This post has been a long time coming. It’s about our midwife and has been brewing in my mind and in my heart for some time now.
Last March when I was halfway through my pregnancy, we ended our prenatal care with our OB/GYN and set out to find a midwife. My husband Jason and I had just seen The Business of Being Born which was an eye opener for us since we were new to everything regarding birth and babies.
We first met Beverly Woodard of Fruition Midwifery at her office in Chelsea on March 30, 2010. She was the only one of a half dozen women I had called who was willing to take me into her practice. I write about our decision to switch from an OB/GYN to a midwife in an earlier post, here.
Before I met Beverly my impression of a midwife was someone who was was warm, maternal and perhaps a bit crunchy. Beverly was anything but that. She was a whippersnapper. She was autocratic, and she took great pleasure in shooting down our fanciful, liberal hopes for a drug-free birth. She was also impeccably groomed.
The months that followed in the rest of my pregnancy I would come to question our decision to leave our OB/GYN for a midwife. Beverly’s care was top notch, but we were not gelling the way I had hoped. When I brought my mom along to my 34 week appointment to meet Beverly, she said she understood how I felt but that one thing was for certain: Beverly knew her babies.
And so I kept this mantra in my head for the next six weeks and it helped. At my 38 week appointment Beverly advised me to buy some castor oil from Duane Reade and to drink it if my water broke but contractions did not follow. This was the first of many signs that Beverly was in fact fully supportive of my plans for a natural birth.
My labor and delivery was long and arduous, but also all-natural. I say the following with not one iota of uncertainty: I would not have had the labor and birth that I did had it not been for Beverly. I have written in length about my son’s birth story, here.
I labored for 30 hours from start to finish. Beverly provided phone support via text earlier in the day when I was very functional and then over the phone with Jason later on at night when I had moved from the latent phase of labor to the active phase of labor.
Beverly was also very supportive in the hospital. She staved off interventions such as an epidural, excessive fetal heart monitoring, internals and more. She held me from behind and swayed with me when I was at my worst. She patted my forehead with a damp washcloth. She told stories to distract me from the pain. I was wrong all along. Beverly was in fact extremely maternal.
At 9:00 am on Monday, August 9th, after six hours of blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids, Beverly even let me deliver my own baby! How selfless. Here’s a woman who’s job it was to present me with my baby and instead, presented me with my crowning moment in life.
Later that day, when the endorphins and excitement of the arrival of our son began to settle in, my husband said it best: “If you were going into battle, Beverly is just the kind of person you would want next to you in the trenches.” I could not have agreed more. Beverly is not just the person who delivered our first born. She is a part of our family now, and I cannot wait to go into battle with her again. Let’s just hope it won’t be for a couple of more years.
What about you, do you have a lot of love for the medical professional who helped bring your children into the world? Why or why not?