BY dR. DAVE HEPBURN | NOVEMBER 14, 2012
“Zoinker? That’s not a word Dad!” I was being Scrabble-challenged by my kids and was about to get caught fabricating when I was saved by my yet-to-be-born grandson. My daughter, leading this stoopid word game comfortably, suddenly had an uncomfortable contraction, not the grammatical type, but a contraction that precedes the birth of unborn grandsons, and the real game was on. She was soon “sentenced” into hard labor but as luck would have it, my other daughter, a midwife-in-training who was also calling me a Scrabble cheat, now got busy converting our den into a birthing room thingamajig! She called in reinforcements and to my surprise TWO trained midwives showed up at my door with a veritable hospital in tow: oxygen, medications, IVs, week-old tapioca and more tanks (three) than the Swiss army. Four hours later, in one of the sweetest and smoothest births I have ever heard, (childbirth often testing the auditory nerves) my youngest daughter delivered a 9 lb. boy into the hands of my eldest daughter. Not a tear or a tear. A few years ago I was not a fan of home births but, now, despite my pouting protestations, all of my grandkids have been delivered at home by a midwife. It has been a pleasant revelation to me. Keep in mind I am usually so conservative I consider Stephen Harper a hippie.
I have always been puzzled why my medical degree, mounted ostentatiously on the wall to prove to my patients, colleagues and hockey chums that I did actually graduate, in fact declares me a “Doctor of Medicine, Surgery and Midwifery.” Most doctors aren’t surgeons and most would claim to have more of a midriff than to be a midwife. When I point this out to others they too comment, “I’d never have guessed you had a degree, Dave.”
Midwifery has become so popular now that a whopping percentage of all births in my city (Victoria, BC) are conducted by highly trained midwives. They are experts in delivering great babies, like my entire grandprogeny. Based on the principle that low risk childbirth is a natural process, midwives provide such excellent care and education to mothers that seldom do they end up sporting Cesarean scars. They spend a massive amount of time (time most of us midriff types don’t have) with the mothers before, during and after the birth. They perform their art either in a hospital or in the home. Two midwives attend each delivery, one to care for the mother, the other the baby.
At any time in the prenatal care or during labor, should a midwife or mother have any concerns, they are instantly plugged, so to speak, into an obstetrician who can work with the midwife at that point.
So now I’ve become confident discussing the midwifery option with freshly pregnant gals in my office. I have been pleasantly surprised with how many return months later and thank me for directing them to what was a great pregnancy and birth experience.
So let’s give these midwives their due date. They certainly deliver.
With my daughters busy delivering I alone returned to the Scrabble table and made a few surreptitious changes to win the game, a victory I have dedicated to my new grandson – Zoinker.
Dr. Dave is returning to Africa on safari in September 2013!! If interested in going with him, call 888-432-8344 to find out more.