Sheryl Cronk, RM
I graduated from the McMaster Midwifery Education Program in 2003 and I’ve been working in the KW region as a midwife ever since.
I knew I wanted to be a midwife even before finishing high school. I entered formal midwifery education ten years later.
For me, growing up in a small town with a small library meant that one day I was looking for new books and new topics to read, and began reading everything in the childbirth section. A conviction that women should be treated respectfully in childbirth gradually became a desire to be a caregiver who could provide that respect at the same time as providing appropriate and safe care.
Those ten years between high school and midwifery education were filled with many experiences – being a nanny in Paris, France, obtaining a bachelor degree in math from the University of Guelph, working at a bilingual call centre, and a two-month solo ride across England on a horse. I assisted a professor of midwifery in Sydney, Australia with research, and learned from midwives in St. Petersburg, Russia how to deliver babies.
While in the formal midwifery education program, an elective placement offered the opportunity to spend six weeks in Lesotho, in southern Africa, and assist with prenatal care and delivering babies.
I believe that children are wondrous gifts, although I am not personally blessed in that way. I am thankful for many things in my life including my close relationships with my midwifery partners and clients. I love being a midwife. To be part of a woman’s journey toward motherhood is a great privilege.
I strongly believe in promoting and supporting physiologic labour, birth and breastfeeding. I have seen that babies will eventually learn to breastfeed. Mothers who are determined can feed their babies at the breast.
Sky Dasey, RM
I would like to tell you a little about my journey to providing midwifery care and Genesis Midwives. I was born at home, long before this was common, which led me to be curious about the choices women make about birthing. As I grew up on the Toronto Islands, I met a few midwives and many women who had midwifery care. The ability to provide health care in a way that respects the whole woman and her family appealed to me and I developed a keen interest in midwifery care. By the time I was in my teens, I knew this was what I wanted to do in my life.
Before entering the Midwifery Education Program, I worked in a variety of positions including cooking, childcare and as the administrator for a busy midwifery practice. I also traveled through Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and North America.
I began my midwifery training in 1996 at Ryerson University and had placements in Toronto and Hamilton. During the course of my education, I assisted with both home and hospital births and I gave birth to my son Oliver (with the help of midwives, of course!). Upon graduation in 2003, I joined St. Jacobs Midwives and I enjoyed my work with that wonderful practice immensely.
We founded Genesis Midwives in 2009 as our response to the ever increasing demand for accessible, high quality midwifery care. The birth of this new practice has been exciting and challenging and I am honoured to be a partner in this group. I find great joy in delivering midwifery care and I look forward to getting to know you and your family.
Minke Kraak, RM
I received my formal midwifery training at the University of Nottingham in England and I became a Registered Midwife in Ontario in 2004, after completing the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program. During my clinical placements, I spent considerable time assisting midwives within the community and also in a high risk obstetric unit. In my last year of training, I was fortunate enough to go on an elective placement to rural Uganda where I observed and participated in clinical care.
I love the relationships that I have built with families over the past few years in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. Being invited into the lives of families during this monumental time is a privilege and an honour! I am eager and excited to be expanding midwifery services in this area through the region’s newest practice – Genesis Midwives.
On a personal note, I was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Ontario with my family when I was eight years old. I grew up on a farm near Tillsonburg, Ontario. I am privileged to have used midwives myself in December of 2009 when I gave birth to a little girl and again in 2012 when our son was born.
Jessalynn Sheehan, RM
I grew up in a small town near Windsor, Ontario.
I have always known I wanted a career involving women’s health and childbirth. After high school, still unsure about how I would go about it, I was given an info pamphlet titled “Ontario Needs Midwives.” This led to my entry into the French stream of the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University. I have loved every minute and have never looked back.
I have completed placements in Windsor, Owen Sound, Stratford, Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo. The last of which was here with Genesis Midwives for the final year of my schooling. I am thrilled to be here at Genesis and in the community that I have come to love.
Outside of midwifery I enjoy cooking, reading, knitting, and spending time with family and friends.
I am so grateful for the privilege to be involved with families as they welcome their children into the world.