“I love watching
parents and a family’s
love grow tenfold. It
never gets old.”
— Cynda Kelley
Treasure Coast Medical Report
Kelley attended the home birth of her friend’s baby and
was struck by the scene of the two midwives standing at
the edge of the bed looking so peaceful and smiling at the
woman in labor.
As time went on, friends or a friend’s partner would request
her to be with them during their deliveries. She did not
know it then, but these experiences were what helped shape
her views on birth and pointed her toward being a midwife.
“Believe it or not, I worked as either a bartender or server
for many years before this,” Kelley said with a smile. “I
worked crazy hours and did what I could to make ends meet
for my family.”
Kelley had her first child, a boy who weighed 10 pounds,
11 ounces, when she was 19 years old. She had not given a
thought of being a midwife in her 20s, but as time passed
and she attended more births, all roads led to her becoming a
In 2005, Kelley and her family moved to Stuart to help
friends start a church. A few years later, Kelley met Tammy
Dieffenbach at Revive Church.
Dieffenbach is a licensed midwife and owner of Abundant
Life Birth Center in Stuart, which was established in 2013.
Dieffenbach, who was still nursing her newborn daughter,
asked Kelley if she would go to births with her to help care
for her daughter.
“So, I started going to births with Tammy and learned to
wear her daughter in a baby carrier so she could assist these
women in labor,” Kelley said. “Then, I remember she started
asking me to hand her things here and there. I, of course, was
happy to do it.”
Kelley clearly remembered going to the car after a baby
was born, sitting down and beginning to cry.
“Tammy asked me what I was crying for and I said, ‘This is
who I want to be,’ ” Kelley said. “I remember thinking, ‘This
is it; this is who I’m supposed to be.’
“I was a bartender and single mom. I didn’t have near
enough money to pay for the tuition, so I started doing whatever
I could to earn extra money; banquet gigs, face-painting
at events, babysitting, cleaning houses,” Kelley said. “I did
whatever I had to … and I prayed on it. Hard.”
Kelley lived in a small, 2-bedroom apartment with her
youngest son and would host a college prayer group for
about 25 people. One day, a young woman about 24 to 25 >>
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