Elyse Christenson, CNM
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I am a staff Certified Nurse Midwife, in the Women’s Health Department since September of 1999. I started my midwifery journey in March of 1982, after a year of study in Arizona. I did four months of preceptor site on a Navajo reservation called Fort Defiance. Oh, the babies and life changing experiences I witnessed. I was drawn to be a midwife by my seeing a baby being born when I was 17 and taking a two-period high school class on health care, as I always since age 3 wanted to be a nurse. When I got my job as a nursing assistance the summer I graduated from High School, I worked with a nurse midwife from Belgium and she would talk about midwifery and births. I knew that I wanted some day to be a midwife. I didn’t know how and what it would take and what kind of education one needed to be a midwife. When I was working as nurses aid is when I saw labor and birth and the lack of voice women had for an event that changes their lives forever. How they are treated listen to and experience the birth matters. In my Midwifery training I experience from women of all age’s cultures and viewpoints; how important women are treated as this memory is something women keep in their memories. I became very adamant to be the vessel to help educate and change the birth viewpoint to honor and listen to women about their expectations hopes and dreams to be a mom. What motivates me to go to work is education advocacy and the power of the pregnancy experience. I like to have the patients and support persons to feel like they understand and participate in their care and feel they are LISTENED to always.
In my free time, I like to cook foods of various cultures, make candy and scrapbook. I also in my youth participated in the Women’s Movement and have attend many protest rallies in the late 60’s to now.