Desiree LeFave is a Christian, wife, mother, retired midwife, and Bella Vie’s co-owner. She was inspired to become a midwife following the incredible experience of birthing her first child, Kaeli, at home, in 1995. She recently retired from being both a midwife and Bella Vie’s practice manager.
Desiree, along with Petra, decided to start Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center because of their strong desire to carry on the legacy of midwifery and gentle birth in an environment that can serve many women and their families. Together with their husbands, they put many years of hard work into the birth center, and are proud of, and grateful for the results. Desiree loves to hear the stories of families blessed by Bella Vie.
Desiree’s current role at Bella Vie is in management, often working on billing and insurance contracts as well as supporting our managers and midwives.
Desiree now lives in Snohomish, Washington along with her husband Kristopher, and their two daughters who still live at home. She works from there most days, but you will find her at Bella Vie nearly every Wednesday.
In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, Bible study, learning more about natural health, reading, snuggling her basset hound and homemaking after many years of catching babies.
To really understand Petra’s journey into business, you have to start at the beginning of the story…Seeking to gain freedom and opportunity, Petra’s parents fled the communist country, then known as Czechoslovakia, when she was just 4 yrs old. Through nothing short of miracles and the generosity of perfect strangers,
In July of 2000 (after the fall of communist rule), Petra and her high-school sweetheart, Christopher, went back to the small village where she was born, to say their wedding vows. The following year they were blessed to find out they were expecting a baby. Very excited, and being the thorough woman that Petra is, she interviewed every hospital based midwifery practice in the Portland area. She knew that she wanted a natural birth for herself and her baby. Despite all of her research and preparation, she felt disappointed by the lack of her own self directed control and the many medical interventions. It was theoretically a successful “natural birth”, however, it did not feel “natural” in the sense that she was unable to intuitively let her body do what felt right during the birthing process. A few years later, with the birth of her second child, she opted to go to a freestanding birth center. With the loving support of her husband, her midwife (and soon-to-be close friend) Desiree, along with the birth team, and her 3-yr old daughter by her side, Petra labored in water, was encouraged to listen to her body, and in a beautiful candle lit room birthed her baby into her husband’s welcoming arms. It was a beautiful, gentle birth and in that moment, her journey into midwifery began.
Petra became determined to help other women experience the same joy. Specifically, she envisioned a Country Birth Center, where women could truly get away from the hustle of everyday life to have their baby in a natural, peaceful setting. She immediately began her study of midwifery. Soon there after, Desiree began her own private practice and asked if Petra would help be the second assistant at births. Petra jumped at the opportunity and it wasn’t long that she became her primary assistant. They continued to work together over the next three years. As her apprenticeship came to an end, it became clear to both Petra and Desiree, that they felt passionate about moving forward with the idea of bringing a birth center to Yamhill County. On August 14th, 2007 their dream, “Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center” was born in beautiful Hopewell, Oregon! Since then, Petra and Chris have also welcomed two more daughters into their family!
Petra’s role as the Business Manager is taking care of the many “behind-the-scene” business details that keep Bella Vie operating. You may see her at the center on Mondays, but she primarily works from her home office these days since she has her own little babies to take care of. Petra loves being a mother to her four sweet (and very busy!) girls, she enjoys all aspects of natural health, the outdoors, and in addition to midwifery, is passionate about Waldorf education.
MARGY PORTER, CPM, LDM, Practice Manager
Margy Porter joined the Bella Vie team as a staff midwife in 2016, and became the Practice Manager in 2019. She has lived in McMinnville with her husband Rob and their three children since 1999, and had a small homebirth midwifery practice from 2008 to 2016. She was originally inspired to become a midwife after reading Ina May Gaskin’s “Spiritual Midwifery” and
Margy became a Certified Childbirth Educator in 1995 and taught childbirth education classes for a total of 13 years, for literally thousands of expectant parents. She has been a Certified Breastfeeding Educator since 1996 and worked as a Peer Counselor at WIC in Texas for 2 years. She became a Doula, trained by the wonderful Penny Simkin in 1994, and started supporting women through labor in 2000. She later began her Midwifery apprenticeship in 2005 and completed her training in 2008, when she achieved both her CPM and LDM. She has traveled to Senegal two times, once as a student, and once as a teacher, to work alongside the Sage-Femmes in Mboro and Kafountine, Senegal. Margy has also worked for 2 1/2 years in an OB/GYN clinic in McMinnville, where she gained an appreciation for the complexities of allopathic medical care and for the benefits of the Midwifery Model of Care. One of her goals is to keep an open bridge of respect and understanding between the best of hospital obstetric care and out-of-hospital midwifery care providers. She is thrilled to work with capable midwife peers and students at Bella Vie.
Margy enjoys swimming, gardening, and living in as sustainable a way as possible. She loves sharing dark chocolate with her husband, and hanging out with her grown children. She strives to recognize the light of good in everyone.
KELSEY CHAMBERS, CNM, MSN
Kelsey Chambers relocated from southern Colorado in October 2018 to join the Bella Vie team as a certified nurse midwife (CNM). In addition to providing midwifery care, Kelsey leads clinical decision making at Bella Vie, and performs ultrasounds at our facility, for women’s health, 1st trimester and limited 3rd trimester. She also provides Well Woman care and is now certified to perform the O-Shot as part of our many Bella Vie services.
She, herself, was born at home, and from a young age began being present at many home births in her small, rural town. She became a registered nurse in 2013 and gained a lot of birth
She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado- Denver with her Masters degree in Midwifery. During her time in school she interned at a birth center in Western Colorado. She is passionate about out of hospital birth as well as advocating and supporting birth, moms, babies and families.
As a CNM her goals are to raise awareness about midwifery care and to provide women with dedicated, lifelong care, not only during pregnancy and birth but also in providing gynecology, family planning, and general health maintenance/disease prevention services.
Kelsey is an integral part of the knowledgeable and skilled Bella Vie team, and we believe she is a perfect fit! In her spare time she loves to read, spend time with friends, do yoga, hike, and spend time with her husband, step-son, and three large dogs.
MALORIE BUTLER, CNM
Malori was born and raised here in the Pacific Northwest and got her first glimpse into midwifery at Bella Vie! She came to shadow the midwives in 2009 before embarking on a five-week internship at a birthing center and international school for midwifery in the Philippines. That was where she was inspired to pursue the schooling to become a certified nurse midwife (CNM).
Malori received her bachelor’s in biochemistry from George Fox University and her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in nurse-midwifery from Oregon Health and Sciences University.
One of her favorite memories of the midwifery program was spending her last term in New Mexico working at an Indian Health Services Hospital serving Navajo, Hopi and Zuni families. During her schooling she enjoyed working as a nurse for a home birth practice providing labor support and postpartum care while growing her enthusiasm for out of hospital birth. Malori is overjoyed at coming full-circle and joining the Bella Vie team. She brings with her a deep passion for informed decision making – ensuring women feel heard, cared for and supported in their pregnancies, deliveries and overall journeys towards health and well-being. She strives to build genuine relationships and ensure space for vulnerability and trust. When not at work, Malori enjoys spending time with her husband, young daughter, dog and two goats, being awed by nature, horseback riding, sharing meals with friends, and exploring new places.
MARY STRUBHAR, CNM
An exceptional balance of joyful and astute, Mary Stubhar, is one of Bella Vie’s certified nurse midwives (CNM). Mary can help you with any questions or concerns regarding your pregnancy care, and you will find her very practical support available when you need it.
When not at work, Mary enjoys interacting with family and friends, traveling, gardening, reading, and singing. Her goal in life and greatest joy is serving God by serving others.
Kim Jones is our office manager and medical billing specialist. She has been a medical office manager for 25 years and is a nationally certified medical coder. She has lived in Independence, Oregon for 26 years, but grew up in Snohomish, WA. Kim is a valuable part of the Bella Vie team and important support to the midwives as they provide moms,