How do I thank you? Where do I even begin?
You gave me two of the best gifts I could have ever asked for—my baby, and a positive birthing experience.
You helped bring my sweet newborn into this world.
You believed in me.
You, quite honestly, gave me the power to believe in myself.
You shared in an intimate moment with me, my husband, my mother and my baby—and you handled it with leadership and grace.
I have given birth three times in my life. Twice under the guidance of midwives, and once under the guidance of an OB-GYN. Each birth was different and each birth was beautiful and special in their own unique way.
My midwives helped me feel empowered—not panicked.
My midwives lifted me up and helped me move mountains. Because, as a lot of us know—birth is not easy—not even close. It's one of the hardest things I have ever done or will do in my whole life. But, it's life-changing, miraculous and it will prove to you that you are one strong mama. And, as I learned, my provider was hugely important in helping me feel this way.
My midwives helped me take on something I was apprehensive about with confidence and a sense of calm.
My midwives treated me with respect—and gentleness.
They were nurturing, kind, attentive and, well...very maternal in a way.
They made me feel comfortable 100% of the time.
They respected the way I wanted to give birth.
They listened to me—really listened—to my wildest worries and craziest concerns.
They were an integral part of my birthing team. They never made me feel like it was them and me. It was always us.
My midwives helped me trust the journey—and not to waste time on doubt.
They made me feel like I was this really strong, amazing, warrior mama. They taught me how to trust in my body—that it knew what it was doing, to trust in the process of giving birth—that this has happened successfully before (many, many, many times), and to trust in them—that they knew what they were doing and that they had all sorts of procedures and tools and strategies in place should we need them.
My midwives kept their cool.
Both of the midwives who were in the delivery room with me brought a sense of peace and calm and positivity to the room. They didn't pressure me to do anything, they didn't continually ask me how I was feeling. They let me tell them when I was ready to push and they worked with me to get my baby out safely.
With my middle daughter, that actually meant working through shoulder dystocia (basically when the baby's head has been delivered but one or both of their shoulders get stuck) so efficiently and calmly—that I didn't even realize there was a 'challenge' in my daughter's delivery until after the fact.
My midwife Aki, who was about six months pregnant with her first child, did what she needed to do (basically, magical midwife moves) to place my Lucy on my chest without any additional interventions or distress.
I think what's most important to me, thinking back on my birth stories, is that the midwives were with me throughout the whole process of labor and delivery. Not here and there, not just the end when I needed to push—the whole time.
I never felt alone or in the dark.
Which is no coincidence, because the term 'midwife' means “with woman." Their constant presence and support made me feel safe and ready. Ready to labor, ready to give birth—and ultimately—ready to become a mother.
So to my midwives—thank you for being the most incredible source of support and encouragement for my birthing journey. You were with me then, and you'll be with me forever—in my stories and in my heart.