Moms Rally to Support Displaced Midwife in Leilani Estates
A few days ago, some moms on the Big Island contacted Big Island Now, requesting an interview with Roxanne Estes. She was evacuated from Leilani Estates and her home, along with her maternity care home, Luana Gardens, which were surrounded by lava and inaccessible.
In the next two weeks, six of Roxanne’s expectant moms are due to give birth. Roxanne and her daughter Nikki are scrambling to find a new place and declined the interview, but “her moms” rallied together to tell their story.
Over her 30-plus year career, Roxanne has racked up a long list of credentials, including Certified Nurse Midwife, Lactation Consultant, Registered Nurse, Certified Childbirth Educator, Neonatal Resuscitation Provider Certification. But, the title her “moms” give her is “‘ohana.”
Vanessa Nash, who births with Roxanne—both at North Hawai‘i, said, “We feel supported and loved and I think that’s why all the moms want to rally up and support her because she was there for us when we needed her and now we want to be there for her.”
Colleen Block shares, “She’s incredibly selfless. She nurtures you through your pregnancy, She delivers your baby and then she helps with your transition into becoming a new mom, brings out the innate mom that’s already within you. The moms and the babies and the families need her and deserve that level of care.”
Pulama Downing, the first mom to give birth at Luana Gardens, spoke to Roxanne recently. She saidshe appreciates Roxanne’s wise perspective on the situation. “She’s offering up her place (Luana Gardens) so Pele can give birth… it’s a birthing place.”
Her “moms,” as she refers to them, have started a GoFundMe to support her and the expectant moms Roxanne serves. Stating, “Our beloved midwife Roxanne Estes of East Hawai‘i Midwives has lost access to both her home and her maternity care home ‘Luana Gardens’ after multiple eruptions and lava flow devastated her street and surrounding area. A group of loving mamas in the community have come together to share this opportunity to support Roxanne with re-location of a space we consider sacred. Roxanne and her family are looking at a rental property that could be a new maternity care home, the rent is a little steep but has lots of room and an awesome tub. They have about 6 moms getting ready in the next few weeks to have their babies and were counting on Luana Gardens to have their baby. Mahalo nui from the bottom of our hearts for any and all contributions.”