Thursday 14 October 2004

First Impressions of the Midwives Collective (First Midwife Appointment on Tuesday)

When I pushed through the door of the Midwives Collective of Toronto at 344 Dupont St., I was greeted with the sight of an Asian man excitedly snapping pictures of a tiny mobile that hung from the doorframe of the waiting room entrance. The mobile, upon closer inspection, was comprised of tiny clay figures of women with swollen bellies. As the man was rejoined by his wife (carrying what appeared to be her relatively newly born child), I turned my attention to the receptionist, who was on the phone. I stood at the door for a few moments, listening to her leaving a message on someone's answering machine, rhyming off the addresses and phone numbers of all the other midwives groups in Toronto, as apparently all the midwives at the Collective were booked for this poor woman's due date. This did not bode well for me!

When the receptionist was finished leaving the message she greeted me and I told her that I was looking for a midwife as well. She didn't seem phased; I half expected her to say--without even asking me the due date--"Sorry we're all booked!" But instead, she took out a sheet of paper and started jotting down my information. As she did this I noticed that she was probably about my age, dressed casually in jeans, with facial piercings. She was extremely friendly and made me feel comfortable even though I had just shown up out of nowhere for all she knew. She asked me questions like, "Would you like a home birth?" (To which I answered 'yes', though I'm not entirely sure about this, living in an apartment and all) and "Would you like a natural birth?" (To which I also answered 'yes', though again I'm not entirely sure what "natural" even means--I mean, it can mean different things to different people, right? In an ideal world of course I would like a "natural" birth; but this isn't an ideal world!)

With all my particulars down, the receptionist--who introduced herself to me as Jocelyn--told me that she would forward the sheet to the midwives and they would check their schedules to see if any of them have an opening for June 5. She told me this process would take around a week.

I walked back home from Dupont St and shortly after I arrived back at the apartment, Jocelyn had left a message for me letting me know that one of the midwives--Elizabeth Brandeis--was free to take me on. I called her back and set up an appointment for Tuesday, October 19. This all happened so much faster than I thought it would. I'd heard so many stories about having to wait due to a shortage of midwives, and many women being turned away, that it all seemed strangely fast. I'm not sure what the first appointment will consist of, but I've heard that they take a lot of time with you going over family history, answering your questions and generally getting to know you. I'm really looking forward to it.

On Tuesday when I have my appointment, I will be 7 weeks and 2 days along. Some women who have had ultrasounds at this stage have been able to see the flickering of the heartbeat. I believe the little thing will be growing arms and legs at that point too, but it will still be too small to really see anything significant.

College of Midwives of Ontario

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