Admiration Mondays: Shell Walker

I had very definite ideas of what I wanted the birth of my first child to look like. And I had very specific ideas for what I was looking for in a doctor/midwife. In the first five months of my pregnancy I visited three different gynecologists and interviewed three midwives. Shell was the third midwife I spoke to and when we met her we knew we had found a good match. In some ways Shell was different then I envisioned, she had some spunk to her that I hadn’t really thought of when I envisioned my ideal midwife, but now her spunk is one of the things I love most about her. There’s a quote from a 16th century midwifery text that says this:

"A Midwife Should Possess A Lady's Hand, A Hawk's Eye and A Lion's Heart"

That is a great way to describe Shell. She has a lady’s hand. She is gentle and kind, compassionate and open.

She has a hawk’s eye. She is ready for whatever happens. She is experienced, intelligent and sharp.

And she has a lion’s heart. She is passionate and energetic. She is strong and powerful. She leads well when needed, but never steps on anyone’s toes and absolutely never forces anything on anyone.

Shell Walker is truly captivating. Shell is one of those people who the more you get to know her, the more interesting she is. Each time we talked with Shell we found out new things about her and I was always so inspired and amazed. She has done so many things and learned from so many disciplines. She is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced. She is professional and her care is comprehensive. I felt like I could trust her completely.

Even with all of her expertise I never felt like she pushed her own ideas or knowledge on my husband and me. She ALWAYS gave us space to make decisions for ourselves. She really let us have the birth that we wanted and allowed us to guide our own birth experience. But, when we weren’t sure about a decision we could ask Shell about it and know that she would give us an informed and balanced opinion – I loved that I could make my own decisions and lead my birth process, and that I also felt completely comfortable deferring to her when I needed to. I felt like Shell gave us the perfect balance of freedom and direction. She was available and knowledgeable and ready to step in if needed or wanted, but when not needed she was able to step aside and let us lead the way.

Shell spent hours and hours with us before the birth and after the birth, not to mention the all-nighter she pulled with us during the actual labor. I felt like she was completely available to us. If we had a question or concern we could, call, text, or email and she would always respond promptly. Even when I was in Prague, and seeing another midwife for my prenatal care, Shell was still hands-on and available to me. I never felt rushed with her. Instead I felt like each time I was with her she wanted to be with me too. It was such a different experience from a normal doctor!

After having gone through a birth with Shell I feel like she is more than just my “care provider”. I feel like she knows me, I feel like she really cares for me. She is my midwife, in all of the most intimate and beautiful meanings of the word. I feel so grateful that I was able to have her beside me holding my hand and supporting me through the most amazing, awe-inspiring, difficult, and beautiful experience of my life.

A Little Blessing for Shell:

Spirit, circle Shell. Keep comfort near and discouragement afar. Spirit, circle Shell. Bless the hands that deliver life into the world. Bless the hands that encircle and hold so many women through the biggest change of their lives. Bless the hands that give strength when strength is needed, direction when confusion floods the heart, and support when weakness presses in. Spirit, circle Shell. Bless the work she is doing to create a safe, peaceful space for women to bring forth life. Spirit, circle Shell. May she be as blessed and encouraged by the mothers she walks beside as I know they are by her. Spirit, circle Shell. Mother her as she has mothered so many. Spirit, circle Shell. Keep peace within and turmoil out. Spirit, circle Shell. Keep hope within and disappointment without. Keep light near and darkness afar. I bless you, Shell, midwife and sister, in the name of the Holy Three, the Father, the Son and the Sacred Spirit.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman