Choosing a midwife


When I was trying to conceive, I thought a BFP ('big fat positive' pregnancy test) would solve everything.

But as I wrote last week, my emotions haven't quite lived up to my expectations.

It's something I'm still dealing with, but as the days and weeks tick past, I can safely say I'm starting to get used to the idea that our dreams may become a reality.

I thought that in all my time reading about pregnancy, I'd have a fair idea of what to next once the positive test eventually arrived.

Instead I just kind of sat there in a daze, not knowing who to ask - or even what to ask.

I confided in a few close friends who had kids, and the number one thing they all said was "Do you have a midwife yet?"

"A midwife?" I replied. "Isn't it a bit early for that?"

I was barely five weeks pregnant and already the consistent advice from others was to get in quick to nail down the midwife we wanted.

We, of course, had no idea what we wanted. And I say 'we' but I mean 'me', because Mr Greer sure as hell hadn't ever considered picking a midwife. So I took the lead and decided for myself.


I wanted someone nice, someone experienced, someone who would guide me through my pregnancy but not in a hippy-dippy-let's-have-a-baby-while-sitting-under-a-tree-and-playing-pan-flutes kind of way*.

I asked my acupuncturist for a list of midwives she recommended, and a midwife a number of my friends had used popped up on the list.

That was good enough for me, so I rang her. In a weird conversation exchange that vaguely resembled some kind of pregnancy dating service, she agreed to take me, the husband and the embryo on.

We arranged to meet up after our first scan to have our first appointment.

I felt a bit silly in the waiting room, surrounded by women who looked like they were about to pop at any second. I probably should have had a sign around my neck saying 'This is my first time, and I am actually pregnant, you just can't tell yet', but I think everyone guessed our predicament as we flicked through the pregnancy magazines, our eyes widening at every page of over-the-top advertising and articles on scary topics such as vagina tearing or weeing yourself.

A midwife came out and called a name. The just-about-to-burst lady lurched out of her chair while the midwife said, quite loudly, "Can I just get you to pee on this please" and handed her a stick.

No shame around here, folks. She wasn't embarrassed; she'd probably done it 30 times before.

Then we were up!

I'm not really sure what I expected, but Miranda Hart from TVs 'Call The Midwife' she was not. (Although it would be kind of cool if she busted around on one of those cute one-speed bikes with a basket on the front. Such fun!)

Without sounding like a hippy, I really do believe in the 'vibe' you get off people, and I instantly felt comfortable with this woman who will soon get to know me inside and out. And as a former nurse, her scientific background appealed to my 'give me the facts' requirement of information.

She ran us through all the basic details about what a midwife does, gave us a pack that featured a pamphlet on every topic imaginable, weighed me (another thing I'll have to get used to!), arranged some bloods and more scans, and then we were done.

I think both of us walked out thinking "Eeeeeeeeek" - facing the realisation that this was, in fact, happening.

We agreed we liked her; me because she reminded me of Mr Greer's aunt, and him because she reminded him of someone else cool in our lives. 

I mentioned to some friends that we'd sussed a midwife, feeling chuffed that I was starting to feel on top of things at such an early stage.

"So have you booked in for antenatal classes yet? Get in soon, they book out ..."

And so the cycle begins again ...

- © Fairfax NZ News

No offence to those for whom this would be an ideal birthing situation!