ABOUT YOUR PROVIDER
find out more about your provider and their background
also known by their nickname: MISHA (מישה)
I am a human of many lived & intersecting experiences: queer, transgender nonbinary, genderqueer, fat, disabled, neurodivergent, autistic, Jewitch, spouse, queerplatonic partner, teacher, and parent.
I am a human of many inherited exiles & diaspores, carrying both colonised & coloniser bones, blood, roots, & culture: Romani (English Romanichal, Welsh Kaale, Lovari/Vlachi, & Dom/Nawar), Mizrahi/Iranian-Jewish, Czech/Bohemian, English, and Irish/Irish Traveller.
My praxis or theories and study combine the wisdom & folk practices of my ancestors; the Torah & Jewish Mysticism (heavy lean into Feminist & Queer Neo-Hasidism), Sufism, & Buddhist Thought; psychology, anthropology, & social work; the seasons, weather, & waters; and my walks with baneful plants.
I have been a healer in the realms of birthwork, reproductive justice, midwifery, herbalism, and holding space since 1998.
I am a teacher in the realms of inclusive sex & sexuality education, gender inclusivity, and meaningful rituals.
I am a mender in the realms of words, broken hearts, spiritual ennui, times of transition, and holey woollens.
I am a traditional community midwife, herbalist, chaplain, spiritual/life coach, lifecycle officiant, & sex educator providing inclusive care to the financially-deprived & to Q/T/BIPOC individuals & their families.
Michele (“Misha”) has been assisting homebirthing families in Oklahoma City, OK and Pittsburgh, PA since 1998, and they have been serving clients in their holistic and spiritual healthcare needs since 2003. As a Romani, Mizrahi, queer, and genderqueer person, Misha is extra sensitive to the cultural needs of queer/gender-diverse clients & clients of colour. They are always open to suggestions on how to better serve clients who fall outside the mainstream culture, cisheteronormativity, and current family structure norms.
Michele pursued their midwifery training through extensive self-study, assisting fellow midwives, through apprenticeships with 3 different preceptors, and attending relevant college classes, midwifery skill shares, and conferences. They continue to seek out the newest information regarding homebirth, midwifery, and current studies on evidence-informed peripartum care. Misha attended college for Alcohol & Substance Abuse Peer Counselling, Crime Victim Survivor Services & Peer Counselling, and Psychological Anthropology. They completed the Womancraft & Midwifery home study course through Hygieia College and were mentored by the late Jeannine Parvati-Baker. Michele is now back in college, finishing their Social Work degree, and looking forward to many post-graduate opportunities (B''H). They have spent the better part of their life studying Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Spiritual Practices, and Folk Magic. Misha's skill set and scope of practice reflect their diverse and unique educational and experiential background.
Michele is a member of the Queer and Transgender Midwives Association, the National Association to Advance Black Birth, the International Alliance of Autonomous Midwives, the Association of Radical Midwives, and the Association for Psychological Anthropology among others. Misha is a founding member and the Queer and Transgender Reproductive Justice Director for the Pittsburgh Birth Project. They served as Communications Coordinator, Southwest Regional Representative, and MAST Skills Instructor Coordinator for Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania (MAP) for 5 years. Michele has volunteered for various other organisations such as Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid, Hello Neighbor, and Repair The World. They are a mentor midwife for students and new midwives in their community and those participating in the Hearthside Online Midwifery Study Group. Misha also offers independent, Queer/Trans Inclusive Sex and Sexuality classes for community teenagers & their families.
Michele has been a camp counsellor, barista, café manager, retail store assistant manager, public school teacher, interior designer/decorator’s assistant, nanny, volunteer librarian, peer counsellor for those in recovery & sexual assault survivors, student, spiritual advisor, chaplain, and published & performing poet.
Michele enjoys reading non-fiction works about birthworkers, anarchists/revolutionaries, midwifery, Jewish mysticism, comparative religion, psychology, anthropology, queer theory, gender politics, library science, mathematics, and tea! They also enjoy writing: mainly poetry & short stories; they are a published poet & are ever so slowly writing their memoirs. Books are a passion for Misha, fuelling a desire to own a small, curated bookshop with their spouse or open a specialised semi-public library.
As a bit of a coffee snob and tea enthusiast, in the past, Michele put in their hours behind the bar as a barista and café manager. They are currently working on an entire website devoted to their love of tea. There will be tea. There is always time for tea. They would be delighted to make you a cuppa. Their favourite teas are Earl Grey, Cardamom Black, Blackberry & Sage Oolong, and Kukicha. And of course, they love a good traditional chai made with creamy oat milk & gulab jal (rosewater).
When Misha is not thinking about Maths for fun, crafting/art-ing, or cooking for hoards of hungry friends, they enjoy spending time with their spouse & children. Elijah Uriel (09/2003), is an unschooling graduate and spends most of his time lost deep in the world of linguistics and vexillology. Married in August 2001, their devoted spouse, William, is a writer, photographer, deejay, & musician who owns a media production company; he dreams of opening a bookshop-coffeeshop-combo with Misha one day. William & Michele welcomed their second child, Hazelwood, into their family in early January 2016. Hazel spends their time playing Minecraft, watching videos of bees, and raising isopods. The family lives on the Northside of Pittsburgh in a lovely old home (circa 1906) named The Phoenix.
— a curriculum vitae is available upon request
— personal references are available upon request
— professional references are available upon request