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“We thank you so much, Melissa, for your kind and gentle care during my pregnancy. Your presence at Reuben’s birth was a gift – I really appreciate your skilled, grounded, and calm presence (and dog-loving energy!) You will always have a special place in our family’s heart.”  - Lisa


“Thank you so much for embarking on the journey of my growing and birthing baby Will. It means the world to us that we brought him into the world in such a loving and gentle way.” - Cara


"After being two weeks late, I was excited and impatient to finally greet my little love. Melissa came in and created a calming environment all around. Her calm presence helped me feel grounded and able to be in control of my own birth, which was so empowering. When things got a little tricky she kept her calm demeanor and was able to help me do exactly what needed to be done to get things moving without making me ever feel like there was any reason to worry. Moments later when my little family and I were all ready to curl up in our own bed with our loving dogs right outside our door, I could not imagine doing it any other way. Words cannot emphasize the gratitude I have for my midwife and all she has done for our family. Blessings and love to you and your loved ones!" – Katie, Chris, & Hunter


“Thank you so much for being such a calm presence during a momentous time in my family’s life.  You are calm, knowing, and most importantly, humorous. And thank you for taking the time to include our youngest in our visits. Your sensitivity radiates.” - Emily


“When my water began leaking at 38 weeks I needed to be monitored closely. Melissa was one of the midwives that visited me every four hours until I finally went into labor 3 days later!  My labor progressed rather quickly and I felt out of control. Melissa was grounded, respectful and capable. She provided professional and heartfelt service. She helped ease my worries and she educated me every step of the way.” - Julie


"Thursday, July 29th, 2010 started like many of the days before it with some morning stretching, walks up and down the long wooded driveway, and relaxing on the front porch with Patrick discussing our eager anticipation of our pending arrival.  At this point I had been experiencing mild, but almost constant contractions. I called our midwife, Melissa, at 4:30 am and let her know that she should start heading our way; we lived just over an hour away from her.  Melissa arrived at 6 am and helped Patrick finish setting up the birth tub in our bedroom.  I don't remember when the midwives actually came in the room to stay, but I was obviously already fully dilated because I was pushing!  Up until this point they were quietly waiting until they were needed by our sides.  It was the most intense and painful experience of my life, but it was also the most amazing; seeing his head slowly getting closer and closer to entering our world.  Our first child was born underwater at 11:37. Patrick pointed out instantly that it was the boy we had been hoping for, Ayden Kenneth Ruppel. Ayden was instantly placed on my chest and seemed so relaxed.  He didn't open his eyes for 12 minutes; I don't think he even realized he had been born.  I know this would never have been the case in the hospital.  Patrick was outside of the tub right behind me and the three of us just enjoyed the bonding experience.  When we were ready, the midwives helped me out of the tub and into our bed while I was still holding Ayden.  The three of us bonded again for another length of time before I birthed the placenta and Patrick cut the umbilical cord.

Our midwives were everything we hoped for.  Throughout the labor they would only peak in the room every once in awhile to see how we were doing, check the baby's heart rate, and ask if we needed anything; other than that, they left us to have the experience alone together.  There were no drugs, iv's, needle pokes, doctors and nurses running in and out, monitors for me, or even dilation checks.  They shared the belief that labor and birth is totally natural, women have been doing it since the dawn of our time, and there is no reason for worry or interjection.  As soon as we were settled in bed together and Ayden and I were given a clean bill of health, they packed up and left as quietly as they came." - Katie, Patrick, & Ayden