January MOM

Amy won our Christmas giveaway and had previously submitted her birth story to us. We thought it would be fun to share a picture of Kahlan in the knitted sweater and then to share the story of how she met her family.

I’m Amy, married to Kris for almost 12 years.  Mom of two boys, Roman, 11 and Liam, 6, and one girl, Kahlan born on August 4, 2017.  This is what my very foggy new Mommy brain can recall.

December 2, 2016 I took a pregnancy test thinking it was absolutely going to be negative.  But I wanted to rule out pregnancy before I looked into other reasons as to why I was feeling so run down.  The results were almost immediate and I sat in disbelief in the bathroom.  Five days later on the 7th I tested again, which looking back seems silly, but I had another test so why not give it a go.  I decided after the second test came back positive that it may be time to schedule an appointment.

After talking options over with Kris we chose to contact Brookhaven and set up a consultation mid December.  We got family to watch our two boys by telling them we were doing dinner and some last minute Christmas shopping together.  We left the consultation that evening and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that giving birth at Brookhaven was the route I wanted to take.  

January 18, 2017, at almost 12 weeks  was my first official appointment.  I met with Maya who no longer works at Brookhaven, and the student was Savannah who I have grown to love.  We decided to tell our boys the news that evening after dinner by telling them we’d have another stocking hanging at Christmas.

January 22 we told our close family and had the boys wear special shirts Kris had made.  Surprisingly it took longer than I thought for them to catch on and it was my Aunt Michele who noticed and asked why Liam was wearing a shirt that said big brother.

My ultrasound was done in March and just like with our boys we decided to not find out the gender until the birth.  

I was asked about the possibility of being featured in our local newspaper as they were doing a story on Brookhaven.  I agreed and was surprised to find myself on the cover.  At this point we hadn’t told anyone we were expecting but our family and close friends.  What a birth announcement that was.  Some of the audio from my birth was on WMRA with an interview with Misty.  The link is here.

All of my prenatal appointments felt like a time to sit and chat with a friend.  Nothing was ever rushed and everyone I met was always so welcoming.  I knew early on that I wanted what everyone referred to as the party birth.  I wanted family there, and food, and cake.  I wanted our boys there to announce the gender to us and then to everyone else.  At one of my last appointments we talked about how we wanted our birth to go.  I stressed that if at all possible I wanted baby covered as soon as he/she was born so that way our boys could announce it to us and then to family.  I was also asked about a student from JMU being present for my birth.  I didn’t think twice about saying yes.  What was one more person.  I was so glad that I allowed her to be there because I later found out I was the first birth she got to see.

Fast forward to August 2, what would be my last prenatal appointment even though I didn’t believe it and was truly convinced I would be pregnant forever.  I felt good, although grumpy and tired, and was having a good bit of Braxton Hicks contractions.  Emily kept reassuring me that with the length and intensity of those contractions I would have my sweet baby soon.  

August 3, my due date and no baby.  With my boys I never made it to a due date.  No matter how many times I told myself that it’s just an estimate and baby will come when he or she is ready.  I was just convinced that this third baby of mine was never coming out.  Around noon that day I texted Kris asking him if he wanted to go to the pool with us that evening.  I needed to get out of the house and be outside and the pool was the only way I was going to comfortably be outside.  Sadly about ten minutes after being in the water we were told to get out due to a contamination issue.  I was wishing my water had broken and I was the reason we had to get out of the pool for a contamination issue.  We moved to the very crowded indoor pool and my mood just went from bad to worse.  I sucked it up for my boys so they could have a good time.  After getting out of the pool I felt off, but it never crossed my mind that it could be the beginning stages of labor.

After getting home I took a shower and then we made a taco casserole for dinner.  At dinner we joked about how it would be funny if this would be our last supper as a family of four.  After tucking the boys in we watched some TV and then I spent some time on the couch texting my sister, Jennifer.  Around 10pm I started noticing an increase in pain and frequency with contractions so I started timing them.  I timed them for a good two hours and they averaged about 8 minutes apart.  Still no part of me believed that labor was starting and that I’d be holding a baby the very next day.  I went to bed around midnight and let Kris know about the contractions, but followed it up with a warning to not get too excited.  

August 4, Kris woke me up before leaving for work to check on me and to let me know he would touch base on when to bring the boys to his work for bring your kids to work day.  I got up to pee and felt a little crampy but was able to go back to sleep.  Around 8:30am, I woke up and stayed in bed checking stuff out on the FaceBook world.  I got a text around 8:45 from my Aunt Beth who was also my amazing photographer asking me if baby was waiting on my cousin to get back in town.  I told her that was probably the case but I hoped not.  We talked about how I was feeling and she told me of her plans that day and where she’d be if I needed her.

About 9:10 I got up and used the bathroom and noticed a good bit of blood in the toilet along with a lot more cramping.  I decided to text the on call number and give them a heads up.  Misty was on call and she said it sounded like a baby would be coming today.  She reminded me to eat well and stay hydrated and suggested I come in for a checkup.  I was quickly able to contact Kris and I swear he flew home. In that time I let my sister Jenn know what was going on as well as my Aunt Michele who was was able to keep the rest of our family up to date. We made it to Brookhaven around 11 for a check and I was very surprised to find out I was a good 5 cm along.  Jenn and Beth were already there and kept the boys entertained while Kris and I were in with Misty talking over options.  At 5 cm I still felt pretty good and truly didn’t believe a baby could possibly come any time soon.  Misty suggested we go get some lunch and see where I was afterwards.  I chose Tropical Smoothie because I didn’t feel much like eating but felt like I could drink a smoothie.  Jenn and Beth came with us and Michele and my cousin Meredith showed up a little later to join in.  Around 12:30 my back pain had really started to pick up and I was having to lean over the table a little during contractions.  I’m sure I freaked some people out by being in labor there.  The nicest employee chatted with us and we reassured her she wouldn’t need a mop.  Had we invited her to the birth I’m sure she would have joined in.

We headed back to Brookhaven around 1:00.  Even though things were picking up I still didn’t feel any pattern to my contractions.  An hour later is when contractions became more regular and at 3:00 Misty decided to admit me.  Family streamed in with food and games for the boys.  I was able to eat some fruit and some small sandwiches in between contractions.  My family made sure my water cup was filled for me at all times.

During contractions I was able to labor comfortably while standing and leaning over the bed on a stack of pillows or on a pillow on the mantle above the fireplace.  Misty brought out a ball for me to sit on and we put it at the end of the bed with a few pillows in front of me to rest on.  Family was in and out checking on us and it was nice to have that distraction in between contractions.

Around 5:00 I decided to have Misty check me again.  Getting into a position on the bed for her to check me was awful and I think it wasn’t until then that I realized this was real.  I was at a seven.  Misty said it would be soon.  We made the decision not long after that to start filling up the tub. Kris helped me change and around 5:40 I was in the tub and felt that I was where I needed to be.  I started out in the tub on my knees but quickly changed to leaning back with my legs out in front of me.  

For a while I was able to breathe through contractions in the water, then it turned into a hum.  Contractions were manageable and I was able to focus and breathe through them until I felt baby coming down. Around 6:10 I became much more vocal and I felt like I lost all control because everything was happening so quickly.  I was losing focus and I wasn’t in the zone anymore.  I remember screaming that I was pushing and Misty helped bring me back by calmly getting my attention and telling me over and over that I could do this.  She was right.  6:27 my water broke,  at 6:28 the head was born, and at 6:30 baby was out.

Kris helped Misty catch and she quickly covered baby so no one could see the gender and then they put this sweet little thing on my chest.  I said “oh my God” countless times because that’s all I could get out.  I was so thankful for labor to be over and to finally have this sweet baby in my arms.  Baby was still covered with a towel on my chest while I sat in the tub and we had all of our family leave the room except for the boys, my sister and my Aunt Beth.  Once everyone was gone we were ready to find out if we had another son or a daughter.  Kris was facing me and the boys were beside the tub.  Kris locked eyes with me and counted and picked up the towel. Neither of us looked down and our oldest very excitedly said that it was a girl.  We had a daughter and they had a little sister.  The emotion on Kris’s face when he learned he had a daughter was something I’ll never forget.  

Kris and the boys went out to see our anxious family and Roman announced that we had a little girl.  I was still in the tub and could hear them all celebrating this new little life.

I sat in the tub loving on my little girl for almost an hour.  Misty delivered the placenta during that time and at around 7:30 I was ready to move to the bed. Heather helped me rinse off while Roman was cutting the cord.  I’m still shocked he did it but what a memory for him.  What nearly  11 year old can say they got to cut their sister’s cord?

7:40 and I was in bed while they checked all over Kahlan.  She was 8 pounds 13 ounces and 22 inches long.  She was bigger than both of her brothers were at birth.  I got to eat a bit later while family came in to love on us.  We ate cake and visited. Family trickled out to go home and rest after a long exciting day.  Emily showed up to relieve Misty and to discharge us.  Around 10:30 we said our goodbyes to the last few family members and the wonderful ladies at Brookhaven and loaded up as a family of five to head home.

We made it home and settled in for our first night with Kahlan.  Roman and Liam went to bed pretty easily even with all the excitement of the day.  We slept decently the first night home.  The next morning I got up and had coffee in my own house.  I remember thinking that we just had a baby the previous evening and I was so thankful to be in my own house having coffee.

Kahlan has filled our hearts.  Her big brothers cannot get enough of her and I cannot get enough of seeing Kris with his little girl.

 

Beyond thankful for this group of ladies who had a part in my pregnancy and labor and delivery.  Also our family who supported us, and my other half,  my husband who never left my side, supported me and helped make me as comfortable as possible and loved me through it all.  If it wasn’t for their love and support I wouldn’t have been able to have this amazing experience that I did.

Christmas Giveaway!

Thank you for participating in our giveaway, entries are no longer accepted.

As a fun way to show our appreciation of the Brookhaven Family, we’ve put together a gift basket to give to one winner. Our Christmas Giveaway includes three handmade items; keep reading to learn more about the items and for directions on entering the giveaway!

Our first item is a gender-neutral baby quilt. It was made by one of our own midwives and we will add a picture as soon as possible. We can certainly say that it is beautiful and will be a great addition to any crib.

This beige teddy bear is the second item. It is crocheted, has an adorable belly and is very cuddly. A toddler recently exclaimed “Oh, cuuuute!” when he saw the bear, so it is kid-approved.

 

 

The third item is a handknit baby jacket. It is made of 100% wool, the buttons are functional, and it also has a hood! It fits approximately like a store-bought 6-9mos, but the sleeves can easily be cuffed for a smaller baby.

 

 

All three items have been made with a lot of love, specifically for this giveaway, and we want to pass them on to you! We’ve been careful to include items that will work for a girl or a boy, so if you’re expecting but aren’t sure who you will meet you can still enter! If you don’t have a baby, but you know someone that could use these items, please feel free to enter the giveaway as well. The last day to enter this giveaway will be December 18, with the winner announced on December 20.

 

 How to enter

Each method of entry listed below will earn one entry. Completing multiple steps will earn multiple entries.

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter, the submission form is at the bottom of this page following the contact form.
  2. Like our Facebook page!
  3. Leave a review of our services (only if you’ve been a client) on Facebook, Yelp, or Google.

 

All contestants must use the form below to enter your name & email so we can contact you if you are the winner. This does not count toward your entries.

 **If you have already subscribed to our newsletter and liked us on Facebook, please check those items off when you submit your name and contact info so that we can count those toward your entries. If you have previously written us a Facebook review, please leave a review on one of the other platforms listed (Google or Yelp) or vice-versa. If you have reviewed us on all three platforms, please check the reviewed box (this will only count as one entry.) We will be double checking to see that the steps have been completed.

 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

*You may not resell any of the items in the gift basket, we will ship in the contiguous US if the winner is not local (we will not ship to Alaska or Hawaii.)

December Mom of the Month


Hi!  I’m Crystal.  I married my super amazing husband John in December 2008 while we were both still in college.  We’ve since graduated, started jobs, lived in 5 different houses, 3 different cities, and have built a family together.  When talking about children, John and I knew we wanted to have our babies close together.  Our firstborn, Ian, came in May 2012.  Very quickly, Naomi followed in September 2013, and Abigail in November 2015.  We couldn’t leave Abigail alone, so we decided to try for one more baby.  At the time, we were living in Austin, TX and far away from family.  In October 2016, we decided to move to Winchester, VA in April 2017 to be near John’s mom and cousins.  In December, I found out I was pregnant with an August 15th due date.  This would allow us to move during the second trimester, when things aren’t as crazy.  After all, the previous pregnancies had proved to be mostly routine, and the three births roughly the same.  I had fast labors, small babies, and always made it to the birth center’s tub in time for 3 water births.  This would be the same, right?  We could handle a move during the second trimester.

At 21 weeks, 3 weeks before our move, we took the whole family to the routine anatomy ultrasound.  The older children were excited to see the new baby!  I got comfortable, and the tech began her work.  Her exact words are rather hazy, but she asked us if we knew there were two babies.  TWO BABIES!!! No, we had no idea.  Not a clue.  Doesn’t run in the family.  Looking back, I had extra fatigue and began showing rather quickly, things I attributed to this being my fourth pregnancy.  This was the first and last time we ever saw their heads together on an ultrasound.  Even two days later, Baby A had flipped around.

Things changed after that.  Many, many things.  Most of my careful planning flew out the window.  I could no longer go to my intended birth center, as they don’t deliver twins.  There were no other midwives in Winchester who would take that risk.  I began care in Winchester at an OB office.  Ironically, I’d never seen an OB before, even though this was my 4th pregnancy.  What questions do I ask?  What are normal procedures?  How would I be cared for?  I quickly discovered a clinical, standardized model of care that was drastically different than my previous experiences.  I found that, after 3 birth center births with a midwifery model of care, I could not stand going to an OB.  Not when I knew how personal and intentional prenatal care could be.  I did try.  I had a few prenatal visits, but it didn’t work.  I knew it was not a good situation when I would leave crying, and did not want to go to an appointment without my husband.  I began my search anew.  Originally, I had crossed Brookhaven off my list, since they were so far south.  However, they were the closest place that would accept twins.  I attended a tour and felt like I was coming home, especially after visiting the doctor’s office.  They were not only excited about twins, but eager to work with me.  Since my labor pattern involved extremely short labors, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it the hour(ish) drive to the birth center.  We decided on a home birth.

This pregnancy was fraught with some minor and major issues.  I failed the first gestational diabetes test, necessitating the longer test, which I passed.  All the ultrasounds were showing Baby B head down and Baby A breech, which is not ideal for a vaginal delivery.  I was GBS+.  My pubic symphysis was wreaking havoc on my entire pelvic region.  As the end approached, I was done carrying the twins, both emotionally and physically.  My feet began swelling.  I could not roll over in bed.  I could barely walk up the stairs.  I had heart burn.  I had Braxton-Hicks contractions for the first time.  Sleep was a thing of the past.  We kept trying to get Baby A to flip.  The mental stress due to the uncertainty of childbirth was doing me in.  It was very tough.

Thursday, July 27th.  At 37 weeks & 2 days, I woke up feeling physically out of sorts.  There was no clear labor pattern, but something was happening.  Since I had an appointment later that day, I called to see if I could head down there early and spend the day hanging out at the birth center.  They encouraged me to come whenever I wanted.  The older three were being well taken care of by their Grammy, so John and I left for the day.

11:00 am.  I arrived at the birth center and Misty checked me.  She found that I was 6 cm dilated and very soft.  She could feel the bag of waters, and she could feel a foot.  Of all the presentations for a breech baby, a footling Baby A breech carries the most risk.  We collectively made the decision to continue to attempt to turn Baby A until 3 pm, and then make the call to go to the hospital for a c-section.  The uncertainty, my history of fast labors, and my worn-out body made it clear that the babies needed to come today, one way or another.

3:00 pm.  Baby A was still breech.  The agonizing decision that had been put off for weeks and hours was made.  I would transfer to Winchester Medical Center for a c-section with the hospitalist OB.  My doula, Jessica, would be my support person, so Misty would stay in Harrisonburg as only one other person can be in the OR with me.  Gut-drenching sobs ran through me, as this was not what I wanted.  But I’ve always said that hospitals are there for a reason and it was time for me to put my words into action.

6:30 pm.  After major traffic delays, we met with Jessica to talk about what we wanted, and how we could make the surgery align more closely to our desires for birth.  We checked in, and I got hooked up to two fetal heart monitors and a contraction monitor.  It turns out that I was having contractions every 2 minutes, lasting for approximately 20 seconds each!  To me, they simply felt like the Braxton-Hicks I’d been having for the last month.

The nurse began prepping me for surgery, which couldn’t begin until 11:00 pm as I’d eaten around 5:00 pm.  Dr. Lane came in with an ultrasound machine to verify presentation.  Baby A was indeed still breech with a foot sticking down.  He mentioned, almost in passing, that he had done breech babies before.  I latched onto that though, and asked if we could try Pitocin to see if I could still have the babies vaginally.  He said the risk of cord prolapse was still there, and if that happened, it would necessitate an emergency c-section where I would be knocked out.  That was a risk I was willing to take.

8:00 pm.  Pitocin drip started.  Contractions are still about 2 minutes apart.  I’m still not feeling them very much.  I labor standing next to the hospital bed, talking and joking with John and Jessica.

10:00 pm.  I was now tired of standing on my feet.  I got into the bed with it in a sitting position, and suddenly my water broke.  I sat there for a little bit, then stood up on the other side of the bed so they could remove the wet sheets.  Annnddd then the contractions hit me like a freight train.  I went from feeling pretty good to holding onto my husband for dear life.  They were one after another after another.  It was similar to my previous labors, but ratcheted up a notch.

10:30 pm.  I was back on the bed, laying on my back with my knees up.  My hands had a death grip on the bed rails.  They were my anchor.  John was right there where I could see him, where I could see his encouragement.  Dr. Lane checked me, and told me I could try pushing whenever I wanted to.  I didn’t yet feel there, so a few contractions passed.  Then I felt the need to bear down.

10:42 pm.  A few pushes later, and a round bottom appeared, followed very quickly by the rest of the body.  We had a baby girl!  She lay there for a bit, the cord was cut, and she was passed to me.  She was perfect.  Dr. Lane broke the other water bag and reminded me that I wasn’t done yet.  Contractions came again.  I focused and began pushing.

10:50 pm.  With my daughter on my chest, I focused on bearing down and pushing once more.  This time, the smooth head appeared and my son popped out.  I even got to be the one to cut his cord!  Two babies.  Two tiny, perfect little beings were now out in the world.

 

After all the uncertainty, the worry, and the stress, we had our birth.  It definitely didn’t follow any prescribed pregnancy or birth plan, but every decision along the way was made to fully utilize our resources.  Twins born vaginally, with a breech Baby A, is a medical anomaly in today’s world, but it shows how powerful and capable women can be when properly informed, willing to bend, and trusted to make their own decisions.  I am truly grateful to both Misty & Emily for sticking with me, as well as Dr. Lane for facilitating their birth.

 

Minutes old.  Lily in the back, Isaac in the front.

Seven weeks old.  Isaac on the left, Lily on the right.

October Mom of the Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we decided that our Mom of the Month should have a connection to this month’s important topic. So, our mom(s) of the month are Susan (AKA Nana) Gail Crist, mother to both Misty Ward, Midwife, and Heather Brown, Office Manager at Brookhaven. Cookie (Lily) Fulk, mother of Susan, grandmother of Misty and Heather is our second mom of the month.

Cookie is a two time breast cancer survivor and mother of five.  Although Cookie gave birth to five children she has zero recollection of any of her deliveries.  Back in those days mothers were given a cocktail of narcotics that conveniently caused a temporary amnesia so that they never would know what they had gone through. One of her life regrets is that she has no memories of those first few precious hours bonding with her children. Each arrived at her bedside bathed, bundled, and bottle fed the day after they had been born. Knowing the vast difference in how her great grandchildren came into this world has helped her become a strong advocate for midwifery care. Susan was her second daughter, born January 31, 1958.

Susan(Nana) had four daughters. Her first daughter, Tanya was born premature on June 16th 1974 weighing just over 2lb. Tanya arrived in a sterile military hospital in Germany where her (our) father was stationed in the Army. Susan was only 16 years old. Tanya died on June 22nd 1974, having never felt the warmth of her mother’s touch.  Susan’s second daughter was born still in 1975 at approximately 24 weeks gestation.  On July 23rd, 1976 she finally gave birth to a healthy term daughter, Heather Brown. Misty arrived on December 10th, 1980.  Although we do not have Susan here to share her birth stories we have heard them and her heartbreak surrounding them. She told us of lying on a hard thin metal table, being all alone, and terrified.  Needless to say her memories and views of birth are far from the ecstatic and empowering births we strive to provide to our families at Brookhaven.  So it came as no surprise that she was far from thrilled when her daughters chose natural births with MIDWIVES and to make it worse Misty decided to give birth at her house in a bathtub!  She thought she had raised us better than this!  And to top it off we fed our babies breast milk from our bodies! Something she never even attempted as a mother.

On May 15th 2005 Misty gave birth to her son Jonah at Nana’s home.  Misty made this decision based on the fact that Nana had a huge garden tub with fancy jets and Brookhaven wasn’t open yet.  During the delivery Nana paced nervously and kept herself busy bringing Misty, her birth team and wonderful midwives drinks, chocolate covered strawberries, and wiping off counters that were already clean.  At one point Misty threatened to kick nana out of her own home if she looked at her with that pitiful concerned face again!  Thankfully the birth went fast and smooth and soon Misty was holding her sweet little boy.  Nana was in awe. She sat down holding her grandson swaddled in one of her fluffy towels and only an hour old, in her home, in her bathroom. And she saw the joy, and celebration that she never had before.  From that day forward Susan Gail Crist became an advocate of out of hospital birth with midwives. She told Misty later that after watching the tender care that she had received during the birth made her realize that she herself years before “ was robbed of that experience! All women deserve to have that!”.

Soon after Jonah’s birth Misty began her midwifery apprenticeship.  For five long years she studied, traveled, and attended births in multiple settings including Africa, the DR, and El Paso.  While she attended workshops and trained, Nana took care of the grandkids. She may not have ever been a midwife but she was on call for literally hundreds of births. And even at 3am, she always answered the phone.

In September of 2009 Misty turned in all of her paperwork required to sit for the national midwifery exam being offered in February 2010. Nana was diagnosed with breast cancer two months later. She was a private person and later said she “didn’t want to ruin Christmas” so it was about a month later (January 2010) before she broke the news to family.

The next few months were a whirlwind. Nana had dozens of doctors visits, huge decisions to make regarding options, and a double mastectomy looming ahead. She ended up having her surgery on the opening of the new RMH. There was a thrill about being one of the first surgeries to take place in the new state of the art facility. However the thrill quickly wore off when the date changed last minute and after the surgery was finally complete the brand new system was down and her recover nurse frantically tried to order her the pain meds she so desperately needed.  After many failed attempts she was given the meds despite not having the proper orders.  Thankfully her nurse had more common sense than loyalty to a giant system.

Also during that time Misty was inspired through multiple serendipitous events to open a free standing birth center. A location was found and despite her illness Nana jumped into action supporting the endeavor in multiple ways including emotional support, attending meetings with lawyers and realtors, designers and contractors, and of course with childcare. Despite a request for some financial assistance with the center, Nana declined…or so she said. Shortly afterwards a distant family member approached Misty about investing in her birth center. Terms were settled and Brookhaven began to gestate.

On September 6th 2010 Brookhaven opened its doors to the public and began catching babies in our location and at home. During that first year Heather was much more than the office manager, she was also a birth assistant! At one point she even began her training to become a Certified Professional Midwife as Misty wanted a partner and who else could she trust as much as her sister? However the on call life was not for Heather and with the practice growing she had to dedicate more and more hours to the clerical, and financial side of Brookhaven.  Sometimes if Misty asks really nice Heather will still come in for a birth. : )

From 2010 until her death in 2017, Nana had three surgeries, dozens of rounds of Chemo and radiation, and hundreds of appointments and ER visits. While sitting at RMH getting her Chemo infusions she would often chat up the nurses and other patients about the work her daughters were doing right across the street. She would explain the transition of a newborn in a waterbirth and how gentle it was and how little they cried compared to land born babies. She would tell them about how her grandson was born in her own home. A few times while Misty sat with her during infusions she would have to stop her from telling too many dramatic stories about the overuse of cesareans in typical OB practices as Misty was acutely aware of the setting they were currently in. Nana rarely missed an opportunity to brag about her girls.

Nana also had other interests besides singing the praises of midwifery…

She was the church secretary at First Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, for almost 20 years.  She was also a dispatcher for Harrisonburg Police Department and retired in 1996.  She loved being outside in nature and tending to her gardens and pond with her grandchildren and also enjoyed interior design and working on her home which she designed and built in Bridgewater.  She was a hard worker, meticulously clean, and notoriously stubborn.  She was a shy woman that often times stayed home, preferably with the company of her grandchildren, whom she loved to spoil. (much to their mother’s chagrin)

Due to her rapid decline in health in late 2016 once her cancer spread to her bones and her lungs, Nana’s ,mother, grandma Cookie, did what no mother should have to do.  She moved into her daughters home and cared for her every need.  Cookie was with Nana day and night, laughing, crying, cooking, and running errands.  Keeping her company and helping her keep her medications in order for the last six months of her life.

The last three days of Nana’s life she was surrounded by family, in her own home, just like she wanted.  We have always said that we should leave this world the same way we should come into it. At HOME. With FAMILY. With LOVE.

Susan lost her battle with breast cancer on May 11th 2017 10:57pm.

…On May 25th 2017, at her post memorial service dinner the “distant family member” that had loaned Misty the money to open Brookhaven revealed the truth. All of the money that had been loaned to her had come from Nana.  Brookhaven will forever be grateful for the enormous contributions that Nana made towards Better Births…