It's hard out there for an expecting mom. While there are plenty of people around who claim they're "the best" at delivering babies, if you're anything like me, you cringe every time someone says that. 'Deliver' my baby? Are they claiming to be the stork, or am I ordering a pizza instead of birthing a child? Personally, I want someone who does things differently, and so begins the process of finding the perfect practitioner. Fortunately and unfortunately, in many ways picking a midwife is just like dating.
My partner often makes fun of me, because according to him at least, I got way more nervous and invested in picking a midwife (and making mom friends) than he assumes I ever was about picking him. Which is a fair point; I was typically pretty low-key about finding dates, but I put a lot of effort into finding and establishing relationships with the midwives in our group, and I'm way more effusive about my mom-crushes than I typically was about my actual romantic ones.
Still, there are definite overlaps between the two, even for mamas like me who've invested way more in motherhood than we ever did in dating. So, if you're still looking for The One, and you're starting to freak out because of how eerily familiar this whole process feels (or you're just freaking out a lot now, in general, because pregnancy), take heart; you're not imagining things. Picking a midwife is a lot like dating. On the plus side, they often have user reviews you can check beforehand, and you don't have to stress about what to wear every time you meet them. See? It's not that bad, right?
You're Nervous About Finding The Best Person
The stakes are so high. If all goes according to plan, this is the person you'll depend on during one of the biggest moments of your life: birthing your child. You've been imagining your dream midwife for a while, and you wonder (sometimes hopefully, but mostly nervously) if she's really out there.
You've Been Burned In The Past...
If you're looking for a midwife, it's likely that you've had at least one bad experience with an obstetrician (or another midwife), and you could probably rant for hours just thinking about how they treated you. Typical ex.
...But You're Still Hopeful You Can Find The One
Still, you're an optimist at heart. You believe in love, and know that out there somewhere is the right practitioner for you. So you keep hope alive, looking for your certified nurse midwife (CNM) soulmate.
You Try To Meet Someone Through People You Know...
You ask your mom friends and colleagues if they can fix you up with someone, anyone, they might recommend. There are plenty of ways to search, but you figure, if someone you actually know met and even birthed with a certain person, that's gotta count for something.
...Or You Search Online
Which can be hard. After all, while a lot of them have good reviews on their sites, you know how easy it can be to make yourself seem great on the internet when you're not, you know, that great in real life.
You Meet Several Who Look Good On Paper
After whittling down the possibilities (if you're lucky enough to have multiple choices), you pick a few who seem highly regarded and well-credentialed, and you arrange a few consultations, or go to a few information sessions and meet-and-greets. And, like, they're good or whatever, but none are really jumping out at you. Until you meet her.
You Get So Excited When You Finally Feel That Spark
Then it happens. You finally meet that midwife, the midwife you're convinced will be your BFF for life. You're so excited. You feel like you already know her, like you could talk to her forever about anything and nothing at all.
You Tell All Your Friends About Her...
"Ahhhh! She's amazing! She's smart, and funny, and she went to a great school, and we agree on basically everything, and she has excellent bedside manner, and she's such a great listener, and I just feel like she really gets me, you know?"
...And They Probably Get Sick Of Hearing About It
You Text Each Other All The Time
Because pregnancy is cray, and because nobody understands like she does.
You Go Through So Much Together
Over the course of many visits, calls, and texts, she actually takes the time to learn about who you are. She listens to all your fears and doubts, as well as your wishes and goals for your birth, and is reassuring and encouraging throughout.
Then Sh*t Gets Real
Before you know it, nine-ish months (or "forever," as it is known to all third trimester moms) has passed, and it is time to make that call to the midwife. You're excited: It's finally happening! You're also nervous about anxious because, well, are you ready for this baby? What is this birth going to be like? Will everything be OK? Have you read enough, cleaned enough, saved enough Pinterest-worthy freezer meals? Nervous about everything except your midwife, that is.
By now, you're sure your relationship can survive anything.