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Barbara Sellars, CNM

The International Day of the Midwife


May 5, 2019

For forty years I have had the privilege of practicing midwifery, an endeavor more rewarding, demanding, and just plain fun than anything else in my life except motherhood. Thank you all for being a part of it - I have such wonderful memories!

As I midwife, one practices every day, in the same way a musician or an athlete, a yogi or an artist must practice. I would have happily continued to practice, learning new things and meeting new people, but the nights and the years caught up with me.

A year ago I stopped attending births, but have had the continuing pleasure of seeing clients for well-woman health care needs. Unfortunately, the office where I was subletting space at a very reasonable rate was closed at the end of March. Efforts to find affordable part-time space, suitably equipped, have been futile. WeWork doesn’t seem to have gyn exam rooms.

While I will no longer be practicing midwifery, I will always be a midwife. The email, texts, and phone calls will still reach me, and I maintain client records until the youngest child turns 21 years old, or it’s been more than 7 years since you were seen for other than pregnancy care.

Please stay in touch - I love seeing your photos and sharing your news. I will be gardening, traveling, and studying French.

Love and best wishes,
Barbara


Blog

A Weekend in Virginia with My Granddaughter

On February 23, 2015

Just back from Charlottesville, Virginia, where I visited my granddaughter Kendall, a freshman at the University of Virginia. Snow snow snow there all day Saturday – lovely, but tough going. We decided against a visit to Monticello (next time!) and the official tour of the university was cancelled, so I got an unofficial tour from Kendall. Thomas Jefferson’s “Academical Village” is beautiful. Kendall’s aunt, my younger daughter Jen Pahlka (founder and CEO of Code for America) came down Saturday night after a speech in DC. By that time the snow had turned to sleet and the roads were ice-covered, so we had a perilous trip from the train station after picking her up! But it was great to be able to have dinner and then breakfast the next day with both of them. My journey home on Amtrak featured snowy fields and forests under blue skies all the way up the NE Corridor. I love train travel!

Charlottesville1

Charlottesville2

Our Numbers for 2014

On January 29, 2015

  • 54 total deliveries, of which 45 were vaginal
    • 1 of these was a vacuum delivery
    • 2 of these were VBAC’s (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
    • 3 other patients who had previously had a Cesarean birth had a repeat Cesarean
      • 1 = prolapsed cord
      • 1 = breech
      • 1 = non-reassuring fetal heart rate tracing
  • 6 patients had primary Cesarean deliveries
    • 5 of these were for non-reassuring fetal heart rate tracings.
          Several had meconium and/or a cord around the neck.
    • 1 of these was for a 10 lb. 8 oz baby
  • Of the vaginal births, 32 women had no stitches
    • 7 had a first degree perineal laceration which was repaired
    • 6 had a second degree perineal laceration which was repaired

Unexpected Start for the New Year

On January 13, 2015

A week after I returned from my holiday visit to Tulsa, I got a call from my sister Jeanie that my father was in the ER with severe pain in the right temple and uncontrollable vomiting. I finished my office hours on Monday, December 29th, and booked a ticket back to Tulsa the next day. Dad was in bad shape when I arrived, on codeine around the clock for the pain. He had a hemorrhage in his right eye, causing such pressure in the eyeball that it couldn’t even be measured. He had eye surgery on Friday and was much better by the time I flew back on Sunday. I left him with a freezer full of single-portion servings of the food I know he likes – when under stress, I cook. His vision is slowly returning, and we are hoping for the best. Won’t know for a couple of weeks how much he will be able to see, but already he can walk his beloved dogs, Buddy and Sandy, and maneuver around the house.

Nicole was there for me in this emergency, and I can’t thank her enough for stepping in and managing 3 labors in 5 days, 2 at once the day I was on the plane coming back! We had 7 clients due in the month of January – how crazy is it that 3 people had their kids while I was gone! She did a fantastic job with some long hard labors, and all the babies got born vaginally. She has earned her place as a CBS midwife par excellence!

My sister Daphne, my Dad (before eye problem), me, granddaughter Kendall, grandson Kieran, daughter Amy

About CBS

CBS Midwifery was established in 1982. The last delivery was the 3,711th, on May 16, 2018.

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