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"One of my favorite writers about birth says that the function of a midwife is to create safety for a birthing woman so that she can give all of herself to the birthing process. But for different women and different midwives safety in birth means different things. Here is what safety meant for me and why Ellah was the person I felt the safest with at my birth. First and foremost I felt that my needs and wishes would be entirely understood and respected by Ellah. This may sound simple but the truth is that to put aside ones own agenda and truly listen to and "get" another person is a skill that must be cultivated over time and is one of the greatest skills a midwife can have. Ellah has this in spades. In my birth I felt emotionally attuned to by Ellah who knew when to give me space and when to check in with me, when to let me figure things out on my own and when to step in with encouragement. The second thing that created safety for me was knowing that Ellah deeply trusts birth. Again these are easy words to say, but in a climate in which the dominant medical paradigm is one of great mistrust of birth evidenced by constant monitoring of (and frightening) women and countless unnecessary interventions it is not necessarily easy, even for midwives, to trust birth. In my bones I know that Ellah does. Respect and trust in a midwife must also be coupled with the wisdom and capability to know when and how to intervene if necessary and to know when the birth process has entered medical territory. Knowing that I could count on Ellah for this was also what created a great sense of safety in having her at my birth. I went into birthing my baby with a sense of excitement and also fear. I knew that I wanted the space to feel the process deeply and be entirely present for it. I had many normal fears arising -- that I wouldn't be able to bear it, that something could go wrong, that I might wind up in the hospital with a C - section -- and Ellah's presence helped me to let the fears surface and then go. The hardest, most beautiful, painful, incredible thing I've ever done and between Ellah and my husband (who also felt deeply supported by Ellah) I felt sustained in my own process of finding deep reserves of strength, courage, fortitude and ancient bodily wisdom and I got to welcome my baby into the world in the gentle, dark, comforting space of my own bedroom. I can think of no other rite of passage in a woman's life that is so altering and profound. My wish is that more women could experience birth in this way." - E & C & baby S

 

"When I first found out that I was pregnant, it was such an exciting time! I knew I had so much preparation ahead of me to get ready to welcome this wonderful new life into the world. I also knew that I wanted to have a home birth with a midwife. It was very important to me that I give birth in the safe and comfortable home setting, without unnecessary interventions, and be allowed plenty of time to immediately bond with my new baby. Ellah absolutely helped me make all of this a reality! As a first-time mother, I was unsure of what to expect from pregnancy, labor and delivery. I had never even changed a diaper! As every mother knows, pregnancy is a time of many questions and decisions. Ellah's comprehensive knowledge and experience while guiding me through these decisions was invaluble. She explained every aspect of what to expect and she was thoroughly supportive of all my decisions. She truly understood and encouraged my commitment to a natural, holistic pregnancy and birth. Throughout the course of our prenatal visits, she built such a strong relationship of trust that is the key to having a positive and empowering birth experience. During labor, it was such a comfort knowing that my baby and I were in such capable hands. After my beautiful son was born, her support continued as she helped me with breastfeeding, and in the days that followed his birth she was constantly available to answer all of my new baby questions. She even recomended a great pediatrician! I am so glad that I had the opportunity to work with Ellah and look forward to doing so again for future pregnancies."  - L & baby C

 

"You have such a tender, nurturing way about you that allowed me to trust and open up in a way that normally takes me more time. Thank you, Ellah, for all you have done to prepare, encourage, support and educate us for this birth journey and for taking such great care of us, physically and emotionally We are so grateful that we have found you. We are humbled by the work you do. You truly are a special woman filled with skill, wisdom, passion, joy, peace and love. You delivered our beautiful daughter and you delivered us into a family. You will be forever in our hearts!"  - A & D & baby S

 

“Ellah, you are gentle and strong, and powerful, light, and a rock. You have such comforting wisdom, confident knowledge, and a wonderful way of inviting people in.Thank you so very much for helping us realize our dreams - we are forever grateful!” - R & G & baby R

 

“Ellah, my heart has grown a thousand fold. Thank you from the bottom of my huge heart for making our experience safe and loving and sacred. I felt respected and in such good hands while navigating such new, immense territory. Your confidence in me from the start exceeded my own belief in myself. Your care is intensely personal—by the time of the birth, I felt like a deeply trusted and incredibly skilled friend was coming to be with me and my family during a most special event.” - L & C & baby Z

 

"Ellah Ray is very knowledgeable and skilled as a midwife. She attended us during my son’s birth, which began as a homebirth. After 2 days, and still in labor, she supported us to make the extremely disappointing decision to transport to the hospital. I had complete trust in Ellah’s judgment and her ability to weigh my strong desire for a homebirth against my baby’s safety, so we transported before his health or safety were jeopardized. Ellah helped make the transport smooth and efficient and helped make sure that my son was born naturally with a minimum of intervention. I whole heartily recommend Ellah Ray!"- S & P & baby T

 

"Ellah’s presence in my life has been so meaningful as I've gone through this rite of passage into motherhood. I always wanted to believe in my body and she helped make that dream come true. Nothing seems adequate to express the hugeness of gratitude for this unexpected gift. When I got pregnant I had so much fear and insecurity, I really didn't believe that I had what it takes to grow and give birth to a perfect baby. During my prenatal appointments Ellah answered every single one of my questions with as much detail as I asked for and I had a lot of questions!  During labor I felt so safe and knew that my baby and I were in such good hands. I cherish this experience and am deeply thankful to Ellah for her truly wonderful and inspirational care." - J & N & baby K

 

"I wanted to be relaxed and to get to labor and give birth in the familiar safety of my home and I wanted my baby to be born into a peaceful environment.  But even though we transported to the hospital, Ellah helped make the experience as close to this as possible. She has this great calm, experienced, strong and nurturing way about her. She knew how to communicate well with the nurses and doctors, helped me understand my options and worked her magic with helping me stay open - even in the hospital among strangers! Being in the hospital was not my dream come true, but I know that it was the right place to be for my baby’s safety and Ellah was instrumental with helping me be grounded and making choices so that I never once felt like things were being done to me. I can truly say that I had an empowered hospital birth experience. If I have a second baby, I’m absolutely going to work with Ellah and go for a home birth again!"  - S & baby H