I found a midwife some time ago that I wanted to see. Actually, it's a practice with two midwives. Both are rather new on the job -- certified two years each -- but the amount of training they have each had before becoming certified is kind of staggering.
But there were issues. First was coming up with the money. While John was working at his old job, there was no way we could afford it. When he got the new job, we decided that we would surely be able to save up that amount by May, so I contacted the midwife again. But she wanted a deposit at the first visit -- more than we had lying around.
But when I told her I couldn't schedule a visit till we had the money, she wrote back saying not to worry about it, just to come on in and pay the money when I had it. Very nice of her! And in the end, we did have the money in time anyway.
So last Thursday, I finally had the long-awaited appointment. The office was a bit of a surprise. I guess I was expecting, you know, an office. In an office building. Or more likely a business park. Though I did wonder where there were any business parks in Linden, Virginia.
Well, the "business park" was more like a gravel road disappearing into the woods. Gorgeous woods, of course. It's November in Virginia. And the office itself was a very old-looking building in the middle of nowhere. But as soon as we walked inside, I could kind of get the feel of it. It had an atrium full of herbs (which made the whole place smell like incense) and overall felt ... like a hippie midwife office in the woods. Exactly what I should have expected.
Once we got upstairs and sat down with the midwives, though, it was as professional as anyone could hope. Plenty of toys for the kiddo. Plenty of books on birth and babies and even one on elimination communication. (I think I'll have to ask to borrow that one!) Jars of herbs and trays of equipment. The appointment took two hours, between the paperwork and the actual appointment stuff. Since I'm 14 weeks already, it was nice to get all the appropriate things tested and the heartbeat listened to (sounded great!) and my questions answered. Unfortunately they do not have a secret herb in their back closet that will cure my terrible back pain. But they did suggest a chiropractor, and pointed out that I am pregnant now and can't expect to haul my 25+ pound child with me on my hip all the time anymore. Which I guess isn't rocket science, but it sure is more attention than the OB/Gyns ever gave that problem last pregnancy.
Their views seemed to jive with me about everything. They wanted to hear Marko's birth story, and we discussed episiotomies (they've never done any) and the managed third stage of labor (another thing they don't do) and delayed cord cutting (which they are all about). I have no doubts whatever that they will do what I want.
Best of all, they gave me tons of information about my options. There were packets about glucose testing, ultrasounds, and vitamin K shots, informing me of all the risks and benefits of each test and what my risk factors might be. "You mean I have a ... choice?" Everything is optional here ... because, obviously, I am the patient and have the right to refuse anything I want. That's the law, but you don't see many doctors saying, "We encourage this test, here is a ton of information about the risks and benefits." Instead they say, "It's time for your glucose tolerance test. Sign up at the front desk on your way out." You're never told that you can refuse.
All in all, I could not have asked for a better first appointment. I really think I'm going to like these ladies.
The next hurdle: finding a back-up OB or GP who can do my bloodwork, Rhogam shot, and any additional drugs or testing I might need. CPMs (certified professional midwives) can't prescribe anything, so I need to visit a doctor for all of that stuff. It's a shame, because I really believe these ladies have sufficient training to administer a simple shot -- but the state disagrees. There are tons of restrictions on midwives. However, I think Virginia does a decent job of regulating midwives so that they are available for people who want them. Certainly we trump many states that don't allow CPMs at all!
(In other news, Marko is now regularly going to bed at eight and then not sleeping very well thereafter. Sigh. I can't believe that a month ago he was going to bed at ten and sleeping through till eight, and I thought that this was a problem. But perhaps when he recovers from his current cold, things will be a little better. All I know is, I spent four hours last night lying on the cold floor of his bedroom, trying to help him go to sleep, and I'm not a fan. At least he is going to bed at a reasonable hour, though, right?)