[soliloquy id=”425″]

Thank you for allowing my family to have a birth experience that I truly believe could not have happened elsewhere. The home birth of my daughter was absolutely amazing.

From our initial meeting and all through the nine months, you not only cared for me but for my family. You made us feel like we were part of your family, like you were excited for our family, and for our journey. You were there at any moment, day or night just a call away. You listened to our concerns and validated our thoughts. You became our friends. You loved our family and you knew who we were and what our needs were. You cared for us physically and emotionally.

The birth day was like no other. Being at home, knowing that I was in the best care, allowed me to focus on my labor and just be in the moment with no other pressure. You allowed me to listen to my body and encouraged me when I thought it was too hard. I will never forget you helping get my son in the bathtub so he could help me push out his baby sister.

Your service, care, and knowledge is the best I have ever received. Thank you for giving me the most comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care. It is my wish that every expecting client and family could receive the care I received from you.

River & Mountain Midwives, you hold a very special place in my heart. I will never forget my home birth experience as being one of the greatest moments in my life.

With love, Jesse and The Doyle Family

As a client who has experienced anxiety in medical settings, it was important for me to find medical providers who made me feel respected and secure during my pregnancy. From our first prenatal interview to our postpartum home visits, the Susans proved themselves to be conscientious and thoughtful individuals. I felt confident sharing both laughter and tears with them over the course of my pregnancy—not only safe, but honored as Susan and Birdie took my family’s needs truly to heart. Pregnancy and birth can be an especially vulnerable time, but it need not be frightening. The midwifery care we received is proof that there is a better way.


Our daughter decided to do a somersault late in the pregnancy and went breech post term. We ended up going to a hospital for a cesarean. Although we did not have the home birth we intended, Susan and Birdie helped find us the right hospital and right doctor to work with to have a beautiful and wonderful birth experience. Because these caring midwives had such a great relationship with the doctor, Birdie was allowed in the operating room. Her presence was comforting and reassuring, as we knew our advocate was by our side, making sure we had immediate skin to skin contact with our daughter after her delivery. We had no problem with nursing and I attribute much of that to Birdie’s help at the hospital. From our experience we realize that there is nothing predictable about delivering a baby, but these two ladies have the expertise, knowledge and experience to work with whatever nature brings. We are forever grateful to Susan and Birdie for helping us have a perfect birth experience.


Though I bore my own two children under bright hospital lights, my real experience of the wonder of childbirth was in attending the home birth of my grandson. Being a witness to the emergence of his little head and body, and in such a subdued and calm environment, I finally felt the full miracle.

Lucinda Tavernise
(grandmother of Judah, born August 16, 2009)

The care I received during my experience with River and Mountain was how I think all pregnancy and birthing experiences should be. It was personal, loving, supportive, and sensitive. My family grew in many ways during the experience — not only did I have a beautiful baby in my safe and loving home, I found an extended family in the midwives who helped me every step of the way. I can’t imagine a better way to have a baby.

Brandi Gabriele

As a healthcare provider I knew that a hospital birth was not the right decision for our family. I wanted to bring my daughter into this world in a quiet, natural way surrounded by family and friends. From our first meeting with Susan and Birdie I knew they were exactly the people we were looking for to help us fulfill this goal. When my water broke at 36 weeks, my vision of a beautiful home birth was shattered. Although things weren’t going as planned, Susan and Birdie never left our sides. Accompanying my husband and me to the hospital they did everything in their power to ensure our birth plan was followed as closely as possible. Even with the added stress of being in the hospital I was able to have a beautiful unmedicated birth. Our daughter was born at a healthy 5 lbs and 18.5 inches, with no need for medical intervention from the NICU. Susan stayed with us after the birth, ensuring that my child came directly to me, placed chest to chest with me and then offered assistance with nursing. As long as we are capable, we will always ask the River and Mountain Midwives to join us for the births of all of our future children. Their care and compassion for families will far exceed your expectations.

The Shirk Family
Nathan, Kim and Addison Grace

We had always considered a home birth for various reasons: the health of baby and mama, the ability to have control over the birthing environment, the intimacy of being at home, etc. What we hadn’t counted on, but was delightfully apparent from the first moment we met with the Susans and Ellen, was that they would become intertwined in our lives, and in the lives of our son, for all time. Their care, attention, love, knowledge, laughter, and patience infused our son’s first moments here. In our unnecessarily fast-paced world, the Susans and Ellen created a sanctuary for us, in both our prenatal meetings and during labor. They reminded us to breath and find joy and humor in a uniquely human experience. Their joy and warmth continues to inspire us each day as new parents. Birthing with them is a wonderful way to welcome a baby into our world.

Carrie Patch-Knudsen

How lucky we all are to have the Susans bringing we humans into this world! The deep honor and respect they have for babies and new mothers and fathers is clear the first time you meet them. They will guide you through the highs and lows that pregnancy can bring and when you are ready to give birth they make you feel as strong and capable as we clients truly are. They continue to visit you after your beautiful baby has been born to make sure that all is going smoothly. I can’t tell you how important it was to have knowledgeable clients in my life at this point to help me into my new role as mother. The Midwifery model of care really nurtures all aspects of pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. The Susans are there to guide you on your path with humor, experience, compassion, confidence and a true love of what they do – for they are transforming the world into a more peaceful, loving and sacred place one baby at a time and who wouldn’t love doing that?

Adriana Magaña

Thank you for a wonderful birth! Now that we’ve had time to process it all, we realize how crucial it was for the whole family to welcome our little one at home. The confidence you gave us and the space you gave us to do it our way was amazing and priceless. The prenatal care and constant availability by far exceeded my expectations. We can’t thank you enough.

JR, mother of two

I want to let you know that I consider myself blessed to have known you both. I appreciate your not treating me as “a number.” You helped to comfort me in so many ways in the absence of having my mother or a spouse during my pregnancy. You have also changed my perspective on how the medical field could be in an ideal world.

KD, single mother

I was firmly in the mind-frame that a hospital birth, to me, was only going to be an option if it was a medical requirement. We spent a lot of time talking about my ideals for the birth, my hopes and dreams, my fears. For me, the midwifery care that I got was the perfect balance of letting me have my say, letting me make lots of choices and yet still being cared for by professionals who were trained to watch out for any potential problems. I knew I could do it and I knew I wanted to do it. It felt very right for me.

Karen Pogge MD