Hey everyone, I just got a call from Pat Schwaiger (CPM) in Billings and she informed me that she will be reopening her practice! She travels, and I know for a fact that she will travel as far as Glendive. She accepts clients on an individual basis so you have to talk to her. Good luck everyone!!
Sidney, MT: Seeking open-minded, open-hearted natural mamas, doulas, midwives, birth advocates - Page 2
Hello! This is Pat Schwaiger, RN, CPM, Licensed Midwife, and indeed, I am back in business. I do homebirths. Too young to retire, too old to think a midwife could EVER retire! With my student, Katrina, now operating her own clinic in Billings, I have decided to venture out and serve those families in the remote areas of eastern Montana. I'll still catch babies in Billings, but now I'm going to specialize in these long-distance deliveries. (In 29 years, I've only arrived late at three births - I drive fast.) The other big news is that Wyoming has finally legalized midwifery. They even made me chairperson of their new State Licensing Board of Midwifery. I'm calling it "poetic justice", because way back in 1991 Wyoming placed an injunction against me for practicing medicine without a license, and now they've made me Chairman of the Board. God is good.
So ... if you live in northern Wyoming or eastern Montana, give me a call: 406-665-7144, or visit my website: www.mountainmidwives.com
Blessings to all of you for your determination to do mothering your own way. ~Pat
Wow--ladies, thanks for writing and keeping this thread hopping with such great connections and information. I'm thrilled to hear about the doulas, midwives, and those in training who are living nearby and/or willing to travel to eastern MT. This is wonderful news to hear that midwives are willing to travel to eastern MT for home births!
This is Cynthia in Sidney again, who originally started this discussion thread out of a personal and professional desire for natural birth connections; I haven't checked this discussion in a month and a half because life just keeps on happening, esp. with our spirited two year old Katharine who keeps us quite busy.
Pat, I will definitely be writing down your contact information to stay in touch. How about traveling to Sidney for home birth? Where will you provide prenatal care, or will you travel partway for that? We're ready to start trying to conceive again, and hearing about more options makes me feel more hopeful, safer, and not quite so alarmed about the scarcity of midwives. It's like I can relax and focus on inviting a new life in, instead of getting ready for a natural birth fight with the OB's around here (or trying to do it myself). Eudine in Glendive, what is your contact information?
I just finished Ina May Gaskin's newest book, Birth Matters, and I've been ordering more inspiring and kick ass birthing books, hoping that I can deepen my understanding, stay strong, live into my instinct that I need to birth my second child at home (or at least a loving birth center nearby), and be empowered to experience pregnancy and birth the way I did it with Katharine with the help of our wonderful CPM midwife in Bozeman.
Happy Spring to you all, and thanks for making my evening so lovely with your responses.
Sidney is over four hours away from me. Please try to conceive so that this will be a summer-time baby! Threre are never any guarantees that a midwife will arrive at your house before the baby does, but four hours is more challenging than most. In a situation such as yours, there would be several things to consider:
1. Being mentally prepared to deliver in the hospital in the event that labor lasts less than four hours. (I do not advocate unattended birth at home).
2. Likewise thinking about getting your prenatal care there in Sidney, with me seeing you maybe three times during your pregnancy.
3. Contacting Ollie Hamilton, CPM from Great Falls, who is sometimes willing to come to your house a week or so in advance. She stays in her RV parked near your place.
4. Waiting until I can get someone in your area trained and licensed. I am aware of a couple of ladies in your neck of the woods who are interested in apprenticing.
As for where we would meet for prenatals, I am willing to to do three prenatal housecalls. I charge 50 cents per mile of travel outside of Yellowstone County. If you wanted complete prenatal care for me, you would need to come to Billings for that, which can get to be a pretty uncomfortable trip late in pregnancy.
I'm sure willing to do my best for you. Please know that there's always a chance that I might be committed to another family, due at the same time, and in those cases, we pray ... a lot ... that two moms don't go into labor at the same time! Like I said, there are no guarantees. The key is to THINK and PLAN, and stay sensible in all of it. Home birth should be a blessing, not a burden.
Good luck to you! ~Pat
Thanks so much for your detailed, honest, and compassionate reply. There is quite a lot of distance between where we live, and it would be quite a commitment and a dance to try to work together, as well as much driving and expense! That could get taxing and stressful. I will keep you posted. I'm still thrilled to know that you are a great possibility for other women, and maybe for myself if I didn't find options closer to me.
I have heard from Crysta (a birth doula in training in Williston, ND, 45 miles from Sidney, who has also written on this discussion thread) that she knows of a few midwives who may be working in or near Sidney (or who are at least much closer to me across the ND border). I am very curious and excited to talk to her too about this, as well as to see if we can network as local doulas out here (I'm now a certified postpartum doula and also helped at births many years ago).
Thanks and blessings,
Be careful. If a North Dakota midwife delivers a baby in Montana, then she is in violation of Montana licensing laws. Now, I know, on the surface this would appear to validate the devotion of the North Dakota midwife to the freedom of homebirth moms, and the cause of midwifery in general. Yep, I was once one of those renegades myself! 'Guess I've grown up over the years. There are a couple of things to consider about this Robin Hood mentality.
First, is she jeopardizing her own children's or husband's future, by attending your birth? If she gets caught - and yes they still put midwives in jail - if she gets caught, what happens to her own family? If she takes these risks with her own kids, what kind of risks will she take with you or your baby?
And second, I am personally aware of a ND midwife who crossed state lines to attend an attempted VBAC in the home of a Miles City woman. After a long labor with minimal progress, the midwife chose (wisely, I'm sure) to send the woman to the hospital. But because the midwife knew that she herself would get caught if she accompanied her client, she chose to just go home to ND, and leave the woman to face the inevitable C-Section on her own. Now, this mother had called me early in her pregnancy, and requested my service. Later in her pregnancy, she called back to say that she had made arrangements with the ND midwife. So I knew this was going on. Well, when the doctor at the hospital inquired as to who the midwife was, and WHERE the midwife was, the exhausted mother chose to protect the ND midwife, and reported that Pat Schwaiger (ME!!!) was the one who had abandoned her and dumped her out on the hospital door step. You can imagine the flack I had to take. Lucky for me, I recognized the client's name and could defend myself! But worse yet, you can imagine the pain and loss suffered by that poor mom without anyone there at the hospital to advocate for her. And what about the North Dakota midwife? She was probably sweating bullets all the way home. Licensure is a hassle, but it's necessary to protect the public. Violations cause everybody trouble.
So again, I say, Be Careful. If you're using a North Dakota midwife, do it in North Dakota, where she can stay by your side, and not bring harm to you, herself, her own family, or to a sister midwife.
Putting together a prenatal/birth/postpartum resource sheet for this eastern MT area is a wonderful idea. I'd love to get a copy of it once you finish. Although I don't yet have reliable part-time childcare for my toddler, I'd like to be listed, with the hopes that I can start providing Sidney-area postpartum doula care soon:
Cynthia Jordan Delaney, PCD(DONA)
Postpartum Certified Doula
Also, I'd suggest adding the names of natural birth helpers who live just over the border. For example, in the last two months I've been befriending two new birth doulas, Crysta and Karli, from Williston, ND, 45 miles from Sidney. They are having a difficult time finding clients and getting the word out about their doula services, and have told me that they would be willing to travel to Sidney. If that's okay with you, I will check with them.
Here are the names and contact information for the two doulas in Williston. I received their blessing to post this here for you so you can add them to your list; they really want to spread the word and increase their ability to help pregnant women:
Williston, ND (willing to travel to eastern MT)
Williston, ND (willing to travel to eastern MT)
And since you said you were also interested in mental health providers for your list, I'll include the name of my supportive counselor based in Sidney (a godsend as I struggled to adjust to moving to Sidney through this last brutal winter):
Sunrise City Counseling
I hope this helps, and in time for your deadline too! Are you compiling a list for DONA certification? I remember when I had to compile a gigantic resource list to become a DONA postpartum doula; after putting together nearly 20 pages of Bozeman-based resources in numerous categories, we needed to move to Sidney five months later! Whoops. . . so much for being able to fully make use of the fruits of my labor and knowledge in Bozeman.
So seriously, if you are willing to share your list (or even a part of it---and I understand that it can be difficult to share the wealth after putting so much effort into it), I'd really appreciate it because I still have a limited grasp of the pregnancy, postpartum, and family resources in eastern MT.
And one more name for your list, a wonderful massage therapist (I've had a few massages with her), who has told me she does prenatal and postpartum massage as well:
Body Bliss Massage
And you probably already have the names of the two traveling midwives for eastern MT: Ollie Hamilton from Great Falls and Pat Schwaiger from Billings.
Wow, I guess I have greater knowledge of local resources than I thought!