Casey Fleischmann had to go to Hawaii to learn firsthand that midwives aren’t anything like the images she had conjured up.
“Midwives are hip, modern, cool,” Fleischmann, who is married to a career Army man, says. “It has nothing to do with giving birth in a bathtub in your living room and everything to do with a personalized birth plan.”
Fleischmann and her husband, Ian, were stationed in Oahu in 2012 when she became pregnant with their first child.
“Word on the street was that midwifery was the best option at the military base hospital,” Fleischmann recalls. “It was very competitive to even get an appointment with one of the seven midwives because they were so popular.”
After conducting her own research, Fleischmann made an appointment with a midwife. Months later she gave birth to her son—and became a forever-fan of midwifery.
Midwives are hip, modern, cool. It has nothing to do with giving birth in a bathtub in your living room and everything to do with a personalized birth plan.
“I had a beautiful, natural birth,” Fleischmann says, “with the comfort of knowing that I had immediate access to physicians and technology if there were any complications.”
When the couple was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 2013, Fleischmann started looking for a healthcare provider in Johnson County.
“I wanted a midwife for my overall care, not just for birthing babies,” she says. “I found Jaime Thompson, a Certified Nurse Midwife, at Specialists in Women’s Care at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. And it was super-convenient for me because I could schedule my appointments in the Lansing or Shawnee offices.”
Fleischmann gave birth to her second son on Thanksgiving Day 2014 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center with Thompson at her side. She was 10 days past her due date.
“Jaime was in my hospital room for nearly three hours,” she says, “holding my hand, coaching me through contractions, encouraging me, supporting Ian, too. She ensured everything was going according to my desired birth plan. I have a special relationship with Jaime that I’ve never had when it comes to my healthcare.”
An advocate and champion of midwifery, Fleischmann offers tips to women considering a birth on their own terms.
“First, do your research and understand exactly what midwifery is and isn’t,” she says. “Make informed decisions. And be prepared to fall in love with the discipline of midwifery. There’s nothing like it.”