About Us

Full-Scope Midwifery

Childbirth the Way Nature Intended is a full-scope midwifery practice providing licensed home birth, holistic well-woman care, doula services, and childbirth education. The company is run by Debbie Boucher, APN, CNM and has an office in Grayslake, Illinois. The home birth coverage area includes northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.


Debbie Boucher, Midwife


Debbie Boucher, APN, CNM is a certified nurse-midwife licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin. She started providing labor support in 1993 as a doula and a childbirth educator (Bradley Method). After several years she realized that there were no licensed midwives in Lake County, and very few home birth options, so she decided to go back to school to become a CNM.

After completing an undergraduate nursing degree in 2005 at Loyola University Chicago, she became a licensed RN that same year and started attending home births, working under the supervision of two MD practices and two CNMs. She completed a master’s degree in nursing in 2008 at University of Illinois at Chicago which enabled her to become a certified nurse midwife (CNM) and receive a license to practice. At that point she started her midwifery private practice, in July 2008.

Elissa Larkin, Midwife


A native of Sumter, SC Elissa earned her nursing degree at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she served as an officer in the United States Navy Nurse Corps and completed assignments at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and at the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, CA. Elissa completed studies to become a nurse-midwife and earned her master’s degree in nursing through the Frontier School of Nursing University and worked with Midwifery Care Associates, a home birth practice in Pennington, NJ.

Elissa enjoyed serving the members of the military and their families as a navy nurse and loves supporting women at their home births. She has had two of her own babies at home.

Elissa recently moved to the area and is very grateful to be working with Childbirth the Way Nature Intended. Elissa is married to Matthew Larkin. They have two sons and a daughter and are expecting their fourth child.

Gina Rooney, Doula & Midwife Assistant


Gina Rooney has been providing labor support as a doula and a midwife assistant, and postpartum doula services for women, children, and families since 1992.  She is the mother of four daughters, ages 5, 7, 16, and 18 years. Gina personifies a strong combination of knowledge and experience making her an invaluable resource and advocate for women and families, with a well thought out perspective on parenting, childbirth, breastfeeding, and women’s health issues.  She has taught several different styles of childbirth classes.  She is a certified doula and an accredited La Leche League Leader for La Leche League International. She is well associated with the field of alternative healthcare and has relationships with many reputable professionals including chiropractors, herbalists, acupuncturists, homeopaths, pediatricians, massage therapists, midwives, and obstetricians. Gina has designed and presented nutritional workshops, focusing on pre-natal, lactating, and childhood nutrition.

Julie Irvine, Nurse


Julie Irvine, RN earned her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing in 2007 and began her nursing career in a hospital labor and delivery unit. Julie fell in love with OB nursing when she witnessed her first midwife-attended birth in nursing school. After gaining several years of experience in the hospital, she joined Debbie's team as a home birth assistant in 2013. She quickly discovered that she has a passion for the more intimate and peaceful style of labor and birth that staying at home provides. She is excited to work toward her goal of becoming a CNM in the future. Julie is married and is the mother of two small children.

Jane Dorado, Nurse


Jane Dorado, RN holds an Associate Degree in Physical Therapy as well as her nursing degree. She has four children, all born at home, and two of her five grandchildren were home births also. She was a breastfeeding mother for a total of fourteen years. After her first baby, she became a childbirth educator and taught for 24 years and has attended hundreds of births in the assistant role. Drawing on her Physical Therapy background, she has always been interested in facilitating the body’s own healing power, rather than depending on substances or technology which are extrinsic. She believes that with support we can do the most amazing things. Women are wonderfully and powerfully made.

Aime Gramer, Nurse


Aime Gramer, RN, IBCLC is married to Ron Gramer and they currently have ten children. Their last five children were born at home, all with Debbie in attendance. Aime has been a labor-delivery nurse since 1992. She also has experience in childbirth education and has been a lactation consultant (IBCLC) for several years. Her other certifications include Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP). She enjoys educating parents, supporting families, and being an advocate for their decisions.

Cathy Keinz, Doula, Nurse


Cathy Keinz attended her first birth in 1975 at the home of her Avon lady. It was quite a contrast to her own hospital births. That first home birth experience changed her life! She then spent four years working for a pediatrician. Four years of working in a hospital OB department helped prepare her to be a home birth nurse. She then worked for 28 years as a physician’s home birth assistant. Along the way she became a childbirth educator and La Leche League leader. Serving as a doula and an office nurse gave her many opportunities to teach clients about birth, pregnant, and child care. She feels that the most rewarding part of her career has been seeing women empowered after giving birth naturally.

Betsy Weber, Midwife Assistant


After completing her Bachelor's at the University of Puget Sound in Washington with an emphasis in Women's Studies, Betsy became a volunteer with Rochester AmeriCorps in Western New York. Her placement at a homeless shelter for pregnant and parenting teenagers inspired her passion for serving women and babies during the crucial perinatal period.

She began working as birth and postpartum doula soon after in 2009. During this time she moved to Oregon and also worked as a midwife's assistant at a free standing birth center. In 2012, Betsy relocated to Lake County and began working with Debbie. She and her husband welcomed their first baby in 2013. He was born at home with the wonderful women of Childbirth the Way Nature Intended.