Promise Community Health Center prenatal care team

Promise Community Health Center prenatal care team
Promise Community Health Center's midwifery care team consists of (standing) certified nurse midwives Belinda Lassen and Pam Hulstein and their support team, clinical assistant/interpreter Ruth Hernandez and registered nurses Erica Robertson and Kari Ney.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Meet the first Promise Baby of 2016: Ezra!

SIOUX CENTER – The birth of Mike and Melissa Anderson’s fifth baby was unlike any of the births that they had experienced before.

Ezra Stephen was born in their Sibley home.
Mike and Melissa Anderson are the proud
parents of baby Ezra Stephen. He was
born Monday, Jan. 4, in their home and
is the first baby of the year for Promise
Community Health Center of Sioux Center.

“It was the most wonderful experience we have ever had,” Melissa said. “It was very undisturbed and calm – very peaceful. Just the whole environment was completely different than what we had before. It just felt so positive. There are no words to say how blessed we feel by this experience.”

“It was less pressure. It was very calm,” Mike agreed, noting that there were no intercoms making announcements or anything like that.

Ezra also holds the distinction of being the first baby of 2016 for Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center.

The healthy baby boy was born 6:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and measuring 21 inches.

He was born the day before he was due, but Mike and Melissa weren’t thinking they might have Promise’s first baby of year.

“We usually go way early, but he decided to come right on time,” Melissa said. “We thought we might have a Christmas baby, but we had a New Year’s baby.”

Certified nurse midwife Belinda Lassen and registered nurse Kari Ney assisted with the home birth. The birthing process started about 4:30 p.m., and the baby was born about two hours and 45 minutes later.

“They came in so happy and cheery and positive,” Melissa said. “Everything was on our time – well, Ezra’s time really. Everything happened as it was supposed to.”

Mike and Melissa Anderson and their
baby boy, Ezra Stephen.
The key factor that stayed the same as the Andersons' previous four births was working with midwife Belinda throughout the pregnancy.

“For us, Belinda feels part of the family,” Melissa said. “We’ve just become so close.”

“She understands the big picture of birthing a baby – with the mother, the family and the process,” Mike added.

They forged a special bond with nurse Kari during the process, too.

“You have such a relationship in a home birth,” Melissa said. “It’s different than in a hospital where you have nurses changing. She was there the whole time and played such a significant role.”

Melissa said they decided go with a home birth because they wanted to feel like they were more in control and had a bigger part of the decision-making.

She said family and friends were divided on the idea. Some of their friends had experienced home births and had shared positive experiences, but some wondered why they would want to go that route. Even afterward, she said it’s hard to convince some people “how amazing it was.”
Baby Ezra

And it exceeded even her own expectations.

“I don’t think I could have expected how calm the environment was,” she said. “You think of birth as not really a calm event, and I just could not have anticipated how calm and easy and smooth everything was. You just feel that sense of being in control.”

Then the moment came when Melissa was able to hold her baby in her arms for the first time. That time with the fifth child was just as wonderful as it was with the first.

“Knowing that they are healthy and hearing their cry is just overwhelmingly joyful,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your fifth, it’s that same incredible joy.”

“It’s really exciting,” Mike said.

Ezra now has four older siblings – Gabby, 13; Alex, 10; Jude, 4; and Lucy, 1 – all wanting to hold him as often as they can.

“They are just enamored with him,” Melissa said. “They can’t stop loving on him.”

Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, dental, prenatal and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit

Monday, January 4, 2016

Meet the latest Promise baby: Hendrick!

Hendrick William, son of Margaret and Scott Vande Kraats of Sioux Center, IA, was born Tuesday, Dec. 12, at his home, weighing 7 pounds, eight ounces, and measuring 21 inches. The family received its prenatal care from the midwifery team at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center. Certified nurse midwife Belinda Lassen assisted with the home birth.

Scott and Margaret Vande Kraats are the proud parents
of a baby boy, Hendrick William.
Baby Hendrick