In 1996 I started my career working with women during their childbearing year. The first step in my education was working as a certified doula (professional labor support) then went on to become a childbirth educator in 1997. I’ve had the pleasure of serving over 1200 families as a doula/birth assistant and mentored hundreds of couples through childbirth classes. During the past 13 years I’ve traveled to births from Seattle to Olympia, attending women in hospitals, birth centers and homes. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to watch the craft of catching babies with so many skilled providers including OB/GYN’s, Certified Nurse Midwives and Licensed Midwives. In 2003 I was hired as a birth assistant at “The Birthing Inn” in Tacoma, again feeling very fortunate to observe a group of wonderful midwives learning many different tricks of the trade from each. Having spent so many years watching and learning, I decided I could no longer ignore the call to midwifery. So in the spring of 2005 I started midwifery school and was licensed in Washington State as a midwife in the fall of 2008. Currently I enjoy my day job as manager of “The Birthing Inn” Tacoma’s only free-standing birth center, working hard to keep it accessible to women for many years to come, as well as serving my midwifery clients using the midwifery model of care. I truly believe working as a midwife is my calling in life…..and I LOVE MY JOB.
On a personal note…I am blessed with four fabulous children (my teachers) ages 27, 25, 21 and 15. With my brood, life never seems to be stagnant and I’m forever learning lessons. These wonderful people, three boys and a girl taught me the grace of giving birth by way of three joyful hospital births and one awesome home water birth. Thank you – Garrett, Whitney, Jordan and Connor. I’m so very proud of you all!
Philosophy of care
Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are natural normal functions of a woman’s mind, body and spirit. All of which are equally important. As a midwife I seek to nurture a woman’s sense of personal strength and self confidence through education, caring for her throughout pregnancy and respecting her abilities as a childbearing woman. My advocacy is for the unborn child, as well as the pregnant woman and her partner. My practice supports the philosophy of Pre and Perinatal Psychology; recent studies have shown how important it is to nurture and grow the unborn. Educating the family about this new science is a key element in my practice as well as helping them to adopt a low risk lifestyle, through proper nutrition and techniques to reduce daily stress.
My role is not to deliver babies, but rather to assist and support the woman to birth her baby in a safe environment. I believe that women are uniquely suited to attend other women during this life passage. Most of the world’s women give birth with midwives who serve as guides to the total pregnancy experience. I believe most women with low risk factors are safer to give birth out-of–hospital among family members, coupled with continuous care by skilled attendants. Allowing for this kind of care can provide an optimal environment for the majority of women. When birth is integrated into life as a family event, the family is strengthened.
Birth is vast and multi-faceted, radiant and mysterious. Birth contains multitudes, and through her we birth our multitudes. We give birth to our hopes and fears, to our ecstasies and our agonies, to our joys and our disappointments. We give birth to our babies, each one perfect and radiant. We give birth through our instincts and we give birth to our instincts. We give birth to our capacity for instinct, which will match us perfectly with our babies who are , and always will be, instinctive creatures. May we all be blessed through instinctive birth.*
*This paragraph is from Dr. Sarah J Buckley from the book Gentle birth, Gentle mothering.