I chose to do a homebirth with a midwife because I wanted to be supported and surrounded by people who believed in my body’s strength and ability to have a natural birth. I knew that with a homebirth, I would know everyone in attendance – there would be no shift change and unfamiliar people coming in and out of my environment. While these were my main reasons for choosing a homebirth, my experiences with Katie went above and beyond them. I was referred to Katie by a coworker, and after meeting Katie, I immediately appreciated her outlook on how amazing pregnancy and birth are. I found her very easy to talk to, and she was able to set my husband at ease with by being very straight forward with responses to his questions and concerns about homebirth. I had met with Katie maybe two or three times before I had a miscarriage. The care, time, support, and phone calls she gave my husband and I throughout the experience was far greater than doctors give their patients. When we became pregnant again, it was no question that we wanted Katie as our midwife. I appreciated the length of our appointments; there was never a rush, always plenty of time to ask questions, and she has a great sense of humor (which is a must for my husband and I). During what felt like a very long prodromal labor, Katie gave me many suggestions on positions and activities to do to help myself and the baby move things along. Her supportive words helped me feel stronger and renewed my focus. During labor, Katie and her assistants did so much work in the background that I honestly can’t tell you everything they did because they helped maintain my focus on the work I was doing while at the same time, they were busy making tea and compresses, feeding me, making sure my bed was ready, etc. They did a wonderful job helping my husband and I work together – they gave us ideas on what to try, etc. After the birth, we didn’t feel rushed at all. We were given time to bond with our new baby with no interruptions. Katie and her assistants did laundry, helped empty the tub, gave me anything I needed, etc. In the weeks that followed, Katie continued to be available to us. It was honestly a marvelous experience. I still look back in awe at the whole thing. I highly recommend Lake Superior Midwifery to others interested in homebirth.
If I had only two words to describe my feelings about my homebirth experience with Katie Sandell I would say that I felt both safe and supported. The prenatal care, labor/birthing assistance and postpartum care that she provided far exceeded my expectations.
My husband and I began our pregnancy preparations at a regular clinic but continued to research all of our options. Initially he was extremely uneasy about a homebirth but after meeting with Katie we both knew that was the best fit for us. At our first visit Katie spent a great deal of time answering all our questions and didn’t rush through or pressure us. This standard of care was completely different than what we had experienced elsewhere and it continued with every visit.
Because we had spent so much time with Katie, it was such a relief to know that she would be there to deliver my child. I had twenty one hours of difficult back labor and she was there for the majority of it. She knew just the right things to say to help me stay on track and believe that I could do it. I definitely looked to her as an anchor throughout the whole process. Despite the intensity, there were even moments where we all laughed together.
Most meaningful of all to me was Katie’s help and persistence in getting my baby moved into the optimal position for birthing. At the beginning of labor he was sunny side up, a position that ended in cesarean section for several of my friends and family members who birthed in hospitals. Katie knew that was the very last thing I wanted and she had lots of techniques to get him turned around. I have no doubt that if it weren’t for her knowledge and coaching my labor too would have ended in a c-section as my friends’ did.
After my labor she provided wonderful postpartum care for me, as well. I really appreciated the more natural postpartum pain and healing ideas she shared, how she helped me develop a breastfeeding relationship with my son, and checked on my emotional and mental health throughout this period.
Another thing worth noting was how incredibly easy it was having her work with my insurance. Several of my friends that were birthing at the same time chose other options and ended up with huge frustrations and headaches that they are still dealing with over a year later. We literally did our upfront payments, gave Katie our insurance numbers and then watched the reimbursements come in. She billed in such a way that, even though my insurance said it didn’t cover homebirth, we ended up with an extraordinarily small and affordable payment in the end.
My husband and I really couldn’t be more pleased with our experience with Katie Sandell. Even my extended family has mentioned their gratefulness for her frequently throughout the year since then. She is reliable, knowledgeable, available, extremely skilled, a great coach and an unbelievable support. Should we ever be blessed with another pregnancy she will be our first call.
When we found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant with our third in a new town, we hoped to find a midwife we could trust. With Katie, we also found someone we admire and adore. She was with us every step of the (sometimes rocky) journey, offering wisdom, humor, and compassion. We appreciated how she trusts her intuition and how she presented us with options for decisions we needed to make. She sweetly included our older girls in prenatal visits, helping them get excited and feel important. In labor, Katie matched the energy beautifully. She was fully present–close when needed, sitting back when appropriate. Birthing with her felt safe and empowering. Her trust of my body and my process increased my trust in myself.
Our family had a wonderful experience with Lake Superior Midwifery, and we highly recommend Katie and Rachel. Katie laid the way for an incredibly smooth and simple birth–just five hours of labor with a waterbirth in our jacuzzi tub. I’m certain that what contributed to such a smooth labor was Katie’s careful preparations and recommendations.
Throughout my pregnancy she recommended nutrition, exercise, and chiropractic care that prepared my body well. When our baby’s position was still breech at 34 weeks, Katie recommended several options for turning the baby. We tried several, and an external version procedure at St. Luke’s finally did the trick. Katie and Rachel not only came with us to the version but also rubbed my feet during it, helping me to relax for a successful procedure. This was a great relief since our first baby had been breech as well, but his position had not been caught by that provider and we went into labor that way. We were so grateful that Katie both caught his position and also helped us do what was necessary to have the birth we wanted at home.
Katie was also great with our toddler during prenatal appointments and helped us think through how to help him transition to having a new baby at home.
During the birth, both midwives were calm, competent, and reassuring.
They were sensitive to the balance of allowing my husband and I to work as a team together and have space to labor but to also provide the support we needed.
We also appreciated the clear and straightforward payment process. The final fees were exactly what Katie had originally outlined for us, with no extra charges or surprises.
Lastly, Katie and Rachel provided great postpartum support, giving me helpful information and exercise recommendations to get my pelvic floor back into shape. We were so glad that we chose Lake Superior Midwifery for our birth!