For my first three pregnancies, I used an obstetrician for my prenatal care and delivery. In 2011, while pregnant with Ari, I was diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia, which meant that I had cervical cells that could lead to cancer. After Ari was born, my OB said I would need LEEP if the cells didn’t fall off during delivery. They didn’t. A LEEP is a procedure where the cancerous cells are removed electrically. I knew I was in God’s hands, but I worried about being able to carry another child to term in the future. My OB assured me that she only removed the necessary tissue to keep me healthy. So having another baby wouldn’t be a problem.
Because of the LEEP, I was on serious restrictions when we got pregnant with Rae. Get more rest than normal, no strenuous exercise (I wanted to be a fit and pregnant like Kelly Rowland) and NO SEX from weeks 14-27! I could do without the exercising but NO SEX? Who does that? And what mom has time to rest with three kids? Something had to be done! So when I was 14 weeks, I started researching natural births, LEEP, home births, midwives, and anything else birth related that I could get my hands on.
After weeks of researching, I decided I wanted to do a natural birth. I talked it over with Shaun and I started looking for a midwife. After interviewing several midwives, I found the perfect one, Tina Alessi of 1 to 1 Female Care. My OB wasn’t too thrilled that I was going with a midwife. She even tried to scare me into staying by telling me about what could go wrong during my pregnancy. Although I was flabbergasted by her actions, I started to second guess my decisions. Tina assured me that everything would be just fine. She measured my cervical length throughout my pregnancy to ensure that I would be able to carry the baby to term. Turns out, the LEEP didn’t affect my pregnancy at all. Not only was I able to exercise, I was able to have sex, which was the best news ever! What a total difference from my OB. I thanked God for helping me make the correct decision.
Tina was amazing. She was interested and willing to help me execute my birth plan. My office visits weren’t rushed and I felt extremely comfortable relaying my thoughts and concerns to her. Even her methods during childbirth were amazing! She massaged my perineum with oil during delivery to create a smooth passage for the baby and prevent me from tearing. Afterward, I didn’t even feel like I gave birth… Mind you, Baby Rae was 9 pounds and change.
When choosing a doctor or midwife, make sure they are there for you and to help you complete your birth plan. They should have your best interest at heart and do what’s needed for you and the baby, not their own pockets. Granted, there may be an emergency and you’ll need a medical intervention (C-section, Pitocin, vacuums, etc.) but that should be the last resort. During the interviewing process, be very specific about your wants and needs on your birth plan. From laboring or delivering in a tub, to having music and dim lights in your room, your doctor or midwife should make you feel as comfortable as possible. I mean, it is your money after all. Childbirth is a special, God given, wonderful experience, so make sure your voice is heard. When in labor, have someone who can advocate for you when you’re unable to. Shaun was excellent with this.
If you want someone who will constantly check on you, or stay with you, a doctor is probably NOT the way to go. They just don’t have time for it. Don’t be surprised if your doctor comes to say hi and comes back when it’s time to catch the baby. Unless there is a problem, you won’t see them again until you’re ready to push. Every doctor isn’t like this but the majority are. Midwives spend time with you and are at your side for the duration of labor. Their primary focus is you and the baby and they won’t leave until you’re all taken care of. If you are having a hospital birth make sure you know which hospital your doctor or midwife is affiliated with. Once you know this information, call, go on a tour or research the hospital where you will be delivering. Be sure to ask questions about their policies and procedures during labor and delivery.
One of my fondest memories with Tina was after everything was over, she did not leave right away. She stuck around and made sure I was okay. She asked me if I was thirsty and got juice. She didn’t send a nurse, she got it herself. She made me feel cared for and that spoke volumes about her practice. Again, it’s a special time and you want it to be right for you! So pray about it. Go with whatever God is telling you to do. Trust in him and he’ll see you through! I did and now I can’t wait to do it all over again! Choose wisely ladies.
Until next time…..Lady Ki