RACHEL KIENE, LM, CPM ~ On Maternity Leave as of May 2019
In 1994, at the age of 22, Rachel was invited to attend the birth of a friend who knew she was interested in midwifery. Being present as she labored and gave birth standing in her own living room was an amazing experience that confirmed her calling to be a midwife. Tosi Marceline was the midwife at that birth, and she and her then-apprentice Amy Morgan supported her as she eagerly began to read everything she could find about birth, and to listen to women share their birth experiences. Little did know that it would take her 17 years to become a licensed midwife!
Rachel's daughter, Ruhiyyih, was born in 1998, with Tosi, Amy, and a student midwife in attendance. Giving birth at home to a 10 pound 2 ounce baby after a seven-hour labor confirmed what she already knew: women’s bodies are meant for this work. Knowing that she had accomplished something that at certain moments seemed impossible (especially right before she started pushing) gave her the confidence she needed to be a mother, even at the toughest times. 'Now that she’s a teenager, I need it more than ever!'
After attending the births of a few more friends, Rachel began working as a doula professionally in 2001. The knowledge and experience she gained during more than 200 hospital births was invaluable, but her conviction that home is the best place for many women to give birth never wavered. During this time Rachel continued to study pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, attending conferences and training sessions whenever possible. She also taught childbirth classes and became a Lactation Specialist so she could offer more support to breastfeeding mothers.
In 2007, Rachel began studying midwifery formally through National Midwifery Institute and started working with Birthstream as a student midwife under the mentorship of Licensed Midwives Tosi Marceline and Rachel Fox-Tierney. Rachel and Tosi supervised her clinical training over the course of more than 100 planned homebirths. Rachel passed the NARM (National Associated of Registered Midwives) exam in August of 2011 and graduated from NMI. In January of 2012 She was granted the credential of Certified Professional Midwife by NARM and Licensed Midwife by the California Medical Board.
Rachel continues to pursue opportunities for continuing education and attends training in neonatal resuscitation every two years. As part of an active homebirth community, she participates in Peer Review with other local midwives. Midwifery is an ongoing process of learning and we must bring open hearts, eyes, and ears to our work and remain humble.
Rachel and her husband Dave love working in their garden, cooking together, and walking their dog Nellie on the American River Parkway. When she has time off call, they often go hiking and camping in the Eastern Sierra.
'Each birth I attend reaffirms my core beliefs: that women know how to give birth; that babies know how to be born; that parents know and love their babies more than anyone else; that women have the right to give birth in the place where they feel safest, with attendants they trust; that mothers and babies need love and respect; that meeting the challenges of labor strengthens a woman and brings her closer to her partner and her baby. There is wisdom in birth that we can trust, even if we do not understand it. It is our honor as midwives to serve mothers, babies, and families as they begin their journey.'