About Jean Hartley & Wildflower Midwifery Services
My two favorite parts of being a midwife--the moment parents first hear
the heartbeat of their baby and later, that first moment they touch
their newborn. No other job can compare!
When I was pregnant with my first child in 2002 I searched out midwifery care. I had done so much reading and educating myself about pregnancy and childbirth that I knew midwifery was the right option for me. I wanted to make the decisions about my care and that of my baby. I wanted a care provider I was comfortable with and wanted to be sure the person I saw for prenatal care was the one I would see at my birth. I lived in a fairly rural area in Minnesota and was unable to find a midwife who would attend a home birth in my community. I had hospital births for both my daughters but have continued to believe in home birth and a woman's right to choices in childbirth. Since returning to Minnesota I have been able to have a home water birth of my own and welcomed a son with my older children present and involved.
I moved to Texas in 2006 and I learned that Texas had a midwife school. I worked as a prosecuting attorney for ten years in Minnesota and Texas but felt the calling to midwifery. I felt strongly that if home birth was something I wanted, other women probably wanted it too. I hoped that I could help make midwifery accessible for more women, especially in rural Minnesota. I was able to enroll in the ATM Midwifery Training Program in September 2010, and I quit working full time as an attorney to concentrate on school and apprenticeship. I studied under four midwives who each practiced quite differently--this gave me a well rounded education. I had the honor of working with over 200 families and assisting families at nearly 100 births during my apprenticeship. I completed my schooling in December 2013 and passed the NARM a short time later.
Why would I change careers after 10 years? Of course, pregnancy and birth are happy and exciting times, much more pleasant than criminal court. My husband told me one day, "I have seen you come home from jury trials and I have seen you come home from births. It is very clear to me which one you should be doing". It is certainly a job I couldn't do without the support and understanding of my family. I truly love collaborating with my home birth families. It becomes such a personal connection to join someone on their journey to parenthood. I didn't always feel like I was helping people when I was prosecuting. Everyday as a midwife I can see the difference I make and I love my new career.
Almost 3 years ago I returned to Minnesota hoping to fill the gap in rural midwifery care I felt when I had my older children. I live in the beautiful small town of Zimmerman and serve families within 75 miles of my home. I am happy to serve the Metro area as well as rural families. See my announcement on my home page about care up to 110 miles away.
I come to midwifery care with a feminist view; the belief that birth is a normal process and that a woman is the ultimate caregiver for her own child. She should be given the opportunity to educate herself about pregnancy and childbirth and should be able to make the decisions regarding her care and the care her infant receives after birth. I believe a woman is capable of making those decisions and should be allowed to do so! My job is to guide my clients through normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum and to advise when it is no longer normal and a higher level of care is needed. Until that need arises, intervention in the birthing process is not necessary!