Friday, December 10, 2010


I have a strong faith and belief that birth is a natural process, that women are strong and babies are wise. That when a healthy women is nurtured and supported through the journey, she will most likely have a powerful and transformative birth experience. As a midwife, these beliefs are central to my philosophy. The catch to this faith is the "most likely" part of the equation.

My last several shifts have all involved the transfer of a woman in labor. I have become much more comfortable with the transfer process and much more trusting of my judgements in relation to the necessity of a transfer. However, that does not make them much easier in the moment. Midwives are sometimes referred to as 'guardians of birth' and this is a statement that I hold dear. As a guardian it is my job to, as much is possible, protect the mother and baby and to make difficult decisions when needed. Sometimes, in order to provide the safest care possible, that means a trip to the hospital. We have a saying about labor where I work, "its not birth center or bust". Meaning that our goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby and for some families that means that we need the type of support that the hospital can give. Knowing this is beneficial, but in the moment, when I am supporting a woman and we have all been working very hard it doesn't make it any easier. When I have to look into her eyes and her partners eyes and tell them that the birth center birth thay have been planning and envisioning is not possible...that is a heart wrenching moment regardless of the facts. Ultimately, my goal needs to be the final outcome of a healthy Mom ready and able to care for her healthy baby and for them to grow together....and no single experience is worth that.

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