I had what turns out to have been a major epiphany when I was nineteen and searching for a reason to go back to college: I wanted to deliver babies! But not, I hastened to add, as a doctor. My mom, who had just finished a Master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Iowa, told me what a midwife was which led me to do extensive research in the college library about maternity care in the U.S. and specifically, how the midwifery approach could improve not only the outcomes but the entire experience of giving birth. I was a “believer” and thereby drawn into the profession as if it had been always been my dream to do this work.
This epiphany was the catalyst for a very long and somewhat circuitous journey (both physically and emotionally) searching for the right place to work in which I didn’t have to compromise my values and beliefs and could be valued for my gifts. I suspected from the beginning that attending births anywhere but the hospital (home, birth center, alternative book store) would suit me best since I find large institutions too cumbersome and unwieldy to do a good job of serving women who are going through so personal and intimate a transition as giving birth. Yet, I began my career in 1985 fighting for hospital privileges at a rural hospital in Moscow, ID where there had never before been a midwife on staff.
Fast forward to the present. I found Michelle, Seth and Mount Vernon Birth Center in the Fall of 2010 at the ripe old age of 54 and joined the team at Skagit Family Health Clinic in April of 2011. After years of attending births in hospitals, birth centers and an occasional home birth in the states of Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Arizona I finally feel I have found the ideal practice in which I can flourish . . . and then retire. I like the intimacy of a smaller practice in which I can form close bonds with the women and families I meet. I love having the luxury of caring for women who really want natural childbirth and for whom the experience of giving birth is as important as the outcome (a healthy mom and baby, of course). I am looking forward to incorporating more group care into our model and especially like to provide birth control counseling and services.
I have two children who are in their 20’s. A son who was born at a birth center in Spokane , WA and a daughter who was born at my sister’s house in Wenatchee, WA. Both were wonderful and transformative experiences and much better planned than my own wedding. My husband has not only been an amazing father to our children he has also become the ideal midwife’s partner who can cook, clean, do laundry, go shopping (basically keep the household running) as well as offer emotional support when I feel exhausted or discouraged and even offer advice on how to decide if someone is really in active labor or not (unasked for, of course).
In my spare time I like to knit, bead, spin, read, explore the outdoors and harvest food from our annual vegetable garden. Just ask me for a knitting lesson and I will not be able to resist showing you all that you need to know to knit a scarf or a pair of socks.