Walker’s Birth Story - “She will be our midwife for life.”
We knew we liked Mandy the first time we met, which was at a consultation. We met with a few other midwives, but before we had a chance to make any decisions, we miscarried. At first we had no idea what was happening, so we called Mandy and left a message and also got a referral to an OBGYN from a friend and made an appointment. Seeing the OBGYN was such a nightmare, but they confirmed a blighted ovum (miscarriage) with an ultrasound. We left there confused and sad - didn’t know what a blighted ovum was, now had an appointment for a D&V, and didn’t know what that was either! On the way home, Mandy called back. She explained EVERYTHING, told us what all of our options were, asked me how I was doing, and totally listened to me cry. After that, she walked us through the entire process of miscarrying by checking in almost daily, answering any questions that we had and just making sure I was ok. I didn’t need any medical procedures at all. With the information Mandy gave us, we decided to give my body a chance to take care of itself, and it did. At this point, Mandy had only met us once, but she was the first person we thought to call when we knew we were in trouble.
Luckily, we got pregnant again right away, and we knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that we wanted Mandy to be our midwife. It was such a blessing to have her throughout pregnancy. She was always available to answer any of our questions - always returned phone calls or emails right away. She was always so happy to see us at each visit, I always felt like I was getting superb care, and you could just really tell that she loves her job. She was on call all the time, and we never felt like an inconvenience.
As my labor approached, we had a lot of false labors. For a few days before actual labor, we were on the phone with Mandy several times at night, even at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, and she talked us through whatever was happening. Finally real labor had arrived, and it was really long. I think it was 5 or 6 in the morning on Thursday when we called Mandy. She arrived at our house a few hours later as labor progressed. She was so amazing as she checked on us thoroughly and then also tried to give us as much privacy as possible at the same time. I loved having her there. She never pushed me to do something I didn’t want to, but she had a way of letting us know if something needed to change and what we should do. She encouraged us to take a walk and move around as much as possible. It was such a peaceful day until active labor arrived.
Active labor was a long 12 hours of non stop contractions. But we both always felt sure that I was in good hands with Mandy. She was so patient and calm and encouraging. When it became time to push, that’s when the hard part really started. The baby wasn’t easily moving or turning down the birth canal. Our plan had been to birth in a tub, but we had to try several different positions to encourage the baby, and the tub just wasn’t working. It was so hard, and it took everything I had in me. Mandy and June did absolutely everything they could to help get the baby out, and they put a lot of hard work into assisting us both. I think a lot of other birth professionals would have given up and sent me to the hospital. But they checked on baby constantly, and since he was still doing great, they let me keep working. Finally, after 3 hours of pushing, my baby arrived at 2:59am, and we could see why he had such difficulty moving down - he was 9lb 6oz!
After the baby arrived, Mandy and June stayed with us for a few hours cleaning, making sure baby was healthy, and making sure I was healthy, too. Our baby’s temperature was a little low, so Mandy stayed throughout the night to monitor him until he was nice and warm. By the time she left, it was already after 7:30am, and I think she was there with us for close to 24 hours straight. Mandy continued to be there for us postpartum. We had several scheduled visits with her, including a few at our home in the days after birth, but she provided so much more on top of that. We’ve had countless phone calls and emails since our babies birth. She helped me through breastfeeding issues and provided support months into postpartum. It’s obvious to me that Mandy is not in this business for anything else but the ability to help women and families. That was clear from the moment we met, which is why I felt comfortable reaching out to her in a time of crisis. My husband and I have talked frequently about how grateful we are that we know Mandy and how so far above and beyond she has gone to provide us amazing care. She never pushed her own opinions on us but gave us all the information we needed to make educated choices for our family’s health. Thanks to her, we found a great birth class that we found absolutely instrumental in surviving a home birth as well.
Now we consider Mandy a friend, and how could we not after she’s been through so much with us. She will be our midwife for life.