My parents came to the U.S. from the Philippines in their twenties. I was born in Honolulu, grew up in Newport News, Virginia, where my father was stationed in the U.S. Navy, and returned to Oahu for high school. My parents had big dreams for their children and worked hard to provide us with excellent educations. I went to the University of Chicago for my bachelor’s degree and then to the University of Illinois at Chicago for my master’s degree in nursing. I’m now a certified nurse-midwife. Having lived with diversity both in Hawaii and on the mainland from an early age, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the cultural undercurrents that shape how people think, behave, and express themselves.
The health care professions are highly valued in the Filipino culture, and this influenced my choice of career. However, I didn’t know I’d be a midwife until I witnessed my first birth. Participating in a beautiful, calm delivery and witnessing the bonding among the mother, her husband, and her providers, I felt that I had entered a sacred space. The arrival of the newborn was an affirmation of and renewal of life.
Recalling my own pregnancies and my children’s births continues to rejuvenate and inspire me as a midwife. During my first pregnancy, I was a nursing student, learning about the physiologic changes in a pregnant woman’s body, fetal development, and the processes of labor and birth. My second pregnancy was high-risk, and my personal experiences have given me deeper insight into my patients' concerns. Because of the medical care and expertise of others, my children are here today, bringing joy to us all. This excites me and drives me as a practitioner.
My professional interests include pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum care, breastfeeding support, women's health, and family planning. I stay current in my field by reading professional journals, consulting colleagues, and learning from my patients. My membership in organizations such as the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, also provide me with the latest information.
I enjoy connecting with my patients by learning about their lives and hearing their feelings about pregnancy and postpartum experiences, which are unique to each mother.
It’s a challenge to stay physically and mentally healthy. In addition to running a few days a week, I do blues, lindy hop, and swing dancing. I especially value quality time with my family, going on nature hikes, camping, and hanging out at the beach. I also enjoy reading, going to church, and working with others on our spiritual growth.