Birth Story/Yelp Review
Our Birth Stories
We decided to go with a home birth around 28 weeks in our pregnancy. Up until that time, we had been receiving prenatal care and classes at UCSF with their midwives. While UCSF was great, we realized we wanted to try homebirth since our pregnancy was low risk. We got a few referrals and Sue was one of the midwives that was highly recommended to us. We were completely new to the home birth community and culture, but one of the easiest decisions we made in life was contracting Sue for our care.
Sue provided all the relevant information you would need. She had a thorough intake survey, which covers all the aspects of your birth plan. She has a survey for the partner to fill out which made my husband feel involved and important in this process. The payment process was clear and outlined in a written contract. We had the choice of doing a payment plan, which helped us immensely. Appointments were relaxing at home and for as long as we needed. She did all the necessary physical examinations and then checked in with us as a couple. I would say it's 75% midwifery and 25% therapy. At the time, I didn't think we needed all the emotional support. She helped us to be mindful of each other as future parents. Sue listens to you and will give you the space and time you need to identify the questions and concerns you have as prospective parents.... something the hospital/doctor's office environment never allowed for. Sue asked to have her apprentice join us and it was really a great thing to have a second support person around. Lauren Miller was her apprentice at the time and a great source of kindness and positive energy during our appointments. Sue would give us a lot of suggestions for preparing for the birth (special herbal teas to make, yoga positions to practice, practicing guided imagery, joining a prenatal support group etc...) but all of them where just that, suggestions. She never made a judgment call if I chose to follow them or not. She was 100% supportive of my choices. I learned a lot about becoming a new mom by simply listening to her tell pieces of her life story during our appointments. It helped us to TRUST her. This was so important for us and I think enabled us to have smoother birth because of this relationship we had formed. She is available and online! You can text, e-mail or call her for any concern or question. She sends links to more information on topics of interest and is prompt to respond to all our concerns. I've never had an advice nurse or doctor call me back as quickly as Sue has. Sue is funny.
Our baby came about 4 days before her due date and my birth progressed fairly quickly. Sue was calm and supportive. She took the lead when necessary and gave me the chance to make my own decisions about how to labor and what positions to take. She lets you feel in control of your birth process. The birth went smoothly, I felt safe and well informed at a time when I was most vulnerable. I think this was the #1 benefit from working with a midwife and doing homebirth. I would never have felt as comfortable and free to be myself if I was in a hospital environment.
I do not have a hospital experience to compare it to, but I felt incredibly well attended and supported. The first few days were such a blur of emotions that it helped to see her every day and to feel like we had someone who would help us any time of day with any of our concerns. When I got mastitis she was a coach and cheerleader, at a time that was very stressful and depressing. I wanted to give up on breastfeeding and she helped us to stick to our plan. She helped us to know our own limits as new parents and I felt like she was an advocate for our full emotional and physical recovery. Three years later and Sue still keeps in contact with us.
We also hired Sue and Lauren Miller to assist us in our second homebirth. It was the same great experience with the added support of advice on how to integrate our baby into our (then 2 yo) daughter's life. Sue even planned a special prenatal course for "second timers" from a fellow midwife. It was very nice to have the customized education. Our labor was fast (1.5 hours!) this time around but smooth with no complications postpartum. We'd do it again, but we're not that crazy to have three :)
Why hire Sue?
Sue is awesome. I can't guarantee every person will have the same relationship with her as we did. But I can guarantee that she is a kind, intelligent and experienced practitioner. I wish the world was filled with more people who love what they do and do it with compassion, humility and intellect. Sue embodies that ideal. We're eternally grateful to have met her and enlisted her in our journey to becoming a family.