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My Professional Journey

As with many people, my life has gone through different phases. My first introduction to birth was when my mother was pregnant with my youngest sister. I was nine-years old at the time. I was fascinated with her growing belly, always asking questions and excited to meet this human being.

Fast forward many years to when I was pregnant with my first child. I had wanted a home birth and a doula, but they both felt financially out of reach for me and my partner. Instead, we decided to have our baby at the local hospital where I was born. It was a beautiful, unmedicated birth, but as with many hospital settings, not without its complications. Luckily, my complications were minimal, but even today, almost 22 years later, I still think about how it could have been different.

After my daughter was born, I felt this growing need to learn about doulas and homebirth, so I embarked on a journey that I am still on to this day. My first degree is in English, and I was a managing editor at the time, but that did not stop me. I trained as a doula with Doulas of North American (now DONA) and started my birth business in January 2001, all while holding down a full-time job. Later that year, the company that I worked for was affected by 9/11, so I was part of the first layoffs in December 2001. I knew then what I was going to do. I was going to find a way to support the families of the Monterey Peninsula.

With my love of touch and holding space for people, in March of 2002, I enrolled in massage school (Monterey Institute of Touch). I completed my two-year program in 11 months, having practically lived at the school to do so. I walked away with a specialty in prenatal and postpartum massage. I also enrolled in a lactation counseling class so I could assist people struggling with breastfeeding. I was quite active in the birth community on the peninsula and worked hard to build the bridge between doulas, childbirth educators, breastfeeding counselors, and the local OBGYNs and hospitals. In 2006, I had my second child at the same hospital that their sister was born.

In 2009, I became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and in 2015, I became a Lamaze Trainer. Between 2009 and 2015, I continued to build my business while actively pursuing ways to increase access for doula support and childbirth education to local families.

In January 2016, after many fits and starts with my love of midwifery, I started Midwives College of Utah (MCU). My schooling was incredibly challenging for many reasons and at times I left my family pursue my clinical work necessary to finish school. I was trained in three birth centers during this time (one in Mendocino County, one in San Luis Obispo County, and my most favorite, Premier Birth Center in Chantilly, Virginia). I attended most of my home births here in Monterey County.

In September 2020, I passed the North American Registry of Midwives exam and received my Certified Professional Midwife certification. I also graduated from MCU with an Associates degree in Midwifery. On October 27, 2020, I received my Licensed Midwife designation (LM621) from the Medical Board of California.

In my spare time, I love to craft and make my own greeting cards. My family has a fierce love of music so you will often find us jamming together, and before COVID-19, with friends as well. Our grandbaby also keeps us busy and we try to spend as much time with her as possible.

Working with families during their perinatal year is my heart work…my life’s work. I am committed to caring for and supporting marginalized and underrepresented communities. I believe that everyone has to the right to experience equitable, respectful, comprehensive, personalized, and evidence-based care. This was the foundation of my business in 2001 and continues to be so today. In my 20 years as a birth worker, I have learned that every pregnant person, every baby, and every situation is different. You will never be lumped into a group of people, but instead, will be respectfully treated as the beautiful, individual human being that you are.

I look forward to working with you.

~Michele