My name is Dhyana Heller and I am a “Homebirth Midwife and certified in 1996 as a Professional Midwife, (CPM). I began attending birthing women at home as a midwife in1980.
I began this journey in 1979 when a few of my pregnant women friends were choosing to have homebirths with a family doc who attended women at hospital, in his birthing center and at women’s homes. I attended a number of their births and got to know this phenomenal person who seemed to thrive and love this aspect of his very full family practice. I learned many skills from doc, but most of all, I began to identify the variables of normal natural birth. That was the beginning of my path to seeking the normal and natural of how we women birth our babies and the difference between intervention and intercession. I am appreciative of having the opportunity to experience the variables of normal childbirth. Before direct entry schools and apprenticeship was available I was so ‘hungry’ for information and hands on experience. I went to The Farm in Tennessee when it was a 1500 person community and met Ina Mae. In 1981 I met with her in the Black Hills for a workshop she gave on Natural Childbirth. I began to understand I was after a type of learning experience that I “felt in my bones” must be offered somewhere. A picture formed in my mind of women giving birth gently, in their own way in their own space with their own choice of position, in their own time, surrounded by their own support people (or not). So the woman, instead of having birth ‘happen to her’, would truly be empowered and be a participant in her birth experience, not separated from people who love her most. In 1987, I heard of and attended an Advanced Childbirth Workshop being offered in Texas given by Valerie El Halta who was then and is now a teacher of what is truly normal birth. In 1991 at a traditional midwifes meeting in Central PA I met, for the first time, many Amish and Mennonite midwives. What a glorious event. I found the picture that had been forming in my mind for many years. I listened as these gentle, strong women shared story after story of birth. Some of these midwives had attended over 3,000 births in their communities. Twins, breeches, and other births they considered normal. I received an invitation from one of the midwives to come and help her with the 20 births she had scheduled for the next month. My own babe was just 18 months old but I couldn’t say no and off we went with my husband in tow to help me with our babe when I was called out to a birth. I didn’t see much of husband or babe that month but it all worked out and the wealth of experience just filled me right up! In 1993 I was called to a small Amish Settlement for a birth and that began a relationship with these folks which continue to this day. In 1996 I lived and worked in a 300 family Mennonite Community in New York for 1 ½ years helping 100 women birth their babes. It was during that time the CPM certification became available and I decided I’d like to receive the credential.
Above you’ll read a little of the path I traveled to realize and come to accept I had become a midwife. You’ll read what journey I traveled as that midwife to become a Certified Professional Midwife.
Folks say it’s time I write a book of the stories I tell and some day perhaps I will, but for right now I’ll keep attending women who choose to birth at home.
Come visit my personal website: http://www.harmonybirthing.com