Lake Washington Midwives
Lake Washington Midwives is one of the two resident practices at PSBC-Kirkland, holding clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays. They use electronic charting through Maternity Neighborhood, which clients love for the ability to access their own medical records and test results from their computer or phone at any time.
Read on to learn about each midwife...
LM, CPM, Co-owner
The discovery of my life’s calling, amazingly enough, happened on a Mother’s Day. In 1993 I was asked to video and photograph a friend’s home birth. I eagerly said yes, as I was pre-med at the University of Washington and had never attended a birth before. As time disappeared and the awe inspiring process of labor and birth unfolded, I found myself enraptured, at peace, and so grateful for the privilege to bear witness to such a miracle. I felt at home in the atmosphere of birth, and as the first sounds of the newborn rang into the room I realized I had found my calling. Many years have passed, and almost 800 births later I am still in awe of the birthing process, and thrilled that I get to offer the midwifery model of care which I believe in so deeply, to so many different kinds of people. What makes our care different, in a word, is listening. My intention when I sit with people in a prenatal visit or during their birthing process is to offer a quality of listening within the moment. This allows for a more fluid sense of time to evolve. I believe that within such a quality of timing, everthing is possible and balance and a sense of flow are more accessible. Questions find their answers, conversations create connections, and babies discover how to nurse.
I am always learning from this work that I love and the people I meet in it, and always I am humbled by the power that women possess and the wisdom in the eyes of the newborns.
I have a similar awe in my garden when new seeds poke their noses through the earth. Gardening in the sanctuary that is the land we live on, brings me great joy and balance. As well as “catching babies”, tending to growing families, and being one of the owners of Puget Sound Birth Center, I am on faculty at Bastyr University Department of Midwifery and I sit on the Department of Health Midwifery Advisory Committee. It is really only because of my incredibly supportive and lovely wife that I can do all of this, as well as tending to our two beautifully passionate boys and the myriad of four legged and winged creatures we share our home with. My other passions include growing food, baking (I’ve finally mastered the gluten free pie crust!), making pottery, sewing, being outside, and listening to the birds, all of which are exponentially better of course when shared with my family!
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.
My professional midwifery journey began in 2005 when I enrolled in the direct entry midwifery program at the Seattle Midwifery School. Since 2009, I have been providing midwifery services as a Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife (LM,CPM).
The care that I provide is guided by my understanding that our childbearing years, the season of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, can be a time of tremendous joy and great challenge. As a midwife, my hope is to create an environment where mothers and families feel supported and empowered. I firmly believe that all women deserve providers who align their practices with the Midwifery Model of Care.
I stand on the shoulders of many great midwives who facilitated my training and have gratitude beyond words for my colleagues at Lake Washington Midwives.
My personal interests include art, gardening, mountains, fresh air and above all spending time with my family.
I grew up in New England and had never heard of midwifery or homebirth until I moved to California after college. There, I met women who had given birth at home, and I was enthralled. It struck me as beautiful, a little crazy and at the same time the most natural thing in the world. I began to learn all I could about birth, and enrolled at Seattle Midwifery School in 2003.
After becoming a Licensed Midwife in 2006 I worked for the next 8 years caring for families on the Olympic Peninsula with my long-time mentor and friend Kathy Luch. I loved being a small-town midwife and seeing bellies, babies, and families growing over the years. My own two sweet fierce daughters were born at home with Kathy's quiet and unflagging support.
When my younger daughter started school, I was ready to work more at this job I love so much. I considered registering as a midwife in Canada, where midwives attend both hospital and home births, and I completed a training program in Toronto to gain hospital birth skills. I embraced the new challenge of managing epidurals and inductions, but Washington midwifery still felt like home to me. The truth is that I don't want to manage birth. I want to support you, and help you feel comfortable and safe, and occasionally offer suggestions and options, and then hold space for you as you find your own unique amazing way to bring your child into the world.
This year marks a full decade for me of being both a midwife and a mother. Both are callings I feel incredibly passionate about, both required a huge leap of faith, and both occasionally involve losing sleep! My decision to become a midwife was in some ways similar to how I tackle tough parenting choices, and to how many of our clients come to choose midwifery care and home or birth center birth—we gather information, do our research, and trust our intuition. Part of what I love about this work is facilitating those choices, listening, and honoring the process as it unfolds. Just like in parenting, there is no perfect way and very few rules, and what’s right for one family might not work for another. We need information, resources, and respectful support—not judgment and not spoon-fed answers.
In order to do both of these oh-so-important jobs of midwife and mother, and to do them well, I need a supportive team, a sense of humor, time to devote to my family, and a moment here and there for reflection and self-care—which for me means running, dancing, gardening, getting out into the woods, and doing the crossword puzzle. My work at the Puget Sound Birth Center with my beloved colleagues Ali and Melissa feeds my soul, honors my family, and offers me the opportunity to provide care for truly wonderful families. I feel overwhelming gratitude and commitment to this work, my fellow midwives, and the diverse, amazing individuals and families who choose us for their care.