First exposure to a midwife?

10 August 2009 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

First impressions, as anyone interviewing for a job lately knows, can be very powerful things with long-lasting import. I’m thinking about first impressions of midwives, now, and remembering back to mine. . . 

I was a first-year student at Wellesley College, and a few months into the academic year, I made an appointment for my first-ever gyn exam, not really knowing what to expect. There were doctors (most female), nurses, and one CNM on staff at the infirmary, and my appointment was with Sloan, the CNM. I had never really thought consciously about midwives before, but there I was.

The first part of the appointment was in her office, where I sat fully clothed in a comfortable chair and we talked. For the actual checkup, she asked me to either get undressed and put on a gown, or else keep my tee shirt on, unhook my bra, and just put a drape over my legs, whichever I wanted, and then she left me alone and knocked on the door–waiting for me to reply affirmatively–before coming back in. During the exam, I remember feeling my feet in the cushy sock-lined stirrups, reading the “Everything I need to know in life I learned from Star Trek” poster on the ceiling, and looking at the stuffed Tribbles that hung down over the table. This consideration, this treatment of me as an adult, and this display of a distinct personality were all new to me in the context of medical care. Sloan, wherever you are, thank you for four years of well-woman care and for being my first-ever exposure to a midwife!

So, I’m curious–what was your first exposure to a midwife? I’m hoping it was positive, but guessing it was less Trek-y than mine was!



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