|Lisa with then one day old Ava|
I started my pregnancy in a traditional OB-GYN medical practice. What surprised me the most about my visits was the way I did not feel listened to. I felt they pushed their agenda onto me and expected me to go along with their ideas. I even had the office manager call and confirm an appointment with a genetic specialist and I didn’t even know the office had scheduled one. I declined and had to explain to the nurse practitioner why. I did not feel comfortable when constantly bombarded with all the risks involved with having a baby over 40.
The other issue was that I saw only the nurse practitioner at every appointment and she didn’t even deliver so I wasn’t able to have any of my questions about the actual birth answered. I had one brief appointment with the practice’s midwife and was again pressured to have certain tests done. I didn’t want to make any decisions based on fear. So I had to continually tune out the external stimuli in order to go within and make decisions based on what I really needed or wanted.
Finally, at 5 months pregnant and frustrated, I spoke with a midwife in my town who suggested a home birth. I was a little skeptical, but thought we should at least meet with the midwife she recommended. My husband and I met with her for over an hour and were very pleased with her calm demeanor and attitude toward childbirth. She provided information in a way that allowed me to make my own decisions. It was more of a partnership than the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Once I switched, my pregnancy was so much calmer and I worried less.
I highly recommend interviewing your potential caregivers. I believe it is so important to be comfortable and validated. I believe in listening to one’s own heart when making decisions, but having the right information presented in a gentle and unbiased way is crucial.