As midwives we are blessed to witness many powerful, intimate and beautiful moments. We hear women talk to their babies with tenderness and fierce love in the depths of labor. We see women instinctively move their bodies to help their babies descend. We are present for tender acts of love and courage between couples when labor is long. We deliver babies in birth tubs and family beds, respecting what feels most natural and safe, and guide women and their partners in catching their own babies if that is their vision. We cherish the incredible moment when a baby takes their first breath in his or her mother’s arms.
Angela Truby CPM, LDM
On a June day in 2000 I gave birth to my daughter Willa Clare, pushing her out with great triumph, pain and joy into the waiting arms of my wonderful midwife, Leslie. As is true for many women, my birth experience was a pinnacle moment in my life, marking the transition from maidenhood to motherhood. Held in the arms of my husband, Seth, immersed in warm water in the birth pool in my kitchen, I learned to trust in my body’s wisdom and find new depths of courage, strength and passion that would serve me well, not only as a mother, but also as a midwife years later. I embraced the new adventure of being a mama, while the seeds of midwifery quietly grew within me. As my daughter took her first steps and then became a busy toddler I attended my first births as a doula. I was instantly in love with the sweet energy and intimacy of supporting a woman through her labor, and my doula practice blossomed. I brought to each birth my deep trust in the wisdom of women’s bodies, a calming, compassionate and knowledgeable presence, and an array of comfort measures for labor support. I wanted women to feel empowered by their birth experience, to remember that momentous time with joy and pride; I wanted babies to enter the world as peacefully and gently as possible, surrounded by love. Home birth being a rarity in Ohio, almost all of my clients gave birth in the hospital. I began to appreciate more deeply the undisturbed freedom and sense of reverence I experienced giving birth at home with skilled midwives who knew me and cared for my family. When I finally embraced my calling to be a midwife, it was with excitement, hope and yes, trepidation! With the loving encouragement of my husband and community, we moved across the country to Portland, where I began midwifery training at Birthingway College of Midwifery in 2004. Two years later, while I was still in school, my second daughter, Iona Rose, was born into the hands of my husband and my midwife after several hours of intense labor and three crazy pushes. Willa Clare’s first words upon witnessing her sister’s birth were, “She’s just darling!”
Midwifery is one of the last professions that values the age-old model of learning through an apprenticeship. For me, this was the heart and soul of my education. I began my apprenticeship in 2007 at Alma Midwifery, a free-standing birth center in Portland, under the skillful guidance of founder and midwife, Laura Erickson CPM, LDM. In Alma’s busy practice I honed my clinical skills and cared for women from very early pregnancy until their final postpartum visit with a 6 week old baby in arms. By the time I completed my apprenticeship in 2009 I had attended over 100 births and worked with every midwife at Alma. In August of 2009 I earned my Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degree and passed the national exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). After becoming a Licensed Midwife in Oregon, I was invited to stay to gain more experience as both an Assistant Midwife and a Primary Midwife for another 3 years. I have now attended the births of more than 450 babies, many of them born in the sweet comfort of their parents’ own home. I am so grateful to all the mamas and babies who have taught me so much and blessed my life so deeply! When I am not “catching babies,” as midwives like to say, I love spending time with my husband and two beautiful, spirited daughters. I also find great pleasure in making music, and love to sing in a range of musical styles, perform with the Christmas Revels cast, and play the banjo.
“How do we ever thank you for the huge role you’ve played in our lives and your incredible support during this special time for our family? We are so grateful for your wisdom and care and warmth throughout the pregnancy. We are so lucky we found you.” – Sarah and Patrick
“Thank you for your warmth and fierce guidance – we needed exactly what you gave, which was so much.” – Cambria and Ben
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH – Bachelor of Arts in English and Women’s Studies
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA – Masters of Divinity
Birthingway College of Midwifery, Portland, OR – Bachelor of Science in Midwifery
Apprenticeship with Laura Erickson CPM, LDM (2007 – 2009)
Credentials and Affiliations
Certified Professional Midwife since 2009 through North American Certification Registry of Midwives (NARM)
Licensed Midwife in Oregon and Washington
Member of the Oregon Midwifery Council since 2007
Midwife at Alma Midwifery Center (2009 – 2012)
Founded Glow Midwifery in February, 2012
Attended over 450 births as of 2017
Personal Birth Experience
Willa Clare was born at home in the water in 2000 after 12 hours of labor Iona was born at home in the water on 2006 after 5 hours of labor. Angela has been married to Seth Truby since 1995.
Maggie Halpin CPM, LDM
As a born and raised Portlander, I was blessed to grow up near lush, green forests, a powerful ocean, and breathtaking mountains. I became an ardent lover of the rain, the abundant outdoors, and the cyclical nature of life. While I would not know until I entered my 20s that I am a midwife at heart, I knew at a young age that I wanted my life to closely reflect the beauty I found in nature. I discovered midwifery as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I chose to study literature because I enjoyed exploring the human experience through fiction and I loved the freedom that books provided me to study ideas, places, and the minds of people. During my senior year, I wrote a thesis paper about a beautiful birth scene I found in a novel by Toni Morrison. As I learned more about birth, I felt that I had made a huge discovery: birth unleashes power in women; it allows us to access an at once divine and earthly wisdom and strength. When I learned about the history of birth politics in the U.S. and the ways in which the system is currently failing childbearing women (with astronomical costs, rampant use of unnecessary interventions, and a cesarean rate around 1 in 3), I realized that I had to be part of the solution to this problem and I had uncovered my calling to be a midwife. I began my education at Birthingway College of Midwifery in 2012 and joined the Glow team in the fall of 2013. I am now a Certified and Licensed Midwife with a Bachelor’s of Science in Midwifery. I am so happy to continue serving the families of Glow Midwifery in the role of Assistant Midwife! I live in Washougal, Washington with my husband and our two cats. I love cooking, reading, going for long walks, and spending time with my nieces and nephews.
Sarah Ehrlich CPM, LDM
I was born by the ocean in Santa Monica, California. My introduction to midwifery began when I was present at my mother’s homebirths of my two younger brothers. This established in me a deep knowing that birth is normal, safe and sacred. We grew up going to a Waldorf school which provided an oasis of community in the huge city of Los Angeles. My Waldorf education taught me to keep my head and heart connected thought my learning and to trust myself.
It wasn’t until I was 18 that my interest in midwifery resurfaced. During a gap year of traveling, I spent three months as a doula and birth assistant at a beautiful birth center in a small village in Bali. There I witnessed women birthing their babies into warm tubs of water with fragrant flowers floating around them, sweet grandmothers praying in the corner while tropical storms thundered outside. The families would sing to their new babies and my heart opened to the miracle of the birth process. I moved to Portland in 2009 and attended classes at Lewis & Clark College before enrolling at Birthingway College of Midwifery in 2012.
Over the past 3 years I have apprenticed at both a large, busy birth center in the heart of Portland and with a small, rural home birth practice based in Canby. I have had the privilege of learning from many wise, skillful midwives and strong mothers. I continue to be astounded at the amazing love and courage it takes to bring a baby into the world. I am honored to be a guide and a protector of this rite of passage.
When I’m not busy with midwifery, I love to paint, knit and play cover songs on guitar. I live in North Portland with my boyfriend, our orange cat and a colony of honeybees. I enjoy sharing meals with my friends and family, and soaking up the beauty of the Pacific Northwest’s rivers, forests, and coast. I love serving our Glow families alongside the talented and warm Glow midwives!
Cassidy Dobek CPM, LDM
I was born and raised in the small town of Lincoln, Vermont, where the story of home birth was not an uncommon one. At the early age of 2 ½, I witnessed my sister’s birth in my parent’s bed ~ the midwife had to ask me to move my curious head as my sister was about to be born! At the age of 14, during a winter snowstorm, I had the privilege of serving my mother as a labor doula for my brother’s birth. This experience forever changed my life. It ignited a fire of passion within me to serve women in their most powerful and vulnerable moments. I was entranced by the mystery and wisdom of a woman’s body’s ability to swell, contract, open, break, birth, and heal. As I listened to the birth stories my mother collected and shared with me in her own work as a doula, my foundation of trust in the birthing process grew.
In 2012, after exploring fashion design, art history and anthropology in college, I finally was ready to embrace my midwifery path. I convinced my partner to take a wild leap of faith and move to Portland, Oregon where I hoped to be accepted into Birthingway College of Midwifery. I enrolled the following year and completed my midwifery education in 2017.
As a midwife at Glow Midwifery, I honor the opportunity to hold space and be a guardian of safety in order to facilitate a woman’s ideal birth experience. I love the process of getting to know our clients throughout the childbearing year. It is such a privilege to support women through labor and birth and witness them discovering and connecting with their new baby. In advance, I thank all Glow families for the opportunity to use my midwifery skills and practice mutual vulnerability and trust. I aim to be authentic in the energy that I put forth on this path.
When I am not spending time with our Glow families, I enjoy playing in Oregon’s great outdoors with my partner and dog, tending my garden, beading, making gourmet meals with friends, and rekindling my passion for dance. I look forward to my continuing journey with Glow Midwifery and all of the wonderful families we serve.
Lucy French, Student Midwife
I learned about birth culture in the United States for the first time in a women and gender studies class at Washington University in St. Louis, a long way from my home in coastal New Hampshire. I remember feeling stirred and exceptionally present one class period as my professor lectured on the staggering maternal and infant mortality statistics in our country, on the history of midwifery, on the movement of birth out of the sacredness of the home space and into the hospital, and finally on how the midwifery model of care can offer an individualized holistic option for expectant families. Something within me woke up that day. Looking back on this memory, I realize that this was the first of many moments of inspiration and guidance that I would receive on my spiritual and professional path as a midwife.
After graduating from Washington University in 2010 I lived in the Bay Area and worked as a birth doula from 2012 – 2015. Over the course of those three years attending births I began to feel the “call” to midwifery that I had heard so many midwives speak about. This call was powerful and persistent! Following it would require a profound acceptance of changes that I would need to make in my life.
In 2015 I moved to Portland to begin my formal midwifery training at Birthingway College of Midwifery. Prior to joining the Glow team in the fall of 2017 I trained and attended births with a rural home birth midwifery practice in Canby, Oregon for a year and a half. I am grateful for the diverse array of experiences that I have had during this apprenticeship, to those who guided me in the very beginning, and for the multitude of families who graciously welcomed me into their homes during the time of birth.
Midwifery brings layers of inspiration, insight, and challenge to my life every day. I feel fulfilled and driven by the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and political aspects of birth work and consider it an honor to be involved in such intimate community-based care for others. I truly can’t imagine moving through life in any other way!
When I’m not studying or working with our Glow clients I try to be outside and engaged with the elements as much as possible. I love to take long leisurely walks around my neighborhood, hike in Forest Park, and ride my bicycle. Having grown up by the ocean I often seek out a cold water swim for renewal and clearing. When the Pacific Northwest rainy weather keeps me inside I find joy through curling up with a good book, dancing, singing, practicing yoga, cooking, and reveling in the company of my close circle of friends.
Photos: Lauren LaBarre Photography