience than dr/clinic/hospital care. You can read my thoughts and experiences on home birth by clicking here. I loved everything about it. Well, I guess I could have done without the pain of childbirth, but even that was bearable because I was in my own space.

My experience of friendship with my midwives and a totally satisfying natural birth are similar to many I've read about online from other women. Women who birth at home LOVE it! What I didn't expect, but greatly appreciated, was the care I received after the birth. I wanted to share a little about that because it has been so helpful and amazing. 

Typically at the hospital, a woman has the baby, baby is looked over by the attending physician, mom is monitored for a few hours and then everyone is discharged to drive home after a day or so. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed when we took Emma home from the hospital. I then had to pack my very newborn back up and take her in for a check-up a few days after birth. The dr. wanted to see her at 2 weeks and 1 month as well. At each visit, I had to wait in the cold exam room with my nearly naked baby so that the dr. could spend a few minutes telling me everything was fine. I had a check-up for myself at 6 weeks. At the baby's visits they checked her heart, breathing, looked at her skin for jaundice, asked if she was pooping, and other stuff like that. At the visit for me, they asked about breast feeding, my stitches, and if I was tired or irritable (looking for depression). All that running around made me tired and irritable! I saw countless pleasant nurses, doctors, and hospital midwives and received adequate care, but something was missing.

This time around, the midwives took amazing care of me and the baby! They stayed for about 3 hours after the baby was born, monitoring Remi as I snuggled and nursed him in my own comfortable bed. Everything was done at a much slower pace than at the hospital. My mom was curious that I waited almost 2 whole hours to call and tell her the baby was born. But we had been busy bonding, resting, touching and holding our new little guy. It actually felt SO right to have that time to recuperate and enjoy the baby and not rushed at all. By the time Lisa and Rachel left, we were relaxed and I felt confident that they were just a speed-dial phone call away if we needed anything.

Lisa came back the next day and the third day to check on me and Remi. They did a head to toe exam on the baby at each visit and noticed things that the pediatrician I took him to at week 1 didn't even see. At each visit, it was like talking to an extremely knowledgeable friend. Lisa has attended over 800 births and I found her to be a wealth of knowledge, not just in pregnancy, but in pediatric care as well. She examined Remi with affection (he was born on her birthday, so they have a special bond). She reassured me and listened to my concerns, giving me confidence as a mom.  Lisa has the fantastic knowledge of a nurse, midwife, pediatrician, herbalist, and nutritionist.

Rachel was at most of my prenatal visits, at the birth, and at some of the post natal visits as well. She is working to get her certification as a Nurse Midwife. She is a young mom of 3 like me and I loved that she identifies with me at this stage in life (her youngest is 1 year old). She was also very helpful giving advice and ideas from her recent training and experience as mom. Together, Lisa and Rachel made a great team and I am SO happy I found them. It almost makes me want to have another baby just to see them again... almost, but not quite. They do a monthly potluck to visit with their past and present moms. That sound like a good option for reconnecting. Less painful too!



Choco Girl said...

I'm glad that you had such a positive experience! When I get to that point I would consider it. See, all my friends going ahead of me in marriage, bearing children, and paving the way of knowledge for me. How wonderful is that?

Grandma Sherri said...

I hope you send them a link to this post- they couldn't pay for better advertising! I just met Lisa once, but I was sure impressed. (Remi is looking like Mandy in this pic- maybe cuz I was just looking at baby Mandy pictures this AM)

Melanie said...

Alysun - Were there any questions you asked when looking for a midwife that you felt got to the heart of knowing you'd found someone who was good?

Sara said...

Sounds wonderful! Glad you enjoyed your experience so much! One question: would you be willing to share the financial cost of your home birth and pregnancy care? I really have no clue and am curious.