I always joke about being a "crunchy hippie," because I've proudly done all the things that most people consider "crunch" moms to do. I've yet to really understand why the term is a thing, because my choices, as a parent, are pretty "normal." I've realized that my choice in wanting a midwife, instead of an OB/GYN, is what most people find "crunch" about me. Sadly, that's just one of the things people say to moms who chose midwives that, sometimes, make me want to scream.
I consider myself lucky to have a high number of friends who also chose midwives, and a family who doesn't judge me for my choices. However, for people who didn't know me as well, the questions I had to field ranged from annoying to downright obnoxious. I guess that's to be expected, given that most of our generation was born with the help of doctors, rather than midwives. People who don't have personal experience with midwives can't imagine that they'd be as safe or as capable enough to help deliver your baby, as a doctor is or would be.
I wouldn't make any other choice, though. Even my friends who experienced a home birth with complications, and ended up in the hospital, are still happy they chose their midwives. That's because, in many instances although definitely not always, midwives are so often far more involved in the birthing process than OB/GYNs are. They're also extremely committed to the health of the mother before, during, and after the delivery. So, please don't judge me when I tell you I chose a midwife. Instead, do some research on how amazing midwives actually are, then please stop saying the following things to moms who chose to birth a midwife. We'd really appreciate it.
"Oh God, So You're A Hippie?"
OK, you don't have to be a "hippie" to choose a midwife. Midwives are trained professionals, and I'm so glad I trusted my midwives with the births of both my babies.
"Does That Mean You're Having A Home Birth?"
No, it doesn't, although that is definitely an option. My first midwife-assisted birth was in the hospital, and my second was a home birth, but that was a very last minute decision, for us.
"I'd Never Trust Someone Who's Not A Doctor To Deliver My Baby"
Right, well, I'd never trust a doctor I'd never met to deliver my baby, and the majority of moms I know, who delivered with an OB/GYN, had different doctors at the time of birth (although, again, that's not always the case). That's because some women (depending on the hospital) get whoever is on call at the time, regardless of whether you know them or not.
"You Can't Be Serious"
I seriously just can't with people who are judgmental enough to say something like this, especially when I've mentioned having a midwife. If you don't agree with my choices, you can walk away or keep it to yourself. Support should be the name of the game, people.
"What Happens If Something Goes Wrong?"
Any number of things can take place when something (or if something) goes wrong during a midwife-assisted delivery. There are lots of complications that midwives are prepared for, but for the more serious complications, they either call 911 (if they aren't at a hospital) or they page the OB/GYN that's on call, if they are at a hospital.
"I Didn't Think You Were The Granola Type"
And I didn't think you were the judgmental type. Surprise! It turns out we were both wrong. In actual fact, though, you can want a more natural birth without being "granola." (And, for the record, there's nothing with being "granola" either, so we should really stop talking like it's some horrible thing.)
"Does That Mean You Can't Use Pain Meds?"
Actually, there are women who choose a midwife and choose to get an epidural. I have a friend who did that very thing for both of her deliveries. No one ever questioned her choices, either.
I know: you can't hear an eye roll. That doesn't mean I want to experience any more of them, though. I will say that eye rolls were pretty rare for me, but I know a few friends who had to deal with some serious judgment from family members. A midwife is a solid choice to make, though, if it's one you feel works best for you and you're the most comfortable with, so don't be afraid to consider it. After all, midwives have been successfully delivering babies for centuries.