About Laurel

My name is Laurel Smith. I have been married for sixteen years to my husband Jonathan. God has blessed us with eight children, ages 21 months to 15 years.

A bit about my personal birth journey and my path into birth work thus far …

When we got married, we knew nothing about pregnancy, birth, or birth options. I don’t think we were aware of anyone in our acquaintance who had used a midwife or had a home birth. We did know someone who had recently interviewed a midwife and was considering using her services. The idea sounded interesting, and when I became pregnant, we interviewed a midwife, were very impressed with her and her outlook on birth, and were blessed to have her assist with the home births of our first four children.

We then moved to another state, where independent midwives could not practice legally at the time. I immediately began looking into other birth options, though we were not expecting. I also quickly became involved with the state “friends of midwives” group, which led to rich and busy years of birth advocacy, and eventually seeing certified professional midwives practice legally in that state.

Almost a year after our move, we had our first hospital birth. I think more preparation and learning went into getting ready for this birth than for our first four births combined. I was attended by a Certified Nurse Midwife, and was thankful to have a terrific doula there to support both me and my husband. She was a lovely introduction to the work of a doula.

Due to lots of preparation on our part, the grace of God, and the work of our CNM and our doula, the labor and delivery of our hospital-born baby was pretty amazing. One thing for which we were not prepared was the extent to which the hospital staff would consider our baby their baby, and the pressure that would be exerted on us to consent to medical interventions after her birth. As a result of her post-birth experience, we returned to Kansas for the births of our next two children so that we could have the assistance of a legal midwife in a home-like setting.

Our youngest was born about a year before we moved back to Kansas, and it was a sweet delight to give birth to him in our home with a legal certified professional midwife.

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Over the years, my appreciation for the support I have received and my desire to support other women in pregnancy and childbirth has grown into a dream of becoming a midwife “when I grow up.” I am currently apprenticing with two lovely local midwives and prayerfully pursuing that dream.

My work as a doula is an opportunity to support a more diverse group of women than I might serve as a home birth midwife. Whether a woman chooses to birth at home, in a hospital, or at a birth center, having continual support is extremely important, and I value the chance to offer that support.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am delighted to serve women of varying beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds. I look forward to visiting with you and getting to know you and your desires for your birth. Blessings to you and your baby.

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