Personal Resume of Education and Experience
I was born in California in 1964, and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada with a large family of eight. We moved to Oregon in 1977 where I met my first husband and gave birth to my first baby. In 1982 Bo was born in an Oregon hospital (originally a planned homebirth) where I had a long hard drugged labor. After two days dealing with Pitocin induced contractions I finally gave birth with the help of a vacuum extractor to a severely depressed baby that required resuscitation. In 1984 I had my second baby, Zackary in Las Vegas with a CNM at UMC Hospital. The birth was so-called natural although I had to fight for my rights. I married my second husband in 1985 shortly after we had baby number three, Roshelle at home with a midwife in attendance. Three years later baby number four arrived, Chase also born at home with a midwife in attendance.
After the birth of Bo I was disillusioned. Because the birth was not natural I felt cheated. All the preparation I had planned on, like the birthing classes, anxiously awaiting the “natural” birth, the close bonding and immediate breast-feeding was never attained. It gave me a feeling of helplessness not being in control of my own body and having someone else dictate the outcome of my birth, which should have been a close intimate experience. My friends at this point were no help telling me that this was the “norm” for birthing.
Not satisfied with the outcome of this birth or the opinion of my peers, I got together any and all material with the words: “natural”, “pregnancy”, childbirth”, “breastfeeding”, etc. listed in the title. Extensive research was done on the normal physiology of labor and childbirth. I decided to help other women learn how to be in control of their births and have a right to know how the female body functions.
In 1984 I started attending home births with midwives in attendance as a coach and support person. I really enjoyed helping moms to have a positive outlook about labor and birth and sharing in their joy as they achieved the “truly natural birth” experience. In 1987 I started “hands on” training at home births, prenatal check-ups, and postpartum care with local midwives in Las Vegas Nevada. Included in my scope of duties were: counseling on newborn care, breast feeding, birth control, child rearing, circumcision counseling, immunization counseling, natural healing, nutrition, exercise, smoking, drugs and alcohol counceling, etc. The attending of various births has taught me how to handle and overcome the following: shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulders), VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), maternal hemorrhage, retained placenta, cord wrapped around baby’s neck, meconium stained amniotic fluid, twins, posterior presentation, frank breech presentation, depressed infants, various perineal and labial tears, prolapsed cervix, caput and hematoma of babies and hemotoma of mothers perineum.
In the year 1989 I started my own midwifery practice and I am currently accepting clients. In 1994 I moved to the Midwest and served a tri-state area of rural clients for two years. In December of 1996 I divorced and moved back to Las Vegas, where I met and married Bill (they say 3 times is a charm) and I am only taking repeat and referral clients.
In 1997 I went on to further my education in midwifery and became NARM certified earning the national credential Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).
I believe that every person carries the ultimate responsibility for his or her own physical, spiritual and mental health and well being. The key to making responsible, informed decisions is self-education through reading and thinking. To not educate oneself is to make a decision to be ignorant.
Statistics and my own experiences hold that over 90% of all births are uncomplicated and another 5% to 8% involve minor complications that can be readily handled by a skilled birth attendant. The remaining small percentage of women who may have complications requiring medical care may be detected during pregnancy with excellent prenatal care or during labor with skillful observation. A very small number of pregnancies will result in the death of a precious baby. Whether in early or late pregnancy, the family still grieves and a caring midwife can be an invaluable support for that family. My own personal and private commitments to midwifery are mirrors of my feelings that the family is sacred and has the right and responsibility of maintaining that spiritual aspect during the most intense and exciting experience the family will ever encounter.