Our Story

July 31st, 2009  Carolina OB/GYN ends it’s midwifery program citing “operational” issues, leaving 80 expecting families without their care provider of choice.

August 1st, 2009  Women begin calling Carmen Cosby (Carolina’s Childbirth Educator) and asking, “Where’s my midwife?”

Aug. 5, 2009  Carmen calls local doulas and birth advocates who come together to discuss a course of action.  Local media attend and interview the moms most directly affected – those who were due in the next month or two. Candice Sandusky declares she will paint “Where’s My Midwife?” on her van to raise awareness and post the picture on Facebook.

Aug. 7, 2009  Kirsti Kreutzer, Anna Van Wagoner and Mary Strong Markfield attempt to deliver a letter from North Carolina Friends of Midwives to the Dept. of OB/GYN at NHRMC asking for a meeting to discuss the “operational” policy in place that requires a backing physician to be on premises while a midwife delivers a baby. The letter is accepted, and we are told someone will call us by the following afternoon. The call never comes.

Aug. 10, 2009  Families in our community begin picketing in front of the hospital to raise awareness and attempt to get a meeting with the heads of the Dept. of OB/GYN. That afternoon, John Gizdic (VP of Business Development, NHRMC) calls Kirsti Kreutzer to ask what it is we hop to accomplish. Kirsti requests a meeting with the Dept. of OB/GYN to discuss changing the policy. Mr. Gizdic says he will make some phone calls and see what he can do.  We never hear back from him.

Early September  SEAHEC announces they have hired a second midwife.

September 28th, 2009  Meeting with Jack Barto, CEO, NHRMC. Russ Fawcet (VP NCFOM) arranges for Susan Jenkins to call into our meeting. Her input helps the hospital understand that we are looking at this from all angles.  After our meeting, picketing stops. Mr. Barto makes it clear at this meeting that he believes the 2 midwives at SEAHEC are enough to handle the demand in our community. He promises to deliver a letter from us to the OB/GYN’s at their next meeting. Instead, he askes them to form a study committee to investigate the validity of our claim that they are the only hospital in NC with such a policy.

Oct. 5-9, 2009  Midwifery Week! Where’s My Midwife? wins first place (and a $100 gift card) in a national contest to come up with best Midwifery Week activities.

November 2009  WMM? engages in an email campaign to Jack Barto asking for a meeting with the Dept. of OB/GYN to discuss the future of midwifery in Wilmington, NC.

Dec. 7th, 2009  Kirsti Kreutzer delivers a notebook with letters from you (the consumers) and pictures of YOU to the Department of OB/GYN.

Dec. 8th, 2009  Barbara Buechler (Director of Women’s and Children’s Center at NHRMC) calls to let us know that they have investigated the hospital policy and found it to be “antiquated.”

February 2010   Mardi Gras Masquerade and Silent Auction raises $1900 for WMM?

March 2010   WMM? is nominated for the YWCA Women of Achievement Award.

April 2010  WMM? is invited to present our story at the annual meeting of the NC chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).

May 2010   WMM? is one of 50 organization in North Carolina invited to participate in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Communities Institute.  In May, we also sent two WMM? representatives to the American Association of Birth Centers Conference in Charleston, SC.  Shortly after, we register as a “Developing Birth Center” with the AABC.

May 22nd, 2010  First Annual Cornhole Tournament and Cookout raises $600 for WMM?

June 2010  WMM? is invited to American College of Nurse Midwife’s 55th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, DC to present our story to a national audience.

Octoboer 2010  In Ohio – Missi Willmarth, CNM runs a half marathon and hosts a Silent Auction to support WMM?

January 2011  WMM? gives birth to Women in the Center – a chapter of Birth Network National – in order to serve the women of Southeastern North Carolina.

March 2011  WMM? calls for a revolution at the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Annual Conference in Chapel Hill, NC.  Presentation includes new film, “Midwives Diner,” and a call to activists to begin public acts of defiance designed to put pressure on those who hold positions of power in today’s maternity care system.

May 2011  Partnered with Karen Brody and BOLD Organizers all over the country to begin work on the Pregnant Mayhem campaign.

September 2011  WMM? delivers the closing address (Takin’ it to the Streets) at the American Association of Birth Centers Annual Conference in Denver, CO.  Pregnant Mayhem is ‘born’ when attendees of the conference performed a scene from Karen Brody’s “Birth” as a flash mob at a street fair in Denver.

WMM? honored as one of the BOLD5.  Anna Van Wagoner and Kirsti Kreutzer accepted the award from Karen Brody in New York at the 5th Anniversary production of “Birth” On Labor Day.  Other recipients included Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein for “Business of Being Born;”; Debra Pascali-Bonaro for “Orgasmic Birth”; Theresa Shaver for the White Ribbon Alliance; Christy Turlington-Burns for “No Woman, No Cry.”

WMM? breaks ground in Canada!