The 2015 Positive Birth Community Awards

March 20, 2015

These awards honor care providers, doulas, birth workers, mothers and other heroes of our birth community who have gone above and beyond to make the world a better place for mothers, babies, and families. Below is a list of all who were nominated; those with the most nominations in each category were presented with the award at our monthly meeting on March 19, 2015.

Courage Through Challenges

Stephanie Larsen recipient
Celesta McKinley recipient

Photo Mar 19, 8 42 30 PM

Also Nominated:

Christa Orgill Blackburn
Jenny Latu
Holly Montgomery
Terra Maynes
Victoria Stokes Garrett
Megan Capps
Laurel Lowe
Natalie Burton

Warrior of Support

Rachel Brown recipient 

Photo Mar 19, 8 43 43 PM

Also Nominated: 

Ruthie Higbee
Julie Johnson
Melissa Danner
Mary Brown
Megan Capps
Winn Asay
Christina Balzly
Cara Dahlquist
Heather Tolley
Kylie Power
Kathlyn Haws
Wendy Rush
Heather Kester
Haley Kirkpatrick

Healing Hands

Latissa Graham recipient

Photo Mar 19, 8 44 32 PM

Also Nominated: 

Ruthie Higbee
Wendy Rush
Terra Maynes
Natalie Burton
Rebecca de Azevedo
Sarah June Furst
Celesta McKinley
Heather Tolley
Mary Brown
Family First Chiro

Outstanding Mother-Centered Midwifery Care

Jennifer Krebs recipient

Also Nominated: 

Roxanna Maurer
Elizabeth Harmer
Adrianna Costello-Martin
Melody Pendleton
Richelle Jolley
Melissa Mayo
Angie Blackett
Sherri Price
Sarah Hagen and Julie King (U of U midwives)

Outstanding Mother-Centered Obstetrical Care

Dr. Wall recipient

Also Nominated: 

Dr. Crouch
Dr. Lamoureaux
Dr. Hannele Laine
Dr. Ludlow

Doula of Distinction

Laurel Lowe recipient

Photo Mar 19, 8 47 00 PM

Also Nominated: 

Sofie Jacobsen
Terra Maynes
Mary Brown
Megan Capps
Kristie Huber
Seanté Nielson
Heather Kester
Robynn Carter

Postpartum Empowerment

Wendy Rush recipient

Photo Mar 19, 8 47 39 PM

Also Nominated: 

Rachel Brown
Tara Tulley
Tobie Spears
Amy Coffield
Lacy Smith

Community Service Award

Ruthie Higbee recipient
Sarah Asay recipient

Photo Mar 19, 8 49 26 PM

Also Nominated: 

Julie Johnson
Rachel Brown
Sariah Price

Comments on the Nominees

There were some beautiful things said about many of those who were nominated! I’ve collected these comments to share with you here. What an incredible birth community we are privileged to be a part of!

Courage Through Challenges:

Terra Maynes is an amazing example of Courage Through Challenges. She has been through many of this life’s toughest challenges. Challenges that would make most people crumble. But through it all she is a shining example of positivity and of one who finds love and courage in any hardship. Just a quick example. She dealt with infertility for years. Not only infertility but she also had two miscarriages.Instead of becoming bitter toward pregnancy she chose to make it her passion. She became a doula! Then last year she had the most beautiful little rainbow baby! Terra embraced this challenge in her life and made it something so beautiful. That leads me to why I am nominating her for doula of distinction as well. Terra has an incredible passion for birth and the birthing community. It is her calling in this world. She loves her clients, she loves the babies they have and she is the most supportive doula. I am constantly texting and calling her for support and encouragement. She is always so positive and helpful. Her knowledge and the care she puts into this line of work is unmatched. I just can’t say enough about this woman. She is amazing!”

“For Courage through Challenges I nominate Megan Capps. She is a cheerleader, supporter and positive regarding anyone having challenges whether it is pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. She has been deeply hurt over her experiences with breastfeeding and all she did to make it work. She goes out and makes sure everyone else can still do it.”

“I would really like to nominate Stephanie Larsen for courage through challenges. To have the traumatic HELLP syndrome that she had with both her births, and then to listen to her gut and desire for an VBAC and prepare and work so hard to get it, is inspiring to me.”

“Both Stephanie Larsen and Celesta McKinley showed a lot of courage in their recent births.  They both faced a lot of challenges and were AMAZING in how they handled everything.”

“Courage Through Challenges: Celesta McKinley: Celesta has had challenges dropped on her that would bring most people down, but I have seen that she has risen. She has a sense of dignity with both her tears and her smile. I am proud of her.”

Natalie Burton–she has had some difficult disappointments and has met them with grace and loving care for herself. She is a witness to me that one can be Whole even if an outcome is uncertain.”

Melissa Danner should get the Warrior of Support. She kept my babe alive with her breast milk when my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. She also generously sent me a baby carrier so that I could more easily carry my daughter around (I didn’t have one or even a wrap). It was so hard to carry her around with all the tubes in her. I know that she helps a lot of other women as well. She doesn’t have a lot, but she gives and gives.”

Warrior of Support:

“I nominate Winn Asay for Warrior of Support. I have never seen anyone who can offer a lactation consultation via facebook. She is a master at listening, validating and troubleshooting just by what the mom says. That is a gift and talent and brilliant move on Hypnobirthing Utah to have someone offer such loving and supportive advice that is always just what mom needs to hear.”

“I nominate Rachel Brown as a warrior of support. She is a champion for the weak and disheartened. Specifically, she connected me with the people who could help and support me on my birth journey. I know she does this for countless others. Facilitating the postpartum support group is just one of many other things she does to support others, not to mention her honest heartfelt words and calls for introspection.”

“Warrior of Support: Christina Balzly–Christina is willing to go far, far out of her way to help a friend, downplaying the inconvenience to herself. She is a glowing, kind presence and will convince you that although she’s doing you a thousand favors, you are special and deserve it. She truly makes a difference.”

Kylie Power is a talented jewelry maker and her “sister tree” necklaces have touched many hearts, but I think she is a warrior of support because of the deep honor and respect she has for each story and relationship her necklaces represent. Kylie’s calming presence and thoughtfulness speak to the soul and create connections between people.”

Cara Dahlquist: Cara stands out as someone who is quick to offer whatever she has–time, childcare, food, a listening ear–to anyone who needs it. I have seen her do this again and again. She is so conscious of people who are struggling, lonely, or vulnerable and is constantly reaching out.”

Heather Tolley is gifted with insight and has a way of sharing deep wisdom and emotional medicine while also making others feel appreciated and understood. Whenever I read her words of comfort to anyone, I myself feel empowered and uplifted.”

Healing Hands:

“For Healing Hands I nominate Wendy Rush! Her breastfeeding support is truly healing.”

“I nominate Ruthie Higbee for Healing Hands as well as Sarah June Furst, Celesta McKinley, and Heather Tolley. Ruthie organized a sign up for people to come to my home and be my hands, doing housework and providing emotional support, when it was near impossible to use my own hands.”

“Healing Hands: Mary Brown and her hands have just been there for me, whether her hands were providing merciful counter-pressure during my labor. rubbing out knots in my wrecked postpartum back, tenderly holding my babies, squeezing my own hand in excitement or solidarity, or painting beautiful henna. She has healed me with her hands by washing my dishes, gesticulating wildly while telling stories, and braiding my hair when she knew I was feeling unpretty. Her hands have done so much for me!”

Outstanding Mother-Centered Midwifery Care:

“Outstanding mother-centered midwifery care: Melody Pendleton Dicken because she selflessly and professionally cares for the women who need her. She freely gives of her time and resources to make birth better.”

“For outstanding mother centered midwifery: Angie Blackett every birth I have attended with her, she is so in tune and aware of the moms needs, she is “aware” of protocol, but always looks at every woman and every situation as it’s own, not a statistic from a book.”

“I would like to nominate Sherri Price for coming and helping us have Jameson when it was suuuper last minute and she knew nothing about me.  That’s just impressive and very outstanding in my opinion.”

Outstanding Mother-Centered Obstetrical Care:

“For Outstanding Mother-Centered Obstetrical Care: Dr. David Wall. He never once tried to take my voice from me or any of the other women in his care. He has even helped women that other doctors had given up on because they would not be silenced.”

Doula of Distinction:

“I want to nominate my friend Sofie Jacobsen for the Doula of Distinction. She was a positive light during my baby’s birth.”

“For Doula of Distinction: Laurel Lowe. She never once let me give up when the pains of my labor threatened to drown me.”

“Doula of Distinction: Megan Capps is my doula and though I haven’t birthed yet (should happen in the next 4-6 weeks!!) every time I become nervous about my first unmedicated birth I think of her. She has so much passion for birth and supporting moms that it is contagious! My insecurities and second guesses leave as I think of her confidence-not in me, but in women and birth. She radiates beauty and love. Two and a half years ago when I decided I never wanted to birth in a hospital again I began looking for a potential doula and started a list. As soon as I found her website and saw her picture I just knew she was “the one”. So two years later when I was pregnant again I interviewed and hired her!”

“Doula of distinction: Laurel Lowe because she’s a pro at what she does and makes the most difficult thing manageable.”

“Hands down Laurel Lowe is the greatest doula of all time!! Everything she did helped us have a greater birthing experience than we could’ve imagined!”

“Doula of Distinction Heather Kester is courageous, knowledgeable, and quick to do what is needed. She is healthy and empowering as she interacts with her clients. She has a loyal and deep heart that has experienced so much, but she still has a wonderful ability to be present with others as their stories unfold.”

Postpartum Empowerment:

“I’d like to nominate Amy Coffield for the Postpartum Empowerment. She does amazing placenta stuff, but as a survivor of ppd she helped me out a lot when I was going through ppd, she even let me call her in the middle of the night and sat on the phone with me for an hour talking me through my blur of depression and that was before we became good friends!”

“Postpartum Empowerment I nominate Wendy Rush because she is passionate about speaking out and naming the issues that cause suffering for postpartum women. She is an advocate, a mover and a shaker.”

Community Service Award:

“For the Community Service Award: Rachel Brown. I think it goes without saying that she has done a lot for so many of us, and cares so deeply about the well-being of everyone she meets. The postpartum support group and the healing circles she has done are so successful because of how much she cares.”

“Community Service Award: Ruthie Higbee goes to more lengths and widths and breadths of service than I have ever seen. She painstakingly researches, remembers details, and brings her astonishing creativity and kindness to comfort and lift those in need. If there be anything lovely, delicious, praiseworthy or punny, Ruthie is behind these things.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

christina balzly March 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

What a pleasure it was to read the nominating comments. I feel hinored to be listed among these amazing women!

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