About Jean Hartley & Wildflower Midwifery
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 had 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, however, and was unable to find a midwife who would attend a home birth in my community. I ended up having two children in the hospital and being disappointed in the experience.
I moved to Texas in 2006. In 2010, after 10 years as a prosecuting attorney, I decided to switch career
paths. I was burnt out on the terrible things people to do each other (and to themselves) and the constant revolving door system. I learned that Texas had a midwife school. 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 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 at home and birth center births. I completed my schooling in December 2013 and passed the NARM a short time later.
In fall of 2014 I returned to Minnesota and moved to the small town of Zimmerman where I started Wildflower Midwifery. I have welcomed nearly 250 babies and have made many friends along the
way. Many families have welcomed me back to help with their next
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. (Those unpredictable hours!) 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. Now I know too what a home birth is like. I did manage to have a home waterbirth with my third child after returning to Minnesota.
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!
If I'm not busy with work, I am going on adventures with my three children (sometimes my husband tags along). I also enjoy gardening, cooking, hiking, and pretty much any outdoor activity including just sitting and watching my chickens peck around the yard.
"I am married to my college sweetheart and we have 4 great kids, whom we homeschool. I started my homebirth journey with the birth of my own babies. I personally benefited from midwifery care as our first 3 were born at home, and our youngest was born at a birth center in the Philippines. After having such amazing experiences with my own births, I desired to bring that to as many people as I could. I encouraged new moms and talked about breastfeeding, baby wearing, and all things natural! When my kids got older, I started working as a doula for friends and family. Although very rewarding, after 3 years of supporting moms as a doula I wanted to do more. I started studying midwifery on my own and going to as many births as I could. Jean and I met through our daughters. She had heard of my aspirations of becoming a midwife and agreed to take me on as a student in July 2017. I officially enrolled in midwifery school at the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program (ATMMTP) in January 2018. I love birth and I am very excited to be on this journey.When I’m not following Jean around, you will probably find me with my family and friends, usually around a table of food."