Home births an option for moms in Rio Blanco County

Amy Que, holding her daughter Evangeline, has had two home births during the time the Ques have lived in Meeker. Husband Michael holds Samuel, who was born the day after Christmas. Oldest daughter Charlotte, far right, was born in a hospital in Nebraska, where home births are illegal using a midwife.

Amy Que, holding her daughter Evangeline, has had two home births during the time the Ques have lived in Meeker. Husband Michael holds Samuel, who was born the day after Christmas. Oldest daughter Charlotte, far right, was born in a hospital in Nebraska, where home births are illegal using a midwife.
Amy Que, holding her daughter Evangeline, has had two home births during the time the Ques have lived in Meeker. Husband Michael holds Samuel, who was born the day after Christmas. Oldest daughter Charlotte, far right, was born in a hospital in Nebraska, where home births are illegal using a midwife.
MEEKER I It’s been years since hospitals in Rio Blanco County offered birthing services, except in emergency situations.
Women who are expecting typically travel to bigger hospitals in the region, say, Grand Junction or Vernal, Utah, to give birth. But babies are still being delivered locally.
They are being born at home.
Amy Que, wife of Meeker chiropractor Michael Que, gave birth at home to a son Samuel — 6 pounds, 1 ounce and 18 1/2 inches — the day after Christmas. It was her second home birth since moving to Meeker about five years ago.
“Yes, we had a little boy at 3:57 in the morning on the 26th,” Amy said. “I woke up at 2 in labor and he was born at 3:57. It was very quick, which was great.”
Husband Michael was close by the whole time, offering support and encouragement.
“He was very involved,” Amy said. “He was right there.”
Amy used Jasmine Bissell, a certified midwife from Glenwood Springs, to assist with the home birth. Bissell was also in attendance when Amy gave birth at home to her second child, Evangeline.
“I think home birth is just a normal, natural experience, and it’s drug-free,” Amy said. “Unless there’s a high risk involved, you don’t really need to be in a hospital. It’s great to be able to give birth and then go to your own bed. The midwife stays for a few hours. She does the newborn exam and makes sure that everybody is OK. Then she leaves and comes back the next day after everybody is rested up.”
Diane Lange of Meeker has also used Bissell’s midwifery services.
“I just have a lot of confidence in Jasmine,” Lange said. “She’s had so much experience. I just trust her.”
Lange’s husband, Bob, has been on hand for the home births. Diane prefers the familiar surroundings of her home when giving birth.
“I thought I could do better at home in my own element,” she said. “I work better in my own surroundings. I like to walk. For me, it seems to be the only way I can deal with (the pain of childbirth).”
Not that being at home means giving birth is any less uncomfortable for the mother.
“You can’t do anything about the pain, even at home,” Diane said. “It’s still really hard.”
But having a midwife present when giving birth makes a difference. Diane Lange has used Bissell’s services for the births of her daughters, Sophia, 2, and Sadie, who was born in October.
“She’s just there; she’s calm,” Diane said. “She’s just there, in the background, being patient. I mainly just holler and cry.”
Amy Que had a water birth at home, where she was submerged in a tub of warm water when she gave birth.
“Right when I went into labor, (husband Michael) started pumping up the tub. It makes it a lot easier on both the mother and the baby,” Amy said. “I did that with Evangeline (her second child), and I did that with Charlotte, too, even though we were in a hospital.”
Charlotte — the Ques’ oldest child, who is 5 — was born in a hospital, even though Amy would have preferred to have given birth at home.
“We lived in Nebraska with the first one, and it’s illegal to have a home birth in Nebraska (using a midwife),” Amy said. “It’s illegal in some states.”
Whether to have a home birth or not will no longer be an issue for Amy, who, when asked if she planned to have more children, said, “We’re done.”
For Diane Lange, if she gets pregnant again, she knows what she would do. She’d call Jasmine Bissell.
“I’d still do a home birth,” Diane said. “She just knows how to get babies out.”