first light community midwivesFor the birth of my first son, Chester, I worked with Chris and Julie as my midwives. They were an amazing pair and they complemented each other beautifully to create a peaceful, beautiful and fun environment for me to give birth in. I felt safe and supported by both of them and enjoyed their presence at Chester's birth. I couldn't have asked for a better, more dynamic team of midwives to help me have the birth I desired... –Gina Forbes

first light commmunity midwives families
I always looked forward to my appointments and found Chris' easy laughter contagious. The relaxed atmosphere that she created really made me feel confident in my own power as well as that of my partner and my baby. –Rachel Katz

GRETA’S BIRTH by Jackie Ottino Graf
Dawn’s pale light filters through the windows of the front room. It is Memorial Day weekend, the lilacs are in bloom, the air thick with the perfume of flowers and foliage and life. A beautiful day for our third baby to join the family. I’ve been up with contractions since 3 am, and have come downstairs to move a little while we wait for the Chris and Julie. Glad to be in labor, sad to be in labor. I love that amazing first few weeks of baby so much that I almost hate for it to come, because it is gone in a heartbeat.

Midwives arrive. Decide that if I don’t get back upstairs, I’m not going to be able to. Say good morning to my 2 sons, and send them down to breakfast with friends.

Enter the sanctuary of the birth pool, in the cocoon of the bedroom. Breathe and moan and laugh. People make coffee, tea. 3 year old comes to visit and make progress reports.

As the morning light changes, we hold hands and get primal. I can feel the baby’s head moving lower, deeper. But I hate to push so I just let it. One huge contraction and the water breaks. The next one, baby’s head is out. Then, a baby in my arms. Purple and screaming. Ecstasy.

We melt together for many minutes until Lee insists we look. And finally, our daughter.

Shortly after, Greta and I snuggle in the big bed while friends make breakfast for us. Lee makes the wrong tea. He can’t function in baby stupor. Chris makes the right tea and stitches me up, again. I’m glad she can sew.

The boys come in to meet baby sister. They kiss her and smell her and Brigham wonders why she has 2 bums. We laugh and hang out, and then it’s just us. Peace.

I conceived my son at the age of 40, with much intention. I put that same careful thought into my birth plan. I chose Chris Yentes and Julie Havener to be my midwives because they seemed competent, caring, and community oriented, but also because they clearly respected women's choices.

They expressed support for my decision to take on single motherhood, and were non-judgmental about my desire to simultaneously plan a home birth with them and receive prenatal care from nurse midwives at a medical practice. During our prenatal visits, Chris and her apprentice Ann provided me with reading material, advice, encouragement, and reassurance. I felt fully prepared for the arrival of my child, thanks to their support and the resources.

When my water broke 11 days after my due date, and it had meconium in it, Chris' matter-of-fact explanation of the range of possible implications helped to calm me. Because effective labor still hadn't begun 16 hours later, and the baby's heart was decelerating with contractions, we all agreed to drive to the hospital birth center. During the decision-making process, it was obvious that neither Chris nor Julie was hampered by an overactive ego - they were professionals advising their patient.

first light community midwivesI couldn't have asked for a better birth experience. Chris was there with me, collaborating effectively with the nurse midwife, labor nurse, and my chosen coaches. She administered homeopathic remedies to stimulate effective labor, and I gave birth swiftly and powerfully, with full support from the entire team.

Given the increased risks of fetal stress, the pediatrician was in the birthing room, ready to check the baby as soon as he emerged. Chris stuck to my boy like a burdock seed! She ensured that he had loving human contact even as the medical professionals were checking his lungs and vitality, and she urged my family members to participate in the earliest moments of the baby's life.

Our post-natal visits were equally helpful, as I navigated breast-feeding, co-sleeping, and more.

I heartily recommend Chris Yentes and Julie Havener as midwives. They undeniably proved themselves to be as competent, caring, community-oriented and respectful as I expected - Chrissy Fowler

It was a real pleasure working with Chris. The individualized care and the quality of care we received could not be matched. –Sarah Burgess

first light community midwivesWe are so fortunate to have found our wonderful midwives. We feel truly blessed to have had the support of these loving, knowledgeable and skilled women to surround us as we welcomed our children into our family. The professional care and loving attention our family received was a true gift. Autum & Zach

Amanda, Siler & ShepardWhen I became pregnant for the first time, I wanted health care that would give me professional guidance and opinions, but would respect my decisions that I make for my own body and baby. After meeting Chris and Julie, I knew they would do just that. They treated me as a unique person. Their experienced help and supportive care have been exceptional. I felt safer and more confident in their expertise. Labor and birth can be one of the hardest and most wonderful experiences a woman faces. Chris and Julie worked hard to make sure that my pregnancy and birth experiences went well. I have given birth to 5 babies and Chris was with me for all of them, Julie was there for 3. I especially enjoyed it when they worked together because they complement one another very well. Their job is not always glamorous; however, I am grateful for these women who are willing to be midwives. I thank God for the blessing that Chris and Julie have been to me. – Amanda Schrader