Our Staff Bios
Misty Ward - Certified Professional Midwife29-Jun-2011
Misty Ward, Certified Professional MidwifeI began my path to midwifery at the age of 16 after attending the birth of my nephew. When I was supposed to be doing my algebra homework I was reading pregnancy related books! For Christmas 2000 my dear friend Melaine Copeland gave me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I was immediately hooked and knew that midwifery outside of the hospital was where I belonged.
Soon after, I began my midwifery studies while also completing my bachelors degree at Eastern Mennonite University, getting married, and giving birth to my own two children! Those were busy years and so very precious.
My midwifery training has been a reflection of my commitment to caring service: I have worked with 9 different Virginia midwives, volunteered with Medical Ministry International (Dominican Republic), African Birth Collective (Senegal), interned at Casa de Nacimiento (El Paso, TX), and birth assisted at Heartland Health Clinic (Dayton, VA). I have attended over 250 births and hundreds of prenatal and postpartum visits.
I am Brookhaven's office manager as well as the birth assistant to our midwife, Misty. I stay current in CPR and NNR along with attending specialized workshops as often as possible to ensure safety and to better serve our clients.
I am a Harrisonburg native and currently live in Rockingham County with my wonderful husband and two super busy boys. I decided to become a part of Brookhaven Womens Health & Natural Birth Center stemming from from my own birth experiences and desire for a more natural pregnancy and delivery. I knew from the moment I discovered I was pregnant with both of my children that I would hire a midwife and wanted no drugs or intervention during delivery. There were no birth centers in this area at that time and I hadn't heard of home birth being an option; so off to the hospital I went. Both of my pregnancies and deliveries were very different. After laboring for 8 hours with my first son the midwife declared herself exhausted and called in an OB to perform a vacuum extraction. With my second son I was in the hospital just a little over an hour when I had the overwhelming urge to push, only to be told by my midwife that "I hadn't been there long enough, there was no way I was ready to push".
Needless to say I delivered an almost 10 lb boy shortly afterwards. Of course I had what would be considered natural by today's standards, I still felt somehow robbed of birthing the way I wanted to, in the position I wanted. Who knew you could have a baby without laying flat on your back, or in water, or at your own pace?! Those options, along with many others, are the reasons I feel blessed to have the honor of helping families achieve the birth experiences that they desire.
Maya Hawthorn-Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Lactation Counselor
Maya started her midwifery apprenticeship in 2009 and has attended births in the United States and the Philippines. She has worked and learned under 14 different midwives and has attended over 150 births. Along with her midwifery certification, Maya is also a Certified Lactation Counselor and a Birthing From Within childbirth preparation mentor. She loves caring for mom and baby in the postpartum period, and she places high importance on providing breastfeeding support. Maya is the mother of a sweet and talkative 3 year old that was born at home in July of 2010.