10 reasons why I enjoy receiving my prenatal care from my midwife
“Hey Julia, how are you and your belly? So do you know what you’re having?” Internally I go as usually when this question arises, and it arises often: “I guess I’m having a human (sometimes I smile and say: maybe it's a rabbit?! or an elephant?!) and I’ll do my best to hold the space for this human to keep the wholeness he or she comes with”.
The question comes from my dear granny. She’ s a mother of 4 grown ups, a grandma of 6, plus a great-grandmother. I always love chatting with her about life and changes generally, she’s just got the overview.
“Well grandma, my belly is great, I feel the baby daily and I’m doing really good, I’m healthy and have little else to ask for.” As for the sex of the baby I chose to now do what I always felt when being pregnant with Lea. Stepping out of the routine, and into “Listening”. “How was it with your first pregnancy, how was prenatal care 50 years ago?”, I ask.
“Oh you know Julia, with your auntie I never went to the doctor, there was a midwife just across from us, but also her I’ve only seen 2 or 3 times before delivery. When she asked me where and how I want to give birth and said I want to go to the local house in town that they use for birth, she told me it would be wise to at least speak with the doctor that would accompany the midwife during the birth… that was 4 weeks prior to delivery. An ultra sound? We didn't have that back than, or at least it wasn't offered.”
I stand and let the words sink. Just 50 years ago the whole story around birth was so different and within one generation so many things changed. Exactly how Debra Pascali Bornaro said during the Doula training in Bali: “just go and speak with your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, see what you find in their stories, it hasn’t been too long ago when birth was a natural event in the every day life of families before it became a medical event being relocalised into doctors offices and hospitals.”
So here I go inquiring into my “Herstory” with my granny. And she goes on: “And you see Julia, it was the same with your mother, she was born in town, after a pregnancy that was just as my every day life. And then with your other auntie there was prenatal care introduced, this test and that test and please come back in 4 weeks, ultrasound, and blood tests and I don’t know what else. I didn’t even question, even though in my first two pregnancies, 'health care' was so different…”