At almost eight months postpartum I find myself trying to build the narrative of my son Owen’s birth. The long version is just too long… but how do I condense that experience into something that encompasses its depth and breadth? That captures the fun, the excitement, the hard work, the fear, the elation and grief? The empowerment and the disappointment? Giving birth is, as many say, but the doorway into the grand and challenging adventure that is parenthood. The moments of labor and birth felt like an eternity; in retrospect, it was but a fraction of a blink of an eye. It set the stage for me as a woman and a parent, a rite of passage that prepared me for many hard and wonderful days with an infant in arms. Though I fear it will not do it justice, the “short” version of Owen’s birth is this:
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive and effective hands-on therapy that benefits the whole body. It is safe and beneficial for newborns after birth by relieving restrictions in the body to create health, harmony and well-being.
Issues that can be addressed with Craniosacral Therapy include:
breastfeeding challenges, latching problems, breathing difficulties, colic,digestive issues, acid reflux, constipation, sleeping problems, teething pain, head shape issues, earaches, developmental delays, spitting up, toritcollis, or a baby that was or is tongue tied.
At Welcoming Dawn our hope is to provide you with personal, high quality midwifery care. Today, pregnant mothers in the US are seeking a change from the current system that is not always backed by evidence-based care and at times has outcomes that are not always favorable. Midwives are natural birth experts. Some Mothers do require interventions, but many low-risk women actually labor best without the hospital birth experience that can be restrictive. As your midwives we come to your home or the Birth Yurt to offer intermittent monitoring, oral hydration and food, freedom to move and the comfort of those you trust around you. We offer preventative care in pregnancy and are available to give you quick suggestions for discomforts or reassurance for concerns. We stay for the duration of your labor - whether that be 6 hours or 60 hours. If a transfer is ever needed, we stay with the family through the birth and immediate postpartum and then resume care in the home after.
As Community Midwives we are here to listen to fears, hopes, traumatic stories from the past, marriage struggles, financial concerns, doubts, and family troubles at prenatal appointments. We know that birth is not just a physical process, but an emotional and spiritual one as well. By being there for each client, we are building trust, respect, and support. We give our service to young and old mothers alike because we believe in them and want to help them achieve the births they desire. We are in awe by their power, courage and ability to surrender to move through labor, birth and the postpartum. Our hope is that women feel respected, safe and involved as they welcome their little ones into the world. We are forever grateful to each family we work with and cherish the sweet texts late at night as a mother is processing her birth, the emotional moments in a postpartum visit, the tears, the joy, and the growing as YOU become mothers.
We are so grateful to our own partners, children and friends for supporting us with our calling to help women, families and babies!
Welcoming Dawn is helping to build a legacy of strong and confident mothers, which will have an impact on the generations to come.
A Note to the Father/Partner:
You play a vital role in pregnancy and birth. You helped to get the baby in and you can help to get the baby out! We at Welcoming Dawn love to include you in our care every step of the way. From listening to heart tones, feeling the baby's head at appointments and catching your little one in your own hands, we are there to support the two of you together on your journey.
Hear what a father has to say about our care:
"I can't say enough about the service and care we received from Welcoming Dawn. Not only did they provide my partner with caring, thoughtful, personal care - mental, physical, and spiritual - they also made space for me to express my trepidation and fear about the process. I would never have been able to be as fully present during the labor and birth process as I was without their guidance and counsel. Anyone embarking on the journey of childbearing would do well to seek their services. It is clear that they care deeply about the families they work with and they go above and beyond to provide a priceless service at an incredible value. They set us on the right path, and I will be forever grateful for the central role they played in giving our son a healthy, happy start in life."
I mean every word of this and more. You all are the best and we are lucky to have you in our community.
My partner and I knew from the beginning of our pregnancy that we wanted to hire midwives and have our baby at home. We didn’t, (and still don’t) feel that birthing a baby is a medical emergency. We simply felt safer laboring and birthing at home. The care and attention I received from Olympia and Tracy made a journey into the unknown a welcomed adventure that I was in charge of rather than a fearful ride I would be going on. The first time my partner and I met Tracy and Olympia we knew that they were a perfect team. They both exude love and caring and with Olympia’s medical savvy and Tracy’s Earth Mama energy I saw them as the Shaman, wise women, guides and coaches I wanted to have at my birth. What I didn’t know was that these two women, along with the assistance of their apprentice Andrea, would be by my side for the most profound journey of my life, (and I’ve taken some trips!). We took Olympia’s birthing class and gained some physical techniques and a better understanding of the physiological process I would be undergoing. What we didn’t expect was that Olympia’s class would invite us to take a deeper look at our preconceived notions about birth and becoming new parents. Her class gave us much to discuss, it gave my partner and I an opportunity to take a deeper look at our fears and hopeful expectations. I was due January 9th, 2016; I went into labor early morning on the 10th.
"Having midwives and planning a home birth for my son Rem was one of the best life choices I have made. I knew there was always a chance we would end up at the hospital but after getting to know, The Welcoming Dawn team: Olympia, Tracy and Andrea, I gained confidence that any way it worked out, my partner and I would be able to be in the moment with each other because our midwives would advocate for us; Their respect for the process and family made me sure I could rely on them.
During my pregnancy I had many paralyzing fears, some I knew were irrational, but no matter what Tracy, Olympia and Andrea were all just a phone call away. They really helped me get through those moments! It might sound like I'm trying to flatter them, but I'm being honest. I never expected to be a mother and finding out I would be one, was the best feeling in the world which came with a side of doubt and a 'lost in the wilderness' feel. Until I became pregnant I didn't know much about pregnancy or the birth process, and neither did Morgan, my partner.
My pregnancy was a breeze. I knew Rem's birth would be painful, but the endurance part of birth was an eye opener. My passive labor was 24 hours, active labor 12 hours and I pushed for an hour and a half and then I gave birth to beautiful healthy child at home in my most comfortable bed. We planned a water birth but things change! I must have called these ladies a million times during my passive labor with questions and comments and they were completely there for me and Morgan.
Andrea was first on the scene while I was making the transition from passive to active labor. I started out pretty upset! Andrea’s smile and support made me more comfortable with the situation. She also provided coaching into different positions and breathing patterns the midwives had practiced with me that helped me relax and focus on what I needed to do. Olympia showed up shortly after and at this point all I wanted to do was sleep and NOT EAT, I was only allowed to do one of these things. So, I slept between contractions which varied between two and seven minutes apart and was feed any moment that allowed me time to attempt to chew, swallow and have a sip of hydrating liquid. Olympia was the first face I saw when I woke up and the last voice I heard before passing out for my power naps.
Where was Morgan for all of this? He was in the next room asleep for much of the active labor, which he seriously needed! Morgan is my best friend and life partner and his support and love during my passive labor I will never forget. There isn't much to say but that he was there, he was present- in the moment and he had nothing but love to give. He brought his love and his pretty blue eyes to our son. When Olympia arrived, and Morgan was getting a well deserved rest, I was ready for a different form of support.
Active labor was amazing. I was working through the contractions with my Moo's, and doing lunges and pacing around our pool table when I wasn't sleeping. Tracy showed up in the wee hours of the morning and gave me one of the best back rubs I've ever had and more positive reinforcement. These women exemplify the epitome of a team. My home was like a bee hive with everyone doing their job and tagging each other out for breaks, naps and meals. After my labor my mom shared with me how amazed she was with everyone working together so fluidly. She had her worries about home birth, and she didn't have to worry. She enjoyed her interactions with Olympia, Tracy and Andrea, and thought they did an amazing job with me, her youngest and maybe most fragile child. It was really nice to see and hear her confidence in these three women.
At no point during my labor did I have to focus on anything but the basics, breathing, maintaining some physical comfort, and reminding myself to trust my body, everything else was taken care of. Now, thinking back, I couldn't have done without my midwives, their experience, confidence in the process and positive reinforcement helped me so much: these words do not do them justice. It takes a village to raise a child and also a village to have one!
I found out after my labor that my active labor was consistently inconsistent. My contractions were two to seven minutes apart the entire time. The decision as to when to start pushing was not an easy one. The intimacy of my relationship with Tracy and Olympia, and their experience made them able to make the right decision for the right time . At that point I wasn't saying much but Moo and sleep. They read my body language, listened to my mumbles and I had my son in my arms after an hour and a half of pushing. When I saw his hairy owl head between my legs there was no pain. Not just the absence of pain but an abundance of heart. The word love is not enough to explain this moment; It felt as if everyone in the room had the same heart and we were all beating together, Morgan, (my mother and father in the hall way) and these three women I had just met 7 or 8 months prior, fitting into this equation so easily- equaling one beating super heart. I'm not a sappy person but this moment was exactly what it was and should have been.
Olympia and Tracy provided lots of resources in preparation for Rem's birth; reading material, diaper service information, herb suppliers and remedies, breastfeeding support, homeopathy information, where to get a massage, tips for my partner, placenta medicine, and the list goes on. What mattered the most was the gift they gave me of not having to think during labor. I got to just experience a most beautiful dance with my son, our birth dance, our first hardship and victory together.
Tracy, Olympia and Andrea enabled the dance to be a most spectacular dance and I will never forget them or that feeling."
"We knew even before we met Tracy that she would be the perfect midwife for us. There were many synchronicities that led us to her, and I knew immediately that she would be the best choice for my little man's arrival. She kept a very calm loving space and was always there when I needed her but was never intrusive. You can tell that she cares about every aspect of being a midwife from caring for you while pregnant, through the birth and after your little one has arrived.
Thanks for everything!"
"Olympia, It has been a true blessing to have your warmth, listening skills, support, and expertise to accompany me through my pregnancy and birth. We thank you for bringing our blessed Morgan into our lives with grace; he is a wonderful and happy baby! I continue to relive my amazing birth experience over and over, filling myself with joy and love. My quick and easy recovery speaks volumes about my birth experience and the guidance I received. I cannot thank you enough for the care and attention you gave, including the support I received after my birth.
With heartfelt appreciation and love"
"We were blessed to have Tracy living in our community and working at our birth center of choice Yayasan Bumi Sehat Klinik in Ubud, Bali. Throughout our third trimester, labor, birth and postpartum weeks, Tracy was a wise, loving, calm, respectful and comforting presence. She treated us better than family. Our daughter’s birthday was truly a spiritual pivot point in my life. It’s hard to reimagine without Tracy’s presence providing the physical and emotional support that allowed such a beautiful experience. While in labor she gave me the best advice—RELAX—and she helped make it possible. Tracy was present throughout labor and delivery, as well as for the powerful ceremony 24 hours after the birth when we burned through the umbilical cord to separate our baby from her placenta. We would be thrilled to have another baby in Tracy’s care!"
"Tracy Lough is one of the most kind hearted, gentle, and caring people I have ever met. I fell in love with her the moment I met her. Choosing Tracy as our midwife was the perfect fit for our family. She generously shared her knowledge and wisdom while always supporting our family’s decisions and informed choices. Our appointments with Tracy always felt spacious and thorough. The way she gently acknowledged our unborn baby made us all feel well cared for. During our birth, Tracy helped me and my whole family feel safe. When I found myself in moments of doubt, her kind touch and clear eyes helped me relax, let go, and birth our baby. Just as she had cared for us during pregnancy, her care of us after the birth was perfect for our family. Even now I know I can call Tracy anytime with questions about parenthood, as I have, and that she will be present and open to sharing from her life experience as a midwife and mother. Tracy will always have a special place in all our hearts, and I highly recommend her as a midwife."
Welcoming Dawn Midwives Olympia McCutchan and Tracy Lough
We trust in the ability of women to choose how, where and with whom to give birth and believe women possess instinctual knowledge about how to birth their own baby. As Licensed Midwives, we approach pregnancy and birth using evidence based resources while being rooted in the art of traditional midwifery.