A Town Called Home
For many of us, Lakeland is home. It’s where the heart yearns for when days start feeling a little longer than they used to. Melissa is no exception. Born and raised here, she’s fully embraced the Lakeland walk of life as it’s the very one she’s been treading all this time.
“Lakeland is just amazing,” Melissa shared. “It’s close to things that are really exciting and fun, but still rural and cozy and homelike.”
Her ties to our city are just as strong as they are to Celebrate Birth itself. Originally known as “Labor of Love”, the facility has been a Lakeland staple since its opening in 1985. Melissa stopped by that inaugural year for a pregnancy of her own, only to realize that she’d found a home in her own backyard. Her calling was anything but clear, though. It happened just as naturally as the births the center provides for.
“I was an expectant mom when I started at the birth center, and then I never left,” Melissa said. “I started cleaning, then I started teaching, and then the years passed and I became a midwife, then the owner.”
Tucked under the shade of towering trees and local fauna, Celebrate Birth operates out of a home-like setting conveniently close to both Lake Parker and East Memorial Boulevard. The midwifery prides itself on its ability to make patients feel at home when they visit, ostensibly undeterred by the lack of a more hospital-like setting. It’s the informal, laid back environment that keeps expectant mothers returning year after year, yet Melissa isn’t content just providing services to those that can afford them – she’s doing all in her power to make them accessible to any and all that seek them out.