I have talked about the process for hiring a doula or monitrice in another post, and as the end of the first trimester came upon us we knew that we needed to get moving and hire ours! We decided that a Monitrice would work best for us for several reasons. First, I wanted to be sure that I could labor at home for as long as possible before going to the hospital. Second, my husband wanted to make sure that whomever we hired had medical knowledge to be able to identify any red flags that could indicate an emergency while I’m laboring. Third, I wanted a trained person to be able to stay with us throughout my labor at the hospital, instead of the flitting back and forth of the busy midwives at the hospital.
Over the past few months, I had been collecting the names and recomendations for several home birth midwives in my area. I was able to find five or six that area mothers had used and had stories about. I tracked down their Facebook pages, websites and anything else I could find about them to narrow it down. Based on all of that information there were really only two that I knew could work for us and our family dynamic. I emailed one and recieved a reply, she was no longer taking any clients at all – homebirth or monitrice. I then contacted the other and she replied back quickly wanting to know more and to talk.
We spoke over the phone for about an hour, talking about my previous birth experience and what we are looking for in a Monitrice. Then we set up an appointment to meet. She warned me that she had two homebirth clients due that week so it may change. And change it did! The day our meeting was planned she was called to a homebirth and we had to adjust to the following weekend.
My husband and I drove to her house for the meeting, and we could immediately tell that our worries of winter weather could be valid. Her road was up the side of a steep hill, and was all gravel so cannot be plowed. We started praying for a mild winter! Her home was on the side of the mountain, and was a log cabin style. Her husband met us at the door and talked with us while we waited for her to be ready (we were nearly 20 minutes early having over estimated the drive time). Our families are similar with several service members, and he even showed us a picture of his daughter with General Franks from her deployment.
Once she was ready, we got settled into the conversation easily. We talked about my previous cesarean section and what I liked and didn’t like about my labor experience during that time. We went over our expectations and what we are hoping for by hiring a monitrice as well as some concerns that we have. We were curious about how the dynamic would be between her and the hospital staff, as she is well known as a home birth midwife in the area and she has transfered patients there in the past. She assured us that as a monitrice they will probably love that she is there as it makes their job very easy. The hospital where we are going is very busy – more than 10,000 births per year. So the providers are constantly going between patients and don’t get to spend a lot of time with the laboring mothers. By having the Monitrice with us we will have a fully trained midwife with us throughout the entire birth and that is something that I really look forward to.
We also discussed nutrition, and staying healthy throughout the pregnancy. She also was able to give me ideas on how to avoid having so much water weight at the end of the pregnancy which I hope to follow including decreasing my carbohydrates and balancing the ones I do eat with plenty of protien. Many of the things we talked about are right on track with how we view healthcare in general. In our family we try to avoid artificial or synthetic medications, instead trying our best to find natural replacements or whole foods. She was of the same mind on many of these things and it put our minds at ease that she is the right choice for us.
She also checked to see if I have any seperation of the abdonminal muscles, or diastasis recti, and I do have a one finger width gap. So she showed me some ways that I can keep excercising and keep my abdominal muscles strong without causing any further separation.
We ended up speaking for more than two hours and at the end both my husband and I were definitely sure of our decision. She is also affordable and works with us on a payment plan, so that definitely helps! We are very excited to have another supportive provider on our team as we work towards our VBAC!