The Midwives

Darlene & Brianna

 

Darlene Curtis, L.M.

The greatest joy in a woman’s life is to be a mother, The second is to be a midwife…
My name is Darlene Curtis and I am the mother of four beautiful children, and five grandchildren. Since witnessing the birth of my little brother 25 years ago, I knew that I wanted to do birth work. It just took me a while to figure out exactly in what capacity. When I witnessed my first home birth 21 years ago, I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a midwife. But first, I had to finish having my own babies.
After the birth of my third child Cody, I completed the Doula training course and quickly became immersed in birth as a birthing assistant. At the same time, I was also a facilitator for a Cesarean/VBAC Support group, and attended about 50 Vaginal Births After Cesarean. I loved what I was doing and learned so much. By the time I had my last baby in 1994, I had attended well over 100 births and finally had my own homebirth that I had always imagined. It was such a wonderful experience being at home, supported my family and midwives, that it only served to cement in my heart that I was on the right path.After completing two years of nursing prerequisites, I enrolled in the Seattle Midwifery School in 1996, and because of my previous experience was able to graduate early in the summer of 1998. By this time I had welcomed over 250 babies and I loved every moment! One of my other dreams was to someday open my own birth center in Everett. So, as soon as I obtained my midwifery license, I quickly began pursuing my dream. In May of 1999, Janine Walker and I founded Cascade Midwives and Birth Center!

My dream was finally a reality, I couldn’t believe it!Not only am I dedicated to women and their families, but I am also committed to working for my professional organization, The Midwives Association of Washington State or MAWS. I have served on the Board of Directors since becoming a licensed midwife. I am devoted to continually striving to promote midwifery and let everyone know about the wonderful option of midwifery care. I am proud to share that I received the Annual Award of The Midwives Association of Washington State for Outstanding Merit and Service in October of 2000. I was so touched to have been acknowledged that way, when there are so many midwives out there that devote the same amount of time and effort on behalf of other midwives, women and their families in Washington. In 2004 I was the co-creator of the Quality Midwiferey Program through my professional organization MAWS.

Since founding Cascade Birth Center, we have helped almost 1000 families welcome their newest addition. I feel blessed to be able to witness these amazing women give birth, and watching as another new family is born. I am truly honored when families choose me to participate in this wonderful moment in their lives.

 

Brianna Curtis, L.M.

 

Hi, I’m Brianna. In 1994 I witnessed my brother being born at home. it was Briannamagical and totally awesome for my 7 year old self. At this point, I thought being a Veterinarian would be the perfect job for me. I quickly came to realize I actually just had a crazy deep love for dogs and midwifery was my true love. Since that realization, I never even considered anything else.  For me, it was just a given that someday I would be a midwife, I had never really questioned it. After Darlene (my mom) and I had been going to births together for well over a year, a lovely postpartum mama asked me what made want to be in the birth room or deliver babies and I sat for a second kind of laughing at the fact that I first of all, had never been asked that question (as weird as that sounds) and secondly, I hadn’t even considered another career other than my fleeting veterinarian dream. Growing up watching my mom empower and help these beautiful families grow just made sense, I knew its what was in my heart. I began birth assisting with my mom in early 2006, still a senior in high school. This lit something fierce within me that solidified this is what I would be doing. Not long after graduating high school, I did some traveling and had my own babies in 2008 and 2011.  I finished my nursing prerequisites and shortly after that, started midwifery school. I began In Fall of 2011 and was officially a licensed midwife in Fall of 2014.
Being a midwife is the most rewarding job. It completes me on the hardest of days. People are always a little shocked to hear babies are not what motivates me. It’s the bellies. It’s the undeniable strength of these women doing the hardest thing they will ever do and watching the whole family’s growth in these special moments. From hearing the first heart beat, to holding their baby for the first time, it is something magical that is difficult to put into words.
I feel so fortunate to work side by side with my mom, I continually learn from her daily. But more than that, I am so lucky to witness and be a part of helping families grow.