Each year at this time, in honour of BB#2’s birthday, I usually post my own personal public service announcement in support of midwifery somewhere online. After BB#1 was born, in what was probably (sadly) a pretty typical labour and delivery attended by an OB (or three), I wasn’t sure I would ever have another child. The idea of doing that all over again was too scary. And yet, three years later, with the support of midwives, I gave birth to my second son. As I like to put it: 6 hours, 9.6 pounds, no epidural.
Our family is done, but if I were having any more babies, I would definitely go with a midwife again. And I take every opportunity I can to encourage other parents-to-be to at least meet with a midwife, find out about her practice, and consider this model for low-risk pregnancies. As I recently told one mom-to-be, the difference between my two experiences can be summed up by comparing an OB saying to me, before I even tried, “I don’t think you are going to be able to push this baby out”, to my midwife saying “you ARE doing it” when I whined that I didn’t think I could. They were both right–though I didn’t end up having the c-section that OB recommended before his shift ended and he went home, “just” foreceps and an episiotomy administered by a man who yelled at me for crying.
But my birth experiences aren’t really what I want to talk about today. This year, I want to take this opportunity to mention that Ontario midwives have been working without a contract for the past two years. TWO YEARS! Tomorrow, October 19th, they have planned a day of social media action to appeal to the government to resume contract negotiations (or at least they were, before the recent government “vacation”….) Frankly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask! For more information, visit the Ontario Midwives website (and check out the adorable gallery of babies born without a contract!).
My own baby was caught by a midwife this day 5 years ago, under a contract. It was the best choice I could have made, and an option I wish I had considered during my first pregnancy. So, happy birthday to my little man, and happy birth-day to me!