Alright, let's drop the gloves and jump right into the ring:
Who do you trust to deliver your most precious piece of cargo? A Midwife or a Doctor?
I know a lot of people feel very strongly about this topic (second maybe to circumcision) so let's try to keep all shots above the belt here, shall we? (Not to mention, with childbirth, we take enough shots below the belt, literally. Lets give our lady bits a rest.)
Like everything in parenting the choice to go with a Midwife or Doctor is a highly personal decision and there are no right or wrong answers. Just personal preferences. With our first child, we had an OB and delivered at a hospital. It was a very pleasant and amazing experience. You can read about it here. However, this time around, we have decided to shake things up a little and go with a midwife (and still deliver in a hospital — I'm scared shitless of a home birth.) For us — we wanted to guarantee that we'd have someone knowledgeable and kind to help me through the labour process, while being in an environment we felt safe in. We really lucked out last time with world's best nurse and I didn't want to risk getting someone who was less than stellar. So for us, it made sense to go with a midwife this time.
So now let's weigh some pros of each option:
ROUND #1: DOCTORS
Doctors likely have 8 years of post-secondary education and a minimum of 2 years residency under their belts. Translation: they're pretty smart cookies (Unless they managed to beat the system and copy their neighbour's notes during every exam...)
When you decide to have a doctor deliver your baby, you get a whole team (and hospital) full of medical care. You will be assigned a nurse (or two) who will primarily be taking care of you throughout your labour. They will be the one monitoring your contractions and keeping a close eye on you and the baby. When it is time to "push" (if you're having a vaginal delivery) that is when the nurses will page the doctor on-call (perhaps it will be your doctor, or it might not be — depending on your arrangement/situation) and then the doctor will arrive to deliver the baby (and stitch you up if need be.)
Doctors will give you drugs. If you are certain you want an epidural or pain medicine, a doctor is the way to go. This isn't to say you can't have an epidural with a midwife, but it will need to be a doctor who administers it.
Doctors are specialized in dealing with high-risk pregnancies. If you are considered "high-risk" for any variety of health reasons, you will need to be seen by a doctor during your pregnancy. And this is a good thing. Doctors exist for a reason: to keep us alive and healthy to the very best of their ability.
ROUND #2: MIDWIVES
With a midwife, in Canada, you get highly personalized care. You have the choice to have a homebirth, or you can deliver with your midwife in a hospital (whichever hospital(s) your midwife is associated with). However, if you deliver in the hospital with your midwife, you will not be under the care of a doctor. A lot of people assume you'll have a midwife AND a doctor — but this will only be the case if there is a need for further medical intervention that requires the expertise of a medical doctor, and in that case your midwife will just be around for moral support and won't be the one delivering your baby.
Midwives are huge advocates of natural births and allowing the mother to be in charge of her own body and birthing decisions. There have been studies that show if you choose a midwife you are (insert high percentage here) less likely to have medical interventions and c-sections.
Midwives have 4 years of university training (at least I know this to be true in Ontario) or they've studied abroad and have taken the proper courses/exams to be certified in Canada.
Midwives come visit you at home after the baby is born for follow-up care (both for Mom and the baby). This is a huge plus, for obvious reasons. In Ontario you get 1-2 home visits after your baby is born in the six weeks postpartum.
Typically, the midwife spends more time with you during your visits. You don't have more visits than you would with your OB or doctor, but they typically spend 30-45 minutes with you per visit. They are trained to take your blood, and are fully licenced to send you for all your proper pre-natal screening tests and ultrasounds.
Now there are a LOT more pros to either choice, I'm just outlining the ones that come to mind. I'll write a follow-up on my midwife birth experience in March, but I'm hoping it's as good (if not better) than my first experience.
Now, I'm curious: what did you choose, a midwife or a doctor — and why?
Also, side note: please don't try to convince me to have a home-birth. While I support the decision of those who are brave enough to try it (and I enjoy hearing your stories) I've done my research, and I still think it seems scary. I'm sorry. That's my opinion, and I've done a lot of research, so I will not be swayed ;)
WEDNESDAY, October 18th:
Tomorrow morning at 9am I'm having my 20 week anatomy ultrasound. The ultrasound tech will be counting all the fingers, all the toes, (and a bunch of other important stuff), and then will come the question that many parents agonize over...
WILL WE FIND OUT THE GENDER?
*Insert dramatic duh-duh-duhhhhhhh music*
And here is the thing: I've always been on team "I love surprises" and I think nowadays (I sound like I'm 80) I'm in the minority. People LOVE finding out the gender. They want to plan. They NEED to plan. The idea of NOT PLANNING makes them weak in the knees and they start to vibrate with anxiety. They want to plan the nursery. They want to plan the name. They want to buy pink pink pink until it looks like someone puked Pepto Bismol all over their walls! Heaven forbid a child be dressed in grey, brown, green or yellow. Heaven forbid that someone mistake your newborn alien for the OPPOSITE GENDER. *gasp* How terrible, right? Don't even get me started on gender stereotypes and our need to dress girls and boys in certain colours and have them play with specific toys to begin with...
But...with all of this said...I sort of get it.
I hang my head in shame. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've been tempted lately to find out the gender of this baby (I'm only embarrassed because it's so out of my character. I'm the surprise QUEEN!) But..I find myself drawn to the cute little plaid vests or the frilly pink skirts. What is wrong with me? Someone - please, take my temperature!!
The truth is, my new found desire to find out the gender has nothing to do with wanting to buy gender specific clothing. I just have this overwhelming feeling that this baby is a girl, and...I want to know if I'm right! I certainly won't be disappointed if we have another boy (because boys are awesome) but I'm not very good at being patient when I'm excited about something and I sort of want to know NOW! Am I right, AM I?!?!?
So - I / we have a decision to make: should we find out the gender of our baby tomorrow? I posted this question on my Facebook page today, and I got a lot of various comments:
"Finding out is good for planning. More data = better!" (says my MBA strategic thinker friend)
"Dress up like a pioneer for a day or two to put yourself back into a headspace where it wasn't even a question? Plus, then you'd get to dress up like a pioneer!" (says my childhood friend - who understands my passion for playing dress-up)
"It's still a surprise...you're just getting it earlier!" (says an old friend who makes an excellent point...)
"Don't find out! If I can make it through 6 (without finding out) you can do it!" (says a certain YMC blogger friend who has six kids)
Now stay tuned.. (actually - just scroll down) and I will update this blog post tomorrow once we've had the ultrasound...
A little further...
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17th, 9:00am:
Well, I've just returned from our ultrasound...and...
We DIDN'T find out the gender!!!
I must say, I tempted myself beyond belief, but I stayed strong (now if only I could apply that willpower to chocolate). I asked the ultrasound tech if she was going to look. "Well...I don't have to." She said. And then five minutes later, she turned the screen away from me, "Okay, I'm going to look now." I tried to sneak a side glance but I really couldn't see anything. A few minutes later I asked her, "So...did the baby reveal it's gender to you?" She nodded and smiled.
OH THE AGONY!!! She KNOWS! SHE KNOWS!!!!
And then, I swear, despite her thick Ukrainian accent I heard her say, "there is HER hand..." but...I could also be reading into things. Haha.
So there you have it folks - you'll have to wait until March to find out the gender of baby Warman #2!
Thanks for joining me in this journey...stay tuned!!
Recently, I met an awesome girl. I liked this girl right away for several reasons: she was friendly, had a genuine smile, and was very open and easy to talk to. After laughing and talking for five minutes, she said this to me:
"Do you want to know what I said to the doctor when she was stitching me up after child birth?"
As if I could possibly like this woman any more?!? Kindred spirits. A girl after my own heart. I thought I was the only one who had a "Do you know what I said while being stitched-up story..."
So of course I laughed and said, "Yes, tell me!"
She smiled, then paused "I said... 'Well there goes my adult film career.'"
I burst out laughing! "What did the Doctor say?"
"Well, she just sort of looked at me weird. No one really laughed. It was awkward."
So in honour of this conversation...
5 HILARIOUS THINGS TO SAY WHEN BEING STITCHED UP AFTER CHILD-BIRTH
5. "Hey, you're really good at this! Want to come over for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter and help me stuff and stitch my turkey? I suck at doing it." (Not only would that be awesome, it would be topical if you gave birth around any of those holidays. If you don't celebrate those holidays, just go with it—don't ruin my joke.)
4. Start signing the Sound of Music with 100% passion: "Sew, a needle pulling thread! La, a note to follow sew!"
3. Ask the doctor/midwife if they could use coloured thread and beads, "Y'know, just to jazz things up a little!"
2. When they're just about done stitching you up, say, "Wait! I think there is something else in there." Then reach down, and perform a clown-like magic trick and pull a very long and colourful string of kerchifs out of your vagina. While humming entertaining circus music. When you are done, make sure to say, "Tah-dah!" and take a bow.
1. And finally, the last and most horrifying thing you could say or do while being stitched up after child-birth would be to pretend that you are actually enjoying it. Orgasmically. That would just be awful and terrible for everyone in the room (but would make for an excellent hidden camera viral video. I'd love to see THAT reaction.) Awk-ward.
Now please, tell me—did you say anything to the doctor/midwife when you were getting sewn up after child-birth? If you didn't need to be sewn up, well then, I hate you just a little bit and will assume that you pooped on your child when giving birth. It's only fair that you get one or the other, in my opinion.