Terri Young – CPM, LM
In 2000 my son was born in a vacuum-assisted delivery. His birth caused me to feel disempowered, disrespected, and that my maternal instincts were ignored. Fortunately, the teacher of my hospital childbirth prep class was an AMAZING doula/nurse in Denver. SHE was empowering and first lit the spark that started my whole journey.
Largely due to her influence, I started attending hospital births as a labor doula in 2001. In 2004, I trained to be a midwife’s assistant. I was bitten by the midwifery bug and have attended home births almost exclusively ever since. I worked as a birth assistant for various local midwives in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane from 2006-2010.
In 2005, I birthed my nine and a half pound daughter at home with a midwife. This was an amazing moment in my life and showed me how wonderful birth can be when it is allowed to unfold naturally. It was such a different experience from my first birth and really pushed me to further pursue midwifery.
In 2010, I spent four weeks in the Philippines doing an internship at Mercy Maternity Clinic, where they deliver about 150 babies per month. It was a life changing trip for me, as I had never seen poverty like that nor had I previously been to a third world country. When I returned from my internship, I completed my clinical training and apprenticeship. As of January 2011 I have attended over 200 births and 60 of those I served as the primary midwife. The apprenticeship route to learn the art of midwifery has given me valuable perspective on normal, physiological births, and also how to manage complications. I took the NARM board exams in August of 2011, thus earning me my CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). In December of 2011, I was thrilled to become the 42nd licensed midwife in the state of Idaho.
My family and I moved from our native Colorado to the Spokane Valley in 2006. We love living near our extended family in north Idaho. My husband Kent is the music director at The Oaks Classical Christian Academy where both of our children attend school. This is a real blessing for our family, because it allows me to leave for births without concern about the children’s whereabouts.
Tess Williams – ASM, CPM, LM
Tess Williams is a missionary kid who was Texas-born, though globally bred. Tess felt that she desired to work in healthcare and she experienced a year of shadowing doctors, nurses, and technologists in all units at John Peter Smith County Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. This experience helped solidify that she was fascinated with healthcare, yet, she couldn’t quite find her niche in the medicalized world.
Knowing her heart was for missions, she began her healthcare training through YWAM’s University for the Nations (2009-2012). It was during this time, on an outreach in Mozambique, that Tess worked alongside midwives, learning happily of an occupation she hadn’t known existed. Watching mothers birth more gently, and witnessing more supportive and informative care providers than she had seen prior in the hospital, marked her for midwifery forever.
After receiving her certificate in Primary Health Care, Tess began midwifery training at Newlife International School of Midwifery for missions in the Philippines. She completed a little over a year of her training there but had to return to the U.S. to address health concerns in 2014. The search for health after a diagnosis of Lyme Disease opened her eyes to holistic health, and the importance of community as it relates to wellness in all aspects of life.
She completed her midwifery training while at a birth center in Grand Prairie, Texas, in February 2019 then licensed after 6 years in midwifery. She has owned and operated her own homebirth practice: Local Midwife, in Texas, where she places an emphasis on informed consent, and relationships with expectant mothers. She has compassion for people, is driven to empower women to make informed choices, and to support families as they bring the next generation into the world with loving practices.
Tess and her husband Jonathan have felt called to Idaho to be a part of a community of midwives in group practice. They are excited to begin their own famliy, and are bringing their tiny house on wheels, and kitten, Yeti, with them. In her downtime, Tess enjoys creating art, listening to podcasts, gardening, drinking tea, and yoga.
Kirsten Miller – CNM
My journey to midwifery began with the traumatic birth of my first child, when I was 19 years young. I felt unprepared (despite hospital nurse led Lamaze class) and unsupported by the nursing staff during a time of great suffering. I emerged from the experience angry and determined to become a L&D nurse who did better. I experienced a significant postpartum depression and so have great empathy for anyone who has that unwelcome and uninvited companion join her in her journey toward motherhood. With the help of a therapist, I was able to emerge from that dark place enough to start nursing school. 5 years later I got my RN and began working as a labor and delivery nurse. I loved being a part of women’s childbirth experiences! 7 years later I learned about nurse midwifery as a colleague embarked on that path. I was intrigued by the idea of being a part of a woman’s WHOLE pregnancy, from beginning to end rather than just the birth process. I completed a certificate in nurse midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in 1997 and completed a MSN from Case Western Reserve University in 1999.
I discovered homebirth after finishing my nurse midwife training quite serendipitously when a friend invited me to “sit with her” in labor while she waited for her midwife (driving distance of 2 hours). When Christy quietly, calmly and joyfully gave birth in her own bed with little fanfare (and no “bells and whistles” common to the delivery room) I then found my calling as a midwife. This experience opened my eyes to the sacred in childbearing. I saw God in a new way that day. My faith has been challenged, stretched and proven through being a part of the miracle that is human reproduction. It is such an honor to bear witness to what I believe is the greatest of all God’s creation-the making of a human being. I believe every woman who says “yes” to being a part of this creation is in a sacred (and vulnerable) space. She deserves to be heard, respected, encouraged and loved as she walks this path. She deserves to have excellent, up to date maternity care that combines the best of what medicine and midwifery has to offer. It is a great honor to be in the position of midwife and it is my life’s calling to “be with” each woman in whatever way she needs to enter motherhood equipped to believe that she is able and capable to be the mother HER child needs. I’m always happy to pray with clients if that is wanted.
I’ve practiced in home, birth center and hospital settings and every position has prepared me for the next. I personally love the birth center model of care and wish this was the “norm” in America. I stepped back from midwifery 2014-2018 out of frustration with the health care system in America. But I missed the mamas too much and realized that the “calling” was still there, despite the frustrations. This season of life finds me in beautiful North Idaho, where I am able to “midwife” my own Mama, who has stage 4 cancer, as she is finishing her own life journey. I met Terri in 2019 and began talking with her about joining her in practice. We made plans for me to come work with SRM May-October. As Providence would have it, my Mama received her diagnosis late April and has a 6 month life expectancy! And so, here I am! I have eased back
into midwifery by providing prenatal care with SRM, supporting Terri and Tess in their roles within SRM. Like Tess, I am very happy to be in practice with other midwives in a group practice, where we can also support one another to be happier, healthier midwives.