Diane and I have always romanced the idea of owning a birth center. Living in midwife utopia was a dream - unachievable - or so we thought!
Many of you in the birth community know us well. We have been serving this beautiful growing community in the East Valley for the last 6 years. Fiercely working to change to face of hospital birth. This work was hard, gritty, and seemingly impossible at times. We jokingly referred to ourselves as the birth gladiators!
We worked hard with, passion and vigor. In return we earned the support of the birth community. We made friends and were welcomed and showered with love, so we put our dreams of owning a birthing center to bed.
Then tragedy struck our world unexpectedly. Our sister midwife and gladiator partner, Laura, a gentle, caring and loving soul, lost her daughter in a tragic accident. Clara was funny, intelligent and loving, and was taken in a blink of an eye.
We watched this family grieve with elegance and grace, still managing to show love and compassion to others despite their deep loss. Laura had the courage to share that she hopes, one day, good could come from such unimaginable heartache.
As Diane and I struggled to put any sort of understanding why such a tragedy would happen, we were in awe of Laura’s courage. We promised ourselves that we would show such courage and strength in honor of Laura and Clara. Life is short, so Diane and I found the courage to fulfill our dreams. On a road trip with Laura we revealed our plans and asked her if she had any ideas for a name. She came up with ‘Willow”.
The Willow tree is quite significant. One of the most valuable traits of the willow tree is its flexibility. It is one of the few trees that are capable of bending without snapping. This message of the flexible tree, not snapping but bending, is to adjust with life, rather than fighting it. This ability allows willow trees to not only survive, but also thrive in most challenging conditions. Our symbolic meaning for our willow is that even through great loss, like unexpected life events and birth, women have the ability find courage and strength to grow and transcend, giving us the potential for something new.
We found the courage to revive our dream and Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Wellness was born.
In loving memory of Clara.
Belinda & Diane