Babies & Birth Stories

Read stories submitted by Snohomish Midwives’ clients

Phone: 877.869.6105
Fax: 360.563.2662 FACEBOOK

A client satisfactory survey:

1. How would you describe our prenatal care with the midwives of Snohomish midwives? Were your needs met and if not, how could we have improved our services?

Comfortable, yes my needs were met. I was at ease with SMW from our first interaction. I came to you well into my pregnancy with fears of blood loss from the first time I delivered a baby 9 years prior. (I lost ½ my blood volume). I gained confidence instantly from your confidence. Both of you! Also, you both echoed each-others recommendation for “active management” in-regards to the blood loss I experienced in my first delivery.

ALSO. My husband Sam was comfortable and very happy with SMW as well. We had a few weird and traumatic experiences the first time around, first with my blood loss and then with Siri getting dropped at the midwife at 9 days old… we were afraid to have another baby for a few reasons. You guys instantly put us both at ease in this pregnancy.

2. During the time of your labor and birth, how would you describe your experience? Could we have done better around this time for you? If so, how?

When the big day came, Melissa and the birth team quietly made themselves my attendants - holding space as I worked to bring my daughter Earthside. Melissa's communication to me as a laboring woman felt safe and wise. Her steady confidence helped level me after especially strong waves. Then, once babe made safe passage into my arms, Melissa climbed onto the bed to spoon feed me fresh sliced peaches while baby learned to latch.

Comfortable (as can be…….!) and confident in your care. Active management was a good call, I did not hemorrhage. I vividly remember every moment of this labor and delivery. My memory is not so clear around my first birth.

3. What was your postpartum experience with regard to your midwifery care? Were there any areas in need of improvement in your opinion?

It was excellent. Thank you. I appreciated you coming to me so many times right after Christopher was born. Also, I was having feeding issues and you both followed up and checked in on me above and beyond what was outlined and expected in my post-partum care. I know you truly cared about me and my new baby!! THANK YOU FOR THAT.

4. Overall, how was your care with us? Would you refer us to your friends or family?

I felt total confidence throughout my care with SMW. I have already referred you to friends and family.

5. Are there any additional comments, suggestions and or feelings you would like to communicate to the midwives of Snohomish Midwives?

I miss you guys!! Thank you for what you do. You clearly love what you do and have passion for it. I hope you never get tired of it! We moms to be need you!!! The care and services you provide are for a most intimate life event and you are both smart and warm and wonderful. I cannot thank you enough. Heidi is wonderful too and how awesome she can work with both of you as her mentors. We were scared to go through labor and delivery again until we talked through things and made plans with you and we cannot believe how it was the 2nd time around. We are now considering having another baby, we are not scared to do so anymore. I hope if we do have another baby that we get to work with you again!

"Melissa and Sarah were both truly excellent in their handling of this most intimate ride."

Women in the natural birthing world talk a lot about riding contractions like waves. For me, the symbology was applicable to the entire pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. Melissa and Sarah were both truly excellent in their handling of this most intimate ride. They met me with professionalism and compassion at every turn. I found their care to be supportive, inclusive and fully respectful.

When the big day came, Melissa and the birth team quietly made themselves my attendants - holding space as I worked to bring my daughter Earthside. Melissa's communication to me as a laboring woman felt safe and wise. Her steady confidence helped level me after especially strong waves. Then, once babe made safe passage into my arms, Melissa climbed onto the bed to spoon feed me fresh sliced peaches while baby learned to latch.

The whole wave was a deeply nourishing experience and I am forever thankful for the sweet guidance that the women of Snohomish Midwives provided me on the journey. Deepest gratitude.


"This birth healed and strengthened me as a mother and woman. I am so thankful, and look forward to birthing naturally at home again if we are blessed with a third baby."

I felt myself entering early labor at around 5pm when my contractions became stronger and closer together. I was just about to enter my 41 st week of pregnancy, and very excited to birth at home versus the hospital this time around, as I tried to lock myself in the hospital room bathroom during most of my first labor, which did not please my labor nurse. With my home birth I knew I could be alone, and turn inward without rotating nurses, bright lights, the sound of monitors and distant intercom pages, and best of all, without being constrained in anyway.

At around 6pm Midwife Melissa came to our home to examine me, and afterwards she stayed and talked with me a while. Her words strengthened and readied me, as we both prepared for what the night would hold. I straddled my birthing ball and gently swayed my hips in circles. I whispered to my baby encouraging her to move deeper. I envisioned her twisting down gently and peacefully.

Midwife Melissa left but promised to return later to aid my other midwife, Sarah and their birth assistant Pam. I felt so lucky to have both midwives attending my birth. It was a special experience, and even more unique because they both had birthed two other babies in our home with the previous owner. We all agreed there was good baby “juju” all around that night.

When the contractions left me speechless I began to use a calm Ujjayi breath, to invite my entire body to aid in birthing. I felt strong and ready to begin. We sent our toddler off with his grandparents so that I could have the quiet I needed to turn inward. I thought I would have a lot of time to stay here in early labor, to listen to my music, to cook nourishing foods and bathe and feel my husband’s strong hands massaging me. I even imagined a moonlit walk.

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"I truly love these women and feel like I gained a wonderful friendship with them."

When I became pregnant with my first child I knew I wanted to go natural but didn't know all of my options aside from that. 99% of the women I knew had done a traditional hospital birth and I figured that was just what I was suppose to do. My prenatal care was very standard. I had no relationship with my doctor and every appointment was in and out no more than 10 minutes long. I don't even think my doctor knew I wanted to go natural! And as I got farther along in my pregnancy I didn't really care whether we were on the same page or not because I knew it was a pretty good chance he wouldn't even be there. Well, I was right. My labor in the hospital went very smooth thanks to the wonderful nurses and the support of my husband. But when it came time to push there weren't any doctors available and I had to "hold" my baby in for an hour. One of the nurses actually pushed my baby back in 3 times. Thankfully my daughter was finally born beautiful and healthy but it was after this that I knew I didn't want to go the traditional route with my next pregnancy.

When I became pregnant with my second I began searching for midwives right away. I scheduled an initial visit with Melissa and knew right away she was a perfect fit. We covered more in that first meet and greet appointment than I had in all of my appointments with the doctor in my prior pregnancy. Soon after, I had an appointment with Sara and just felt even more blessed to have 2 amazing women to help me along the way. With every prenatal visit I felt so cared for and knew that they were taking every precaution to make sure baby and I were healthy. I learned so much about my body this pregnancy.

My husband and I had planned on having the baby at a birthing center but at 37 weeks realized that it would be so much better in the comfort of our own home! (I don't know why but we had been very scared of the whole idea prior to that.) Once the day finally came it was so wonderful to begin laboring at home and then stay at home! Labor and delivery went very smooth and I was relieved to actually have my midwife right there ready to catch my baby when the time came! Even my after care was meticulous and never rushed. Sara and her assistant made sure baby and I were comfortable and settled in before leaving. I will never forget how amazing that plate of food tasted that the birth assistant prepared for me after labor!! She went through my fridge and grabbed everything I could have wanted! All of my post care visits were just as thorough. And again, I didn't have to leave my house!! I truly love these women and feel like I gained a wonderful friendship with them. I look forward to my next pregnancy and labor experience because of that.

This is the birth story of Ian Artegus Willis
Born at home, June 29th 2014 at 1:11 AM

“When do you think it’ll be??” was starting to become the only thought that occupied my mind as my due date of July 1st drew closer and closer. It wasn’t a question my unborn baby was going to make me wait too long before answering.

My water broke June 28th at 5 pm as I stood in the kitchen over a plate of Rainer cherries and trail mix. It was just a trickle of fluid, nothing as dramatic as what you see in the movies. My heart skipped a beat, as I knew there was no mistaking this for anything else. This was it! I rushed to the bathroom to check things out, just to be sure, before I called out to Tegus.
“Oh my God. Oh my God!”
“I think my water just broke.”
“Are you serious?! Are you sure??”
I stood up from the toilet with a towel between my legs, lowered it, to show him the fast drip of fluid leaking out. “Oh my God babe, this is it!!”

I could hardly contain my excitement. I felt like I was in the Matrix or something, my heart pounding, voice shaky, hands trembling. After all the months, anticipating the moment of labor, I felt like... this can’t be it, so soon! I’m not ready! I raced around the house, not knowing what I was doing or looking for exactly, but knowing there were important things I was supposed to be doing! Finally, I found the paper that had Melissa’s pager number and instructions for when labor begins. I didn’t call right away. I procrastinated for 20 minutes, called my mom, changed my pad and underwear a few times, as the trickle kept coming. Calling the midwife meant that this was real, and actually happening. I had to calm myself and accept my situation before I could dial her pager number. Speaking with Melissa calmed me. I had a game plan now. She told me to eat if I was hungry, rest, or continue my evening as I normally would. I was to call her again if and when contractions began, when I noticed a pattern of them being ten minutes apart. She would call me in the morning if she hadn’t heard from me.

As there was no way I could sleep, and I had just eaten a ton of fruit, Tegus and I decided to drive up to a friends house 5 minutes away to wash his truck and visit while we killed time. We stopped at QFC on the way to pick up snacks. I stayed in the car and texted friends and family while Tegus ran in. By the time he returned I had had my first 2 contractions. They were very light and short, almost unnoticeable in strength. By the time we got to our friends house, it was after 6. Tegus washed his truck in the driveway as I watched from the front stoop and ate an apple. I kept having to run to the bathroom and pee. Well, I thought it was pee. Contractions kept coming. I tried to time them, by looking at my watch, but found that I couldn’t keep track of when they came and went, and came again. They seemed to come often, too often for how early into labor I was. Seven, eight minutes between contractions. I thought to myself I must be timing wrong, this can’t be right. I walked across the yard to get closer to where Tegus was, had another contraction and found myself leaning against the tree for support. That’s when it dawned on me that it was time to go. I felt the sudden need to be at home, where I could properly time my contractions with an App I had downloaded. Melissa said ten minutes apart or less... These definitely were closer than that.

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"You'll be most thankful you chose to work with such amazing, loving, ladies as The Snohomish Midwives."

I'm writing this because if I wasn't completely convinced that having a midwife and birthing our first child outside of a hospital would be the best option, I am now! From start to finish I had the most positive experience with the Snohomish Midwives. Family and Friends were quite skeptical about using this very natural approach to child birth. All I can say is despite their concerns I knew in my heart I didn't want a hospital birth so this seemed like the best option, however I wasn't completely convinced. I even questioned am I being selfish and putting our soon and coming little one in harms way? These were tough questions to answer until I just took the leap of faith and met with Melissa Denmark. Her concern for my whole well being as well as our Baby put me and my Husband right at ease.

When it was time to have our Baby I knew I had the most supportive team behind me. The Birth of our Daughter Penelope was so beautiful. Having spent time learning and practicing breathing with my husband I never once thought to myself "ok I'm ready for some drugs this is too much I can't handle it."(as a side note: I tried using a few different items as focus points for breathing, none of them were as captivating and strengthening as staring into my Husbands eyes.) During Labor our on call Midwife Sarah was caring, knowledgable and supportive. I felt in control of my environment and so pleased by the atmosphere our Baby was being Born into. I say to you women with nervousness about Natural Child Birth. You were born, made perfectly designed to Birth Children you won't regret a decision to do the hardest most rewarding work there is on this earth. And you'll be most thankful you chose to work with such amazing, loving, ladies as The Snohomish Midwives.

- Tanner and Meg
Marysville Wa

"We were in the best of hands and I can’t wait to have our next baby at home with the Snohomish Midwives."

I had always dreamed of a calm and quiet homebirth, so it was natural to look for a Midwife when my husband, Ryan, and I decided we were ready for a baby. I actually contacted Melissa before I was pregnant to see what I could be doing to prep my body for pregnancy and then actually get pregnant. She was so attentive even before I was her patient. At the time Sarah hadn’t come on yet and I was nervous if we would connect as well as Melissa and I had. Well, we did. She was just as warm, relatable, kind and knowledgeable as Melissa. I received amazing prenatal care. My initial exam was 3 hours and every appointment after was an hour. They have a holistic view of care, taking the time to ask about all parts of my life and health. I really felt that they had a genuine desire to get to know me and my husband and offer individualized care. I appreciated how they weren’t quick to fix, but listened and made sure I felt I had the right tools and support.

The birth of our daughter, Anique, mostly began with cramping throughout the night that I could no longer sleep through after 5 in the morning. Throughout the whole day I was reluctant to think things were really happening, so naturally I sent my husband off to work with a kiss and a smile. I got up, showered and started my day anticipating it to be long as this was my first baby. I paged my midwives around 9am, Melissa called me back and mostly listened, which was awesome. I’d be talking and then a contraction would come and I’d get quiet and just breathe. She knew not to disrupt me or ask questions, but to wait for me to start talking again. She encouraged me to keep it up and that I was doing great. Soon after I had a gush of fluid and called Melissa back. She said I should start calling my support people and arrange for the labor tub to be delivered. About an hour later my husband came home and that’s when the party started. The labor tub came, was being set up and my sister, Rachel, came with her daughter whose first birthday was that day! I had even had the privilege of being at her birth the year before. We quickly drained our hot water tank filling the birth tub, so Ryan was going back and forth from the neighbors with buckets of hot water. My little niece was walking around with food, patting my back, talking to me when I moaned and smiling when I looked up at her. The distractions were just what I wanted then. When the tub was full, Ryan finally sat down in front of me while I sat on the birth ball. I remember grabbing his arms and rocking my head from side to side. This was when I asked, “Are you guys having fun?” I was having so much fun and hoped they were enjoying it too, and they were. Before I knew it my contractions were 3-4 min apart and lasting 1 min. We called Sarah as she was headed home from a birth that morning. I told her to take her time since I was feeling good with Ryan and Rachel and also thinking I didn’t want her coming too soon.

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"Not once was I afraid. I love that. I am so grateful that I had such a positive birth experience."

On average, first-time mothers give birth around 41 weeks. Due to this statistic, and the fact that my husband and I were in the middle of completely remodeling our home, I had convinced myself that I was going to be the average first-time mom and have my baby at 41 weeks. So when, at 37 weeks and 5 days along, I noticed a small drop of liquid running down my leg, I was in denial that I could actually be going into labor. Not only was I not 41 weeks along, but I hadn’t felt any contractions. This wasn’t normal for a first-time mom either. My husband, Nick, and I decided to call our midwives, just in case. I was told that I should take it easy, but I could continue on with my day, and unless something changed, we would meet for our already scheduled 4pm appointment.

I called my aunt (our doula) to let her know that I might be having the baby that night. She picked up my birth tub and insisted on coming over so she could take me shopping, as I was still missing a few items for my birth kit… I was going to have this baby at 41 weeks, remember? Melissa called around noon to see how I was doing. I still wasn’t having any contractions, so the plan was to meet at 4pm unless something changed.While I waited for Nick to come home from work, I watched the documentary, More Business of Being Born because I was trying to put my mind in a positive place. I was apprehensive about giving birth because 1) I had never done it before, 2) I wanted to have a completely natural home birth, and 3) I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain of labor. I felt this way partly because I had horrible back spasms one month before that sent me to urgent care. After my back started to feel better, (Melissa had me see a chiropractor, massage therapist, and an acupuncturist), I was still nervous about giving birth, but I made a deal with myself that I would stay positive and only listen to uplifting birth stories. I also started Hypnobirthing, which was helpful. When Nick, got home, he installed the car seat (yes, last minute), and we went to our appointment. When Melissa checked me, she said that she could feel the baby’s head! I couldn’t believe it. I was already at 3½ cm and I didn’t feel a thing. She asked me if she could help me get to 4cm. I wanted to say no, but I knew that if I didn’t feel contractions soon, I could end up in the hospital, so I said yes. It was less painful than I anticipated. When she told me that I did great, she made me believe that I could really do this. Around 6:30pm, we met with my massage therapist to help get my labor started. When we were done, we went out for dinner. It was around 8:30pm when we were driving down our windy road that I began feeling consistent pressure in my lower back. I wasn’t too concerned because I wasn’t having uterine contractions. Melissa called me around 9pm and told me to get some rest. I believe that her last words were that she didn’t want to come when I was already pushing. Little did we know that I would progress so quickly…

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Snohomish Midwives   877.869.6105