Blue Bradley is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), and the owner of Methow Midwifery & Women’s Health. Born in Colorado, she moved to the Methow in 1995 and worked at every bakery and restaurant before going back to school.
She has wanted to be a midwife since 1999 when she took a birth doula (professional support person) training, and learned about the inadequacies of the mainstream system that cares for birthing women, and about ways midwives help to empower women in pregnancy and labor.
Her RN degree was achieved in Omak and she worked at The Country Clinic in Winthrop (rural Family Practice) for 6 years. In 2008, she graduated from the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing with a Master's degree in Midwifery and opened Methow Midwifery in October of 2008.
Her wonderfully supportive husband, Larry, owns North Cascades Mountain Guides and is an avid climber, back country skier, and avalanche instructor. He takes Blue on many adventures when she is not waiting for babies to be born. Together, with their dog Scooby, they live in Mazama.
Sarah Berns grew up in Massachusetts and came "out west" to the Methow Valley in 1995 to work for the Forest Service. While studying film and sociology at Wesleyan University in CT, she continued to fight fire during the summers. After working in the film industry in LA, she moved back to the Methow to pursue her fire career, and dream of Smokejumping. While smokejumping, she married fellow jumper, Daren Belsby, and had a daughter, Ayla in November of '05. It was this pivotal life experience (induction and ultimate C/section) that led Sarah to become active in the birthing community. In addition to completing EMT-B training in '99, she took a birth doula class in 2008 and went on to have a glorious VBAC, with Blue in attendance, January of '09 (Maeve). She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work for Blue and to help provide an extremely important service to local women. Together with Daren, Sarah also runs a local lodging facility, Spring Creek Ranch, in Winthrop.
Karissa Mclean was born and raised in Twisp. Always interested in social services, she studied Community Health at Western Washington University. She completed an internship in Oaxaca, Mexico for an organization which provided nutrition education in rural Oaxacan communities.
After college Karissa spent two years in Mississippi. For the first year she was working with a disaster recovery organization to rebuild homes and parks in low income communities after Hurricane Katrina. In her second year, Karissa developed a training program to help women enter the construction trades.
After half a year of traveling in New Zealand, she returned home to work for Room One, a non-profit resource center in Twisp, in the summer of 2009. Karissa’s work and travel experience have made her acutely aware of the importance of quality respectful healthcare. It was this awareness that lead her to be one of Blue’s home birth assistants. Karissa is also certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and has taken a Birth Doula training.
While a student at The Evergreen State College 18 years ago, Kelleigh McMillan had the experience and education of living with a pregnant mom and attending her homebirth, which began her passion for natural birth. Over the years she has had the honor of attending friends' homebirths and gratefully had her two babies at home, now ages 5 and 8. Kelleigh has worked as an organic vegetable grower for the past 16 years and currently directs a program which grows and distributes free produce to low-income families in the Methow Valley. She also worked as a First Responder and an E.M.T. for several years, and is now trained as a birth Doula and Home Birth Assistant. She is grateful that there is now a wonderful homebirth option to all women in the (county/valley) through Methow Midwifery and Blue's dedication, and considers each birth a blessed way to start a new life. She makes her home with her husband Paul and children Lazo and Stella near Twisp.
Kim Odell lives near Twisp and has been a valley resident since 1995. Her career in childbirth began ten years ago when she joined "Mothering through Breastfeeding," a newly formed, local mother's group. After an assisted hospital water birth with her first daughter, she facilitated the group for almost three years. The group discussed and supported each other on issues such as birth choices, vaccines, sleep options, and breast feeding. After a natural hospital birth of her second daughter, she turned to home schooling. She decided to go a step deeper into the birthing world and became a birth doula through Seattle Midwifery School and began acting as a home birth assistant for Blue after the wonderful home birth of her son. She became certified in Neonatal Resuscitation during that time. She has attended a variety of beautiful home births and relishes each experience as a tender and magical time.
Becky Studen: A transplant from New England, Becky Studen has lived in the Methow Valley most of her adult life. She worked as a biologist and educator for the U.S. Forest Service for 12 years before joining her husband Aaron in running their family business in 2007. In 2000, Becky gave birth to her first son, Simon, with great support from family, a doula (Blue Bradley), many nurses and hospital staff, and now retired midwife, Sheryl Smith. It was a long labor. Needing empathy and support for the new challenges that motherhood and breastfeeding brought, Becky joined the “Mothering Through Breastfeeding” support group (now known as Room One's “Mothering Group”). She greatly enjoyed the support, information, and community that the Mothering Group provided for several years and became a facilitator of the group from 2003 to 2005 . In 2006 Becky gave birth to her daughter Gabby with lots of support again, and thankfully a much shorter labor. Believing in and supporting the natural process of birth has been a passion for Becky. In 2008 she was certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and also became a certified yoga instructor with an emphasis on prenatal and children's yoga.