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Picture of Valerie SassonValerie Sasson, CPM, LM, Founding Member
Originally from New Jersey and a graduate of Brown University ('86), I relocated to Seattle in 1989 to attend the Seattle Midwifery School and have since made the Puget Sound my home. My husband, Gary May, and I have two daughters, Camille and Olivia, both born at home with midwives and our families in attendance.

The word "sovereignty" is the best descriptor I have found for what I wanted as a pregnant and birthing woman: freedom to be my own authority. I believe that as women, as families, we have a right to the quantity and quality of information that enables sovereignty for each of us. In any setting, this is what we deserve. This is the standard of care we are committed to providing for each and every one of the families in our care. More than a medical event, we facilitate the opportunity to experience birth as what it is: a life-changing event worthy of whole presence and participation – body, mind, heart and soul.

I was tremendously fortunate to have joined the Puget Sound Birth Center, in 1999, as the practice partner of PSBC founder, LeeAnne Shelley. Following LeeAnne's retirement I am very pleased to be in practice with my dear friend and colleague, Ali Tromblay, LM. We are committed to the Midwifery Model of Care – informed choice, risk management, evidence based care and continuity of relationship – that makes modern professional midwifery safe and satisfying.


Ali Tromblay, CPM, LM, Founding Member

I was raised by a very loving, close-knit family, who instilled in me a great respect for the importance of the family unit as a foundation for successful movement through life. It is from this place that I see the importance of my job.

The birth of a baby is an initiation and an enormous transition in a family whether it is your first baby or your sixth. If you come away from your birth experience feeling informed, respected and empowered, then I feel I have served you well. It is from this place that I hope you will then feel empowered in future decisions concerning the health and well-being of your family.

The midwifery model of care makes it easy to provide quality care to families, and I have such a good time doing it. I am privileged to meet interesting people, share stories and information, get to know different families and lifestyles, and share with them the beautiful moment of bringing their child into the world. The fun is also in getting to custom make my care to fit your needs as I learn more about what works for you.

Birth is always an adventure, each one is different, and I learn something new from each family and each experience... midwifery definitely never gets boring! Now that I have two children, both recently born at the birth center with midwives, I feel even more deeply the importance of what we offer families. In a word, time. This world moves so fast these days, I treasure the time, stillness and connection with people that my work as a midwife offers to me and to the families I serve.

I did years of doula work before and after graduating pre-med from the University of Washington. This time of providing doula care to new families opened my eyes and my heart to midwifery care and I knew instantly upon attending my first birth that I wanted to be a midwife.

I then went on for my midwifery education at Seattle Midwifery School. I have studied and worked with many different doctors and midwives over the years, and I feel so blessed by my partnership with Valerie, and by the opportunity we have here at the birth center. Puget Sound Birth Center is the perfect peaceful environment for our practice, and we are lucky to have great relationships with many area doctors to consult with as needed to provide safe and satisfying care to our clients.

Tracy Cooper, LM
It was the experience of going to my first birth that really hooked me into doing this work. When my cousin invited me, spur of the moment, in labor, to come be with her, I didn’t know I’d be right there holding her leg and watching up close the birth of her baby girl…along with my mother, her mother, our grandma, and the baby girl’s adoptive parents. I witnessed her fiercely determined face as she pushed her baby out, and felt the love and anxious anticipation on each face encircling her in that hospital room. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen--a person coming out of a person! My mind was blown for good, and I knew I needed to learn more about this experience of birth. The gift she gave me changed the direction of my path.

With a degree in English Literature, I thought I might become a teacher or a writer, a student of the drama of human life. However, I was also interested in issues related to women’s health. It soon became clear that midwifery was the way in which I wanted to support what is a natural process involving the mind, body, and spirit—a physical event our bodies are well designed for, but also an emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, even political event. A process that women and families have the ability to be informed about, make conscious decisions during, and be active participants in. Midwifery holds all of these aspects together, offering women information, support, and guidance while honoring that ultimately, the decisions rest in her hands. I came to Seattle and attended Seattle Midwifery School where I graduated in 1998, and began Expecting The Best Midwifery Care with my partner and friend Michelle Sarju.

I come from a family where service to others is highly valued, so my own family biography prepared me for midwifery. My great grandmother was a midwife. My grandparents were missionaries for 60 years. My father is a retired firefighter, and my mother worked for 25 years as a medical assistant in an OB-GYN/Midwifery practice. I also heard painful stories from my grandmother and other women in my family about their own birth experiences. I wanted to make sure that I could work in a way that would lessen these kinds of experiences by providing women with options and support. Like many midwives, I feel this work is not just a job, but a calling.

Ideally, every family having a baby would have a network of support providing them with access to every appropriate tool available to them. I view birth as a normal process that usually needs lots of support and very little intervention. I also believe in the appropriate and judicious use of technology when it is becomes necessary. My best skill as a midwife is my ability to listen and care.

In 2011, I came to work with my friends and classmates at Lake Washington Midwives. We welcome former clients of Expecting The Best Midwifery Care.

My husband and I are also satisfied consumers of midwifery care, and have two girls who were born at home.

 

Melissa HughesMelissa Hughes, LM, CPM
I became quickly amazed and intrigued with midwifery care following the home birth of my nephew. In the year that followed, I explored childbirth options and also chose to have a midwife attended home birth. In doing so, I discovered that choices in pregnancy, birth and infant care have profound impacts on our lives and well-being; and that our experiences in birth, giving birth and being born, play an important role in how we relate to ourselves and the world around us.

The care that I provide as a midwife is guided by my understanding that pregnancy and birth can be a time of great joy and challenge. My hope is to create an environment of care where mothers and families feel supported and empowered.

I attended Seattle Midwifery School, and stand on the shoulders of many great midwives who facilitated my training. I currently serve as Secretary on the Midwifery Association of Washington State Board of Directors and Project Coordinator for the Washington State Perinatal Collaborative quality improvement initiative Smooth Transitions: Enhancing the Safety of Planned Out of Hospital Birth Transports.

My personal interests include gardening, cooking, art and above all spending time with my family.




Picture of Valerie doing a check up.

Birth Center Testimonial Graphic
"Thank you. Gosh, how inadequate those words are! Two syllables cannot possibly convey the depth of the gratitude and affection I feel.

Valerie, thank you for the wonderful care and support you gave me throughout this pregnancy, and for the wonderful postpartum support too. Thanks for your patient, quiet, loving support during Katie's birth. Thanks, especially, for the three words you spoke so soothingly when I felt overwhelmed in the moment before birth: ‘Let it be’.

You are a remarkable woman, in a remarkable profession."


 –  Liz

Picture of a pregant women being check out by one of the midwives.

Picture of a pregant women being check out by one of the midwives.

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