"Michelle was instrumental in the safe and satisfying home birth experience I was lucky enough to have! Without Michelle I am not sure I would be able to say that. I had a very long labor but her belief in my ability kept me going."
"Michelle knows her stuff! I’ve described her as a “walking, up to date encyclopedia”. She loves the science - the data, the studies the stats, etc. She’s a nerd. A really warm, kind and patient one. I have never felt safer in a medical professional’s care and I grew to trust her completely. She loved answering all of my questions and I never felt rushed or judged – I always felt invigorated and more confident after our visits. She has an amazing and down to earth bedside manner.
She was the second midwife at the birth of our first and was wonderful helping me get our baby to latch and make me feel comfortable. She was the first midwife for the birth of our second baby 22 months later. Our toddler daughter adored the “Midwife Michelle” visits. Michelle is not just a phenomenon with birthing but she’s a natural with kids too. I think Michelle was a huge part in helping our toddler with a relatively smooth transition to sisterhood and welcoming a baby. Michelle would always engage our daughter during the visits which included asking for her help with checking my blood pressure, measuring my belly, listening to baby’s heartbeat, etc. So our daughter loved playing that helper role as she began to understand that a baby was growing in mommy’s belly. Michelle treated our whole family as her patient with lots of patience. We made an awesome team. Originally I thought I wanted our daughter who would be 22 months old at the time of the birth to witness her sibling’s birth. Michelle was totally fine with it and gave us a children’s book to borrow and some tips to prepare her. But once I got closer, I realized I would be able to focus on the birth better without worrying about my toddler in the room. Luckily, she napped through the birth and woke to find familiar faces in our home along with a new little baby sister! We love looking at our photos and videos and re-telling the beautiful story.
I originally wanted a midwife in hopes of having a natural, unmedicated birth. I got so much more than that in a most wonderful way. Nutritional advice, breastfeeding and milk production support, general health stuff…but another part is so hard to put into words…it included a new way of trusting my instincts, letting go to trust Michelle and finding so much strength through the birth process. I will forever be in awe of Michelle for her wisdom, kindness, guidance and support."
"Pregnancy and birth is such a transformative experience. Like going through a doorway where you don't quite know what will be on the other side. I was so blessed to have Michelle by my side through this journey. She let me lead, but it was her support that made me feel I knew the way.
Her advice, encouragement, emotional support (and bag-of-tricks too!) offered throughout the pregnancy helped me manage my pregnancy with as few medical interventions as possible. Her knowledge and experience helped my husband and I successfully communicate with medical professionals so I could have the natural birth I wanted to have in the hospital. Michelle's presence made me feel that even if things didn't turn out the way I hoped everything would be ok. As it turns out, I had a great big baby naturally and had an amazing experience overall."
"We're so glad Michelle was at our birth. She had this way of offering the right word of encouragement at the right time–and just transmitting "ok-ness." I've also learned since then that Michelle really knows her stuff when it comes to babies too."
"Here’s everything you need to know in a nutshell: Can you trust Michelle with your life? The answer is yes. When selecting a midwife that truly is the question – because a life is in Michelle’s hands: your baby’s. Trust? Check.
What about training? Michelle guiding us through the pregnancy and the birth of our daughter was no different – in fact better – than having the best-trained OB-GYN doc. This isn’t speculation either. My partner and I continued our prenatal visits with our 20+year veteran woman OB-GYN doctor at Kaiser (who is wonderful too). Just compare the amount of time (and therefore amount of information) in a typical meeting with our doctor (twenty minutes) with our meetings with Michelle (60-90 minutes.) Michelle answered every one of our questions and took all the time necessary to support us along the way. Not that our doctor hurried us out the door – she didn’t. And there is no comparison when it comes to postnatal care. Michelle spent countless hours with us during those vulnerable first few weeks. Michelle even waited in line with us to obtain our birth certificate at the public health office. No one can equal the level of care that Michelle gives. Period.
OK, she’s got mad skillz, but what about bedside manner? It goes without saying the pregnancy, labor and birthing of a child creates stress – especially if it’s your first. When you’re tired, mentally fatigued, and stressed, you want your health care professional to be alert, calm, and cool under pressure. Michelle is all of those traits and more. In a word, Michelle is the consummate professional.
Finally, my optimal endorsement: if I had to do it again (and we hope to!), would we choose Michelle to be our midwife? Absolutely. All that – and we’ve become friends to boot."
"Michelle was present at the births of our 3 children: Our two beautiful daughters and our son who sadly did not live beyond his 22 weeks in utero. Through these joyful and tragic experiences, we have come to understand life and ourselves more deeply, fully, and gratefully. When I look back at these peak moments, a shining memory of Michelle always emerges--fully present, truly "With Woman," embraced with all the knowledge of the countless midwives before her. Encouraging me to push further, massaging my belly after birth, feeling the movements of our unborn son in the last moments of his life, and, most importantly, all of us laughing together at the spectacle and craziness of it all. Michelle is blessed to be living her calling in life, and we are blessed to have crossed paths with her."
"My partner and I had the good fortune to work with Michelle during the pregnancy and birth of both of our children! She was amazing - calm, thoughtful, smart, able to be just what was needed in each unique situation and overall perfect. We could not love Michelle more! The things that make Michelle so good at her job are: Her ability to bring science and research to help inform decision making; her experience with pain relief and health via herbs/vitamins etc., her network of support folks including doula's, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors to recommend just when you need them; her ability to be smart and calm with NO sleep; her patience and clear communication. My son was born at home in a straightforward labor, but as new parents we were freaked out and Michelle was awesome with the postpartum support. My daughter was born after transferring to the hospital and it was Michelle's ability to help us understand the various monitors and interventions and our complete trust in her that allowed me to advocate so that my partner had a vaginal birth even when the doctors were recommending a c-section. If ever we have another pregnancy in our house, Michelle is the first person we are calling!"
- ST and Tammy
"Michelle was the midwife for our home birth and both my husband and I can't say enough amazing things about her. One of the things that was important to me in deciding to do a homebirth was that we got to hand pick who would be at our side through the entire process. Without a doubt, I'm so happy I had Michelle, and her apprentice Virginia Scheiderer Hughes, as part of our team.
From the pre-natal visits through the post-natal care, Michelle is an amazing midwife with a warm presence and a wealth of information at her disposal. Whatever my questions (and I had plenty) she always had an answer and more often than not, a PDF she'd put together with more information for me to read up on.
Michelle is generous with her time and she genuinely cares about the families she works with. Our pre-natal visits took place in our home, which was lovely and massively convenient. They never felt rushed, and we always took time to explore how I was doing both physically and emotionally.
Through the birth, which was long and challenging, Michelle was a rock. She was supportive and encouraging, and when I expressed doubts, she offered the reassurance I needed to keep going at home. I never once doubted that my baby and I were in extremely capable hands.
One thing that never occurred to me in choosing a home birth was the type of post-natal care I'd get. That alone is a reason to chose a home birth. Michelle and Virginia were here numerous times up to 6 weeks after the birth. Whether it was checking our baby's health, working with me on breastfeeding or helping us figure out how to use our baby carriers, they were there for us in countless, invaluable ways.
If you're thinking about a home birth, Michelle's an amazing midwife to have at your side!"
"I would recommend her highly, and also for anyone nervous about home birth, to just learn more about what it entails, because what it has to offer is so absolutely rich, safe, and valuable. Take it from a once skeptical husband to a now avid home birth proponent, this process with Michelle is something you will cherish."
From a new and joyous father,
"We are honored to have had Michelle at the births of all three of our children. Michelle has been an amazing and gifted presence guiding us through two home births and a hospital birth. Her incredible knowledge and ability as a midwife helped us feel safe, supported and capable. She empowered us to make our own choices regarding our births and our children. During our high risk pregnancy with a child with heart defects her support and knowledge helped us transition through an incredibly difficult time. She went above and beyond the call of a midwife in visiting and supporting us after our child had heart surgery and an extended NICU stay. We will be forever grateful for the love and expertise Michelle provided as we welcomed our children into the world."
Thank you, Michelle, for approaching our pregnancy with love and delicate care. You gave my wife the tools and confidence she needed to pull off one of her most important and ambitious goals. Thank you for being thoughtful, kind, caring and professional. It was truly an amazing experience.