If you haven’t yet read the unforeseen series of events that lead up to this point where Im 37 weeks pregnant and on the hunt for a professional care provider to deliver my baby,I suggest you first read that post here, then come back here to see what happened next!
Walking out on our doctor at 37 weeks of pregnancy isn’t the most likeliest of decisions for anyone to make. But we weren’t more sure of ourselves the day we did. However, having nothing in hand was obviously quite daunting, so we hit the road running as soon as we got home. (That is right after I had a snack. And by “snack”, I mean a full meal, with sides) 🙂
First thing we did after updating my mom was call up my cousin. You see, she had just recently given birth with the support of a midwife. She had shared her beautiful birth story with me, and I was somehow under the impression that this was possible with any qualified birth professional – silly me!
I conveyed the pressing details of my situation to her, and she provided me with contacts of the doctor and midwives that she had used, and then set out to find more and get back to me.
Eventually later that day, my cousin came back to me with a few more numbers. I felt good. It wasn’t much, but I knew it was a step in the right direction.
I spent my time scouring the internet trying to track down all midwives. Truth was, I would’ve been lost without the list that my cousin gave me. But it was late Friday, and offices were closing.
So the weekend came, and the nail biting truly began. All the while my mom and darling husband encouraged me to keep the faith. Also constantly reminding me to relax, for the sake of the baby. That was a nerve wracking. There was much to be done. But there was nothing we could really do. Doctors’ and midwives’ offices were closed. (and I didn’t have any after hours numbers for them, because I wasnt their patient yet.) And in anycase, no midwife would work with you, lest you have a backup doctor. I really wanted a midwife, and knew that midwives never work alone. They ALWAYS have a backup doctor. But not all doctors work with midwives. Ohhhhh, the conundrum we were in!
So for the first time ever,I spent the weekend wishing the weekend away, all whilst having gentle conversations with baby that she should come when she feels ready. (But I’d really like it if she could just wait till we have secured a doctor at least!)
It was Monday morning, and I hit the road running. I did some more research on the internet, and found that 1 x Dr Dumbrill seemed to pop up every where. He also happened to be the very same doctor that my cousin had used. He also happened to be the same doctor who authored a medical paper I had recently read. It was an unbiased look at the pro’s and con’s of natural birth and c-sects. What were the chances? So I called him up.
I knew that he had a crazy waiting list of anything from four to six weeks. My cousin warned me of this. But I didn’t have six weeks… I only had two – maybe less. (You just never know with babies – They come when they’re good’n ready.) But we had nothing to lose. So we said our prayers, and then set off on our telephonic quest to find someone to help us.
Even though, knowing there was a slim chance of ever getting an appointment with Dr Dumbrill, my faith was far from slim! God would not have carried us this far, only to drop us now. In anycase stying with that other doc was not even option. I would be doing myself and baby a huge disservice by staying with the old gynae, or not questioning him, exploring my birth options. Options that he was clearly withholding from me.
Phone rang. Whoop whoop. (Not sure if I could have handled an engaged tone right then) I politely explained the situation to the friendly PA, and enquired as to whether there were any openings in Dr Dumbrill’s schedule. Anything at all. A momentary silence followed, as she checked the schedule. Then she excused herself, and placed me on hold – presumably to confer with the good doctor. All the while, I was praying in head. Surely, so many random pieces of research that I did could not have pointed me to this particular doctor by accident? Add to the fact that my cousin also advised me he would be the doctor to have as part of your birth team. I waited with baited breath. At this point I had climbed up onto my knees onto the bed, pressing the telephone receiver tightly against my ear, unconsciously biting my thumb nail – and I don’t even bite my nails. I reminded myself to breathe.
Then, as if the angels themselves were just waiting to break out into a harmonious tune, cue’ing the sunshine to break through the clouds (that really did happen), and sound the trumpets, the lovely PA came back with a ,
“Doctor can fit you in this Wednesday”!
“I’ll take it!”…I praised the lord, I bounced on the bed- big round belly and all. I couldn’t stop saying thank you! I displayed my excitement with abandon. If I could’ve reached into that phone, I would’ve grabbed that PA, and given her a big fat kiss right on the noggin’! Eeeeek!! I couldn’t believe it. We got a doctor! We were back in the game, baby! Yay!
So the first part was done. And we were feeling so much more secure, and we were over the moon.Now all we needed was a midwife.
Although, at this point, we felt we were already in good hands with Dr Dumbrill. But the voice inside me told me to push on with the midwife hunt. It was what I grew up with: My mom had a midwife. And as a little girl, I had met her midwife – and what lovely lady she was. Midwifery was a normal part of our life (along with gynaes and obstretics), and not just a blimp on our radar.
I knew midwives respected the birth process. They supported the process, and delivered babies, and guided the mothers.But as a first time preggo, that was all I knew of them. I was yet to learn of the greater impact and role they actually have on you as a birthing mother and the birth experience that you shall have.
With the list of midwives in my hand, I took a breath, promised myself not to panic nor cry (God has our back) and started dialing.
First place I called,Birth Options, I learnt that midwives are quite popular! They were fully booked. Apparently, one needs to give them a call BEFORE you even let your hubby know after you peed on that stick – that’s how popular! My tummy twinged and my postivitey dropped slightly.
But what was absolutely lovely and what kept my hope strong was the incredibly helpful voice on the other side.( Love you, Andy!) Both their midwives were fully booked. However, as can be expected, midwives have a little network going amongst themselves. And from that first phone call, that sweet lady on the other side of the phone set the network alight for me. She started checking with other midwives and their availability, and offered me a few more numbers to try. My list grew a little more, and so did my hopes! Each time I praised the Lord.
The numbers she offered included even midwives in other provinces! Other provinces? Whoa.
My cousin also checked in with me a few times to offer some more possibilities. And the lovely and friendly lady of Birth Options had called back to deliver the unfortunate but not surpising news that all the other midwives in their personally known network are all booked up. She wished me well with the list that I did have.
Booked up? Of course, they’d be booked up. All the women in the know would have wisely booked them up well in advance. Not two weeks before their due date. Breathe.
All that mounting excitement was starting to take a drastic nose dive. Could I have made a mistake? Was my headstrongness that my Dad always spoke of finally coming home to bite me on the ass?The doubts were starting to set in. So I put down the list of contacts and turned to my best friend. My confidant, my sounding board, my darling…my one and only husband. And sounded off to him.
But without a bat of an eye, he reminded me to never doubt myself. To never ignore that voice that’s in my head often guiding me, sometimes commanding me. It had never let me down. Never let us down. So he made me a great cuppa tea, made me eat my lunch and encouraged me to at least finish the list before I even started doubting.
I agreed, and did as was told. However, the very next number I tried didn’t even ring. It just made a funny noise. I tried it again, and once more, no ringing, just a funny noise. What the hell? I checked my list: yip, this was the right number, and there were no alternatives. So I tried it again. And again nothing but weird noises. Stupid number! Who gave this bogus number to me again? Tsk. And boom, just like that, my new found excitement started caving again. Dammit, I thought, is my faith THIS weak? I looked at hubby. But hubby just looked at me, and reminded me, “wait till end of the list”. I nodded and pushed on.
I dialled each number, and each time the midwife was booked up. Each of them so lovely with the way that they dealt with me- understanding the situation I was in. And each of them offering some lead to the next possible midwife who could possibly help. But as time went on, the list of possibilities got shorter. And shorter. Until there was just one left.
I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to withstand one last phonecall of disappointment. But I had a strong feeling that I was not going to be disappointed by the end of this exercise. That I should just keep on.Besides, I’m someone who needs to see things through. I started this, so I need to complete it, knowing I truly tried everything in my knowledge to get this right. Hubby reminded me that even if we didn’t get a midwife, we were still in very good hands with Dumbrill. I knew that, but I had an overwhelming feeling that this is where we needed to be, with the midwives.
So I dialled. And we spoke. And got the response that I just couldn’t believe: She too was booked up. Huh? The last on my list and also booked up? Thats not how it usually goes…
I hung up and sat in brief silence. Mind racing through how I was going to handle this disappointment, how do I tell hubby, and…wait… was that really THE last number on my list?!
Hubby recognising the pondering expression on my face, asked me whatsup….and I was like, hold on…that wasn’t the last number actually…there was that stupid number, remember? That just made noises. I felt compelled to try it. Just once more. As if to just be sure that I truly did try ALL the numbers. THAT voice in my head again, commanding me I do it.
So I dialled it…a funny noise again, but this time quickly followed by a ringing sound!!!And boom, just like that my head was back in the game!!!
A chirpy lady answered the call, Marcha Izatt, and I couldn’t help but be happy and chirpy too.(even though seconds ago I was all sad face- talk about bipolar!)
I had my story down pat by now, so I could summarise it in about three sentences. She asked for my due date, and without hesitation she said yes!
She said yes! OMG, she said yes! I possibly felt just what men feel like when asking a woman for their hand in marriage. Not sure, but I surely wanted to kiss that woman through the phone!! I think I may have did a happy dance with hubby while still on the phone. I remember seeing him gesture thanks up to the Lord with a massive smile on his face, right before he went off to give my mom the good news.
Marcha and I spoke of the details, and she was absolutely delighted to hear that I had already secured an appointment with Dumbrill. The midwives clearly love Dumbrill! We arranged to meet up the day after my appointment with Dumbrill.
That was quite an eventful Monday, but clearly blessed and led by God’s grace. We now had not only a reputable doctor who truly supports natural birth, but also managed to secure a midwife. Now all we had to do was make it to actually meeting this excellent doctor and midwife BEFORE baby decided to come!!!! I had a feeling baby was not going to wait for 40 weeks. Now we were just praying baby didn’t want to come by tomorrow…
I had a long chat with baby again. In fact, we had had several long chats over the past few months. Often it was about coming whenever she’s ready, and what life would be like once she’s earthside, and just how the birth might go. But this time, the chats were more about “just hanging in there honey! I know I said anytime you feel ready, but seriously, this time I actually need you to just wait a bit please.”
I always felt like she understood me, and listened to me. Funnily enough, its very much the opposite to what she’s like now as a toddler.Go figure. From my side, I was taking it easy. Especially since we had now secured a midwife and wonderful doctor that from all the reading I had done about him over the last few days were quite promising.