I was born in 1962, one of triplets. My family valued education and lively debate. From my parents I learned the importance of having passion for one's work. In college, I studied philosophy, science and languages. After college I knew I wanted to combine my critical thinking and problem solving skills with more intuitive ways of knowing and nurturing. Like many midwives, I heard the call of midwifery the very first time I attended a birth. In 1984, I was present at the home birth of my sister's first child in rural New Mexico.
In 1987, I enrolled in the Seattle Midwifery School. After completing midwifery training with internships in St. Lucia and Seattle, in 1990, I moved to Bellingham and begun my practice, Birthroot Midwifery Service. I have been a clinical preceptor for many midwifery students over the years. I am active in the Midwives Association of Washington State, and have served on the Washington State Midwifery Advisory Committee.
My work as a midwife is more fulfilling than anything I could have imagined when I begin in 1990 with a second hand doppler and a rented oxygen tank.
My love for this place and its people is intertwined with my love for my work as a midwife in the community. As a midwife in Northwest Washington for three decades, I have had the unique opportunity to assist families grow across generations. I have driven to many corners of the county at all hours of day and night to attend births or visit a new family. I recognize the important role I have as a community midwife and I actively accept the responsibilities and joys that come with it.
I have had the opportunity to participate in changing the birthing world in ways I dreamed of as an emerging midwife. As an midwife educator and mentor I participate in the the development and growth of the profession, one midwife at a time, one birth at a time. As people continue to see the wisdom of human centered maternity care in an increasingly technological world, I know that midwives will be there to respond to the call.
I live in Bellingham with my husband and daughter. Our son lives in Oregon with his wife and son, whose birth I had the honor to witness in 2017.
Hello! I’m Sarah Joy. I’m originally from Whatcom County, and after several years of globetrotting, I am happy to live again in Bellingham with my husband, Pete, and our two boys. I hold a Master of Science in Midwifery from Bastyr University, and have been a Licensed Midwife since 2014. I’m excited to add my warm, energetic style to the Birthroot Midwifery team, and feel honored to guide families through the amazing experience of childbirth.
Midwifery is human-centered medicine. As a midwife I acknowledge childbearing as a pivotal life event. Whether a first pregnancy or fifth, welcoming a child is an extraordinary transition for everyone involved. Shared decision making, reliance on evidence-based practices and holistic, individualized care allow families to fully engage this remarkable life experience. I feel so privileged to bring my clinical training, compassion, and listening skills to the process to ensure that women and families are empowered as they launch into parenthood.
In addition to serving as a midwife in my local community, I provide leadership as Vice President of our state professional association Midwives' Association of Washington State which oversees our quality management program and racial justice and equity work.
Along with my passion for midwifery, I love getting to adventure outdoors with my family and friends. Summer backpacking trips are my favorite!
Photography by Crystal Garcia