My name is Juli and I’m a midwife.
Ten years ago, I moved, with my husband, to America while he pursued his dream job.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the move marked the end of my career as a midwife, but it didn’t end the midwife in me.
Which is why I want to talk about birth, but more importantly, I believe we NEED to talk about birth.
There’s a lot of fear around the subject of giving birth, and I believe most of it is unnecessary.
Having a baby involves taking a risk.
It is far riskier to drive a car, and yet how many people get in the driver’s seat filled with fear or with the following thoughts?
What if I can’t steer the car?
What if the brakes fail?
What if I get scared?
Will I find my way?
Will I crash?
Will I die or kill my passengers?
Now, consider the first-time mother’s thoughts as her ‘due date’ approaches. It’s highly likely, these questions will cross her mind:
What if I can’t do it?
What if I can’t deal with the pain?
Should I have pain relief – an epidural?
What happens if I need a C/section?
What if something goes wrong?
What if my baby doesn’t live?
There are no guarantees in life, accidents happen, but thankfully most days we travel anywhere, by any means, we arrive safely.
In today’s well-nourished, healthy society, birth is also very safe.
Giving birth is an awesome, overwhelming, exhausting, and exhilarating experience.
It brings new life into the world!
It creates mothers, fathers, and families.
However, fear can disrupt the normal process.
We are all different, and the history and stories we each bring to our birth experiences will affect the outcome.
I acknowledge that, and won’t judge your choices, but I would like them to be informed.
Not informed from a purely medical viewpoint.
Birth isn’t an illness and it’s best approached with the ancient wisdom of mother and baby.
A woman’s body knows how to give birth, just as it knows how to grow a baby.
Women need to trust their bodies to do the task they were designed to do.
I’d like these pages to be a place where we can safely and openly discuss what is happening to women and babies during and after the birth process in our society.
But, before I ask you to share your stories, I will tell you mine.
I gave birth to four children, I was cared for by obstetricians for all four, but my obstetrician was only present for my first birth.
I succumbed to pain relief with my first baby, and he was dragged out of me with forceps, and then whipped away to the nursery for twenty-four hours. That was the accepted process at that time because it was believed the baby needed to rest after a traumatic birth.
With my second baby, I arrived at the hospital just in time to push her out by myself.
I always vomited during transition, and I foolishly accepted an injection to stop the vomiting just before my third baby was born. They included a narcotic with the anti-emetic.
My fourth baby was induced.
I used the gas with all four labours.
After the elation of each new baby settled into a normal happiness, I’d reflect on the birth with a tinge of disappointment.
I never felt I’d achieved my goal of a perfect birth.
It wasn’t until many years later when I attended my first homebirth that I glimpsed how wonderful giving birth could be.
So, are you a mother?
Are you expecting a baby?
Would you like to tell me about the birth of your children?
Do you feel any disappointment about how your children were born?
Feel free to ask any questions.