My first experience with birth was the day I became a mom. My daughter was born on a rainy April afternoon in 2010 in a hospital, after prodromal labor, pitocin, artificial rupture of membranes and an epidural. It was the best day of my life, and yet not the experience I prepared for whatsoever. I shouldn’t have been expected to know the hidden culture of birth in a hospital. I really thought my wishes would be honored but I was defenseless against protocol and provider pressure and having a dang baby. Later, learning that what I had needed was a doula, I sought more information about the type of support I should have had. My quest for education led me to working as a birth doula for almost 50 hospital births before I discovered the secret to respectful, empowering births.
Home is the place where crazy, hippy, reckless people have their babies right? I would have never thrown this option into the mix when choosing where to birth my first baby. In hindsight, I didn’t really choose, I just did what was expected of most pregnant women in our western lifestyle. Supporting a labor at my first homebirth rocked my little doula socks off. The midwife was skilled, professional and comforting. The parents were relaxed, in control and respected. A few births later and it was a done deal- I would become someone who could offer more families this type of care.
My love for the birth process served me well in midwifery school. It was easy to apply my background and passion to the philosophies of out of hospital birth. I worked endlessly for 5 years learning and practicing midwifery in birth centers and private practices with 9 different mentors. What became the real challenge for me was realizing all the barriers to midwifery care for women: the lack of knowledge for options, affordability of private care, and modern practices to name a few. Holding fast to the primary goal of bringing extraordinary support to more birthing families, I knew there was a different type of work to be done.
Unexpected conversations with my midwife friend Kelly (you know her!) led to discovering she felt the same way. Kelly had a vision that matched my big ideas for how we wanted to see midwifery care expressed in our community. These dreams of ours all center around what we felt women needed most- to be known and understood and valued right where they are. We want to meet women in whatever stage of life and whatever plans for birth they have- we want to meet you!