In loving memory… Abby has been involved in midwifery in one form or another since 1963 when the first of her five children was born. Her children are all grown now with children of their own. She has 10 grandchildren – 8 grandsons and 2 granddaughters! She was a Leader for La Leche League, International (LLL) from 1966 to 1981, serving as Group Treasurer, Chapter Treasurer, Chapter President, and State Newsletter Editor. She has done much public speaking for LLL at both local and international conferences. Between 1970 and 1975, she was involved in midwifery self-education, including the delivery of her fourth and fifth children at home in 1972 and 1974…unattended, because midwifery care was unavailable. During this period of time, she researched midwifery and home birth, writing Handbook for Home Birth. Abby co-founded the Center for Humane Options In Childbirth Experiences (CHOICE) in January of 1977. She has served on the Board of Directors for that organization and as a Midwife, Midwifery Coordinator, Monitrice, Monitrice Instructor, Childbirth Educator, Treasurer, Office Manager, and public speaker, providing in-service training for local hospitals and speaking at midwifery conferences. She developed the Apprenticeship Training Program for CHOICE in 1977, authoring The Birth Attendant Handbook in 1983. In 1987, she developed the Monitrice Training Program and authored The Monitrice Training Program in 1988. She has trained almost 100 apprentices and Monitrices, most of whom are still practicing. She is currently serving CHOICE as Executive Director, Midwife, Midwifery Coordinator, and public speaker. Abby co-founded the Ohio Midwives Alliance (OMA) in 1984. She was the Conference Director of the OMA Midwifery Conference in 1985. She served as the chairperson for the Legislative/Legalization Committee, initiating political contacts and presentations at the state level, and writing proposed legislation and proposed rules and regulations. In 1991, she compiled Midwifery: An Informational and Educational Packet which was presented to former Governor Richard Celeste’s Advisory Committee on Midwifery Care in Ohio (This group included senators, representatives, and state board representatives). She served as the President of the Ohio Midwives Alliance from its founding until 2008 and is currently the Editor of “Birth Write,” OMA’s quarterly newsletter. Abby was a licensed Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (Advanced EMT) serving the Liberty Township Emergency Medical Service from 1986 to 1994. She served that organization as Newsletter Editor, Treasurer (1987-1989), and Vice-President (1993-1994). In 1996, Abby was appointed to the Ohio State Legislature’s Direct-Entry Midwifery Study Council to represent Ohio midwives as they began their journey toward legal recognition for Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in the State of Ohio. Abby served the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) from 1986 to 1988 as Statistics and Research Committee Chair. She worked on the development of a computer version of the MANA statistics form. She served as Membership Chairperson for MANA from 1993 to 1995. She served on the Executive Council of the MANA Board of Directors as Treasurer from from 1995 to 2001 and First Vice President of MANA from 2001 to 2008. Abby contributed to the development of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) National Registry Exam and continues to review new questions. In 1991, she successfully completed the first NARM Registry Examination. During 1994 and 1995, she served on the NARM Certification Task Force as Skills Validation Chair developing national certification for midwives. In 1994, she became the first NARM Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in North America. During her years on the Midwives Alliance Board of Directors, she was given the opportunity to represent MANA at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). ICM meets every three years. She attended their meetings in 1999 (Manila, Philippines), 2002 (Vienna, Austria) and 2005 (Brisbane, Australia). These years were both fascinating and personally challenging. Her interest, and the need she saw, was in preserving the recognition of apprentice-trained midwives globally. She became the Chair of the ICM Education Standing Committee, working to broaden the International Definition of a Midwife by the World Health Organization (WHO) to include apprentice-trained midwives, not just university trained midwives. At 65, Abby chose to limit her involvement in the midwifery movement to serving her clients and continuing to teach the apprentices who will soon carry the torch forward. She believes that in her lifelong career as a midwife, she has acquired a set of skills unique to midwives that are essential to pass on to her apprentices. Although she has always been committed to expanding her knowledge and skills as a midwife, providing the most educated and experienced care possible, she believes that midwifery has something unique to offer the women midwives serve. From her perspective as a mother first, she has tried to impart to her apprentices the importance of establishing an intimate relationship with the mothers they serve. This includes the smallest things such as how you touch a woman: from the gentle way you hold her wrist while taking her pulse to the intimate way you stroke her body to help her relax in labor. Abby has learned that when she is with a client, the woman must feel as if she is the only person in your life. She is the center, as she should be. She has also tried to teach her apprentices to recognize and trust their intuition. “We all have this ability, but especially in a science-based field, we tend to trust science rather than listen to our hearts and trust the message it brings to us. This can sometimes be a difficult skill to attain – and some apprentices never do acquire it – but if you trust it and listen carefully, it will never fail you.” As she moves into the waning years of her life, she moves there with confidence that these special women, who will follow in her footsteps, will be able to do so with energy and grace. She says, “I may not live to see midwives become the caregiver of choice in this country, but I have no doubt that women will eventually demand the personalized and intimate care I sought for myself when I began this journey.” After losing her firstborn son in a tragic accident, Abby decided to step down from her state, national and international positions in the midwifery community in 2008 so she could focus on her family for the final years of her life. However, she still finds the joy of attending home births to be so life-affirming that she may never retire as a midwife as long as she is able to serve. Abby and Fred, her husband of almost 50 years, spent 10 years building their dream home in the middle of 67 acres of woods, in Heath, Ohio. Fred retired from the ministry in 2008 and they moved to their retreat, The Stork’s Nest, complete with hiking trails, their own lake for fishing, boating and swimming, and plenty of space for frequent visits from their children and grandchildren.