I was interested in the midwifery model of care, but preferred to give birth in a hospital setting. Though I wanted access to emergency medical care, I was concerned that delivering in the hospital would decrease my chances of a vaginal birth without medical interventions. There are inherent limitations to institutional care that make the traditional midwifery model impossible, but I was relieved to find that the most critical aspects of the model were preserved. Above all, I was treated as an active participant in my pregnancy and birth. My care was collaborative, personal, and competent.
My labor was challenging and could have easily ended in cesarean, but the midwives used creative solutions to help me have the natural birth I wanted. Vivian was born in the water after twelve hours of active labor. My partner David and I were able to celebrate this happiest of moments without being distracted by medical concerns. What a gift to have the safety of a hospital setting and experience her birth as a natural, healthy process.