Friday, September 18, 2015

From Hospital Birth to Home Birth, "I am living out my calling"

It has been a long while since I have put up any new posts but I will be endeavoring to do better by the birth blog.  To make up for such a long hiatus take a look at a new face in our homebirth midwifery world!  She is taking our area by storm with love and gentleness.  Have you heard of her, birthed with her, or seen her at the many community birth events she has attended?  Let me know, I would love to hear about it!


TERRIE LEMLEY, CNM
I have been a nurse midwife since 1999 and practiced in 3 states as a hospital midwife until 2013. I worked hard to provide personalized care in the hospital setting during those years and have many great memories. In 2013, circumstances arose making it more difficult to continue care in that setting. There was an obvious need for home birth providers in the region, leading me to out of hospital birth care. I've always believed women should have the option of homebirth, but had never been brave enough to go out on my own. I've always believed in the safety of homebirth, but the business/ logistics side of practice were very scary. After encouragement by some great area midwives and much reading, began to catch the vision. I also felt that God was calling me to this and I have been privileged to see His hand work in many ways for success. In the 1.5 years in this practice, I have been blessed to welcome over 60 babies earthside. Sometimes I work really hard, sometimes I can just relax and watch the process unfold. I can hold the space sacred for what the family deems important to them. The mom can be confident in knowing who her care provider will be; great trust is built and brings great things to labor/birth. WHY HOMEBIRTH? Having previously provided hospital care, I think I can speak to this accurately. There are many ways to approach care to women in labor. Hospitals provide care using policies and procedures to best care for a larger number of women at once. Some of these are evidenced based, some are out of habit or fear. Being able to offer personalized care makes a great difference. For example, because I already know the mother well, I can forego the traditional hospital intake questions. I have already discussed her wishes for her labor/birth experience. It is wonderful to not have to interrupt labor focus. I can also evaluate mom and baby where they are; I can listen and support, assuring their safety and progess with flexibility. So if mom is standing, on toilet, on hands and knees for progress or comfort, no need to interrupt. Sometimes this flexibility of care is difficult in hospital. Certainly, there have been times that I have transferred mom to hospital care because her circumstances warranted a different level of care. But majority of moms are healthy and deserve the flexibility and personalized care that being out of hospital provides. Moms choose homebirth for the above reasons of flexibility and personal care, but they also choose because of safety. They believe that being home is safer and advantageous for their baby too. Unwanted or unneeded interventions are much less likely at home, keeping baby and labor in a safer place. Baby is not exposed to hospital environment/germs that may put them at risk. Breastfeeding success is improved and jaundice levels are very low in my clients at home. Because babies are not medicated, they generally feed very well right after birth which gets things off to a great start. I am truly privileged to enjoy my work and LOVE what I do. My heart melts when moms say "thank you so much for being here, offering this option. It made all the difference" That keeps me going. I am living out my calling 
Terrie Lemley CNM