My Midwife Makes Me Smile

For this pregnancy, I’m getting parallel care. While we’re living here, I’m seeing the TriHealth Nurse Midwives (the same group of CNMs -certified nurse midwives- who cared for me during Susannah’s pregnancy) but I’ll be about 30 weeks pregnant when we move to Owensboro. So I found a midwife who will be my birth attendant, and we interviewed her on our house-hunting visit in February.

Her name is Michelle (easy to remember!) and she’s a CPM –certified professional midwife, otherwise sometimes known as a direct-entry midwife or DEM- who lives in Indiana. She normally serves southern IN and western KY. She didn’t want to wait until I was 30 weeks for our first prenatal visit, though; so today she came all the way to my house for an appointment!
It was such a great experience. A good part of this visit was for Michelle to go over my paperwork with my general medical history and birth histories. We had time to just “visit,” to get to know each other a little more. And then we talked about how I’m feeling, what I’ve been eating, all those questions. She gave me lots of little tips and ideas for natural ways to cope with some of those minor complaints that can pop up (hey, didja know papaya is a good remedy for heartburn?!).
I’m 15 weeks along and I’ve gained 10 lbs. My blood pressure was 118/66 (which is a little low in general but pretty normal for me, personally).
Oh, a neat thing about doing all this at home? Instead of peeing in a cup and having it disappear behind a mysterious little window, you pee in a cup in the privacy of your own bathroom and then you dip your own little stick (I should ask Chris what that’s called) and then your midwife teaches you how to read the results. So now I know my pH and specific gravity and that I have no ketones or sugars or whatever-the-other-three-squares-were-for. It’s random, and I’m sure most of you reading this think I’m a little nuts, but I think it reminds me of how empowered and informed I felt when I discovered fertility charting. It was like a whole new world had opened up when I realized that my body was telling me ALL THIS AMAZING STUFF, every single month, and all I had to do was pay attention. This kind of feels like that – something as simple as my urine can give me a clue about whether a whole range of my other systems are working the right way. That’s just awesome (in an admittedly nerdy way).
But after the dipstick came the best part of the visit. We went into my bedroom, and I lay on the bed with Jonas and Susannah sitting beside me, and Michelle palpated my uterus. Another remarkable difference between the CNMs and a midwife with her training? She was able to manually feel for the exact location of a 15-week baby. After she found him, she put the Doppler to that spot and there it was! A strong, galloping-hoofs, baby heartbeat somewhere between 146-152 bpm. Jonas had a great big smile on his face and said it was “pretty cool,” and Susannah told the midwife that the baby likes to growl. 🙂
We’re going to schedule another visit in about six weeks, when I’m 21-22 weeks pregnant. Then six weeks later (give or take) we’ll be moving in to the new house and we’ll start having prenatals every two weeks until 36w. At that point, we will switch to weekly prenatals until this baby decides to arrive.

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MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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