Today is the International Day of the Midwife. In my world, this is important to for a number of reasons.
1) I love midwives. I love the midwifery model of care, I love that midwifery consumers are seen to receive the “Cadillac” of maternity care that I think ALL those in need of maternity care providers should receive. I love that midwives treat birth as a normal* physiological event.
2) I have children who were shepherded into the world by midwives. I had the opportunity to talk with my midwife yesterday (and yes, 10 years later, she’s still my midwife). She told me that she really believes if I weren’t me, both of my labours would have ended up as c-sections, because of their length, intensity, and dysfunction. I think that it’s only because I had a care provider who truly practices from an Informed Choice model that I didn’t end up having surgical births. The real truth may be somewhere in between my determination/stubbornness and her experience and willingness to wait and see how we were doing before rushing towards the intervention route.
3) I long wanted to be a midwife. Even in high school, it was my dream job. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve printed off the application forms for the Midwifery Education Program in Ontario. My current life situation doesn’t fit with such an intense program/vocation, and as I don’t know what level of independence my kids will reach as they mature, it may never be a good fit. It remains, however, my first real love, career-wise.
4) I work for and with midwives. I have been so fortunate to have gotten into a situation where even though I do not engage in the practice of baby-catching, I can do valuable and meaningful work for those who do. I’m in the middle of our annual work conference, and a few minutes ago, I left a room filled with midwives dancing, singing, and celebrating. They are all such amazing, fierce women, and I am so thankful every day that I get to be part of that, even on a non-clinical level.
Happy International Day of the Midwife. Don’t forget to hug yours the next time you see her.
*”Normal” is a word that is often loaded with bias, and no less so here. I do think it’s a necessary word when talking about birthing culture(s) though, because we have come to a point where we have so normalized highly intervened-upon and operative birth that we almost lost sight of what mammalian bodies (human included) are supposed to be able to do.