Profile: Tracy Cooper, CPM LM
This is a static sidebar thing.
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.