Friday, May 13, 2011

when che met val

Literally hours after I peed on the stick to confirm that there was indeed a tiny little baby inside me, I phoned the local hospital to request Val as my midwife. Val has been catching babies for longer than Daniel or I have been alive - there is so much reassurance in her 34 years of midwifery. She's a passionate midwife too - passionate about guiding women through labour and birth, whether in a hospital or at home. In 2008 she was awarded NSW Midwife of the Year and since then her name has been passed around the circles of pregnant women here on the Central Coast - hence the need to phone as early as possible in pregnancy to request her support. She told me that some women phone her the morning after the possible conception - just in case.

She sees her role as a witness in labour, watching and listening, only speaking when she needs to. Every visit she tells me that my baby will just be born - it will just happen, because that's what my body was made to do. I am nature and nature always works things out.

Val currently works from a low-risk birthing centre and is working towards developing a homebirth option in the very near future. If I were to choose to have a homebirth I would need to employ a private midwife which would cost me above and beyond $5000 with no rebate from medicare. The birthing centre I have chosen is the closest thing to birthing at home - if (when) all goes well I will be home in bed within four hours and Val will visit me for post-natal care for a week after the baby's arrival. I have all the support and encouragement of a fabulous midwife and thanks to the Australian health system, it doesn't cost me a cent. Not one.

Considering Val will be coming into our home for baby's first week Daniel and I felt it was important that Che meet her. So on Wednesday we took the long drive to the hospital, talking along the way about the fact that Ommi or Mama will be looking after him when it's time for the baby to be born. He was so curious and inquisitive, asked lots of questions (mostly 'why?') and got to choose whether the baby's heartbeat sounded like galloping horses or a train on a track. Val put the doppler on his chest after she had listened to baby and with the humour that she brings to everything, wondered if he thought there was a baby inside him too. I have no doubt that she'll make me laugh in my labour and laughter is really the best thing for dilating, relaxing and surrendering into the journey.

We took Che to look at the beautiful birthing suites with their big baths and comfy cushions and then left for home. He was exhausted, so much to think about, and for these past few days he has been saying that Val is the baby's teacher and Muma's midwife.

Baby is already head down, bum up, spine against belly. In a perfect birthing position.


  1. Jodi, such a beautiful post. The birthing centre you are attending sounds wonderful as does your Midwife. That is great that you are able to choose a specific midwife to see you through. I was to attend a Family Birthing Centre with my first, but we saw different Midwives each time (hoping that one would be there for your actual birth). Loving to read about your pregnancy, such a beautiful and precious time, so thankyou.
    Rhiannon x

  2. I am hoping to get pregnant by the end of this year and this is the centre i want to birth in but i have Graves Disease which should be completely under control by then but i'm not sure if i will be considered low risk enough for them to take me.
    It really is the closest we can get to a home birth without it costing us a small fortune!
    You are so lucky to be birthing there!

  3. sounds like you've got a very experienced midwife you can trust and feel safe with. no doubt laughter and love will give you a beautiful birth jodi!

  4. so important to know that you are in good hands, isn't it? with someone who knows and respects your body and the process.

    in wa we have the public funded community midwife program. Free homebirth! ...but only in the metro area.

    my wonderful midwife cost $3000, for weekly visits at home, the birth and postnatal care. excellent value. she has since put her fees up. not a cent back from private health cover or medicare. so wrong.

    {i'll resist the temptation to get on my soapbox}


  5. In the third photo Ché's face looks so much like yours, its lovely. :-)

  6. Che is just gorgeous. All the best with your birthing and labour...I have three weeks to go (if bub is ready then!). I also wanted to ask what camera you use to take your beautiful pics? I am looking at digital SLR's and have no idea where to start!!!

  7. Beautiful post. Val sounds like such an amazing and inspiring person!

  8. Val sounds amazing. How wonderful that so many women, during her extensive career, would have been able to birth under her care.

    We've been very fortunate and have been able to book into a local Birthing Centre. I had to call (after I peed on the stick too!) to ensure we had a place. My mother-in-law thinks it's strange that I won't be spending 5 days in a hospital bed, opting to head back to the comfort of our home as soon as I'm able. It makes perfect sense to me though!

    ps. I loved your/Val's philosophy, 'I am nature and nature always works things out'. I might borrow that one ;)

  9. I never met Val, but she sounds so grounded and perfect for you guys. I can vouch for a few other midwifes there too.

    Aren't midwives just the best. My midwife was the most amazing, confident and reaffirming.

    Che looks like he is much a part of it all. Smart little man.


  10. Lovely post. I wanted Val but Alice's death meant I had to be treated as a 'high risk' patient with Louis. But in the end we got the midwife led care we argued for but just at another hospital. My friends that have had Val love her! Wishing you all the best. xxx

  11. Val sounds lovely Jodi, and really in tune with you which is so important.

    It saddens me that so many women miss out on homebirthing because of the financial cost, it's just not fair.

    But, at least there are amazing midwives like Val working within the medical system - Thank goodness :)

    Wishing you many, many happy birthing vibes Jodi - you must be getting so close now, how exciting!

  12. That's really beautiful, congratulations!

  13. Hi Jodi!

    Val sounds great!
    I wish I could choose my midwife too. Or at least know who is going to be there when I give birth. But so far all of the midwives I've seen have been incredibly lovely and they have made me feel at ease.

    I just wanted to say thank you in general for your lovely and reassuring blog. I'm going to have my first baby in August and sometimes, just sometimes, I feel quite overwhelmed with it all.

    Good luck with your birth!

  14. A beautiful post, (actually you've got a stunning blog). Natural childbirth is something I hold very dear to my heart, and it never ceases to give my heart a little jump with happiness whenever I hear someone speaking of birth in such a postive manner.