This fall while Meredith is in on maternity leave and enjoying her first months as a new mother (so exciting–but I miss you already Meredith!), we welcome two birth assistants to the Motherland Midwifery team- Ana Gonzalez, a German-trained midwife living in Collingswood who will be primarily assisting clients in New Jersey, and Janeyne Sexton, an Philadelphia-based RN with a range of experience and training in birth over the past decade who will be primarily assisting clients in Philadelphia and the Western Suburbs. Both proficient birth assistants, they will be helping me (Christy) at births through the spring (& possibly beyond) and also observing/participating in prenatal visits in more of a student/apprentice capacity starting this month.
I’m really excited to be working with both Ana and Janeyne- we did our first births together Labor Day weekend (how appropriate!) and they each brought calm, positive, energy to the experiences for both the families and for me!
Please welcome them! If you are a current client you will be meeting one or both of them soon! (Just to clarify–only one of them will be coming to each birth.)
My path to midwifery started in the year 2000 when I witnessed the beauty of birth for the first time. The experience of seeing a women gently birthing her child at her own rhythm, of her own strength, and in a safe dignified place inspired me to become a midwife.
A few months later, I enrolled in the School of Midwifery in Bochum, Germany. My training consisted of a mixture of didactic studies and hands-on experience in a high volume perinatal hospital. Four years later, in 2005, I graduated with my Certificate of Midwifery and began working on the labor and delivery floor at Augusta Hospital in Bochum, Germany, which is a medium sized, low-risk hospital. Over the next five years, I served as the primary midwife for about 350 women giving birth. Also, I regularly taught birth preparation classes to expecting parents and did countless postnatal care visits (Note from Christy: In Germany every woman who gives birth gets up to 10 postpartum home visits in the first 2 weeks after birth regardless of birth setting—amazing!)
After getting married to my American husband, Tom, in 2009, I moved to the US to begin a new life with him. After taking some time to make the transition to life in the US, I am happily and eagerly ready to continue my path as a midwife. My goal is to become a Certified Professional Midwife and so I contacted Christy to gain experience in the home setting and learn more about being a midwife in this country. I look forward to providing support to women in their childbearing year while assisting them in having a positive and empowering birthing experience.
As a West Philadelphia native and mother of two, my interest in attending birth began during my first pregnancy. I lived in Virginia at the time; had little success finding a midwife and limited knowledge regarding birth. I studied to avoid being shuffled through an impersonal medical system and to arrange for the type of birth I felt I desired, natural, without intervention or augmentation. This led to a wonderful opportunity to experience having my daughter, Oyin, at home which stoked my courage to pursue what soon became a passion for midwifery.
Upon returning to Philadelphia, I chose to break from studies in herbal medicine and attend nursing school. Advised that doula work would provide a setting where I could become more intimate with the craft, I trained with the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) to become a Full Circle doula. Shortly thereafter, I was selected by Birthing Project USA to work as a midwives’ assistant on two international medical delegations to coastal Honduras. Working alongside grand midwives who represented various parts of the United States, I had the opportunity to help facilitate trainings which provided traditional Garifuna midwives with supplies and skills not commonly accessible in the region. This experience was tremendously educational, provided me with a depth of perspective regarding birth that I repeatedly draw from, and was part of a remarkable progression of events which has included receiving a degree in nursing and passing the Pennsylvania State Board Nursing Examination in 2009.
Since that time, I have had the privilege of working with families as a doula and of sharing the very sacred first moments of life with them. In addition to working and learning with the amazing staff at The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr Pa, I am currently enrolled in the post-licensure BSN program at Thomas Jefferson University.
It is because of my personal introduction to the miraculous and transformative energy of pregnancy and birth, as well as the blessings I have received being able to experience it within my own sanctuary, that I support home birth options. Working with Christy as midwife for the birth of my son, Djoser, and now as a mentor is a precious gift; I feel blessed and honored to be able to function as a part of something so profound and powerful. My gratitude extends to each through whom I continue to learn and grow.