My husband has not always been supportive of home birth or midwifery. I remember when I was trying to bring up the subject while pregnant with Megan, and coming home from OB appointments in tears because they were trying to talk (scare, coerce) me into another cesarean. He thought I had really gone off the deep end. First by not just submitting to a cesarean as the almighty doctors were pushing me to, and then by suggesting that we do as the flower children did, and birth our baby at home. There was anger, frustration, and outright fear involved.
Even after he decided to trust me, he didn't understand. He didn't understand why I would hire a midwife, instead of having a "fully trained" doctor in the hospital. He didn't understand why I would risk my life and the life of our daughter, when I could conveniently schedule a cesarean on a pre-appointed date. He just didn't understand. After Megan was born, he began to get it, bit by bit. He was extremely proud of me for holding up and withstanding my very long and hard posterior labor. He was proud that he had a more active role than with either of our other two deliveries. He was glad that there was no NICU time with this baby. And, he got to weigh his own daughter. The look on his face of pride when he announced "Ten pounds ten ounces" was priceless.
But even over the years, he has seemed to kind of just tolerate what I did, and what I do now for women. Not really grasping it fully. He was extremely supportive while I spent a good deal of money and time on a midwifery trip to Davao. He has been extremely supportive of me taking trips to midwifery conferences and workshops. But still had never really gotten "it". Until this past weekend.
Last weekend I went to a seminar about midwifery volunteerism in developing countries ( put on by Mercy In Action ). I was away from home for a total of 6 days. The total cost for the trip was a bit heavier than we would have liked. I got a phone call from my husband on Monday, as we were back in St. George, preparing to drive to Vegas, that had me crying.
He said that the night before he was unable to sleep and happened to flip past a channel that was showing The Business of Being Born. Now, I had tried to get him to watch this with me several times over the past year or so, and he always declined. He said that he decided to watch it on his own, as long as it stayed interested. He ended up watching the movie in its entirety. He went on to APOLOGIZE to me for not being more actively supportive of me during my pregnancy and birth with Megan. He said that he saw how the other husbands were in the movie, and it made him feel guilt over not providing me with the same. He also, for the first time, really saw what midwives do, and why they do it. He acquired a whole new level of respect for what I do, and why I do it.
My husband is awesome. Not because he apologized. Not because he told me about any of this...but because he DID it. He did it on his own, without my prompting, insistence, or push. He decided on his own to dive into something that was my passion, and learned a lot on the way. My husband is awesome because he gets why my passion and calling are so important. He is my biggest supporter.