Earlier this month we celebrated Leah’s second birthday. Being that she is two, and really has no idea what a ‘birthday’ is, we decided to keep it low key and do a family dinner at her restaurant of choice (Red Robin). However, any time she hears the word birthday, she will yell, “Ee-ah! Bir-day!”, as if she alone has the right to this thing called ‘birthday’ and gets to drag it out as long as she can. She actually seemed genuinely offended when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her grandpa (my dad) a few days ago, as if anyone else dare have a birthday because that’s hers. Gosh, I love her.
Of course with her birthday came memories of her pregnancy and birth, which brought me back to this series which I have left unfinished for quite some time now. We are also wanting to grow our family in the next year or so, and my thoughts are drifting back to all things prenatal. I figured it might be appropriate to finish one birth story series before I start another one (we aren’t pregnant yet, but hoping to be soon!), so I’ll do my best to finish sharing about our first homebirth in Mexico (because you better believe that we’re planning for another homebirth this time around, too!).
I remember dialing the midwife’s number and listening to it ring, my heart in my throat and my stomach churning with anxiety. Jerry and given us her name (Angelica) and phone number ( 044 664 313 1267), and I couldn’t quite believe I was actually calling a professional, licensed midwife in Tijuana. Only months before it seemed impossible, yet here I was listening to the ringtones buzzing in my ear. Suddenly, the phone clicked and I heard a brisk voice: “Bueno?!” Thinking back, I’m sure my Spanish was awful as my nerves were racing, but somehow my story stumbled out and I asked the right questions and we scheduled a time and place to meet.
Soon after, my husband and I met Angelica face to face and it all came gushing out – our long journey, the struggles, the heartache, the glimmer of hope, and now a real life, flesh-and-blood, authentic Mexican midwife sitting in front of us. She was gracious and warm and down to earth, and answered all our questions (we had a lot!). After meeting her two more times over the next month, we finally decided to switch our prenatal care completely into her service.
She did home visits. She used real language. She asked permission before touching me or doing anything to us (me and baby). She used common sense in evaluating my health, leaving things alone when they were fine and trusting my body to grow our baby. We had discussions about birth plans and options; instead of being told what to do I was welcomed into a conversation about what would be best for everyone involved. If I had been in another country that openly supported midwifery, she might not have been my first choice as a midwife. But faced with the options we had, I was more than confident in her skills and our preparation to choose to homebirth in Tijuana.