Why I *Might* Want to Become a Midwife… Maybe

It’s easier to start with why I don’t want to be a midwife and it angers me deeply. I don’t mind serving women and babies at all- in fact I love that part- no, it’s licensure that annoys me. All the legal crap.
I don’t fancy being told what to do and how to do it and who I can and can’t serve. Here in NJ for instance, I would not be able to (legally) help any of my friends who’d want an HBAC (home birth after cesarean) and that’s just stupid. I find that all the legalities get in the way of true “With Woman” care. What about that woman and her baby? Aren’t Motherbaby supposed to be the main focus? Does she not deserve to have a homebirth if she wants one? Why does she have to struggle to find someone to support her in having a chance at a wonderful, hands off birth? What if she’s not ok going unassisted? Where are her options? It’s ridiculous!!

When the midwifery calling first began for me that’s what came to mind, actually it was my dear cousin who has had cesareans. I could just see her face and although we don’t live in the same state, and I’m not a midwife, I still envisioned turning her away and that infuriates me.

Even with all that anger, I think of the women and babies that I could help have better experiences. I think of various clients and how this past year, there were times I wanted to scream and take them out of the hospital. Some things that were happening seemed so obviously wrong to me- cruel even, but as a doula I’m to be seen and not heard. It’s not my birth after all. Which is bull when I’m supposed to be an advocate!

There are so many things happening that are just sooooo wrong but these things go unnoticed and are even expected and celebrated at births. Meanwhile, I want to throw up.
This past year, I’ve been to births where the provider and nurse are conversing about a common friend they have, baseball and their children as my client is pushing out her firstborn. Um, really?!? This is their sacred moment- the birth of their sweet baby and you can’t just shut up and observe?!? Really?!?

I keep seeing the following scenario and it’s driving me nuts!!! The woman pushes out the babies head only to have the baby pulled out (by the head) the rest of the way. What the franks and beans is that about?!?

Then this baby is rubbed vigoriously like a ragdoll by a nurse (as if she’s always held a deep hatred for this child or children in general), the baby starts wailing, and then to add insult to injury she gags the baby with the bulb syringe and the baby is struggling to breathe through it all. What must that baby be thinking? Meanwhile everyone cheers and mumbles some crap about good lungs. WHAT?!?! You take this out of context and some folk would be facing off for an epic battle. Why is this ok at birth?! Surely it’s not necessary. Even when the bulb syringe is needed or the baby needs to be coaxed to breathe what I keep seeing is a gross exaggeration of what is actually needed. And don’t even get me started on the baby getting the first bath. UGH!!

These babies are people who deserve the utmost respect and care yet they are treated as rag dolls as their parents watch with delight. If it weren’t happening in the hospital and with the people it’s happening with, it wouldn’t be accepted. What’s wrong with society that they allow their babies to be abused right from the womb? How is it that the baby can be handled so callously and then when the parents take the baby they hold him/her as if she’s fine china but what just happened to this sweet new person a moment ago is ok?

I am seeing things in such a different light it’s disturbing and I’m not the only one. I just showed my 12 year old daughter a picture of a brand new baby in the little box (that’s what I call it) and asked her what she thought and she replied, “That looks horrible!” She wasn’t referring to the baby- well yes she was in a sense. The baby is in a box, not with mom. The baby’s eyes are glistening and shut and judging by the open mouth, tongue, positioning of the baby’s arms and legs- this baby is distressed possibly cold and wailing. There’s a blue gloved arm in the picture that resembles that of a monster coming for the baby. Looks like a horror flick for babies but again this is accepted as normal. It’s NOT normal. Babies don’t have to cry at all let alone cry like that after they are born. Any other time the baby cries, we know and accept that it’s because something is wrong! Why is it ok fresh from the womb?!

So I’m starting my education this year. I don’t know what I’ll do with it just yet but I have to start or I’ll go nuts. Really, it seems that being a doula, walking into the hospital with my clients and a midwifery education will only make things worse because then I’ll truly know better but I suppose I must start somewhere. Maybe I’ll become a midwife… Maybe.

8 thoughts on “Why I *Might* Want to Become a Midwife… Maybe

  1. As you know, I’m a HUGE supporter of you becoming a midwife because you will provide women the care they need and deserve. After 2 c-sections I never want to step foot in a hospital again. And in reference to the baby in the little box…I remember pounding on the nursery glass in the hospital to get little Jonah back. I felt like they held him hostage in there. The pediatrician would see him, check in with me, and I’d buzz the nursery to get him back and they’d say the pediatrician had to see him! It was ridiculous and made me so angry! I had William in a smaller hospital with worse care, but at least it wasn’t a baby factory and he was with me at all times.

  2. Thanks Becky, that breaks my heart. It’s insane that more people don’t see things for what they are. I hate that you had the experiences you’ve had. 😦

  3. We need more midwives like you will be Patrice!! The midwives that we use are primarily homebirth midwives who have hospital privileges and they provided me with a “homebirth in a hospital” They are also well respected at their hospital by the perinatologists and nurses, so they pretty much leave them alone to do their thing. And, their vbac rate is over 90%, so they must be doing something right!

  4. That is awesome Sara!! I long to hear about midwives like this working in the hospital!! I have a birth coming up with them and I’m soooo hoping it goes well. Thanks for the encouragement too. I’m finding my way…

  5. U wld have been so happy being at my hospital birth. After hearing all the things u loathe! Lol. I refused pitosin. Outright said its not an option. My membranes ruptured 3wks “early” (I KNEW they had my date wrong!) and I’d been leakng fluid for 24 hrs now which I was told was dangerous for baby (not sure how true that was but I felt God’s hand on this baby and I was trusting my body). I chose to labor at home for the most part but went to the hospital after a full 12-24…can’t remember. My doulda was an awesome advocate for me, even prodding my OB’s brain to see if I “accidentally ended up in labor in the hot tub, would he deliver there! Lol…love her forever for that! Good thing she did too. My first round in the hot tub to get my labor going resulted in 6cm pprogression…yay baby! Proved the Dr wrong (love it)…meanwhile I was secretly drinking my herbal Greif Releaf with Black Cohosh and some othrr stuff I learned helps labor. I got out of the tub for a while cuz I didn’t want to overheat like last time, had a monster contraction and instructed the to refill the tub asap cuz I didn’t want drugs. They didn’t like me very much at first, but oh well. I progressed from 6 to 9 in 15 mins and told my doula to “Get the Doc I’m havg a baby!” Doc came in, looked at me, smiled and said “Do you want a water baby?! I SAID WITH AN EXCITED GROAN AS I WAS ON MY KNEES “YES, LETS GO! HES COMING NOW!” He came out and was given to me, not rubbed, not prodded, not mishandled only suctioned in the nose (but I didn’t know much abt that then). He never cried. He opened his eyes and looked straight at mommy and daddy and cooed as I petted my good boy on my chest and let the white coating on him soak into his skin. Umbillical cord unclamed until it stopped pulsing we both lay in the tub for some time as mommy spoke uncontrollably in tongues and praised God. Oh Patrice, there’s hope! There is! This was at sacred heart in Allentown PA! Through Lehigh Valley Womens Medical Specialties. My Doc told me that it was the ideal choice for me. Idk if ur still thinking abt Midwifery but I wanted to give u an encouraging word…SORRY SO LONG!

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