This past Wednesday I had my 17 week prenatal appointment with my home birth midwife. Because my experiences with my current midwife have been so very different from the experiences I had during the first 24 weeks of my first pregnancy when I used a CNM (certified nurse midwife) and planned a hospital birth, I wanted to share my experience with you.
First, I want to start by saying that my current midwife attended both of my prior homebirths. I have known her now for over 4 years and consider her a dear friend. You can read about Maggie’s home birth by clicking here and Jacob’s home birth by clicking here. I had originally planned a hospital birth for my first child (Maggie) but after unpleasant experiences with my original midwives and the realization that they were not in support of my desire to birth naturally, I started to seek out other options. I am so very, very thankful that my husband and I made the decision to move our birth our home. (You can read more about what led up to my decision to switch to a home birth here.) Not only have I had 2 amazing birth experiences, but now every prenatal appointment is a joy (unlike my hospital-midwife prenatal appointments). Without further ado, here are the details of my 17 week appointment. 🙂
4:40pm: My midwife arrives.
4:40-4:50: We sit in my living room and catch up on the past month. We had a lot to talk about with Christmas, extra cold temperatures, and the New Year ahead.
4:50: My husband arrives home, bringing with him pizza for dinner. We offered my midwife a slice, and all sat down to eat together.
4:50-5:15: We eat dinner, catch up some more, than talk over some pregnancy details like how much weight I’ve gained (about 5 pounds so far) and how I was feeling in general.
5:15: We moved back to my living room to start the actual exam.
5:15 – 5:45: Prenatal exam. (Forgive me that the pictures are not very good. I was trying to take them flat on my back while the exam was taking place.)
- First, I pee on a dipstick to check for protein in my urine.
- Next it was time to measure my belly. Maggie is so very excited for her new baby sibling, and my midwife is happy to let her take part in the exams. First Maggie measured my growing bump, followed by my midwife.
- Then my midwife used her hands to feel the baby. She showed Maggie where the baby was and let her feel the baby too, much to her delight.
- Next up is my favorite part: listening to the baby’s heartbeat. Maggie was able to help with this too, and thought it was so cool.
- Last of all, my midwife checked my blood pressure.
5:45-6:15: More chit chat about life, family, and everything else.
6:15 Midwife leaves.
My appointment probably lasts about as long as a patient waiting in a waiting room, waiting in an exam room, spending a few minutes with a nurse then OB or midwife, however the entire time is spent with my midwife. (Of course, if either of us needed to rush through an appointment due to other commitments that day we could be done within probably 20 minutes.) It’s been through these appointments over the years that I have really grown to know my midwife and feel close to her. To me, the close relationship I have with my care provider is priceless. I am so comfortable with her during the birth of our children and know that she genuinely cares about my baby and me. It is so nice to no longer be a face getting pushed through the system, but instead having someone I can really count on and trust when it comes to catching my baby. I’m really looking forward to birthing my 3rd bundle of joy this June!