As a 14-year- old friend of her oldest daughter, I entered Karen Webster’s home for the first time, and from that first minute I realized how lucky I was. She loves her children fiercely and tenderly, and I felt like she loved me too. I pictured her as an angel with enormous wings which she spreads wide to embrace everyone she meets.

Years later I was privileged to be present when her oldest daughter, my dear friend, gave birth at home to her first child. Karen was both parent and midwife, seamlessly soothing and encouraging, just the right mix of medically professional and trusting in nature, absolute faith in the ability of her daughter to let herself open to the miracle of birth. What an incredible, close, loving, calm and determined experience – I was so proud of my friend, and in awe of Karen all over again.

Unfortunately circumstances prevented me from having her attend the births of my two girls, but her example, and the strength and surrender she fostered in her daughter, became the bedrock on which I stood during my triumphant labors and deliveries. I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for being my second mother, for boldly dedicating her career to midwifery, for devoting all her energy to the love, nurture and welcoming of children, for injecting her formidable strength and conviction into the struggle for the idea of natural birth. Lawmakers, please take heed.
— Cynthia Grace Thompson Armes