“Women, don’t ever apologize for your behavior or choices during birth. When you OWN your experience and take pride in your journey, you help other women do the same thing. No matter how you did it, you just brought a human being into the world! The world should be kneeling at your feet.” – Lauralyn Curtis
October 2015 Newsletter 
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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. One in four women and families will experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. The Brookhaven family is taking time this month and every month to remember all our babies and their families. We encourage those that have experienced pregnancy and/or infant loss, to speak out and seek the support you want or need, not just in October, but whenever you feel the need. 
The staff at Brookhaven would like to thank all those who joined us for our annual Labor day party. It is always a pleasure to spend time with our Brookhaven family. 
Catching Susanna
Written By Pete Atkinson
So many things, like time, like rest, like fear,
Like apprehension and anxiety, feelings of inadequacy,
They all just seem to disappear
In the perfect moments, those ones
Where God removes the escape hatches,
And doesn't let us press that eject button,
But stands there with us in the embrace
Of all encompassing presence, face to face.
She let me know it was time, the clock was ticking,
And though there seemed a lifetime between each pulse,
Action was needed now. We had to move quickly,
So we did. We had to be ready,
So we were, and I'll never know the pain,
Only she could feel that, but I could see it,
And I could hear it, and I just wanted it to end
Though I knew what its end meant.
It meant I would be the first to touch, to greet,
To make contact and welcome what would in a minute be her,
And it meant when she came to us, it would just be us three,
In our room, in our bed, in our home, the same room,
Just mere feet away from exactly where we met her sister.
Please God, let it not be like that was. I'm not equipped. She saved
Her life, but she's not here. It's just me and an amazing mother
Doing her part. No, It'll be fine. There is no choice, no other.
As fast as it was, it crept, compared to the moment she came,
A head, for just an instant, then like the release of a kinked hose,
She blasted into this world, into my hands. I felt her warm frame,
Slippery, slimy, but she coughed, she breathed, no cord, all clear,
I must have had her in my hands less than a second, but she's alive.
I could feel her life, and I just knew, she breathed and I with her
Then I like a second basemen turning two, quickly passed her on,
I placed her in her mother's hands, and just like that my job was done.
All three  were different, and each had its own fear, its own fight,
And each left its mark on me. God knows I wasn't ready to be a Dad,
A man of responsibility, with a sense that moments matter, so he gave
Me these, and I stand in thanksgiving to Him and to her, my wife,
For bringing me into the moment, to be a part, a real part, of something
I could have otherwise avoided, playing the spectator on the sidelines.
Instead I got to fight for one, to pray for another, and deliver the last today,
Though days of doubt will come again, I've thrice now known presence, grace.
It can be found at
Dad of the Month

Pete and DeAnna Atkinson live in Ruckersville with their three daughters. Coralee is 5, Clara is 3, and Susanna, born August 10th. DeAnna is an organist and church music director. Pete teaches English and coaches football at Blue Ridge School, and serves as the Pastor of Gordonsville Presbyterian Church.
The following is Susanna's birth story, from Pete's perspective.
The decision to have our third child with Misty was a no brainer, but five years ago, as a clueless expecting first-time father, heading to my first Bradley Method Class, I never would have imagined conceiving of such a statement, let alone believing it to my core. Natural Childbirth was something I had never really thought about, so homebirth was completely foreign to me. I was like, really, people have them at home, how do you ever go back into that room? But as they say, experience is the best teacher. 

We had our first daughter, Coralee, with a Midwife in the hospital, and it was a battle. We, or at least my wife, DeAnna, had a specific vision for how she wanted the birth to go, and I felt it was my job to fight for her, to fight for us, and it was quite a fight. She just was never comfortable, and it all seemed like we were a part of a process and system where we had very little control over what was happening to and with our family. I am convinced that the 36+ hour ordeal, battling all the way, was extended because DeAnna never felt relaxed. I couldn't help her relax because I was fighting against the system. It just wasn't right, but Coralee was born, finally, and the blessing of her coming to us, of course was magical, but we were certain we wanted something else for our second child.
Two years later our second daughter Clara was born at home. Things went much more quickly. You can't beat the comfort of home, the relaxed atmosphere, but always in the back of your mind are the "what ifs." What do we do if something goes wrong? And with Clara it did, but Misty was amazing, so calm, so professional, perfect for the moment. Clara was born with the cord around her neck. The first seconds of her life, were the most intense blur I've ever witnessed. I see her purple color still if I try. I hear the silence of her not breathing, but in the mix of that memory is Misty calm, collected, forceful breathing life into her lungs, and within the minute she was fine, and her life began. DeAnna had some complications afterwards; she hemorrhaged, and Misty, and Heidi Horner stayed with us. They cared enough to make sure we were okay, physically, and emotionally comforted. They cared about us as people. We were more than clients. It meant so much. To have someone save your daughter's life, but also to stay around, off the clock, it's just what you want.
So three years later, remembering Coralee's birth, and comparing it with Clara's, we didn't think twice. I felt completely comfortable and at ease with Misty and Brookhaven. And as a husband, I'm in awe of what my wife has gone through. She's amazing, so strong, so brave, so resilient. We thought the third might just be easier, totally different, and I'd say she was. I remember at the home visit, Misty was going through the "what to do if the baby comes fast" procedure, and it wasn't real to me. All I remembered was, make sure you put the on-call midwife number on speed dial, that speakerphone is a wonderful thing, and try to get her to the bed, so at least the landing would be soft, but beyond that I heard, pray it doesn't happen. But it did, our third daughter, Susanna, was born at 4:10 a.m., and I wrote the poem above, the following night. It seeks to capture the moment of the birth of our little Rocket Baby.
September Babies

10 Births
3 Girls
7 Boys


Megan and Bryan
Liam Francis 8lbs 2oz

Katie and Jared
Piper Ann 6lbs 2oz

Hosanna and Jacob
Obed Issac 7lbs. 13 oz

Phyllis and Dwayne
Clarence Evan 7lbs 4oz

April and Josh
Sterling McKinley 8lbs 8oz

Alyssa and Eric
Addilyn Marie 8lbs 13oz

Josephine and Josh
Carlyle Blain 8lbs 2 oz

Kim and Mitch 
Cecilia Joan 8lbs 11oz

Virginia and Ryan
George Henry Charles 6lbs 12oz

Rachel and Christian 
Flint Elias 7lbs 10oz
*Photo Coutesy of Kaytee Sierra Photography
Dancing At the Birth Center! 
We have two ways to dance this Fall! 

Looking for a creative way to allow your toddler or preschooler to release some energy? Join Ellie on Thursdays at 11:00, starting October 15th and get your children moving. Ellie de Waal has a BFA in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University. During a three-year sabbatical from school, Elli studied at Danshuis Station Zuid with Andrew Greenwood in Tilburg, Netherlands. She also performed in works choreographed by Itamar Serussi Sahar and Rocco Vermijis. Upon returning to the United States, Ellie was invited to the Rockette Summer Intensive Invitational Week in 2012.  We will be updating our blog soon with more information about our lovely Lil' Walkers teacher! 
How about some mommy time? Our own midwifery apprentice/birth assistant Zazi Muller, is also an accomplished belly dance instructor and will be holding a 6 week session, starting October 19th. Classes will be held Monday's from 4-5:15 pm. The sessions will be $10 for one class or $50 for the full 6 weeks. 

Zazi was introduced to belly dance at the age of 15 by her mentor Youkta. She has continued her personal practice for the sake of health, joy, and sanity for 20 years through all her pregnancies and life changes. She is a home school mom, homesteader and midwifery student and loves to share belly dance with other women. 
Recipe of the Month

This soup is the perfect new mommy meall!  Make it and freeze it for after baby comes, or take it to your favorite new mommy and her family so that her and her partner don't have to think about dinner planning. 
Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup


1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 lb chicken breast
2 cups mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots and onions)
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp poultry seasoning (or any herbs/seasoning of your choice)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
a few TBS of white wine (optional)
up to 2 cups of additional milk or water

1. Rinse the wild rice. Place the uncooked wild rice, raw chicken, mirepoix, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning in a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The chicken should be cooked through and the rice should be soft. There will be extra liquid in the crockpot; do not drain. 
2. Remove the chicken breasts from the crockpot and allow to cool slightly. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot. 
3. When rice and chicken are done cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture bubble for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the whole milk until a thick, creamy mixture forms. Stir in the wine. 
4. Add this to the rice and chicken in the crockpot and stir to combine. Add extra water or milk to adjust the consistency as you like it. Season with additional salt and pepper. 

Notes: The poultry seasoning is a mix of several things, including thyme and sage. Even though it's only a teaspoon, do not omit this because it adds a lot of the flavor. If you don't have any, just use any other herb seasonings you like. 

Upcoming Classes...

Bright Beginnings Childbirth Education with Elizabeth Schwartz
November 14 - 9am to 5pm
January 9, 2016 - 9am to 5pm

Belly Dancing
Next session starts October 19th
Monday Afternoons 4pm to 5:15pm

Creative Dance for Lil' Walkers
*$13 for drop in/$85 full session*

October 15-December 10
Thursdays 11:00-11:45

Birth Circle *Free*
2nd Monday of the Month 7pm
October 12th

La Leche League Breastfeeding Cafe *Free*
1st Monday of the Month 6pm to 7pm

October 5th

ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) Meetings
3rd Monday of the Month 7pm to 9pm