“At Community of Hope, I feel like I was given better care than I’ve ever received before. It was women who looked like me taking care of me.”
A divine connection with a midwife brought Kara Simpson to Community of Hope’s (COH) Family Health and Birth Center. Kara is originally from Gastonia, NC, but relocated to DC as her first travel assignment as a labor and delivery nurse. As Kara worked towards her long-term goal of becoming a midwife, she also became the mentee of one of COH’s midwives, Tracie. “She really provided me with sisterhood and friendship. She’s been a sounding board and always gave good advice when I was applying for schools.” Once the two connected, Kara was encouraged to apply to be a part-time birthing assistant at Community of Hope, as the hands-on experience would be invaluable for her career in midwifery. But Kara received some surprising news on her first day. “I found out I was pregnant the same day as my new hire orientation.” In that moment, Kara became the student and the patient.
Kara’s pregnancy started just before the COVID-19 outbreak. As a first-time mom-to-be, Kara was walking into a life-changing journey that unfortunately coincided with a pandemic. “It was lonely, and it was isolating. I had to go to appointments by myself. It was not the norm.”
Even in the midst of it all, Kara says that Community of Hope helped ease her emotions during her prenatal experience through encouraging video calls with her support person(s) during appointments, providing equipment to monitor her blood pressure at home, and making educational resources readily accessible to help prepare her for delivery. “I feel like my experience was perfect. The care I was given even through COVID was great. Everyone maintained wanting to get to know me. I didn’t feel rushed, the midwives talked to me, and it was always an in-depth visit.” With her support person, doula, and midwife by her side, Kara delivered a baby girl, named Nuri. “I felt empowered, really strong and blessed after giving birth.”
Kara is even more encouraged by her positive birthing experience to provide that same level of support to other expecting moms. “Giving birth at Community of Hope added fuel to the fire of me wanting to be a midwife. Black women are dying. We are not making it out of hospitals at an alarming rate and it makes me want to do my part, to make it better for not just Black women, but especially Black women.”
Community of Hope remains committed to addressing these health inequities. At our Family Health and Birth Center in Northeast DC, we offer a comprehensive maternal and child health approach that counters the challenging odds and we have a bold vision to expand.