Thoughts from the Birth Center Staff

A Midwife's Perspective



Breathe, Open and Lean In

It’s hard to believe the birth center opened nearly 3 years ago! For me it has been a journey of learning and growth that I could not have anticipated.

I have learned more than I dreamt possible- about politics, insurance reimbursement, administration, management and so many other things. Most importantly, I have learned so much about what it means to be with woman or to be a midwife.

Sherri has taught me that sitting with a woman means connecting heart to heart and these connections truly affect outcomes.

Dr. Dickerson’s faith and guidance has been instrumental in allowing us to practice the art of midwifery and guiding the growth of our practice. He has taught me to trust my own vision.

Being a midwife at BCBR has taught me to lean into things with an open heart, for every great journey is woven with messages and lessons. As a midwife I lean in order to listen, but also to create and hold space.

Throughout this process I have faced more personal shortcomings than I’d like to admit. I have learned that the only time in my life I am patient is in the birth room (or with my godchildren!).

I have become pretty good at breathing into my own feelings of discomfort, acknowledging that growth can be uncomfortable.

“You can do it”

“You are strong”

“Breathe to the baby”

These are words I hear myself saying over and over at many births: my own mantras to cheer the baby on, or perhaps an effort to relieve mom’s work.

Yesterday I was at the birth of a lovely 2nd time mom. She and her husband have a great trusting faith and humorous outlook on life; I heard myself say, “You got this” through a hard contraction.

She looked at my deeply and said, “Yes, I know I got this, Dana” with a mischievous and warm smile. She birthed the baby 15 minutes later.

In that moment two things moved me profoundly: that she did “have it” through her yielding and vulnerable strength and fierce determination.

And yes, every fiber of her being was prepared and accepting of the intensity of the work she was doing. I realized that her trust in me and in her self, in combination with her preparation, had led her to that resolve. In that moment I deepened as a midwife. And I learned that sometimes a quiet presence is best. Meet people where they are.

I love birth because it demands you to be present. Sitting with the power and energy of a laboring woman moves affects me on a deep level. I love what is raw and natural; for, this is the truest expression of life. Birth is a power so great it often moves me to tears or prayer, or both.

I remember fondly the time a sweet 3rd time mom sat in the tub and talked her baby into turning into the right position, descending and being born in 3 contractions. The birth was miraculous.

I also cherish attending a cesarean birth with a first time mom and experiencing the joy when she first heard her baby’s cry.

Through the years Sherri and I have crafted BCBR’s own model of care that has lead to remarkable outcomes. The cornerstone of this care has been the collaboration with gifted and insightful professionals in the community. It has facilitated many remarkable moments like the ones above.

The components of our care truly make the difference:

-Midwifery based on an evidence-based foundation- with a dose of social work

-Woman’s pelvic floor physical therapy (thank you, Amber Anderson), including extensive discussion on pelvic floor anatomy, musculature and birth prep

-In-depth prenatal education

-Nutrition and exercise counsel (at nausea)

-And finally informed consent and patient self-determination.

Starting, growing, evolving the birth center over these last years has taken every ounce of my dedication, heart and energy. It has changed me in ways for which I am so thankful.

We welcome with open arms our new midwives, Marsha Brown and Wendy Gerhardt!

As we look to the future, with more opportunities to change and grow, we strive to fulfill the mission of the birth center: Creating a Sacred Place for Birthing Families.

Welcome to our new website! Be Well!

With love, Dana Brewer


Photo Credit:  Cher Bebe

Joylnn Breux