I snapped a few pictures of Porter the other day in his BNM t-shirt that we received at the the hospital, and thought this one came out cute so i thought I would send it to you. He is doing amazing - nearly 8 months, loving trying new foods, loves to sit, practice walking, he pulls himself up on stuff and is SO close to crawling! He is the happiest little boy too - so interactive and laughs at everything. I often think of my birth experience and how amazing it was, Thanks again for all of your support throughout the whole process. I actually found the entire experience so life changing that I decided to pursue a degree in nursing and am hoping to eventually get a masters in midwifery. I want to be a part of giving women the same incredible, empowering birth experience that I was privileged with.
After I had been laboring at the hospital for about 45 minutes (after you guided me through 19 hours of labor at home) you said to me, "Tanya, whenever you want me to check you, we can see where you are." That lovely, respectful exchange is why I chose to be cared for by midwives. I think it's awesome that I went through my entire labor and birth (a) with only one cervical check and (b) without ever touching the hospital bed (but for that stubborn placenta.) Your care - lavender oil, massage, shoulder relaxation, steady words of support, being there every minute (and the fact that you wore casual clothes and just gloves, and not a "full hazmat suit") - was truly invaluable to us, and we cherish it.
Angela, thank you for guiding me through an amazing labor and birth with your intuitive attention and sincere care. You absolutely enabled the birth that we wanted, and I will never tire of telling the story. Trust in my body was one of your many gifts, and I will carry that with me always.
- Morning Sky
My second child, Morning Sky, was born into the loving hands of Merrilyn Artman. I had been terrified going into my second pregnancy due to the experiences I had with my first labor & delivery 11 years prior. Merrilyn washed all those fears away & made me feel very safe & cared for during my labor & delivery. It really is true that the second time around is much easier because your body remembers- even if it is ELEVEN years later.
We arrived at the hospital about 5am. Snowflakes were falling silently outside, the air was still, and the mountains were snow-covered. Everything was peaceful about that morning. I was wheeled up to my room with my husband & 11 year old daughter in tow. Once I was able to get into the tub I stayed there. The water helped to lessen the pain of contractions so much. Merrilyn held my hair while I got sick. She put lip balm on my lips. When it was time to push I got out of the tub & she cheered me on. My husband held my hand & reminded me to breathe with each contraction. My older daughter brought me water, but mostly played her video game (with headphones). After a total of 7 hours of labor & about 10 pushes, my new sweet baby girl was born.
I can never express my full gratitude to Merrilyn for the wonderful healing experience she gave us the morning our daughter was born.
- Zoe Nila
This is the unedited, uncensored birth story. It is really, really long. I have been writing it intermittently during the babe's naps this week. There is really so much more I could say, but this will just have to do. Thank you all for being part of my/our life!
I am grateful beyond measure to Noel for every moment, Meghan for that grounding, spacious night, Boulder Nurse Midwives for their amazing trust of women and their strong intuition and incredible support. Birthing from Within and Erika, for inspiration, grounding and trust of myself and the situation, Patrice, for being with us in spirit, my family, for being here and witnessing this milestone in my life, and my incredible friends for so much support and love. And Zoe for making it all possible.
Thank you and Angela for everything! I am so happy that I chose you guys for my pregnancy care! I will be back if I ever have another baby!
- Oliver Lee
My son was born on November 22nd, 2008 and it was a magical experience. I was planning on having my son around Dec. 1st, and was completely surprised when I got a phone call from Merrilynn, while eating a lazy lunch and watching a movie, saying I had to come in for induction because my placenta had tired out. My boyfriend and I just looked at each other knowing that one of my biggest fears was having to be induced. I wanted to go the all natural way, with no epidural. We quickly cleaned the house, packed a bag and headed to the hospital. I was so nervous, but all the nurses were so sweet and caring and I felt safe knowing that Angela would be arriving shortly. I couldn't possibly imagine anyone else delivering my son into the world then her. She was truly an angel in that room with me. I had back labor for going on 20 hours, when I finally broke down and cried out for an epidural. That same moment, my water broke. Angela took my hand and told me, in her calming and soothing voice, that she knew I could do it and I was strong enough. I got a new wind of inspiration and 19 minutes later, Oliver Lee Nelson-Meinert was on my chest. He was a healthy 6 pounds with a full head of dark brown, thick hair! I am so thankful to have been taken care of by the midwives throughout my pregnancy and delivery and can't wait to tell my son the story of his birth when he's older.
- Welcome Norah Emmaline
In the beginning of our pregnancy, Dave and I decided we wanted to take childbirth classes together in order to best experience the pregnancy and our growing little girl. I loved the idea of a natural and drug-free childbirth but was deep down a bit nervous, wondering if it was only for those truly hearty women. But as our classes progressed, we both became more and more excited about the benefits of this type of birth. So we were so excited to discover Boulder Nurse Midwives. We were immediately at ease with Merrilynn and all of the prenatal support she gave us, including informative visits and even calls on the weekend...
...the next thing I remember, my tiny, warm and wet little baby was placed on my belly. She nursed immediately and was so alert, even making eye contact!
Though our birth started out differently than we had hoped, it finished so beautifully. And we were thankful for a natural birth, despite the need to be induced. It was ALL worth it! Thank you, Merrilynn, for enabling us to have such a perfect birth experience. We are totally enjoying our giggling 4 month old!
Annika Alys Bucci Jacobson was born on July 19, 2008, at 2:24 pm. It was truly an amazing and beautiful labor and birth. Annika came into the world weighing 7 lbs. 8oz, with a full head of dark hair, and big, cute cheeks!
We're overjoyed by this precious addition to our family. Big Sister Julia is just delighted.
Thanks again for all that you did to contribute to an incredible birth!! It was such a great experience and surpassed ALL expectations.
I came to see Merrilynn & Chris about half way though my pregnancy and was ecstatic that I would be able to deliver my 3rd daughter with a midwife like I had with my previous girls in Seattle. The both of them were wonderful, caring and sensitive to my needs during the pregnancy and delivery. Their nurturing touch was exactly what I needed. Merrilynn was my calm during delivery, keeping the moment sacred and special as life entered our family making us complete. I loved the experience of having my last child and a healing for me to have such an incredible, beautiful delivery.
- Eloise Elise
Not only is Boulder Nurse-Midwives' approach to health care revolutionary, accepting both uninsured and medicaid patients, during a time in which the rising cost of health care often prevents low-income and immigrant Mother's from receiving proper prenatal care, their compassion for and attention to each individual patient is a refreshing break from the twenty minute visit typically provided by a more traditional prenatal care facility. Arriving in Boulder just two months before my delivery date, Merrilynn was able to foster within me the trust and confidence necessary for a healthy delivery. Another wonderful aspect of Boulder Nurse-Midwives is their close attention to postpartum care, which so often goes overlooked in the Western model of health care. Merrilynn went out of her way to ensure my continued recovery and adjustment into motherhood.
Welcome Little Man
I need to write about the labor and delivery of my first son before the anesthesia of motherhood overpowers the memories. It was a wonderful, quick, challenging and athletic event. Sometime early on in the pregnancy we decided to pursue a natural childbirth, and by the end of my pregnancy felt very strongly about trying to have this baby without any interventions, drugs or unnecessary monitoring. Dave and I were looking forward to having a midwife deliver our first child and knew that this would be the best way for us to achieve our goals of a natural childbirth. On February 23rd, after a VERY slow hike on Sanitas...
...Next thing you know they are handing us this tiny, little being with a crazy messed up lopsided, bruised cone head. It tilted super far to the right and had a big purple bruise at the top of the cone. But we loved him so much and snuggled him in. We still hadnít finalized the name, so we discussed quickly and decided on Westyn Levi because the rising sun had lit up the mountains in the west a beautiful rose pink while he was making his way into this world. It was a tough, emotional and incredible experience and I was so thankful that Merrilyn and her team were there to share it with us.
May 12th, 2008, 4:03am. 7lbs 4oz
True to his 2nd name (meaning "swift" in Gaelic), he arrived after less than 1 hour of labor (some of which occurred during the drive to the hospital -- no time for drugs - yeowwch!) We are all doing well, Mom's on the mend and baby's eating (well, drinking) like a champ. Devin is a bit bemused but also happy (note his expression in the pic).
Born March 2, 2008
We were so happy to have found Boulder Nurse Midwives during our pregnancy. We were hoping for a natural birth for our first baby, and we knew that we were going to need some serious support if this wish had a chance of succeeding! When we met Merrilynn and Chris, experienced their laid back and conscientious care during prenatal visits, and found out that they'd be with us throughout the entire labor, we felt like we'd hit the jackpot. My labor began at 2:30 a.m. on the day before my due date. I woke up and just knew that these contractions were different...
...We didn't find out the sex ahead of time, so it was really awesome to have the baby on my chest and for my husband and I to discover that we'd had a baby GIRL! We named her Lilah Beatrix, and she was alert and amazing from the first moment. I credit her health ('pink as a raspberry' according to the pediatrician), ease in breastfeeding, and my pretty swift recovery to a natural pregnancy and delivery. It's not the easiest route, but I would definately choose it again.
First, things are great!!! We feel really lucky and really blessed!!! Breastfeeding, recovery and baby all seem to have shot along swimmingly. Baby Sterling regained his birthweight before his first week was even out. Rightly or no, we attribute much to natural childbirth, which we were lucky enough to swing...
After a night of false labor, we were pretty stubborn about admitting we were in actual labor despite having contractions all day and even through our last birthing class the following evening...as soon as we got home, we tried to stop them with snacks, drinks and a shower... but when I hollered from inside the shower that I was still contracting every 5-8 mins, it was time to send the husband to bed...just in case. :) I wanted to wait until they were 3 mins apart so that the hospital could have as little time to monitor and restrict me as possible, and so that was 2am, when my friend Emily and I finally repacked our hospital bags and woke up Douglas. Of course Douglas was ready to tear sheets and boil water instead, but he managed to keep his cool and get us there. It was dumping snow out, so our midwife...
...We'd arrived at the hospital at 2:45 and had a beautiful new love, new valentine, beautiful baby boy on my chest and in our world and lives by 5:18am!
January 28, 2008
Hereís the wonderful full story of Andersonís birth.
When I was 37 weeks pregnant, I witnessed the birth of my niece with Merrilynnís assistance. It was beautiful and was the type of labor, delivery, and birth that I had always wanted. At that point, I called and asked Merrilynn if I could switch from my doctorís practice to Boulder Nurse Midwives. I was 38 weeks when I made the switch and Iím so glad that I did.
Anderson was born at 10:45 pm. He was 7 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches long. It was everything I wanted and nothing that I didnít want: no interventions, no iv, intermittent monitoring, I was allowed to labor and deliver where I was comfortable, and most importantly no tearing and no drugs. I did it with the best support I could have imagined: my husband, Merrilynn Artman and my sister-in-law. All were by my side offering encouragement and support every step of the way.
- My husband John and I had the pleasure of working with the midwives in Boulder.
The care we received was always professional, attentive and very
supportive. Merrilynn Artman CNM, delivered our daughter Zoe in September 2006 at
Foothills Hospital. Merrilynn's presence created an environment that felt calm, grounding,
safe and empowering. Merrilynn is a highly skilled midwife and compassionate woman that
helped create the birth experience that we hoped for and dreamed of. Thank you from the
bottom of our hearts. Lori, John and Zoe
- Anders and Savannah
- The births of our two children were more than we could have asked for. We were
new to the experience of midwives, but had been told that once we had a midwife birth
that we would be amazed with the care we received. We were not disappointed. We wanted
to have a birth in the hospital. Merrilynn delivered both of our children and every
decision we made she supported. Her genuine care and grace made both of our births
extra special. She supported, without judgment, every decision we made concerning our
own personal situation.
Gia and I lean towards doing this in a natural way but have a moderate approach to all things. We have some reservations about how western medicine looks at a birth but we understand that when it comes to an emergency it is the best. Having a Nurse midwife was the absolute perfect formula for our way. We were able to connect with Merrilynn to guide us through this magical yet scary moment in our bringing children into this world. It was clear as day when we met her, she had all the qualities we were looking for and even ones we didnít think were reasonable to hope for. She is gentle and keenly aware. We both had a feeling that we were in the presence of someone who was completely versed in all the benefits of a western birth in balance with the natural ways we were aspiring for.
Through out all of our visits with Merrilynn we had the experience of consulting with a friend. Even embarrassing aspects of the process of the pregnancy became subject as easy to discuss as the weather. We spoke about things freely and always had a compassionate ear. The advice she gave covered a wide range of disciplines. From much needed medicine to a good foot rub she always had advice that would address our needs and solve the challenge. Meeting after meeting we developed a friendship which is really what I would hope for all people going through a birth. With this dynamic we felt that our birth could easily stay within our influence.
A birth is an intense process. With our first birth we had prodromal labor which made the process long and slow. My wife wanted to have a birth with out the use of drugs. I thought this was crazy but supported her completely. Merrilynn did everything to help us maintain this process. In the end we had to augment the birth which involved the use of drugs. While this was not our original plan it was what needed to happen. We were in labor for 4 days and my wifeís body couldnít take it any more. We had a say in how the entire process unfolded. Merrilynn supported all of our decisions and when we said that we thought it was time make a change, there was no sense of failure. Merrilynn moved with us, as we needed advice she would share in a non-persuasive way.
Gia and I are confident that the reason she didnít have an episiotomy was because Merrilynn spent so much time with us. She took the necessary time to see us through. She spent time preparing Gia in every way. In the most intense moment of our lives we were guided with grace.
Our second child was a little less intense; we knew a little which helps a lot. Gia had given birth 18 months before. Merrilynn understood us and had a way of keeping the information flow in harmony with what we needed to be refreshed on. This was a bit different going through a pregnancy with a baby to take care of. There were different things that became important and other challenges that were inherent with our situation. Merrilynn gave well informed advice. She has children which I know is a big part of how she relates. She is always calm, supportive and concerned. I couldnít wish for better care through the joyous occasion we had, intense, yet joyous.
I feel as I have been writing about our birth I have been glowing about our caregiver, but I feel the words still fall short. It is so important to have the right people involved in a birth.
I delivered my first baby with a group of midwives that were doing wonderful work in Arizona. I had an amazing delivery with that group of midwives, I think mainly because I was able to trust their judgments and their philosophies toward birth. When we moved to Colorado and got pregnant with my second child, I was seeing Merrilynn at Peopleís Clinic.
Merrilynn was able to completely alleviate all my concerns of not having the type of delivery (i.e. in a birth center) that I had with my first child. I trusted her judgment, felt safe in here care and knew that her philosophy toward labor, delivery and birth were close to mine and so I could trust her decisions. What this did for me was to allow me to relax in my pregnancy and when I arrived at the hospital in labor and saw Merrilynnís face, I was able to relax in to my labor and delivery as well.
I had a beautiful, wonderful delivery of my second child. I owe a lot of its success to knowing that I was well taken care of throughout my pregnancy and that I would be well taken care of in labor and delivery.