I am currently pregnant for the third time. With my last two pregnancies I received my prenatal care from and delivered my babies with certified nurse midwives. I have always been a huge fan of midwives and their model of care, and people were really surprised to learn that I had chosen to switch providers this time around. However, surprising or not, there are more than a few reasons why I made the switch from a midwife to an OB-GYN.
When I got pregnant the first time, I was so granola crunchy that I made sounds when I walked across the room. All joking aside, I wanted a low-intervention, home-like, peaceful birth; with a stereotypically gentle, woman midwife supporting me along the way. I wanted to birth in a hospital, but not because I was opposed to home birth. Instead, it was because I didn't want to have to clean up after childbirth. 18 hours of back labor and no sleep later, I opted for a magical epidural that allowed me to sleep and progress. I was badass. My midwife was badass. And when I hemorrhaged after my daughter's beautiful birth, my life was saved by amazing science.
My second birth with a midwife was completely different. I had to be induced three weeks early for preeclampsia. My midwife was out of town and due to a lack of communication between the Maternal Fetal Specialist who scheduled my induction and the other midwives at the practice, I sat around at the hospital all day by myself, waiting for information and for things to get started. It was a horrible, scary birth experience, complicated by the fact that it was at a Catholic hospital that treated my needs as secondary to that of my baby.
In the end, I brought home a healthy baby, but this time around I want to deliver at a hospital that respects women, and with a provider I trust and who respects me and my choices.
I Had Complications Last Time
During my last pregnancy, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 32 weeks. After the diagnoses I had to see not only my midwife, but also a Maternal Fetal Specialist. I felt like every appointment included new providers, asking me the same 100 questions about my medical history, symptoms, and test results. It's nice to have one provider who can see me from pre-conception to post-delivery this time around, even if I need surgery or have complications.
I'm Old AF
Well, not really, but I am over 35 which apparently makes me advanced maternal age. I wanted a provider experienced in handling high risk births, and found an OB practice that has that experience.
I Don't Want To Deliver At A Catholic Hospital
The last time around, I had a really bad experience delivering in a Catholic hospital. Not only am I an atheist, but they seriously made me feel as if my needs didn't matter. I, sadly, discovered that this particular hospital is the only hospital in town where the midwife practice delivered. Never again.
My Midwife Shamed Me
When I had to be induced, the midwife on call shamed me for needing an induction, shamed me for wanting an epidural, and shamed me when my baby came before she could get back in the room after leaving while I was in labor. In other words, she was kind of the worst.
My Midwife Isn't Pro-Choice
During my second pregnancy, I learned that not only was my midwife not pro-choice, she wouldn't support me if I needed an abortion due to an incompatible-with-life diagnosis. I also found out after delivery that she was unwilling to prescribe birth control or even refer me to someone who would. WTAF?
I Didn't Trust My Midwife
Because she seemed to care about her values over my needs and health care, and because I felt shamed and lied to during labor, I don't trust her. I refuse to allow someone I don't trust and with whom I can't communicate manage my health or my baby's wellbeing.
I Might Need A C-section
While it's not a given, I may have to have a c-section. It's comforting to know that the same person can attend my labor and delivery no matter what happens.
My Midwife Left Me Alone During Labor
During my first delivery, my midwife was in the hospital the whole time. She frequently checked on my progress and stayed to hang out with me and make sure I felt supported. That was what I had come to expect from a certified nurse midwife (CNM). During my second labor, my midwife actually left to "run and errand," as I was getting my epidural. She got back back to the hospital just in time to watch me catch my own son.
I Realized That OB-GYNs Aren't "Bad"
OB-GYNs get a pretty bad rap, especially in the natural parenting community. According to most of my friends, they were cold, unfeeling surgeons who didn't care about their patient's wellbeing and were only interested in making money and playing golf. Since I met my current OB-GYN, I realized those stereotypes were not the case for her at all.
I Really Connected With My OB-GYN
After my last childbirth, I wanted to start birth control. After my midwife's office turned me away, and I called nearly every OB-GYN office in the city to try to get an appointment, I realized just how conservative my city was and found my current practice. My new OB-GYN is knowledgeable, warm, kind, and progressive. Their practice is woman-owned and operated, which is important to me as a feminist, and I really connected with her (which is important to me as a person).
Giving birth might just be the most important day of your life, and you deserve to feel safe on that day. No matter what kind of provider you choose, all people deserve to have a provider who listens, is highly trained and competent, and who they can trust.