When I think about pushing out this baby, I don’t see myself doing it in a hospital at all. It was never really even a question for me: I want a home birth.
I am aware that first children don’t always make a speedy entrance into the world, and that there can be complications that make it necessary to go to a hospital. I’m not going to be naïve about that – if I have to, I will definitely go. But as long as this pregnancy continues healthily, as long as baby Sunshine is happy in there… I am planning to give birth at home, with Jo next to me, and the cats, in my bathtub or on my bed. I can’t imagine a birth any better way!
So knowing that, we had to find really good midwives who do home births, who we feel we can trust fully.
If there’s anything that reading this blog should tell you about me, it’s that I can be really picky when it comes to medical decisions!
But when it came to finding a midwife, I had such high hopes… midwives are by very definition against the medical establishment, right? They’re all about the personal approach, about supporting the woman in what she wants. I had a recommendation of where to go from my GP (who I do like a lot). They were a well-known practice in Ghent, with a stellar reputation. I thought we would get along swimmingly.
We did not. The midwife we met with seemed like a perfectly fine person, but there was nothing there that made it feel right to me. No ‘click’, no feeling that we were on the same wavelength when it came to birth. They’re also a huge team, so I might not even know the midwife who actually comes on the day of delivery. She also did not even ask whether I wanted to stay in her care at that first appointment, she just filled out all my paperwork and billed us as if I was.
So we came home with a big sense of ‘now what?’ What do you do when the person you thought would be right isn’t?
I ended up making two more appointments with two different, lesser known midwife practices.
The second one I went to I knew really quickly it would also be a no. I asked difficult questions on purpose, and saw her falter. She claimed to never have heard of things I mentioned – it definitely doesn’t fill me with confidence when I am better informed about birth and lactation than an actual professional is!
So it was with a very low expectation I went to the last appointment. I was mentally considering alternatives of just hiring a doula, or going to a birth centre.
And then I found the right practise! These women did not look down on me for having a list of questions. In fact, their eyes lit up when I asked some of the more outlandish ones! Yes, they had heard of that. Yes, they’d get input from a colleague and get back to me. Yes, that would be possible. They gave detailed scientific answers, and talked in depth about anything I wanted to know, no matter how strange.
And that’s how I knew it was right. I want a midwife who does not make me feel bad for asking questions. One who is eager to think along with me about solutions. Who does not summarise, but happily goes into a lengthy explanation of the why, so I will understand fully. Who has a library of books and immediately gave me a big one to take home. I want someone where I know it will be her who is there with me when the time comes. Someone who will stand behind me and support me in what I want to do, and what my body knows how to do.
We have been back to these midwives multiple times over the last months and my feeling stands, they are wonderful and I feel confident with them.
So if all continues to go well, that’s the plan of how baby Sunshine is going to come into this world. An awesome midwife-led home birth!