Friday, April 25, 2008

Sharon, you will be missed

I got word today that my favorite midwife passed away after a 12-year battle with breast cancer. I knew she had been fighting breast cancer and had taken time away from midwifery for treatments, but, for the time that I was a client of the New Beginnings Nurse-Midwives, she was working and appeared to be doing well. I wasn't close enough to her to pry about her health, but I was hopeful that she had triumphed over the disease and would live long into the future.

Sharon Sims was my favorite of the midwives in the practice. I had my first appointment with her, and I was so impressed by her kindness and gentleness. She was genuine, down-to-earth, and unassuming. I felt immediately at ease in her presence. After meeting the other midwives, I still felt most impressed with Sharon. I hoped she would be the one to deliver my second baby. Ultimately, another midwife was on-call when I finally went to the hospital to give birth, but Sharon was the one who visited us at the hospital the next day to check-in and give us the go-ahead to return home. Once again, she put me at ease, emanating a warmth and love and gentleness I soaked up thirstily.

I am certain that I am one of many hundreds of women who will always have a special place in my heart for Sharon Sims. She was a wonderful midwife, and I feel honored to have been blessed by her life.


Brittmae said...

I was actually googling Sharon because I am looking for a CNM for 1-2 years of woman care before I hopefully start my family. I am sorry to hear that she passed away, she seemd like a wonderful woman and practitioner.
Could your recommend anyone else at New Beginnings? I hate to just pick a name off a list, even if they are all great. Thanks!

Lani said...

I'm not sure who all the CNMs at New Beginnings are anymore. I knew Betty, and she was fine. I think any of them would be fine for well-woman care. As for maternity care, they like to have you see all of them since you won't know who is on-call when you give birth. Good luck with your search!

Danni said...

I birthed our 3rd baby with Sharon back in 2001. I had had very disappointing experiences with my first 2 births and Sharon worked with me for several months, before the birth of our son, to overcome these issues. She was a very patient and gentle woman. She gave me her cell phone number and insisted I call her so that she could be the one that was there to help me birth because she knew I trusted her deeply. She stayed near my side during my labor, even though I had a doula and awesome nurses there and I warned her to go home and get some rest because my other labors were 38 and 19 hours long. She was so supportive of my going natural that she even respected my wishes to not have a hep-lock. She wouldn't let me get discouraged when my dilating was slow. She was so careful with our baby as he entered this world around midnight. I had such a wonderful experience with this birth and I felt like the rest of our births would just be the same. I labored and birthed for a total of 10 hours (and that was from the time I first felt a real contraction and realized I was in labor). We moved up to Davis County after that birth. My 4th birth was induced, because I was over 2 weeks and the CNMs I was going to up in SLC felt like it would be too hazardous for the baby's health to stay inside me for any longer. Ha! That labor was the most painful experience I have ever had. I finally screamed at the nurse after 12 hours of unmedicated pitocin labor to give me the epideral. I had given up on an unmedicated birth. I pushed for 3 hours and he finally came out, with a HUGE head. The CNM I had, whom I had never even met before, threatened a C-section the entire time I was in labor because I was so slow to dilate. I told them that I don't do well on pitocin or with epiderals and that was why I let myself go past their EDD 2 weeks in the first place. I had a 25 hour labor/delivery with this one. With our 5th baby, I didn't know who to go with. The CNMs up here had been very disappointing and had actually had to have a doctor come in repeatedly and tell them to stop threatening c-sections and to drop the pitocin. I finally began seeing a doctor at 4 months and told her that I really wanted to go natural. She agreed, but when I went 2 weeks over their EDD, she had me induced. I hallucinated this time on a drug that made me feel like I was going to die if I fell asleep. I labored for 25 hours, pushed for 1 and 1/2 hours and was trying to move around into different positions, with an epideral that didn't work at all. My doctor had a party that evening and I guess I just wasn't going fast enough for her. She told the nurses that the baby was in distress and they both argued with her that the baby's heartrate was absolutely fine. Then she yelled at the nurses and me for not agreeing to a c-section. She went and talked to the nurses out in the hallway and to my mom (yeah, it was pretty ridiculous) and convinced my mom that I needed a c-section. The baby had no problems and I knew that, had I had a few minutes of rest and been able to stand while delivering, I could birth this baby vaginally like my last one. She wheeled me into the operating room and, even though I had had an epideral, I felt the entire procedure. My baby was delivered at 7:32 pm and my doctor didn't even come in to see me after I left the operating room. The baby weighed more than the rest had, but had a smaller head than the 4th. They have all been healthy and I know I should just be happy for that... but after that perfect middle birth it has been hard for me to accept my other long, painful experiences. Which brings me back to why I am even here on this page. I am pregnant with our 6th. I debated alot over whether or not to have any more babies after the c-section because I know hospital VBACS are rare. I looked into homebirths, and I would like to do this. But I know I am going to get a lot of static about it from everyone I know and it will cost around 3x as much as a hospital birth because our insurance company won't cover a penny of it. I was talking to my hubby today and he suggested that I get a hold of Sharon and see if she would do a natural VBAC. I felt so sure she would. I called down to New Beginnings, which is when I was told she had passed away. I cried a lot and spent a long time surfing for information on her death. That is when I came across this page. I know that my birth stories may seem trivial and unimportant, but they are the epitomy of so many other's experience and I wanted to share them so that you would understand the reverie I have always felt and will continue to feel for Sharon Sims. She enabled me to have my perfect birth, something that is not at all important to so many other CNMs and Docs. I know that this baby will now be born at home. I now know that it will be fine. I am so thankful for Sharon's ability and trust in me that enabled me to reach my full potential so that I could have faith in myself for this last birth. Thank you so much, Lani, for honoring Sharon. She deserves to be honored for her time here on Earth. She was truly an angel.

Lani said...

Danni, Thank you for sharing your experiences! I am so happy to hear how wonderful your birth with Sharon was. What a gift and treasure. But I am also so sorry to hear of your traumatic subsequent births. Congratulations on choosing home birth. Perhaps Sharon will attend you again? :-)

Katherine Sims said...

I just came across this entry. I'm Sharon's youngest. It was so nice to read all the wonderful things you had to say about my mom. She loved what she did and loved all of her patients. Happy Mother's Day!