In the Company of Women: Part 2

For our family, choosing the care of a midwifery clinic was the best choice we made for the birth of our son. From the day our midwife Erin took us on, there was a sense of relief and confidence. Her demeanor was both professional and welcoming, her clinic was simple yet equip, her background and credentials were strong and filled with glowing reviews, her communication was direct and flowing, and her practice was present; available, active, involved with us as a family. Coming from a caregiver who double-booked appointments in ten minute intervals, we were beautifully surprised at the forty-five minute bookings we were given as this new Partner took time to listen, communicate, and get to know us as a family.

Although we entered into her care late in our pregnancy, and from a distant residence, Erin made it clear that she was committed to our baby and to our family as a whole. She expressed desire to meet Jeremy and Jem, and kept in contact as we awaited Knightley’s arrival (available directly email, office phone, cell, AND pager. Impressive. )

Given our first birthing experience, I came into this pregnancy believing that many of the things I experienced, such as that episiotomy, were normal and even to be expected. My shock grew over the weeks as I was presented with a view of birth that was so…natural. Conversations, clinics, planning, and expectations were kept balanced and in focus. I was almost disoriented by how simple and ‘normal’ everything seemed.

Birthing with our midwife

When the day of the birth finally arrived (the evening of the midwife’s ‘due date’, not the ultrasound’s prediction), our view of birth was changed forever. (full details with our birth story here ). Erin, able to practice at the hospital we had chosen, walked us through the first transitional moments smoothly and with incredible poise and professionalism (she was obviously respected by the staff on the maternity ward, which only increased our confided in her).
Checking in with Baby, dilation, and all the baseline vitals, she enabled us to have a smooth transition into our room at the height of labour. As we approached Knightley’s arrival, I never questioned where she was or if she was aware of me or Baby. She was actively attending us without manipulating the birthing process or leaving me with any questions. As a professional, she displayed her medical competency. As a woman, she expressed a presence which was supportive and enabling instead of overpowering  or sterile.
Finally, as we moved into the final moments of labour, our midwife created an environment which was optimal for the beautiful experience of birth. Without a word, she dimmed the lights, prepped the birthing area, and gave me the space to prepare myself emotionally, mentally, and physically. As I pushed and came to meet my son, she stepped in with words and skill when needed; flowing with us and enabling us as a team instead of taking from us or giving negative pressure.
In the end, we experienced a most beautiful and gentle birth. There were no glaring lights or harried staff, no shouts of pressure or enticing narcotics or ‘must have’ slice-and-dice trauma. There were no interventions at all, much less physical trauma, and a sense of empowerment and freedom as a woman.

Our only regret? A twinge of disappointment at our lack of knowledge and action in this realm during our first birth.

Two weeks later, my husband Jeremy was reflecting on the drastic difference between our two birthing experiences, and how much “less traumatic” this second one had been . He’s now convinced that my next career goal should be to pursue midwifery (cuz of course  I really need a new career goal right now! 😉 ) or at least some form of ‘natural birth advocacy’. We had no idea that so much was available to us, or what an amazing difference a gentle birth could present for a woman and family.
As I look back on the past month, I can’t help but think of all the other mamas-to-be who could have a more positive experience. British Columbia (and most other provinces) cover the care of a midwife through your health card. Qualified midwives are invited to practice in their local hospitals, or can attend to you at home. And just think, a certified midwife has at least four-years of birthing-focused formal education, while a GP focuses on pregnancy and birth for only a portion of their education.

Women supporting women in the most excruciating and amazing experience in life. It’s so beautiful. It’s so right, so natural, so…good.

If you have questions or would like to talk more about some of the gentle birthing options available, drop me a comment or email. I’m only at the beginning of this conversation myself, but I believe it’s important enough to pursue as we grow together as peers and mamas, women and families. Let’s do it right, let the beautiful be.

(In case you’re interested, my midwife’s site

12 Responses to “In the Company of Women: Part 2”
  1. Kimberly says:

    I have had all our babies at home.
    When I was pregnant the first time I joked to my sister about getting an epidural and being done. She suggested I think more about it and research it. I did and chose a midwife. I’ve never regretted that choice.
    Cupcake is five weeks old tomorrow and just perfect. 🙂
    It hasn’t all been easy, nor would I say it is for everyone, but it sure has worked for us.

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks for sharing Kimberly! I love that all your babies have been born at home. I wish I could have experienced this birth up here at the ranch, but two hours from the nearest hospital was just too much. Your baby remains oh so beautiful! Best to you this week 🙂

      • Kimberly says:

        Yes, it has worked well to have them at home. Where we live the midwives don’t have privileges at the hospitals and there was no birth center when I had my first.
        Each situation is unique as is each birth and each baby. I am blessed that all of ours, except the miscarriage at 18 weeks, went as we wished.

        • Anisaa says:

          Beautiful, Justine! And I think that you body is beautiful, too! Seriously, I eneivd you every time you posted pics of yourself, and I saw NOTHING in that video I wouldn’t trade for! I wish all of us women could see ourselves in a more positive light, and I’m glad you were brave enough to post this

  2. Hi Dea,
    I am delurking myself here. Just wanted to say I am an avid reader and enjoy your writing! Thank you for such a deep and meaningful insight into your life and all its ebbs and flows.

    Oh, I think we were perhaps at Prairie at the same time at some point. Found your blog via a link, via a link, via a link. 🙂

    • Dea' says:

      Hi Erika! So great to ‘meet’ you! Thanks for delurking 😉 I always appreciate connecting with people following the story, as well as finding new blogs and writers to follow myself. Fun! Your blog is beautiful and your family is just gorgeous. I agree, I think we were at Prairie for some shared time. Ah Prairie…feels like a lifetime ago….

      Hope you have a beautiful weekend on the way 🙂


  3. rikki says:

    i wish i went with a midwife with chels too! i had a really good experience with my midwives (their clinic is called Gentle Beginnings Midwifery) 🙂 i encouraged my younger sister to try a midwife too but she thought that all midwives were against using drugs and epidurals (which they aren’t) cuz her one encounter with a midwife was at a friends birth and she made her feel dumb for wanting an epidural… but not all midwives are like that! i just really liked the in-home check-ups following the birth (so glad i didn’t have to take 2 kids to the clinic 2 days postpartum) and just her presence throughout the whole labor and delivery. and i had an episiotomy with my midwife too so it’s not all natural all the time but that was okay! all in all, i have become a big midwife fan 🙂

  4. Kmarie says:

    I know. My first birth compared to my last two with Lola and natural Dr. R doesn’t even come close. What beauty. I am there with you advocating for better understanding and gentle births when possible. I don’t think woman realize what they are missing out on until they experience it…
    But sometimes a traumatic birth can’t be helped and those women experienced just as much beauty in their own way. It’s too bad that trauma happens. But that is more the exception in north america than the rule.

    Most times a gentle birth is the better way for recovery, bonding, safety and confidence.
    I am so glad your experience was astounding.

  5. Lola says:

    I’d comment more but well… you know… I’d write to much. I love these two posts. When my babies are quite a bit older, I’m bound and determine to become a midwife. I’ll probably need a partner so if you ever wanna… 🙂 just saying.

  6. Jamie says:

    Whoa, one day offline, and look at all these posts I’ve missed!

    I couldn’t agree more. I have had such beautiful births and was just today (finally!) writing thank-you notes to my midwives and reflecting on how much I wish everyone could have such amazing prenatal care and such lovely births as I have had. I’m looking forward to the day when I can be an official doula and begin to help at other births as well.

  7. Lindsay says:

    thanks so much for sharing, Dee! I have to have my kids at a hospital due to complications with my first, but it’s so great to realize that there are still options even in a hospital that aren’t drugs and mama on her back!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lovely birth story but sadly you left out your Doula….who was the one that dimmed the lights, got the shower going , set up her battery candles for the lovely glow,found the birth ball and massaged and was quietly present through out…..its all good though 😉
    Happy that it went so well and was as beautiful as it was! Yes Erin is a wonderful midwife….we are fortunate to have the amazing midwives in the fraser valley that we do!

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