To My Midwife (on International Midwives' Day, May 5)
Words can’t even describe how lucky I was to have you be my health care provider.
I remember the day I called the clinic just after I found out I was pregnant to see if there was space available to take me on as a patient.
My heart raced. Thump. Thump. Thump.
I was nervous. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because there were so many unknowns.
I walked to the clinic for my first appointment and met you. You were so welcoming, warm and kind. Little did you know that I was armed with deep questions about pregnancy, infant loss, fatalities. Did I mention I was scared?
You answered ALL my questions and even had time to cover your own material for my first appointment.
From that point on, I felt very safe with you. I knew NOTHING about pregnancy and you did an amazing job with educating me on my options for prenatal care and helped me to make informed decisions about my pregnancy and the delivery of my baby.
There were times when I called you at all hours of the day and night crying from panicking, anxiety and fear. You were so kind and patient and helped me through some of the most stressful and difficult mental situations I’ve ever faced.
I got to experience listening to the sound of my baby’s heartbeat for the first time with you. We watched as my baby grew in my uterus measuring the fundal height at each appointment. Aside from my husband, you were the closest person who I experienced my pregnancy with.
Some frightening things happened in the last few days of my pregnancy. When I didn’t want to be a bother to you, you came to my rescue anyway! I didn’t know this level of care existed.
When the birth date of my baby arrived, you were at the hospital before me waiting. It was comforting to see this person that I trusted so much, and who helped me through the most terrifying day of my life. To share that with someone is an amazing thing.
In the operating room, you were covered from head to toe in a sterile medical gown and mask. I could only see your eyes. And when I was getting a needle in the spine of my back, you were there to keep my gaze even though I know you could see the fear in my eyes, but you made me feel safe and helped me to get through the first worst, scary part.
Strapped to an operating table, it was comforting to hear your voice in the room as my baby was born out of my belly, counting seconds and minutes for delayed cord clamping, and telling me what was going on. You even brought my baby around so I could see her for the VERY. FIRST. TIME!
My gosh, my midwife!
The importance of having a midwife to me is indescribable. To have someone, like you, give me that level of care when I’m going through the biggest change in my life with pregnancy, birthing a baby and then the postpartum care.
You visited me at home every day for the first week after my baby was born. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to not have to leave my house during those first few days! In a robe and Depends (you know, those adult diapers), you saw me at my most unflattering. You helped with breastfeeding and answered more of my million questions.
Your care for me and my baby didn’t stop until 6 weeks postpartum. We are SO. DAMN. LUCKY to have midwives provide care for us in the province!
It takes a special kind of person to be a midwife. Who can calm fear, can respond calmly to adversities, navigate and support a woman’s mental health. So many things they do. So many things.
Thank you for making me feel empowered, making me believe in my body’s ability to grow and birth a baby, and for respecting my choices throughout my pregancy.
P.S. My backup midwife and student midwife also were AMAZING, and RESPECTFUL, and WONDERFUL. They, too, were there with me every step of the way. And it’s really the 3 of them who this letter is for.