Why This Lucky Mama is Raising Funds for Midwifery Care in NYC

I’m a big time planner and one of my specialties is over-preparing for any and everything I do… including having a baby. In fact, one of my closest mom friends (who I met at an 8-week birth class) often remarks in impressed disbelief about the fact that I booked my doula before I was even 4 months pregnant. Yep – I don’t mess around!

Luck in My Journey to Motherhood

Despite my hyper-organized approach to life, I’m acutely aware of how much luck was involved in my journey to motherhood. I lucked out that a best friend encouraged me to watch Ricky Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” many years before I even knew whether I’d ever have children. My personal takeaways from this film were: “Natural birth is right for me. To achieve this, get a midwife and a doula. If home birth isn’t an option, find a birthing center.” Luck was also on my side when my incredible midwives (pictured above) took my insurance – my main requirement at the time. I later discovered that they, along with my equally incredible doula, had some of the best birth outcomes in the city. Fortune smiled on me once again when I essentially had a perfect pregnancy. This helped me to beat the odds and make it into the only hospital-based birthing center in New York City while its doors were still open (The Mount Sinai West Birthing Center sadly closes in January 2019).

But where I was luckiest of all, is that – quite by accident – throughout my entire pregnancy and insane labor, I was surrounded by the most supportive, nurturing, and attentive caregivers I could have ever asked for. This meant that even when I failed to dilate beyond 8 centimeters after 12 hours of active labor, got an epidural, and ended up with an emergency c-section – essentially the exact opposite of my detailed birth plan – I felt no remorse, no shame, and – most importantly – no disempowerment.

Empowerment, Trust & Presence

This last part – no disempowerment – was key. As I saw each of my carefully laid out birth plan wishes fall away, I was able to confidently trust the incredible team of women who ushered me through this wild journey. Never once did I doubt that they did everything possible to honor my birth wishes. Due to the high level of personalized care I received, I never experienced “c-section guilt” – something I didn’t even know was a thing until I started talking to other new mothers. It meant that once the birth was over, I was able to wholly focus on my newborn son and be fully present for him – with pure love, awe, and wonder – without the negative emotions that cloud many a new mom’s experience. I’m absolutely certain that starting my journey into motherhood in such a supported, positive way made all the difference in the type of mother I have become.

Being able to experience such presence during the sacred postpartum period is also what allowed me to give birth to my passion project – The Baby Mini Doc Project. I was able to do this during a time that is often fraught with insecurity and overwhelm for new mothers. I’m by no means perfect – I’ve had my fair share of new mom anxiety – but the empowerment that started with my phenomenal birth experience remains with me almost three years later. When I start to doubt myself, it reminds me of my strength. When I start to feel overwhelmed, it reminds me that I am not alone. And it makes me feel oh… so… incredibly… lucky.

Healthy Mamas Help Grow Healthy Societies

I am raising funds for midwifery care in New York City because all expectant women – no matter how, where, or with whom they decide to birth – deserve the option of a birth experience that honors their wholeness as individuals. Midwifery care gave this option to me personally. I am a more confident, fulfilled woman and mother for having had this experience. It is my hope that one day all women will have this option – not by chance, but because society recognizes the invaluable contribution that midwifery care makes to growing healthy mothers, healthy families, and ultimately, healthy societies.

With so much love,

Melissa xo
Founder / Director, The Baby Mini Doc Project

If my story resonates with you, I urge you to consider making a donation to help me and The Baby Mini Doc Project reach our goal of raising $500 for NYC Midwives – a membership organization of midwives which promotes universal access to midwifery care in NYC. I (along with all NYC families and the babies they will birth) will thank you for any amount you are able to contribute – even if it’s just $5!

Donate Now!

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