Meet the Team

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I first considered becoming a midwife when I was 14 and volunteering as a candystriper on the postpartum unit of our local hospital. I began reading about and studying midwifery and sitting in on prenatal appointments and childbirth classes when I was 16. In 2007 I attended the home birth of a friend from church and the next year I married my (home-born!) husband and started apprenticing as a student midwife at Full Circle Midwifery.

 

Over the next 7 years I studied and attended births and became a mama myself, having my first 3 babies during that time. In 2014 I completed the required studies and clinical experience and took the exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife through the North American Registry of Midwives. I received my State of Michigan midwife license when it became available in 2019. I continued to practice with Full Circle for the next 7 years after becoming a midwife until I opened Genesis Midwifery in 2021..


I believe that birth is a normal, wonderful event and should be cherished and respected as something beautiful and holy. I trust birth because I trust in the God Who created mothers and babies and perfectly designed each detail of their bodies and the pregnancy and birth process. I stand in awe of His glory as Creator and Giver of Life every time I see the miracle of birth, of life, of babies breathing their first breath, of women becoming mamas and of families growing richer with new life.


My husband, Noah, and I have 5 beautiful, home-born daughters: Amy, Sylvia, Kate, Megan, and Heidi. My life is full of wonder and blessing being a wife, homeschool mama, and midwife.

Dorothy Vandezande
Licensed Midwife, CPM

I’ve always been interested in women’s health and birth and babies. In high school, I shadowed various healthcare workers, witnessed my first birth, and volunteered at a local community hospital. I started nursing school right after high school with the thought that I might want to be a midwife someday. During nursing school, I worked as a nurse’s aide and completed a nurse externship program in trauma/neuro and ICU. I became a registered nurse in 2001 and worked part-time with certified nurse-midwives (mainly Pam Craddock) as a birth assistant at home births in Lancaster County, PA for 5 years. I also taught childbirth classes to their clients for about a year. In 2002, I took a part-time job as a nurse in the maternity unit of the same hospital where I had volunteered and worked there until late 2006 when I got married and moved to Michigan. In maternity, I worked in postpartum, labor and delivery, and nursery. Besides moms and babies, we took care of women recovering from hysterectomies, bladder repairs, and plastic surgery! I was also part of a core group that trained to work in the NICU our hospital was opening and began taking care of sick babies and preemies. I appreciated my experience at the hospital, because I learned a lot, but it was very upsetting at first and quite a shock to see the contrast from the home births, and I almost quit soon after I started.

 

While working these two jobs, I completed my BSN and started midwifery school right away. Whenever I wasn’t at the hospital or in classes, I was on-call for home births. I graduated from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing with a Master’s in Nursing and took my boards in 2007 to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife just before I became a mom myself. Since then until January 2022, I have been a stay-at-home mom (we have 5 children now, all born at home) with the exception of a brief stint working as an L&D nurse in Grand Haven in 2009. Though I don’t have an exact count, I have assisted with more than 400 births.

Dorothy approached me about working with her in the summer of 2021. I was hesitant at first because I have been so accustomed to being a stay-at-home mom and want to be present for my family and because it had been so many years since I had helped with birth! Before I had a chance to tell her my decision, Dorothy texted me late one night in the middle of a snowstorm that the midwife who she was counting on to help her at the birth she was attending was sick and would I be interested in helping. I have been assisting Dorothy with births ever since—that was January 2022, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I believe that healthy low-risk women are better off having their babies in the peace and comfort of their own home with trained experienced attendants. Birth is a normal natural event that usually proceeds best if allowed to unfold with minimal to no intervention. I feel privileged to be assisting women and their families with this special time in their lives.

Violet Near
Birth Assistant, CNM

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Breanna Vertz
Student Midwife

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My passion for birth work comes from my own birth experiences.  Having first a traumatic hospital birth and then an out-of-hospital midwife-assisted birth, the difference between the two was drastic.  Being left traumatized by one and empowered by the other, my passion for natural birth was born. The opportunity to now witness families welcome their newborn into the world in such an intimate setting at home never gets old and is such an honor.  

 

I’m attending Mercy in Action College of Midwifery to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Midwifery to become a Certified Professional Midwife.

 

Aside from birth work, I love all aspects of holistic living.  My husband of ten years and I have two kids that we homeschool. Together we enjoy camping, going to the beach, and watching the kids play hockey and dance. 

Dennise Wright
Student Midwife

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I first became interested in caring for moms and babies during my clinical experience in Nursing School.  After graduating I worked in Labor & Delivery & Postpartum until the birth of our first child.  As my husband and I were blessed with a large family my time was dedicated to being a full-time mom and homeschooling. We had five boys and five girls. Now that our children have grown, I am able to pursue my dream of becoming a midwife.  I began Midwifery School in the Fall of 2021.  I became certified as a doula and have thoroughly enjoyed supporting families in their homebirth experience. I am continually in awe of the beautiful process of birth! In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and grandchildren.  I enjoy caring for our animals and tending our vegetable and flower gardens.

Lydia Johnson
Birth Assistant

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My interest in birth work started with raising sheep and helping my ewes during lambing season. The beautiful picture of life, a little lamb coming into this world and the mama knowing exactly what to do to take care of it, captivated me, and because of this I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian.

 

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized the need for more midwives and birth assistants in this age of sterilized, clean and white medical care, where home birth is considered risky or foolish. Birth is not a medical emergency, it is a beautiful process that God created, another element in the rhythm of life.

 

I attended my first birth in the spring of 2021, and I also took several classes on out of hospital birth work, in that year as well. I have been to only a handful of births, including the birth of my own daughter, but the miracle of life never ceases to leave me praising God for his power and love. 

Maggie Bowman
Birth Assistant, Doula

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If you had asked me ten years ago if I was interested in women’s health, health education, and birth work, the answer would have been a resounding “no.” I always wanted to have kids of my own, but the medical field didn’t hold much appeal for me. But after struggling with my own health issues, including unexplained infertility, and with sisters that lived far away, I realized that I might never get to be part of a birth experience. It wasn’t until my sister-in-law, Dorothy, started her own practice that I realized I could be part of a birth experience in a helpful and healthy way.

 

I attended my first birth in June of 2022 and was hooked. My personal goal now is to continue my exposure to birth work as a birth assistant and doula and continue my education to eventually become a CPM in Michigan. My husband and I live on my family’s homestead in Hart with our two dogs. We have 18 nieces and nephews, whom we love very much, and who keep us busy outside of work!