We had our first appointment with the midwife on Monday and it was great. On the way to the hospital Andino asked me if I had any intuition as to which midwife we would be assigned. I told him I felt like it would be the Nigerian lady (who I will call Chinue here, which is very similar to her name but not her actual name) because I felt a connection to her during the orientation we had at the hospital last week. Of course my gypsy intuition was right and I gave Andino a big smile when we entered the midwife office and saw Chinue was waiting for us.
The meeting was an hour long and Chinue was thorough without being rushed. She started by asking questions not only related to my medical background but also to understand my emotional health. That was new for me although I wasn’t surprised because I went into this assuming that midwives provide more holistic care. She had me fill out a questionnaire to assess my state of mind so she could have a baseline to refer to when keeping an eye out for post-partum depression. She asked me what my support system is like and if I feel happy. She also asked about my nutrition, how much water I’m drinking (apparently not enough) and went through the warning signs or pre-term labour, high blood pressure and what is typical in pregnancy. She said for example, mild headaches and mild back pain is fine but if I experience severe discomfort I should call her. I loved that she made me feel like I could call any time to ask questions.
One thing I noticed about Chinue’s approach, was that every test we discussed was presented as an option. She explained the reasons and benefits to everything from the glucose tolerance test to manual exams and then asked me if I wanted to proceed or not. I never felt bullied by my Doctor into anything, but I just noticed a difference in the way Chinue presented things and I prefer her approach. I felt like I was really playing an active role in my care.
According to Baby Centre Canada:
“Informed choice” is the principle that guides Canadian midwives. It means that you have the right to make decisions about your care and that you should be involved in your own care. For example, with a midwife, prenatal tests and scans will be presented to you as options. Your midwife will talk to you about what the tests mean, what they entail, and what your options are. She will then support you in your decision to either have the tests or not have the tests. However, when your safety or that of your baby is a concern, she will make recommendations and help you understand what is happening.”
Our next appointment is in a month. It seems like time has been flying by for me since I’ve been pregnant. I’m already 23 weeks! I am flying home to Nova Scotia on Monday to spend a couple weeks with my family. (Chinue said there’s no harm in flying at this stage.) By the time I get back I’ll be 26 weeks, I wonder how much my bump will grow by then. I definitely had a growth spurt after 20 weeks. Once I get back, I only have 12 weeks of work left. It’s weird to be counting down the time like this. It feels like just yesterday I was telling Andino the news that I was finally pregnant, and now I’m more than halfway done!