Alpine midwife welcomes new arrivals
R-C Alpine Bureau
It was 2 a.m., the windshield wipers beat in rhythm and the rain pounded on the glass in the darkness. When I arrived at my best friend’s house, the Midwife was already there, and was checking her progress. She was calm and intensely present, never leaving throughout my friend’s labor. It was not the first time I had seen the competent intelligence and compassionate nature of Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife Lenny Sue Tinseth. It was an honor to be present at this birth and observe yet another dimension of her skills.
Lenny Sue’s monitoring and checks were done with kindness and love, and it was a beautiful birthing. She has an unobtrusive nature that allowed the family to share in the intimacy and sacredness of this moment, while insuring the safety of the mother and child. As the baby was being born, the other children were called in and we all welcomed their precious son with wonder and joy. It is one of the most cherished moments any family can share, and Lenny Sue had created a protected environment, insuring a positive experience for all of us. She continued the supervision she gave during labor and birth into the postpartum period, breastfeeding, and well baby care.
Lenny Sue and her husband Scott Tinseth were high school sweethearts, and married while both were attending Humboldt State University. Scott graduated in industrial arts, and Lenny Sue received her degree in home economics. Lenny Sue was 6 months pregnant with their oldest son George when they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. It is a family joke that George actually graduated twice from Humboldt, receiving his own degree in 1991.
Scott has a gift for working with wood, and has always specialized in log cabin construction. He started out as a carpenter, obtained his California Contractor’s License in 1989, and has constructed warm and inviting homes for families all these years. He is semi-retired now, but any project he works on has a strong hand-hewn quality. They have been a one-stop shop: Scott can construct your home, and Lenny Sue can help you maintain your health and birth your children.
Scott and Lenny Sue have been married 39 years and had home-births with all five of their children. After George, there followed Thor, Ross, Abby, and Eli. They are overjoyed to have 5 grandchildren added to the family already. They lived in McKinnleyville, Eureka, and South Lake Tahoe, but Scott built their home here in Woodfords in 1985. Without Scott’s steadfast support and encouragement, it would be hard for Lenny Sue to keep a schedule that includes driving up to South Lake in a blizzard in the middle of the night. He is always there for her, and they are an inspiring team.
In addition to home-schooling their children, Lenny Sue studied and became a La Leche League Leader. As a leader, she helped other mothers learn to breastfeed their babies, encouraged them, and promoted a better understanding of breastfeeding and related subjects. She planned and lead monthly meetings, and assisted mothers one-to-one by phone, email, or in person. She began helping women give birth to their babies in 1986, and this is when the phone really began to ring.
Lenny Sue said, “Most people who are Midwives refer to having been ‘called’. In my case, the ‘call’ was very literal. The phone rang constantly with women seeking help. I felt I had to answer, and have devoted my life to my family, and to other families seeking to take their health and their children’s health into their own hands.” Lenny Sue is a beautiful, spiritual woman, and it is obvious when you meet her that it has been written in her heart to serve families.
Lenny Sue is a Licensed Midwife through the Medical Board of the State of California. Her National Certification is administered jointly through the Medical Board and the American Registry of Midwives. Within the last two years, Midwifery has become an autonomous profession. It no longer requires a supervising Physician.
Outside of the United States, Midwives are the standard of care for 90 percent of pregnant women. Lenny Sue says that Midwives view the mother and baby as one unit, and see them as more than a physical process. Since well over 90 percent of births are normal, Midwifery seeks to avoid any unnecessary intervention or medical technology.
Lenny Sue states that she sees herself as a lifeguard for normal, healthy women during the processes of pregnancy and birth. She does not deliver babies from their mother’s bodies, but monitors, assists, and encourages women as they give birth. Lenny Sue also offers women’s and families’ health care. She provides pre-conceptional counseling, Well Woman Care (including lab work, pap test, and STD screening), breast care, treatment of PCOS, menopausal counseling, and lifestyle guidance.
She is always studying and updating her skills, and is now a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach. Her website is alpinemidwifery.com, and contains an uplifting video montage, all of her contact numbers, information regarding midwifery, and details about being guided to wellness.