The Hartog-Hall Family

'Merrily, thank you!  Here is a bit of our story: I was born at home, my sister had her 2 children at home, and I knew I would give birth at home if at all possible.  My husband comes from a more traditional background, and due to complications with the birth of his son (who is happy and healthy today!), he was quite wary about the homebirth process.  I assured him that I also knew there were situations that should be handled in a hospital, and we had to find a midwife whose judgment we could trust to make that call. 

After doing a little research and finding out there were 2 well-respected midwives on Maui, we started interviewing.  I will shorten the story to say we had a negative experience with the first midwife.  When we went to meet you, we were saying to each other, "I really hope Merrily is OK, because we are out of options."  It was like the heavens opened up and delivered you to us.  You blew us away.  You were not only "OK," but exceptional.  Your natural ways combined with your nursing background was the combination that made both me and my husband at ease.

Throughout the entire prenatal/ birth/ postpartum period, you made us feel comfortable asking any questions, no matter how graphic.  You did the smallest details like offering me something to drink at every prenatal.  I felt extremely impressed and confident in your experience, knowledge, and background.  I completely trusted your judgment as far as when to get more information, when I should just keep doing what I was doing, when I should change my diet, etc.  I felt supported and guided.  And came to truly enjoy your company.

Sydney's birth went as perfect as could be expected, for a first mom.  The amount of equipment that you brought in was truly astonishing, and I felt like I had an entire hospital's supplies were in my bedroom (that's a good thing).  The freedom of being in my home, being able to labor at my pace, then give birth on my bed- I just can't imagine how anyone would do any different.  Right after she was born, my husband and I quietly laid in bed together, cuddling our newborn, and blissfully deciding  on the name for our daughter, now that she was here.  And we weren't rushed, and there weren't harsh lights, and I wasn't wearing a horrible hospital gown.  It was just me and my family having the most peaceful moment.

Thank you Merrily for helping us bring our daughter into the world.  I can't believe that birth is so beautiful.'

Raven & Tim Hartog-Hall, Kihei, Maui 

Sydney Fox Hartog-Hall, born 8/30/2009