An Open Letter from a Citrus County Mom to her Midwife

As Barefoot Birth midwives, we are constantly trying to grow and work on self-improvement so that we may increase the quality of care we provide to clients across the board.  We whole-heartedly believe that there is a perfect midwife for each client.  Sometimes it takes a mom having a few babies before she finds her midwife.  But every once in a while, a mom is lucky enough to find her midwife with her first baby.

Emmett = SCRUMPTIOUS!

Emmett = SCRUMPTIOUS!

We understand that not all personality types are created equal.  Though we always strive for excellence, unfortunately we cannot please 100% of our clients, 100% of the time.  This is upsetting not only for us as providers, but for the moms and families on the other end of that care who deserve the best experience possible.  And occasionally, the universe will give us a sign that we are on the right path, to keep us motivated.  Like this letter that a new mama sent our way… 

To preface, her son happened to be struggling with jaundice and he was admitted to the hospital, where she encountered many issues.  Such as the staff pushing her to use formula while her son was under bili-lights, and even giving her a hard time for choosing not to circumcise her little boy.  As a new mom, who did everything within her power to attain her home birth, she was understandably devastated when her son became jaundiced to the point of hospitalization.  She certainly did not need that stress & guilt placed on her by hospital staff.  I spoke to her a few times on the phone as she was going through all of this and, without hesitation, explained to her what to expect.  At the time, I didn’t realize what an impact that advice & communication had on her… 

Emmett under bili-lights

Emmett under bili-lights

“I'm not even sure how to start this. I've toiled over whether or not to type it in the first place and now that I'm looking at the screen with it's cursor blinking expectantly, I'm wondering if there's any point since my words are unlikely to accurately covey what I'm thinking/feeling. But here goes...

I am so in love with this little boy. He has become my favorite EVERYTHING. I can't believe I never wanted to do this. His faces, noises, his little farts(!!)...everything he does is amazing to me and I love him more and more every second. He is so beautiful. I still can't believe I made him. When I found out I was pregnant, I had this grand idea that I would do everything right and be the perfect parent. Then, within the first 7 days of being a Mama, reality slapped me in the face and proved that no matter what, nothing is perfect.

I was very hard on myself about Emmett having to endure a hospital stay for Jaundice, especially since I made it a point to carry out my pregnancy and childbirth in such a way as to avoid that unpleasantness. I felt very guilty and embarrassed and decided that I had already failed my little guy. It was an extremely difficult week for me. Then I heard from you...my incredible midwife... and even if you too were thinking I was a failure, you never let on. Instead, you gave me accolades for sticking to my guns and taking charge of the things that I was able to control while facing so much opposition from the "medical professionals". I can't even express to you how much that meant to me or how it affected my morale. You made me realize how significant those small victories really were. I understand that in your line of work there is an expectation to maintain a certain level of positivity and sensitivity, but in your case, I feel it goes beyond obligation and comes directly from your spirit. They say that everyone has a calling, and I am so glad you answered yours. I can't imagine having done this any other way, and YOU, my dear, are a HUGE part of what made it so special. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Elder Scrolls games, (and I'm not even sure why my silly brain made this comparison) but you are legendary to the Keller’s like the Dragonborn is legendary to the people of Skyrim. Bards should sing in your honor and spread tales of your heroism across the land! Yeah...so...that just happened...ahem. Anyway...all nerdiness aside...YOU. ARE. LOVELY. I'm very grateful that I encountered you in this life and I consider it an honor that I will one day tell Emmett his birth story and that story will include you.

There. That's it. That's all I wanted to say. Basically.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend and Independence Day!”

Emmett & his wonderful mommy

Emmett & his wonderful mommy

I have since seen this mom for her six-week postpartum visit and she sent me another lovely message! 

“So, for whatever reason, I didn’t allow myself to be sad in front of you earlier, but I am.  I feel like I just finished a really great book and now it’s going back on the shelf.  But that’s okay, because I can always start a new one someday and I’d like it very much if you were to help me welcome all my babies, should I decide to have more… just saying…”

I’m not crying… You’re crying…

Most of our moms are quite familiar with that infamous six-week postpartum visit, which is so full of baby snuggles and sometimes tears, but always sadness & joy, all wrapped into one crazy box of feels.  In fact, the sadness brought on by releasing a client from care at six weeks is 90% of the reason Charlie started the Community Roots Collective, a space for clients to just pop in and visit us or get together for client reunions and birthday bashes. 

Please mamas, you are all the reason why we are here, please come back and visit us!  We love & miss you all! 

I really do NOT mean to offend anyone here, but if you knew this couple you would know that this photo completely embodies their nerdiness & humor.  Many of this mama's prenatal visits involved her laying on this pillow and I couldn't exclude this picture!

I really do NOT mean to offend anyone here, but if you knew this couple you would know that this photo completely embodies their nerdiness & humor.  Many of this mama's prenatal visits involved her laying on this pillow and I couldn't exclude this picture!

Delivered by Mom, Loved by a Midwife

Delivered by Mom, Loved by a Midwife