When searching for a midwife, I had this long laundry list of questions to ask potential candidates. I was even meeting midwives before I got pregnant, just to be sure I found the right one. Erin was more than happy to meet with my husband and me and sit through this crazy line of questioning I'd come up with. She, of course, answered every single question with the knowledge, wisdom and experience you'd expect from a woman who has delivered hundreds of babies. But it was her smile, confidence, warm, open heart, and comforting calmness that won me over. I knew we'd found our midwife and I only hoped she'd had the same connection with us!
Each time we met with Erin during my pregnancy, I felt more and more at ease with my decision to birth at home and more and more confident that I would be able to do this my way with a birth I'd be happy with. Erin was fully supportive of each decision we made and was a trusted guide as we encountered choices along the way. She stays up to date on all the current research and can have an unbiased and knowledgeable discussion on any pregnancy and birthing topic. She was also happy to loan us books from her library!
I knew I was going to deliver before my due date, but Erin knew from experience that most first time moms deliver after their due dates. I was sure I'd prove her wrong. 3 days after my due date, my water broke! Erin and her assistant came to our home that evening and quite literally, the moment she walked in the door, I completely relaxed and began having much more intense and regular contractions. I do not believe this to be a coincidence. For me, Erin brought a sense of calm that allowed me to relax and let my body get to work. I labored in our large tub for a while with Erin monitoring the baby regularly.
Although I pushed for longer than most do and experienced a good amount of pain, I never got worried or scared. I would look at Erin and know I could do it, I could keep going. Her face (and her words) said to me - we need to deliver this baby soon, I know you're working very hard, but let's change position (onto her birthing stool) and really get down to work, you can do this, you are doing this, let's finish it and meet this baby! I tear up now, almost two years later, thinking about it. Erin was just wonderful. She showed me exactly where to push (no one really tells you that) and helped my husband to support me in the best ways. And then, we met our baby Julia!
After delivering the placenta, I began to hemorrhage. Erin was quick and precise in her reaction and quickly got the situation under control. Again, she never looked scared or worried, which was such a comfort for me. My husband and I say all the time that Erin is our hero - she got our daughter out and prevented mama from getting into a more serious situation. Just a few minutes later, we were all snuggled up in bed and our tiny daughter was nursing!
We had a wonderful first few hours with Julia. Erin took stats and vitals in a very non-disturbing way, made sure I was doing well, and respected all of our decisions regarding post-birth care. After some rest, she returned to check on us again and to stitch up my perineum, which had torn during delivery. She was extremely sensitive and thoughtful and really took the time to do it right so that I would heal properly. I didn't know it before, but this turned out to be so important to me - to be cared for as if she were mending her own body. I am so grateful.
We had several visits with Erin afterward and she took great care of us. She was, and still is, an excellent source of information and advice. She helped us through a rough journey through breastfeeding and got us in contact with a great lactation consultant. And she's always there when I have a quick question about an illness, rash, or any number of other issues. Erin is an exceptional midwife, and now a true friend. We are blessed to know her!
To say that I can't imagine birthing a child without Erin is an understatement. I really don't think I could do it without her! The day she retires is the day I stop having babies!
Thank you Erin, for the work you do, the love with which you do it, and for sharing so much of yourself with others.