Eastside Midwives is one of the two resident practices at PSBC-Kirkland. Heike Hornsby, Tonya Floria, and Kyla Wheeler hold clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Eastside Midwives was the first midwifery practice in the state to offer Nitrous Oxide as an option for coping with pain in labor. You can read more about Nitrous Oxide here.
Read on to find out about each of the midwives...
Heike Hornsby (nee Doyle)
LM, CPM, Co-owner
I had wanted to be a midwife for as long as I can remember. I was born at home in Germany and grew up with the fundamental belief that birth is normal.
At 25, my journey began when I apprenticed under experienced rural midwives in the mountains of Kentucky. The conditions were poor and often there wasn't running water. People lived on dirt floors or in trailers, and there was no available healthcare outside of that which the midwives brought. The strength of those women, mothers and midwives both, taught me to be humble. Through these wise women, experts in normal, I developed my philosophy of birth: Babies know how to get in and they know how to get out. However, I knew that I still had much to learn. I decided that I needed more formal education in order to be of better service to women and their babies.
In 1993, I graduated from the Seattle Midwifery School, as it used to be called (now Bastyr University) and became a Licensed Midwife. By 1999, I had become the co-owner of the Puget Sound Birth Center. Here, I now work closely with my fabulous, skilled team of midwives to provide family-centered care by helping to ensure optimal health for a mother and her child, encouraging a trust in the process of birth and helping to ease this joyful transition for families.
I have personally been on the receiving end of this type of care as all three of my children were born at home. The experiences of their births reinforced my understanding of the needs of pregnant women who chose to have their babies at home or in a Birth Center. The empowerment of my own experience frames my commitment to the midwifery model of care.
I also enjoy being involved with public service for the profession of Midwifery. This includes, among many other things, working to create insurance coverage for midwives and birth centers, continuing to build the relationship between midwives and hospitals, and testifying to a White House committee to integrate Midwifery care into the health care system. I was given the great honor of being chosen to represent midwifery in two films: Unconventional Birth for the Discovery Health channel, and Born in the USA with PBS. In my daily work I have the pleasure of being a teacher to many aspiring midwives.
One of my goals is to make it normal and acceptable to use a midwife and to have a birth center birth if you are a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy. I want there to be no question in society that midwives provide high quality, safe care, and consult and transfer to hospitals and doctors if complication arise and there is a need for more complex technology.
In my free time, my husband and I love to travel. We are avid scuba divers and both love to explore the natural beauty in this world around us. My children have grown and are beginning to discover their own dreams and goals. My two oldest are in college, with their brother not far behind. I savor good, healthy food and can appreciate a well-aged single malt. More than anything, though, I enjoy being in my beloved home with my dogs, a good book and a hot cup of tea.
Midwifery is not something I do, it is something I am, what is within me. When I am with a woman, whatever is needed is what I give, it just comes out. It has been 25 years since I attended my first birth and, 2000 births later, I am still as passionate now as I was then. I look forward to meeting and working with you.
LM, CPM - Lead Midwife
Facilitating the empowerment of women and a love for supporting families are the core values I hold as a midwife and the reason I believe I was called to this work. I started my journey to my life as a midwife at a young age and absolutely love the fulfillment it gives me to see women blossom throughout the process to becoming mothers. Treating each woman with the respect and compassion she deserves during this vulnerable time in her life creates the kind of society I wish to live in.
I grew up in a family that values education, high standards and positive purpose in life, which in turn led me to this most amazing career. I spent the majority of my life in the greater Seattle area and am thrilled to be in a place to give back to the families in my community. I graduated from Seattle Midwifery School (now Bastyr University) and have attended more than 300 births. I have trained among many of this area’s great midwives, and have additionally worked abroad, which is the leading reason I can offer you excellent care today, as a part of this tenacious team.
My love for midwifery only comes second to my love for my incredibly supportive husband and family. In my leisure time I enjoy rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, dancing and traveling as well as lazy afternoons spent laughing and catching up with friends over tea. I am an active member in the Seattle Lithuanian Community where I am a member of the folkdance group, organize fundraisers and help run the children’s summer camp.
I first learned about midwifery during my second pregnancy. My first child was born by cesarean section, and I felt strongly about having a natural, vaginal birth the second time around. I read everything I could find about midwifery and natural childbirth, and as a result, I had 2 successful VBACs in the hospital. The hospital experience really solidified my belief that normal birth could be much better supported at a birth center or at home. I developed a strong desire to help other women experience birth in a powerful way, in an atmosphere that respected their individuality, desires, and body's innate knowledge.
I graduated from Seattle Midwifery School (now Bastyr University) in 2010. I have had the honor of working with several fabulous local midwives and I spent time working in a hospital in Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific. I have attended more than 300 births, mostly birth center or at home, and I have done thousands of prenatal, postpartum and newborn visits. I feel honored to have supported so many women and their families.
I am a bit of a health nut and nutrition junkie, and enjoy weight training, yoga, hiking, rock climbing, and cooking. I am currently experimenting with kombucha brewing! I like to sing and play piano & guitar, I was a vocalist and music teacher in the past. My wonderful kids, aged 15, 16 & 20, are an endless source of entertainment.
I am thrilled to be practicing with our wonderful team here at Eastside Midwives and Puget Sound Birth Center.
MSM, LM, CPM
Midwifery found me in 2008. I was an undergrad student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and my roommate suggested we go to a screening of “The Business of Being Born.” By the end of the film I knew midwifery was my future. At that point I was the President of a group called Project Dinah; our mission was to end rape culture through education and advocacy. I was also volunteering for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. While the work was and continues to be extremely important, I was burnt out from constantly being surrounded by sadness and stories of brutality. A career on the brighter side of women’s healthcare sounded perfect to me.
Bastyr University’s program appealed to me as it offered a Master’s Degree and a chance to move to the west coast. Having been born and raised in North Carolina I was ready for a change of scenery. I set my sights on Bastyr but in the meantime I had to finish my Bachelor’s degree. I studied abroad for five months in The Netherlands and had a wonderful time exploring European culture. When I returned, I completed my degree, took a few prerequisite science classes and applied to Bastyr. After I was accepted I packed my bags, drove across the country, and began the three year midwifery program in 2012.
My three years as a student challenged and rewarded me more than I thought possible. I trained at Snoqualmie Valley Midwifery for one year and then I had the pleasure of being a student at Eastside Midwives for 15 months. I attended close to 1,000 prenatal and postpartum visits and over 100 births, many of which I managed. I wrote my Master’s Thesis on a new device that may improve the success of neonatal resuscitation and I’m currently developing a training to implement the tool into midwifery care. The rigorous academics of the Master’s Degree program at Bastyr and the privilege of training with excellent midwives has more than prepared me to serve as a midwife. I have learned to provide excellent, evidence-based care to low-risk women and most importantly, I learned that midwifery is not a career - it is a calling. Supporting women through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is my heart’s work and I am grateful to be able to live my passion every day.
Currently, I live in Kirkland with my partner Chelsey. Our favorite way to spend an evening is by sampling PNW cuisine at one of the hundreds of local restaurants and cafés. I also enjoy cooking (especially for guests) and I am an avid reader. When time permits, I love to travel and am looking forward to several trips in the coming years.
I am overjoyed to continue serving the women of the Puget Sound as part of the Eastside Midwives team!