As a registered nurse who works in a large local hospital, people assume I would feel most comfortable birthing in a highly medical environment. Quite the opposite is true. I see first hand how impersonal and disconnected medicine can be. Nurses are bound by hospital protocol and doctors are tied financially to insurance/Medicare and also fearful of lawsuits. In an effort to “do everything possible” to produce a healthy baby on a schedule that suits the staff, health care providers have little time or patience for women’s opinions, desires, or even body autonomy. You may not need much convincing though, since you are researching midwives, these issues are likely already prominent in your mind.
Why Christine then? As a medical professional, it was important to me that a midwife be knowledgeable about all the many complications that can arise with both mom and baby. I brought my skeptical husband to the initial consultation and we were both impressed with her experience, reputation, and cautious approach. Our fears were put at ease by her assurance that she would be carefully monitoring baby and me during the pregnancy/delivery and would not hesitate to transfer us to the care of a physician if necessary. In addition to her medical knowledge, Christine uses a whole range of holistic and natural techniques. She encourages body work, herbal remedies, and proper nutrition before resorting to medical treatment for pregnancy symptoms. Scheduled appointments are relaxed, thorough, and have plenty of time for questions and education. She allows the natural process of birth to unfold with minimal intervention. The mother delivers her baby, Christine is just there to catch it!
One of the best parts about working with Christine is her availability. She was always available for urgent issues and would respond quickly during business hours for routine questions or concerns. It was comforting to know that since she accepted a limited number of clients per month, I could count on her being there for the birth. She remained an important resource for me in the postpartum period as well. Not many doctors can be reached via text message! I delivered both my boys at home without complications or interventions into a calm, warm environment surrounded by loving family. I felt empowered by the experience and look back on it with wonderment and peace.
My birth story is something I am proud of. I am confident that my children’s stress free beginning has set the tone for their temperaments and inspired our parenting style. I have complete confidence in Christine and would (and have) put my and my children’s lives in her hands. Although disease processes can occur, birth itself is not pathogenic and should not be treated as such. A mother and her baby are more than a series of stats and vital signs. Christine gets that.
Tierney Hall, RN