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    I’m back in Puerto Rico and catching babies! (Part 1)

    Well, not quite catching babies yet, but I’ve opened my practice and am taking clients due in 2022. So if you’re looking for a midwife with the hope of having a homebirth here in Puerto Rico, please feel free to reach out to me. I am also offering the option of prenatal and/or postpartum care only for those who plan to give birth in the hospital or off-island. You can send me an email here to inquire. I’m also open to simply chatting with you and answering any questions you may have about homebirth in general and midwifery care here in Puerto Rico.

    So, a lot has happened since I last blogged and I’m finally able to share it. To begin, I’m back here in Puerto Rico (as the title of this post revealed). Many of you may know that it’s been my heart’s desire to be back on this luscious island. And to be back as a Certified Professional Midwife poised to make a positive impact in the birth community here seems like a dream. I’m also really grateful for the opportunity to raise my girls here surrounded by nature and within the community that nourished me as I was becoming a mother for the first time.

    Ok, so let me fill you in on what’s been going on. To begin, I spent the last year finishing up my program at Bastyr University. I graduated in June of this year (2021) and received my Master of Science in Midwifery with a specialization in Botanical Medicine for Midwifery practice. That means that in addition to my rigorous training to become a midwife I also took additional courses in the clinical use of herbs for menstruation, gynecological health, conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum healing, and beyond. It was quite fascinating and has really allowed me to fully embrace my calling to support women (and their families) through all seasons of life. I absolutely love how plants can work so harmoniously with the human body to restore vitality, bring balance where there is excess of something which causes discomfort or pain, or provide to your system something that it’s currently lacking. While in Seattle I launched a mini line of botanical products, which you can see here. I’ve found so many women to be interested in the safe use of herbs, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, that I will also be providing one-on-one botanical medicine consultations as a part of my practice.

    Ok, so let me not get too ahead of myself. Just before graduation, literally about one month before, my family and I packed up all of our belongings and jumped on three planes to the beautiful western coast of Puerto Rico. As some of you may know, but many may not, my husband is in the Coast Guard. We had been hoping, dreaming, and praying to move back (permanently) to the island, but had no idea if it would be possible. Through a series of quite radical events, we’ve found ourselves back here and are sinking our roots in deep. We plan to stay here as long as the island/community will have us. I personally feel quite called to be here and am simply submitting this journey to God, with the hope that the course will become more clear over time.

    So, after arriving here in June we hit the ground running looking for a house. We were open to a few different towns (Las Maria, San Sebastian, Moca, Aguadilla, Aguada, and Isabela) with three main criteria. We wanted 1. at least 3 acres of land. 2. a second home or casita on the land for guests and family members to stay 3. mature fruit trees. Let’s just say that looking for a home here in Puerto Rico is like a roller coaster ride. We frequently experienced realtors that told us the home wasn’t available for viewing or that we needed to personally reach out to the current tenant to arrange a time to view the property. We also found that many realtors don’t even answer their phone or return voice messages. Next, we found that we could usually find two of our three main criteria, but often with a contingency. For example, we viewed this absolutely magnificent property out in el campo (the country) but the land was laden with pesticides. FYI, many people still use RoundUp on their lawns and land where they grow food. This beautiful property also had a huge cavern that looked over a river. It was a majestic site! But the home itself was very tiny and very old, and so far away from everything that it would have been difficult for us to move in and have work done on it (in a timely manner) at the same time. We found that many places that had homes in good condition, didn’t have many mature fruit trees. We became slightly discouraged after spending weeks waking up early to scour Classificados (a site similar to Craigslist, but commonly used to legitimately look for homes for sale in Puerto Rico), until one day when my husband came across a listing for a “finquita”.

    I know, I know, I’m finally getting to the juicy part of the story, but this post is also becoming very long. I’ll leave the story here for now, but plan to provide a Part 2 sometime in the early new year (2022). Please feel free to follow me on Instagram and you’ll get some hints about how things went once we discovered the listing for the “finquita”. I’ll also be popping up around the NW coast of Puerto Rico hosting events and sharing about my midwifery services. So please keep a look out for future posts announcing such things.