Mar 142014
Andaluz-5Crop Each March we publish our practice statistics for the previous year. At Andaluz, we are deeply committed to updating and reviewing our policies and practice guidelines to ensure safe, evidence-based care to Portland-area families. We feel that our statistics reveal the continued dedication and hard work our midwives and staff bring to the care we provide. Here are our updated statistics that include June 2011 - December 2013.  As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
Sep 292013

Patricia Couch, CPM, LDM

Tell us about your family: I have a beautiful blended family. My husband returned to college about four years ago after serving in the Oregon National Guard and working for the Oregon Military Dept. He received a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science this year and works as a Research and Development Engineer. We have five amazing children from 12-17, three boys and two girls. Our two oldest will be seniors in high school this year. Over this past summer, opportunities presented for Avianna (my step-daughter) to do a PRISM Internship at Texas Tech studying bats and for Rainey (my son) to go to Eastern Germany for a GAPP exchange. Avianna is beautiful and brilliant. She is currently trying to figure out where to go to college. I imagine it will be a big name school as she is very driven, we will see. Rainey plays rugby for Newberg, lifts weights, works at Burgerville and is also planning for college in a year. I'm hoping he doesn't go too far away but I will be happy for him regardless. Avryn (my step-son) enjoys music and he volunteers at the Kerville Folk Festival every year working at the Lovin' Oven. He also loves gaming. Oak (my son) skateboards, bikes and loves being with his friends. Avalyse (my step-daughter) is a preteen social butterfly. Oak and Avalyse are the animal lovers. I imagine when they are grown they will both have a lot of pets. I am really enjoying this phase of parenting. I love teenagers. We also have two dogs, two cats, seven Americana laying hens and an English Lop rabbit. How did you get involved with midwifery?
Patricia's family

Patricia's family

I gave birth to my fist son Rainey in a rural hospital in Northern California in 1995. My experience was a positive and transformative one that gave me the desire to support women in an out-of-hospital setting. I moved to Oregon shortly after that and began my midwifery studies in 1996. Over the next 10 years I focused on learning more about pregnancy and birth, midwifery, and the management of a midwifery practice. I studied for four years with traditional homebirth midwives. During that time I gave birth to my second son at home. I then worked as an OB-Tech for several years at McKenzie Willamette Hospital followed by several more years as the front office coordinator and childbirth educator at McKenzie Midwifery in Springfield, Oregon. Following that stint, I did a traditional midwifery apprenticeship with Anita Rojas at Sacred Waters Birthing Center in Eugene. During that time I was also attending births as both a doula and a midwife. I have attended births in both Mexico and Haiti. I was one of the founding board members of MamaBaby Haiti. I stepped down from the board last Winter.
Patricia in Haiti

Patricia in Haiti

What is the best part of being a midwife? I witness miracles! I love caring for families as they journey through pregnancy, birth and parenting. Plus I'm a very social person and I get to talk to amazing people all day long. What is the hardest part of being a midwife? It's really hard for me when a client has extended family with unrealistic expectations about pregnancy, labor, and birth. Over the years, I feel I am learning to communicate better about this. It is not uncommon for extended family members to not understand why people choose midwifery, out-of-hospital or natural birthing, and that each woman births on a different timeline. It is often hard for families to honor the birthing family's wishes and to wait patiently through this process. I watch so many women feel pressured by this. I want women, especially as they approach their birth or while they are in labor, to feel well supported with the least stress possible. It's also hard living the on-call lifestyle with a cell phone 24/7. I used to be spontaneous. Midwifery does not really leave the space for weekend getaways to Eugene, where my family lives. I often find myself in a place of broken promises to my children as well. They understand that when I get swept away it is important, but that doesn't mean that it is easy for them. I remember telling my Grandpa that I was going to be a midwife many years ago before he died. He said, "Are you sure? It's a hard life." I later came to find out that his grandmother was a midwife as well. I am thankful for the supportive environment that Andaluz has provided to help reduce these stressors. What do you enjoy doing on your time off? I enjoy swimming in the ocean, resting and spending quality time with my family. List your top five favorite books: I do not read for entertainment, only for education. So as you might guess I don't really have five favorite books. I do, however, have shelves and shelves of educational books. I love the way the pages smell. I do not love eBook readers and I think they are among the things that are going to ruin the world. I think that books are a very important piece of humanity. I do enjoy cookbooks and a couple of my favorites are Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Over the last year or two we have tried many recipes from both books. I love the homemade olive oil mayonnaise in Julia Childs book (I like it better with vinegar than lemon - I've tried it both ways). In Nourishing Traditions, we learned a lot about fermenting and experimented with both whey and salt fermentation. I personally like the whey fermentation better because I'm not a big fan of salty taste. The bone broth and chicken stock are both amazing as well. I do have a very nice Bible that I read. It's two shades of blue leather and my husband bought it for me. It's lovely. If I could only have one book that would be the one I would choose. My husband reads to me sometimes. I think he really believes I am missing something by not enjoying reading. It's very sweet but somewhat of a joke most of the time when he reads to me. His voice is so soothing that I typically fall asleep on the first page. List your top five favorite movies: I guess I could say WristCutters (don't be fooled by the name), Big Fish, Moulin Rouge, Blue Crush, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, and Everything is Illuminated. They fall into the favorites because I can watch them all over and over again. When my kids were little I loved Kiki's Delivery Service and I would watch it whenever I didn't feel well. Favorite restaurant(s)? My current focus is eating healthy and not eating out too much. I'm trying not to have a favorite restaurant these days. However, there are many great restaurants in Yamhill county, where I live. It's wine country! If I go to a restaurant locally, I tend to go to Red Hills Market in Dundee. What's one thing that might surprise clients about you? It may not be a surprise to some, but I love CrossFit. I try to go as often as I can, sometimes twice a day. I love lifting weights, which was even a big surprise to me! I even CrossFit on vacation. It's nuts. If you don't know about CrossFit, you should look it up. If you weren't a midwife, what could you see yourself doing? I love being a midwife so it's not really something I ever think about too hard. I have spent so many years with midwifery as my focus that it's weird to really think about doing something different. Currently, I guess I could see myself shifting gears and either being a dietician/nutritionist and/or a fitness trainer. I did imagine the other day that if I won the lottery I would open a coffee and cake shop. Then I realized I don't really know how to bake that well so I decided I would go to French baking school. It was a pleasant little fantasy. What is the most important lesson you've learned from being a midwife? Never tell a woman in a prenatal that you think her baby will come tonight or that it will come in a week. They do not like it when I am wrong.
Aug 072013
Andaluz is thrilled to announce the arrival of our new Certified Nurse Midwife, Katie Nadalsky. Katie is a welcome addition with her warm heart and skilled knowledge!
Katie Nadalsky, CNM

Katie Nadalsky, CNM, MSN

Tell us a bit about your family:  My family consists of my husband Joe who is a P.E. teacher and SuperDad, my daughter Ali who is a soccer player, my daughter Mia who is a gymnast and my daughter Eva who is a chef/artist/princess!  We have great times supporting each other in our various activities and going on weekend trips.  I also have a huge extended family spread out over Texas, Washington and California!  I am very blessed.

How did you become involved with midwifery?  I believe my Obstetrics and Women's Health instructor in nursing school saw a future midwife in me.  She provided the opportunity for me to attend births with a midwife in the hospital and a whole new world revealed itself!  After nearly 10 years and a lot of personal and professional experience along the way, I am finally doing what I was made for!

What do you feel is the best part of being a midwife? There are so many wonderful things about being a midwife, but for me the best part is building relationships with women and their families, empowering them to make decisions that are in their own best interests and then witnessing the amazing and intimate moment when they welcome a new little life into their arms.

What is the hardest part of being a midwife? Babies don't care if it's 3am, you daughter's birthday or Christmas.  They come when they are ready!  The hardest part is probably the time away from my family.

Clearly the Nadalsky's are at home in Portland!

Clearly the Nadalsky's are at home in Portland!

What do you enjoy doing on your time off? Just spending time with my family - We love to go camping, take day trips, go on hikes and visit the beach.  If I have more than just a couple days off, we love to travel to visit the Grandparents, Aunties and all the cousins!

Do you have any favorite books? I read a lot!  I can go through a book a week if I'm really into it.  I usually gravitate toward historical fiction and memoirs although my sister and I recently enjoyed reading the Fever series together!

Top five favorite movies? My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Benny and Joon, Steel Magnolias, Last of the Mohicans, and Bridesmaids.  (They're all "chick flicks", aren't they?  Ha!)

Favorite foods or restaurants? My favorite restaurant is the Nadalsky Kitchen!  We come up with some great eats!  But when my husband and I get to have the occasional date night, we love to go out for sushi and Sapporos.

What is something that people may be surprised to learn about you? I'm not very organized outside Andaluz.  I only wear a watch to time contractions and baby heart rates.  My husband is completely responsible anytime my family arrives on time for something!

If you weren't a midwife, what could you see yourself doing? If I weren't a midwife or a nurse, I could see myself being a journalist or something like that.

What has been your most important lesson learned as a midwife? The most important lesson I have learned from being a midwife is to be kind to yourself.  Love yourself, listen to your inner voice, trust.

 blog, midwives  Comments Off on Katie Nadalsky: Midwife Interview
Mar 202013

Every few months we are offering a spotlight on an Andaluz midwife to allow families the chance to get to know a midwife they might not have met yet or to take a peek into their midwife's life!

Carrie Duncan

Carrie Duncan

Carrie Duncan began working with Andaluz Waterbirth Center as a midwife in 2004. Families appreciate her laughter, her friendly way of providing care, and her skills. Carrie has practiced midwifery in Portland and Jamaica - and has even been to Haiti to help after the 2010 earthquake.

Tell us a bit about your family

I live with my guy Pasha, two daughters Sierra (16) and Mathaya (7), my baby basset hound Oliver, and five chickens. I'm an Oregon native, so I have lots of extended family in the Portland area. I am very close to my grandparents and live less than a mile from them. How did you get started in midwifery? I got started in midwifery in 1997 after the birth of my first daughter... I was attended by a midwife, who patiently waited for me to birth my baby in my converted school bus. Bless her heart, she spent over 12 hours holed up in the bus with me on December 30, 1996. It was...shall we say, an intimate space... there was no running water or indoor bathroom. Very... rustic. I started studying to be a midwife, and attending births while my oldest was an infant.  Basically, I had such a profound experience that I was hooked!
Carrie and a new mama

Carrie and a new baby

What is the best thing about being a midwife?

The best part is being witness to the birth of not just a new baby, but a new mother, father...and Family. It is truly (and here's where I turn into a big ole sap) such a privilege to behold....there are few things as magical.

On a less sappy note, I really enjoy working with families as they become informed consumers of medical services. Providing midwifery care affords us the unique opportunity to help families reclaim their decision making power and gain confidence: in their ability to inform themselves, and do research in order to make choices that reflect their true values and needs. I am so blessed to be a partner in this process.

What is the hardest thing about being a midwife?

The hardest thing is having to be super attached to my phone.

What do you like to do when you’re off call?

Mostly I end up doing family stuff and 'momming' out. I am happy to be a super home body - you will often find me in the kitchen where I do a lot of from-scratch cooking. I geek out on holidays and will jump at any chance to celebrate.  I love to travel, as well, and  enjoy sampling all the local spoils of wherever I am.

Favorite restaurant?

Recently had a wonderful meal at: A Cena in Sellwood ... I totally recommend!

Favorite book?

Well, "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver is a favorite. "The Time Travelers Wife" is amazing. Anything by Tom Robbins. Right now I am reading "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain.

Favorite beverage?

I'm gonna say water, coffee, or wine depending on the accompanying activity.

Favorite movie?

I have no idea... I tend to watch them and then forget the details. If I have to pick one I'd have to say "True Romance".

Favorite way to spend the weekend?

I enjoy getting outdoors. Going to the coast or the river in the summer, cooking a beautiful meal and sharing it with family and friends. And sleeping in!

If you weren’t a midwife, what could you see yourself doing?

I have often asked myself this question. Besides working at a health food store when I was in school, I have only been a midwife. I have been working in birth since I was 20, folks! I have a little dream I entertain, about opening a food cart...but the truth is I have absolutely no reference point for any other type of life. At this point I identify so strongly with midwifery, it's hard to imagine doing anything else. But when I'm sleep deprived or when the politics of practicing an ancient art in a modern age starts weighing heavy, I like to fantasize about doing something simpler.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from being a midwife?

That there is no "right" way to do most anything. To be humble, and vulnerable  and empathetic. And I have learned those lessons over and over...

What are some things about you that your clients may be surprised to hear: Confession time: OK...[deep breath]
  • I drink Red Bull. And I don't care what's in it.
  • I have A LOT of pairs of shoes...but prefer being bare foot...go figure.
  • I prefer to let my man do "man stuff" and could care less about learning to fix the kitchen sink...or whatever (sorry feminism).
  • And I have a thing about clean floors, and will not hesitate to vacuum. At or night.
Mar 062013
biopic2In recent years, the word "transparency" has been thrown around in political arenas, bureaucratic agencies, and business model practices. From Wikipedia: Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. Andaluz Waterbirth Center collectively has done extensive reflection on the type of resource and assets that we wish to bring to the world we all live in and has undergone policy, practice, and professional changes to improve client care. Part of our movement forward professionally includes transparency, but providing more than lip service. Andaluz seeks to provide an exemplary model of care that is fair, open, and honest about our professional goals and practices. Statistics are an often-asked inquiry from prospective clients. "What is your cesarean rate?""How many mothers typically have to transfer to the hospital in labor?"; etc. Andaluz has complied with the State of Oregon requirement that all Licensed Direct-Entry Midwives (LDEMs) complete information-gathering statistics about their practice. These statistics are collected by Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and offer a valuable insight into the safety of midwifery care. Andaluz began collecting statistics in June 2011 and are committed to continue this practice. We are excited to share these numbers with you, to offer an honest insight into our midwifery practice and birth centers. This will enable consumers to make more informed choices about their care. Andaluz statistics are posted on our website, under our Resources page. We will add statistics every March for the prior year. Should you have any questions about these statistics, or about our practice, please feel free to contact us via email or phone. Andaluz is excited to work towards providing the best maternity care for Oregon families.