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*The testimonies and opinions expressed on www.teammidwife.org are those of each post author and do not necessarily represent the views or practice standards of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

My Midwife Saved My Life

I have three little girls. I have had my wonderful CNM since I was 30 weeks pregnant with my first daughter. I am not even sure where to start to say how wonderful she is. When I first contacted my midwife, I wasn’t sure I was good candidate for natural birth due to my history of multiple sclerosis. My midwife was the first healthcare provider who treated me as a person, and gave the MS no more thought than it deserved. While due to preeclampsia, I did not end up with the birthing center birth I had hoped for, I did have a fantastic experience. Seven months after my first daughter was born, I was again expecting a baby. My pregnancy went quite well. I developed some mild sugar issues. My midwife helped me monitor it with limited intervention. I went on to have my daughter in the birthing center with no complications whatsoever. Two years later, almost to the day, we found out a third baby was coming. The first person I told was my midwife, via e-mail at 6 in the morning. She immediately responded and congratulated me. She was fantastic with her mobile help throughout very trying morning sickness, suggesting several natural methods to control it before we ended up trying an anti-nausea medication. She answered any and all questions that came up. Encouraged me to keep up with my exercise and was just as thrilled as I when I did not develop any sugar or blood pressure issues this time! Then at 35 weeks, after a month of being head down, baby went breech. My midwife, knowing my personality, immediately set up a plan for us to get baby in position for birth. She sent me to her chiropractor, encouraged me at appointments when I would cry in frustration, gave me tips and ideas via e-mail as we worked for the next 4 weeks to get baby to stay in a good position. Then at 40 weeks and 4 days, my fluid levels measured low. My midwife instructed me to drink lots of fluids on the way to the hospital to see if we could get good levels. When we could not, she carefully explained all the options to my husband and I. Throughout labor she was an encouragement to me and my husband, suggesting things he could to help me, providing counter-pressure, helping me get into a position that allowed baby to be born quickly when the heart rate was affected. Due to the baby’s cord being wrapped around the neck, we did not get to delay cord clamping as we had with the others, the doctors wanted the baby right away, but she kept advocating for us to be able to hold our baby girl as soon as all was checked out. Since that birth, my midwife has saved my life twice. I developed severe postpartum depression. My midwife kept in close touch with me via e-mail and appointments and we were able to begin treating it early on. She helped me with the words to explain to people in my life what I was experiencing. She stayed in communication with me, encouraging me through the days of waiting for the medication to take effect, giving me practical ideas on how to survive the severe emotional pain, and when further problems developed, she caught them and urged me to let her get me more help. When my baby was 12 weeks old, I hit a crisis point. I didn’t know what to do, so I loaded up my three girls, went to my midwife’s office, and fell apart. She let me cry, got a hold of my husband and got my girls to a safe place. I was hospitalized for 24 hours. Afterward, she kept encouraging me via e-mail, and is the one who found me a PPD specialist who began to treat me right away. She continued to encourage me, see me as needed, keep in touch via e-mail. Then five months later, the medication I was on stopped working. I didn’t know what to do, so I called her. I was at a crisis point, the only answer I could see was to die. She got me into my doctor right away. From there, I was able to get more help. My midwife has gone from being a care provider to being a friend. I can safely say if it were not for my midwife, I would not be alive today.

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