Today I have a very special reason to thank and celebrate Midwife, Lonnie Morris for not only being my midwife 30 years ago at her birth center in New Jersey, but as a dear friend, colleague and most recently for caring for my daughter Megan and helping to welcome my 4th grandson Jordan into the world!
Lonnie and I have had the opportunity to attend many births together – friends, family and clients and most recently for my daughter too. It is so special when you can trust your children’s birth to the wise loving hands of a midwife you have known since your own births!
My daughter Megan was truly an amazing, strong, birthing goddess who was able to birth gently surrounded by respectful loving care and great midwifery wisdom and love. Megan’s strength along with Lonnie’s skilled midwifery care guided us all through a gentle, peaceful belly birth after 44 hours of challenging labor.
We had the best of both worlds – additional medical care that was provided with supportive staff and a collaborative midwifery/physician partnership. This gentle, collaborative care honored Megan and her husband Shawn’s decisions, gave Megan time to labor, and baby Jordan the benefit of the hormones of birth and process of labor.
It is such an honor to both be invited to my daughter Megan’s birth and a privilege to have my own midwife who has welcomed my 4 grandsons into the world be the guiding light. Even when a Belly Birth was needed- she guided us all, assisted in the surgery herself making sure Megan could see Jordan being born, provided delayed clamping/cutting and skin-to-skin bonding.
It doesn’t get more special than sharing so many life-changing moments together! I had the honor to attend Lonnie’s granddaughter’s birth too. Words can’t explain the gratitude I have for Lonnie – her love, midwifery knowledge, wisdom and skills, and friendship.
Lonnie is truly a trailblazer in New Jersey and in the U.S. bringing Midwifery care to so many. Even in times where the midwifery model of care has not been the norm or supported at many of our hospitals, she has advocated for the right for VBAC, Vaginal Birth Twins – (including my own vaginally born twin grandsons) and held a space for women and their partners to create the memories they desire. We know that being cared for, respected and part of decision making creates birth memories that last a lifetime for every birth. Lonnie, thank you for creating memories that I always cherish – you have guided, encouraged and helped me to grow. Now in this next phase of my life, you have supported my transition to Nonna as you empower my children and their partners to create births and become empowered families.
© Maegan Dougherty
Founder of The Childbirth and Women’s Wellness Center, Dr. Lonnie Morris is a national pioneer in natural childbirth as the founder and director of New Jersey’s first out of hospital childbearing facility – The Childbirth Center, P.A. She holds a Doctorate of Nursing and practices as a Certified Nurse Midwife. She has delivered over 5000 women herself and supervised another nearly 5000 deliveries in her roles as a C.N.M., Birth Center Director, Director of Midwifery at Pascack Valley Hospital and attending midwife at other area hospitals. Lonnie has been a highly vocal advocate of normalizing birth for all. See our story for more information. She has served in various capacities on the Boards of the National Association of Childbearing Centers (now the American Association of Birth Centers) and the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).