Gifts From Above Midwifery - Bringing compassionate midwifery care to mother & baby!!
          About My Training!

    When I was 21 yrs. old in 2001, I departed to Pennsylvania for a 1 yr. apprenticeship with a midwife of 25 yrs. & 2,000+ births.  I attended about 100 births in that 1 year.  During that tenure, I performed 100’s of prenatals, many lab blood draws, newborn screens (PKU tests), pap smear tests, etc.  I came away with many valuable skills and knowledge that have boosted my studies in recent years.
     I married in 2003 and had my first child in 2005.  After much consideration and prayer, I officially began my formal midwifery training in 2007.  I attended the Association of Texas Midwives School in Midland, TX along with my friend & midwife, Sherry.  The studies were completed in 1 ½ yrs., including 6 trips to TX to attend workshops, & a trip to the Philippines to attend more births.  I am currently licensed in the state of Montana under the Board of Alternative Healthcare, as a Direct Entry Midwife, license #49.  I have attended approx. 180 births so far.  I keep current certification in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR.
Serving Libby, Noxon, Thompson Falls, Plains, & beyond.
Childbirth Philosophy:
        The privilege of having babies is a special blessing from the Lord.
        Each little baby is a gift.
        Having family involvement during the pregnancy - postpartum process is invaluable.
        Each birth is unique & the mother needs to be able to listen to what her body is telling her.  In a comfortable environment whether at the birth center or at home, the mother needs the freedom to move as she pleases.  She can squat, walk, shower or sit in a tub, sit on a birth ball, lay down & rest with no distractions, get back pressure/massage to ease the force of a contraction, listen to music, have the lights dimmed, etc.  
        My philosophy of birth is that it is a normal life process, a special gift given to women.  When I first began midwifery training, I thought the baby would be the most rewarding part of the birth for me.  Well, the baby is the frosting on the cake & I can't get in enough snuggles!!  But for me, the most rewarding aspect is mothering the mother...coaching & facilitating the birth in a manner that lets the mom know that she can do this!!   I will strive to ensure vaginal birth & provide guidance & support as needed to encourage the normal spontaneous processes of pregnancy, labor & birth.  I will utilize medical intervention only as necessary.  The most important determinant of a healthy pregnancy is the mother herself.  The mother's lifestyle can encourage the growth of a healthy placenta & baby or have unhealthy habits that cause pre-eclampsia or other complications.  I recognize though that the parameters of "normal" vary widely & understand that each pregnancy & birth is unique.  There is great value in a midwife's skills which support a complicated pregnancy or birth to move toward a state of greater well-being or brought to the most healing conclusion.   I can synthesize clinical observations, theoretical knowledge, intuitive assessment & prayer as components of a competent decision making process.

What is important to me:
         A relaxed mama
         Healthy food options to grow a strong placenta
         Your birth, your way
         Fully support water birth
         It is VERY important to me to deliver your baby without any major tears
         Happy memories of a warm & beautiful birth experience
         Coming to visit me so I can see you & that growing baby & get free baby weight checks
         Informed choice...Receiving informative handouts etc. that let you know the choices you have &  how they impact you & your baby
         Being with you every step of the way, even if you are transported to the hospital.

Cleaning & scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow
for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs,
dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby & babies don't keep!

Rosetta's Birth Story!

    I was 5 months along with my third child, when we moved from Tennesee to Trout Creek,MT. So naturally I was looking for an inexpensive and comfortable delivery. I knew of Julia and she told me of her wonderful price ! That and the quiet little birth center was what excited us about this delivery.
     I started slowly into labor two weeks before the due date. My husband,my sister and I met Julia at the birth center on a Sunday morning. She checked me and I was dilated to 4. We went on lots of walks that day and the contractions just came and went. The 4 of us adults had a great time visiting and sharing stories; it definately kept me upbeat and entertained! We slept the night there and I had contractions for an hour or more, at 10 minutes apart. Still not the real about 9:30 am. Julia decided to check me and I was dilated to 6....she  stripped membranes and that's all it took for things to take off ! I spent a lot of time relaxing in the warm tub, it felt so good ! Towards the end I preferred the bed. The last hour was hard, but God gave me the strength .     Thanks to Him, people praying, and the 'easy birthing formula'.......things went as well as could be expected. We had a healthy baby girl at 4:05 pm.! With my 3 children I have had a different doctor or midwife for every one; and my husband will agree with me, that Julia outdid them all ! She is the one for you if you're looking that is honest and straight-forward.....takes interest in you as an individual.....and yet gives space and time alone, you need. I hope and pray that as long as I have children, that Julia will always be close by !!   Rosetta Schmidt

Photos coming soon of my new Birth Center in Plains, MT!  A big change has happened!  Moving from Noxon to Plains made me very close to hospital back-up.  No more driving 1 hr. to get to Libby anymore!  A Birth Center on my own property, SWEET!  I am looking forward to updating you on the status of the project!!

Amy's Birth Story!

8 lbs. 15 oz., 20 in. Active labor 3.5 hrs.

     Though I'd had an unmedicated birth with my first child (in the hospital), it wasn't the family-and-mother-centered experience I had hoped for.  I wanted a different birth experience with baby River.  What I really dreamed of was a water birth.
     Braving the unknown, I visited the now-named Lavender and Roses at 7 mos. pregnant.  I liked the midwives, the facility, the proximity to the hospital if absolutely necessary...and the birthing tub.  Joyce & Julia had a confidence and efficiency I took a cotton to right away, and I could tell they cared about moms and babies, not just their liability.
     The day before Birth Day, we stayed overnight at the birth center.  After Julia swept my membranes, my contractions had gotten stronger, but remained stubbornly at ten min. intervals.  Being an hour away, we were much comforted at the welcome to stay the night at the birth center--we really hoped to have a baby that night!
     After a great night's rest, my contractions were gone and we headed home to visit our son and have some lunch.  A half an hour later, we made the hour's drive BACK to the birth center with Julia in her car behind us because we were having a baby!!
     Karen was at the birth center when we arrived, filling the birthing tub while I had big contractions.  After I finally got out of the car, Julia checked my cervix and found I was 7-8 cm. dilated.  Soon after, I was in the birthing tub and the water was a great comfort.  My contractions were coming so fast and my labor so advanced and different from my hospital birth, that I was scared.  Julia was a great support, keeping me hydrated and breathing slower and as relaxed as possible.  Before I knew it, I was on my knees, pushing, Julia said, "I have the head, one more push!"  I couldn't believe it, but pushed that baby out of my body and Julia put her in my arms.  I was crying, completely taken away with the beauty of the experience, of this new life in my arms, relief and culmination.  I looked down at that small scrap of humanity in my arms and said the only thing in my heart at the moment: "I love you."
     The intimacy of my birth remains treasured in my memory; everyone in that room (a significantly smaller number than in my hospital birth!) felt like family and shared something with us that was special to them as well as to us.  We weren't separated by umpteen layers of technology for the "just-in-case" possibility; River entered into this world, safely caught in human hands, Julia's hands.  It was a human experience, not a medical one.
     I had my water birth, a blessing and a truly magical process--for me, for my whole family.

--Amy Duffy
Noxon, MT

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