grew up the youngest of three daughters in northeastern Ohio.
While attending Northwestern University
in Evanston, Illinois she
was called to midwifery after reading The Immaculate Deception by Suzanne Arms.
She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta in 1982, and after gaining nursing experience at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital and Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, obtained her Master in Maternal/child nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1988.
first midwifery jobs led her
to Texas where she
worked at two of the busiest maternity hospitals in the United States, Jefferson Davis in Houston and Parkland Memorial in Dallas.
In Texas she
After working briefly in southern California she
moved to Olympia where she
has resided since 1991.
is the mother of two daughters, Ella and Molly, and loves animals, reading, yoga, gardening, and crafts.
Karen feels that all individuals have their own personal philosophies of health.
honors these ideals while trying to help women explore their optimal wellness.
has attended births at homes, birth centers, and hospitals.
continues to be amazed at the strength of women and the miracle of birth.
At age 18, after experiencing the births of her
niece and nephews at a freestanding birth center in Mt. Vernon, Washington, Michelle knew she
wanted to be a midwife.
road to midwifery was, however, scenic and winding.
She received her first bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College.
She then worked as a nutritionist for several years while raising the child of her heart.
In 1988 she returned to school and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.
For much of her
nursing career, and while raising a second child, Michelle worked as a Labor and Delivery RN and lactation specialist.
She also worked in hospital staff development and management, then left hospital nursing for a time.
However, midwifery and her
passion for birth were constantly reawakened by life experiences.
Michelle returned to school in Seattle, Washington and received her Master in Nursing degree, as a Certified Nurse Midwife and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, from University of Washington.
As part of her U of W externship she was with WomanCare, delivering her first baby under the mentorship of Karen Swift, CNM, ARNP.
Following graduation she was invited to join the WomanCare team.
Michelle believes in empowering women by promoting health and confidence throughout the childbearing years and beyond.
believes birth functions best when midwives take the stance of knowledgeable watchfulness and awareness, trusting the birth process.
Michelle's philosophy is that each woman and her
partner are unique.
goal is to provide them with skilled and thoughtful care as they find their way to a safe, satisfying birth experience which is "right" for them.