Devastated ... moving south of SEA - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies,

I posted the thread below a few weeks back when I thought we were moving to the Mt. Vernon/Camano/Stanwood area. I got such great responses then, I am hoping I can count on you all again.

I just found out we are now being relocated SOUTH of Seattle. We are in search of our ideal home (explained below) anywhere between north of Olympia up to about Tacoma. I am so devastaed... I had my midwife and everything picked out in North Seattle.

Please read my post below, and any midwife suggestions (homebirth or birth center) would also be much appreciated. THANK YOU!

Here is my previous post, edited for our new circumstance.
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Hi Mamas,

I am 5 months pregnant and my husband and I will be moving south of Seattle (Olympia to Tacoma area).

Does anyone have suggestions on where to live for new parents in their early thirties/forties who enjoy the outdoors, farmer's markets, co-ops, and good local restaurants & shops, are a little bit crunchy, mostly liberal, well educated, and despise all things corporate?

Your help is very much appreciated.
Thank you in advance. :
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#2 of 26 Old 02-14-2009, 01:05 AM
 
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Olympia is everything you're describing. I'm sorry you're not going with your orginal plan, but I think once you're settled here you won't be devastated. Olympia is a great place.
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#3 of 26 Old 02-14-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Olympia is fabulous! No idea on mws down there, sorry!

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#4 of 26 Old 02-14-2009, 04:31 AM
 
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The Birthing Inn is a wonderful birth center and located in Tacoma. They are also able to provide you with a list of midwives with privilidges. They also have a great new website with links to bunches of local providers, www.thebirthinginn.com. Good Luck
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#5 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did check out the Birthing Inn and thought it looked wonderful, but was unsure about reputation and their midwives.

Thank you for the input on Olympia, so we would like some options a bit further north... any thoughts? Artsy, hippie, a little rural small town:. My husbands's boss suggested we live in Puyallup (for geographical reasons), anything within say 20-30 miles of there? Looking for a midwife in that area as well.

Thank you again so much.
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#6 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 03:29 AM
 
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Finding anything crunchy with a small town vibe north of Olympia is difficult. Parts of Tacoma, especially the north end are becoming more crunchy. I would highly recommend against Puyallup, it is NOT crunchy at all! Puyallup in my opinion is one of the most conservative cookie cutter areas in the south sound. Trust me I have lived here for 5+ years, and have been trying (or wanting) to move for much of that time (darn the real estate market). Puyallup does have a nice farmers market and a couple of Gems (ie Terries Berries), but all in all you would be wise to aviod Puyallup especially the South Hill area unless you dont mind driving into Tacoma for non-Safewayish groceries and the like.

The Birthing Inn is often confused with Pearl Place Midwives (I am not sure if thats what you mean by reputation), but the two are acutally seperate. Many of the most highly rated and raved about midwives in the area actually attend births at the Inn, but it is just the facility the Birthing Inn does not have a staff of midwives. Midwives I personally know and love include Amy Gordon, Susan Sherwood, and Ann Olson.
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#7 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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Try the Proctor or Old Town neighborhoods in Tacoma.

Loving Lucy Amelia
"light makes it better"
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#8 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 03:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucysmom View Post
Try the Proctor or Old Town neighborhoods in Tacoma.
I agree!!! We plan on moving into the Proctor area soon
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#9 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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The Birthing Inn in Tacoma is wonderful... and I've heard great things about most of the midwives. Amy Gordon is my midwife and I know several ladies who have also used her....and we all just love her.

We're moving to the North Slope of Tacoma in a few weeks and it's a neat little neighborhood. I am not sure how crunchy anyone is over there, but all the neighbors have seemed very friendly and there appears to be a lot of activity in the community.

Stephenie, Wife to Nick partners.gif 9/3/05 Mama to Keagan treehugger.gif autismribbon.gif 4/12/07, Eden dust.gifhomebirth.jpg3/29/09  3rdtri.gif Someone new coming in July and two angels 6/06 and 10/10. Check out my blog! blogging.jpg

 
 
 
  

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#10 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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The Tacoma/North Slope/Proctor area/North/West End are all wonderful areas. Having been born and raised here, Tacoma has gone through quite a transition. There are 3 Farmer's Market that are great - Downtown, Proctor and one of off 6th and Pine. All start up around March or April. There is a LLL at the Wheelock Library and the Birthing Inn used to have a new Mom's support group. The Birthing Inn and The Pearl Place Midwives are great and supportive in whatever type of birth you desire. Having birthed there with a Midwife from Pearl Place, I had a peaceful water birth experience. I'm also a doula and LMP and feel that the care I received was respectful and I was allowed to make choices that surrounding both myself and my baby that would not be allowed in a hospital setting.

Also, around the North End there are quite a few preschool co-ops, if that is something that you are interested in. Alot of the restaurants in the Proctor/Downtown/6th Ave area are locally owned and quite wonderful. The Mandolin Cafe off of 12th is a great place for coffee/tea and is very family friendly.

Best of Luck,

Lisa

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#11 of 26 Old 02-16-2009, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Ladies!
I am calling the Birthing Inn today and the midwives you have recommended. I also got word from the Hubby's Boss that Olympia is "Ok"! Yeah! Does anyone have any recommendations for midwives in or around Olympia/Lacey?

Thank you soooo very much!:
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#12 of 26 Old 02-16-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I had a home birth with Around the Circle Midwifery and thought Constance & Carolee were wonderful.
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#13 of 26 Old 02-16-2009, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I have called nearly every midwife between Olympia and Tacoma and almost everyone is booked - surprise. I have 3 choices at this point.
  1. Nancy Spencer
  2. Constance Frey
  3. Marie Wakefield

Any input and specific details on these ladies would be MUCH appreciated. Please PM me if you don't feel good about posting gory details here.

Thank you to everyone who has chimed in and helped me navigate this difficult transition.
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#14 of 26 Old 02-16-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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I have heard good things about Marie Wakefield, but have no personal experience to go by. My doula recommended her, but I had already chosen a midwife at the time (plus she was a bit far for me to go).

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#15 of 26 Old 02-17-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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I have known Marie for years, and just love her. I would completely trust her clinical judgment and knowledge. She is great!!
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#16 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got one more to add to my options:
Audrey Levine.

So out of...
  1. Audrey Levine
  2. Marie Wakefield
  3. Constance Frey
  4. Nancy Spencer

Who would you recommend? Any details as to why would also be appreciated.

Thanks Again so much. This is such a hard decision to make over the internet!
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#17 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 04:58 AM
 
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I've met Audrey and she's really awesome. Constance attended both my births and she was wonderful. My first was a homebirth that had complications after the birth (very minor, just some passing out issues I had afterward). She was great through it all and knew exactly what to do and why it was happening. Second birth turned into a hospital transfer and she stood by my side during the whole thing, advising me on interventions they were offering at the hospital and what the benefit/risk would be to me. She has good instincts and makes you feel so comfortable.

Mama to DD (5) DD (3) and DS (2 months)
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#18 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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I'm sorry to hear your moving plans have changed, but hope to have you join us in Tacoma as there are many of us working to actively grow the holistic, local, liberal, outdoorsy, and a bit crunchy community here!

The only midwife on your list who I know anything about is Nancy Spencer. She has been delivering babies around here FOREVER...including my younger sister who is turning 30 in a few months! From people I know who have birthed with her in more recent years, they have all had positive experiences. Although a couple have told me for subsequent births they went with someone who didn't see as many clients with the same due date month and were less likely to use interventions (such as breaking the water, etc.).

Good luck with finding the perfect person for you! Most will do a free consultation, so if you're in the area and can make it happen, I would highly suggest meeting with each of them to see who you resonate with the most.

Laelle - living my dream life : :, very happily married , and expecting our first : in Aug/Sept. '09 : : :
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#19 of 26 Old 02-23-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Did you try Ann Olsen for midwifery care? She just helped deliver DS in January and is phenomenal!
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#20 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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I'm Ann Olsen's student, so Im a bit biased. I dont know if she is full your due month or not.. but she is my first pick and was long before I was her student

I'd also recommend Constance and Audrey because everyone that Ive heard speak about them has always had great things to say and they both have nice comforting personalities and Marie because she is experienced and again, Ive heard wonderful things about her.. I dont have any personal experience with Nancy. But with her, you do have the plus of being able to birth at her birthing center. I also think she has a U/S machine in house and is skilled in using it if that is something you are looking for.

I dont know if you have called Amy Gordon or not, I know she was mentioned earlier.. she is also really great..
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#21 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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I absolutely love Audrey Levine. She was at my first birth which was a long labor that ended up transferring to the hospital and I just think that she has a very nice calming presence in labor. Also very reassuring and helpful once we were at the hospital too. I've known 2 other moms who have used her for home births and they both loved her too. I've also heard good things about Constance, but I only briefly met her once, so couldn't give any personal experience on that one.

I think you'll really like Olympia, too.
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#22 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 10:29 PM
 
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I HAD THE MOST AWFUL TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE WITH AUDREY LEVINE!!!

I would NOT go with her. I never recommend her. She has a strange sense of fear around birth...

I would highly recommend Jaydee Sperry who's a lay midwife http://www.infinitebirthing.org/ or if you want a CPM, I would suggest Amanda Feldemann (she's willing to travel to Olympia!) http://exodusmidwifery.com/

I also like Dawn Wadleigh http://www.firstlightmidwifery.com/ Though I haven't used her personally- I just used her by phone during a home miscarriage.

Olympia is fantastic! The best place to shop is the Olympia Food Co-Op. There are two locations, my favorite being the bigger one on the East Side http://olympiafood.coop/ Their prices are so low, it will blow your mind. They have bulletins there where you can connect with the crunchy folk in the area.

The Farmers Market is pretty nice too. Not the biggest, but we enjoy it. http://www.olympiafarmersmarket.com/

A great place to take the kids and meet crunchy mamas is the Hands On Childrens Museum. We have a membership there and go often. (I'll be ther Tuesday infact!!) http://www.hocm.org/

The Olympia FreeSchool has so many neat things going on. I used to go to nutrition classes there, and just meet up with other mamas and babies. http://www.dsame.com/freeschoolcommunity/

Vic's is my favorite resturant in town. It's a pizza place- best pizza ever! They have vegan pizza too! My favorite is the Greener, but add the vegan white sauce and artichoke hearts! http://eatatvics.net/

Traditions would be my second favorite place. It's also a very crunchy place, lots of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. http://www.traditionsfairtrade.com/pages/tradhome.html

Both of those resturants have areas for the kids to play with toys and both resturants are very relaxed and don't mind if your kiddos are playing and enjoying themselves (you know, making noise!)

Another great place that again has Vegan and Vegetarian options is Darby's Cafe on 5th street. No website though...

Many great parks!! My favorites are these:
http://www.olympiawa.gov/cityservice...geFountain.htm
http://www.olympiawa.gov/cityservice...ks/Bigelow.htm
http://www.olympiawa.gov/cityservice...endlyGrove.htm
http://www.olympiawa.gov/cityservice...riestPoint.htm (I had my Blessingway here in the Rose Garden!)

The best part of Olympia, in my opinion, is the free flowing pristine water from the Artesian Well in downtown Olympia. Around 250 people come and get water here AN HOUR from all over the place. It's amazing...we had it tested by my FIL who works for the city as an engineer (he didn't test it, but he brought it to the tester who's name I believe was Erik Iverson) and it was found that the water is absolutely pure and pristine! You can find out more here http://www.oly-wa.us/Artesians/index.php

Each year there is a huge event called Precession of the Species and the Olympia Arts Walk, very awesome! http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/NR/rdonl...r09_Events.pdf

There's LakeFair in Olympia as well each year, fun place to take the kids.

I really love my Naturopath in Olympia. You can find her here http://www.naturalhealthclinicofolympia.com/index.html

There is a natural toy store (robeez, haba, plan toys, etc) called Wind Up Here. Fantastic store- http://www.winduphere.com/

Some great Zoo type things to check out near Olympia:
Wolf Haven http://www.wolfhaven.org/
Northwest Trek http://www.nwtrek.org/

Fun things like this:
http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/events/p...arden_tour.htm

We use this gymnastics studio and have enjoyed it overall. They have GREAT teachers (our favorite is Ashley!!) but the lady that's usually at the front desk is going to quite possibly be a total snatch everytime you see her... lol http://blackhillsgymnastics.com/

The Olympia Timberland Library is great. It's a HUGE branch all over Western Washington and I cannot rave enough about our library system. There is story time for little ones twise a week and you can always connect and meet other mamas that way. www.trlib.org

Basically, once you get there, take many walks downtown. You will discover the most unique little shops, coffee/tea stores, resturants, etc. There is so much to do and I absolutely love Olympia!!

OH OH OH and Olympia has the best garage sales EVER!!!!!! Also check out their thrift and cosignment shops!!

Doula mama to artistic DD and monster DS. #3 on the way!
HAVE YOU HEARD OF SQUAT ANARCHIST BIRTH JOURNAL YET?? IF NOT, GOOGLE IT!
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#23 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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Oh and I forget the Great Wolf Lodge! This is new, I have not been there yet. But I hear its great! It's a huge waterpark. But you have to pay for a hotel for a night to get access to the water park. http://www.greatwolf.com/grandmound/lodge

Doula mama to artistic DD and monster DS. #3 on the way!
HAVE YOU HEARD OF SQUAT ANARCHIST BIRTH JOURNAL YET?? IF NOT, GOOGLE IT!
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#24 of 26 Old 03-03-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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I responded to your other post, two other things I'd mention is I've heard people say they felt pushed to a birth center birth rather than home birth with Nancy Spencer, and I suspect that's because she keeps herself more booked than most midwives I've seen. I loved her birth center, so to me it wasn't an issue.

Constance... maybe I summed up to quickly, but some women-oriented members of the birth community I think tend to exclude men, and although we soon discovered a conflict in schedules anyway, my first impression was to put her in this category. Since to me my dh is everything, my strength and the only person in birth that I wholly trust and depend on most, someone like that wouldn't be a match for me personally. Like I said, maybe I leapt to that assumption too quickly, but it's a criteria I would keep in the back of your mind when meeting with her.
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#25 of 26 Old 03-03-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I currently live in Puyallup and agree with all that has been said - very conservative and red-necky here. Olympia is quite crunchy - I would love to live there if it wasn't so far away from Seattle!

Ann Olsen - I have no experience with her, but after my midwife drove all the way from Kirkland to attend my homebirth here in Puyallup, she mentioned her and it seemed to be in an endorsing kind of way. Don't want to put thoughts in her mouth, but that was my impression.

But yeah, Puyallup. I am a doula, and no one here seems to even understand the word. And when I say the word "homebirth" I get the most disgusted and shall I say, disapproving responses here.
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#26 of 26 Old 05-01-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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I am a little late to this discussion, so you have probably already found your midwife, but I had a home birth in December with Audrey Levine, and she is wonderful, wise. I don't know what that other poster's experience was, but Audrey is one of the most well-respected midwives in the state - she is actually the president of the Midwives' Association of Washington State and provides thousands of hours of mentoring for midwifery students every year; she also works really hard lobbying the state to make sure it remains a great place for midwives to practice and for women to use midwifery services. She has hundreds of clients like me who will tell you the same: she is amazingly talented. My birth and pre/post natal care were everything I wanted them to be and more. Compared to some of my friends who used other midwives, I received way more personalized attention and care and always felt like I was in the best, most capable hands. As I said, I'm sure this testimonial is too late for you, but for future people who are reading this thread, it makes me sad that one person's very ALL-CAPS opinion is out there on this forum tarnishing her reputation. Best wishes to you for a wonderful birth experience! :

Mama to DD V born 12/29/08
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