Here in central Indiana, our options for midwives are very limited, especially if you are considering a home birth. And especially especially if you want to go the legal route and use licensed, certified nurse midwives. I know of exactly two practices.
One practice has open group interview sessions set up routinely, so we scheduled our visit in late summer. This practice is nearly 45 minutes away, but was very easy to get to. We showed up a little early along with five other couples to meet the midwives, ask questions, and determine if this choice would be a good fit for us.
We met both midwives there, who both seemed very personable, caring, and knowledgeable. We asked tons of questions about our situation, the logistics of receiving maternity care throughout pregnancy, the qualifications and experience of each midwife, their preferred methods for treating pain during labor, post-partum followup visits, and financial matters.
We really appreciated the questions and experience of the other couples there, who ranged from first time parents like us, to second time parents from an Amish community, to a kind and bubbly couple who had brought along their well-behaved children, one of whom had been born under the care of this midwife practice.
Jeremy and I spent a little time walking around the small town’s main street (literally, Main Street) afterward, discussing what we had learned. We both felt more at ease after the meeting, having had all of our questions answered and then some. The package that they had presented us with was comprehensive, from initial consultation and the first prenatal visit to the in-home post-partum and lactation visits. It was affordable, too. But more than that, our hearts felt at peace with this option.
I won’t say that this midwife practice is our final choice, but I am glad we have researched and met with a set of qualified prenatal providers, as outlined in my intentions for pregnancy and birth:
I want to develop a strong relationship with my prenatal care and birth providers that is based upon mutual trust, respect, and understanding. It is essential that we select providers with exceptional skill, judgement, and knowledge and commitment to what is best (not just most commonly accepted). We expect the highest quality of medical care, as well as compassion and sensitivity. In return, these providers should regard me as someone confident and conscious about her values and preferences, although willing to trust in the need for change and adaptation.