Dena majored in Literature at Yale University, where she graduated Cum Laude in 1991. She worked as an artist with the Living Theatre in New York City for two years before she discovered midwifery. Dena’s passion for woman-centered care during pregnancy and birth brought her back to Yale, where she became a certified nurse-midwife by the age of twenty-six. Her training included attending births in a public hospital in the Bronx and out on Amish farms in rural Pennsylvania. She wrote a Master’s thesis titled Voices on the Path of Life; the Experience of Childbirth as a Spiritual Event.
Dena met Adam after graduation, when the fun really started. A wedding, babies, businesses, and a house followed one after the other. Dena opened a home birth service in 2005 but left town every summer for family travel. The family attended Rainbow Gatherings, Burning Man, and toured the West Coast festival circuit as the Moes Family Band over the years. But they always came home in time for school to start. Until 2014, that is, when they rented out their house and shuttered their businesses, to backpack around India and Nepal for a year. Dena went to India seeking wisdom and experience to transform her sense of self and her relationship to the world, (and husband), while world-schooling two daughters along the way.
Dena grew up reform Jewish in Los Angeles. Her favorite childhood memories involve singing Hebrew songs in temple and at Jewish summer camp. In her twenties, Dena bumped into Tibetan Buddhism and immediately felt connected to that path. She has been a student and practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism ever since, under the guidance of teachers in the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages. She is proud to be a part of the American tradition of JuBus.
Dena has maintained an award-winning midwifery blog, The Midwife’s Desk, since 2006. She has written articles and essays for Midwifery Today, the Lotus Guide, and Shasta Parent. One of her essays about India was published in literary journal Minerva Rising, and another was shortlisted in Hippocampus‘ creative nonfiction contest. Dena is represented by Laura Yorke at Carol Mann Literary Agency, carolmannagency.com.
Since returning from India, Dena has worked with Mayan midwives in a mountain village in Guatemala and at a Feminist Women’s Health Center in Chico. She has her finger on the pulse of global health, and is a part of the community that supports traditional midwives and maternal/child health in India. The answer to the question, “Will Dena go back to India?” is a resounding “Yes.”