Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet my midwives

Today was my first check-up with my new midwives, Mary and Nedra. I'm just loving these ladies, and loving that I get to have two birth attendents for the price of one! Not only are they personable, fun, and great with my kids, but they are also excellent midwives. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any doctor or midwife with stats as impressive as theirs.

Mary, the senior of the two, has been practicing as a midwife for over 28 years. She graduated from the Arizona School of Midwifery in 1980 and has attended over 2000 births. Nedra has been attending birthing women for about nine years as a doula and apprentice midwife and received her midwifery license in March. Now check these numbers out:

C-section rate 1-3%
Hospital transfer rate 2% (for women like me who've given birth before)
Perineal tears "almost never" (maybe once a year they have a woman who needs stitches, approx 1.5%)
Infant deaths None (excluding those with defects incompatible with life)
Maternal deaths None

Can you believe those numbers?! Pretty incredible. The only bad outcome these midwives have ever seen occurred not because of a mistake on their part but simply because the parents refused to transfer to the hospital until it was too late (as a result, their baby's health was compromised). Since that time, Mary and Nedra have adopted a policy to only accept clients who agree ahead of time in writing that they will transfer if it becomes necessary. And I happily signed that agreement!

You might remember this post explaining the extremely painful tearing I sustained when my first daughter was born. When Mary told me how anal retentive they are about preventing tears and that they "almost never" have a client who needs stitches, I think I heard the heavenly choruses singing "Hallelujah!" I am determined that I will give birth to my baby boy without tearing, and it's such a relief to know that my midwives will be doing everything they can to facilitate that goal!

I also love how kid-friendly their office is. They have the coolest wooden toys and puzzles (some with babies inside mommys' tummies), and they have given both of my girls a balloon at each visit. Here they are at our visit today...I love that "midwife" is a regular word in my girls' vocabulary and that it is easy for me to include them in the pregnancy process because of the efforts my midwives make to welcome young children into their office. I love that they get to hear the baby's heartbeat regularly and are already comfortable with Mary and Nedra. So, when their little brother is born, there won't be any strangers coming into our home. Just two women they will already know and love.

I am so thrilled to have chosen Mary and Nedra as my midwives. I know my baby and I are in the hands of remarkable women.


Fig said...

Awesome! I'm so excited for you. Are they homebirth-only midwives, or do they attend hospital/birthing center births too? I'm still ignorant about a lot of this stuff, but it's fascinating.

Buscando la Luz said...

They're home birth midwives. The only midwives who can attend births in hospitals are CNMs (Certified Nurse-Midwives). Some non-CNMs may attend births in birth centers, but the Phoenix area no longer has a birth center. :-(

Liz Johnson said...

Can I please come to your house for my next birth? I am only sort of kidding. That is AMAZING! I can't believe how fantastic that arrangement is. It's exactly how birth should be, in my opinion. :)

Sarah H said...

Hello! I haven't been on my blogs as much so I had to do some catching up on your blog.
That is so wonderful you have chosen a home birth. Your midwives sound awesome. i have another friend who just told me that she's going to have a home birth. I love to daydream about a homebirth...don't know if it's for me 'cause I've had two Cesareans, but I love hearing about HBAC stories and home birth in general.
Best of luck!
Thanks for all the great information you share on your blog.

Cassie said...

Hey, hope you don't mind, I linked to this post on my new blog.