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*The testimonies and opinions expressed on www.teammidwife.org are those of each post author and do not necessarily represent the views or practice standards of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

The Birth of my Baby and beyond

When I got pregnant my husband (who's older than I am and already had a teenage son) encouraged me to read Ina May Gaskin. I didn't know anything about natural birth. I didn't know anything about being an active participant when at a doctor's office. Growing up in my family, the doctor knows best. I was sick for most of my pregnancy, which can be depressing and scary, and many of my calmest moments came from reading Ina May's books about all natural births with midwives mostly outside of hospitals. Her thoughts and stories inspired me to have less fear, and more trust in my own instincts about my own body. To ask questions of my midwives at my birthing center and make my own choices. To make informed decisions about my body. I still see the midwives for my GYN appointments. I am not anti-hospital... I'm pro-choice. But to be able to choose I discovered I had to know there were options. I had a mid-wife and a doula present at my son's birth. It's the best thing I ever did. Was it easy? No. I labored ten hours and pushed for two and a half. Would I have done it any other way? No. It was the best thing for me and my baby. The choices I made were all mine and I had the support of women who were educated in a variety of methods of birth, not just medical ones. In the birthing center (attached to a hospital) where I gave birth, I felt I had both an all natural, homeopathic team and a just-in-case surgical one. It's just what I wanted.

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