I have three children, all born with midwives, 1 in a hospital, 2 at home. During my first pregnancy at the age of 23, I knew that I wanted natural childbirth after reading Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery early in the 2nd trimester. Bouyed by birth stories and Ina May’s deep wisdom on ways to transform pain with the recognition that it’s really ok if it hurts, that labor pain does not harm. I educated myself and my husband in the ways of natural childbirth through Bradley Method and seeking midwifery care. On January 7th, 1990, I delivered my daughter, with a CNM in a Tallahassee FL hospital after 7 hours of labor with a doula, and my partner at my side. My labor was fast and intense. But I emerged victorious, in awe of what I could do, in awe of my newborn.
I was as well prepared for motherhood as I could be. I recovered quickly, breastfed well after the first 2 weeks, went to La Leche League meetings for support, and loved my baby.
I also knew that the English degree I had just earned at Florida State University was not going to really get me where I wanted to be. Something happened to me during the pregnancy, labor and birth. I got the first spark of wondering if I was supposed to be a Midwife.
We moved to Austin, TX in 1991 and I went on to have 2 more beautiful daughters in 1992 and 1994. Both of these births were attended by Midwives in my home. Those pregnancies and labors were completely different from the first, thus giving me the first of many lessons on the unpredictability of birth.
In late 1993, I delved into the educational offerings for becoming a Midwife in Texas. I signed up for the newly created Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program and took my first look at what it would take for me to become a midwife.
I took the long road to becoming a midwife. With small children, a household to run and a need to make financial ends meet, I did many things over the years to add to the household coffers while I pursued my passion. I cleaned houses, worked for a non-profit raising money and putting together large educational conferences, taught birth classes, attended births as a support person and stayed open to a variety of ways to support my family and my dream over the years.
In 2005, the year I turned 40, I finally earned my Texas midwifery license! It was a cause for celebration and I promptly opened my own practice, Wholistic Birthways where I helped a ~250 hundred families over a 5 year period.
In 2010 I became a staff Midwife with the Austin Area Birthing Center. In 2016 I was promoted to Clinical Director.
During my ten years with AABC, I was privileged to work with hundreds of Central Texas families and call some of the best midwives in Texas my colleagues and partners. As Clinical Director, I also helped create policies, guidelines, protocols and help run the center overall.
After leaving in AABC in April 2020, I opened HomeBirth with Victoria to continue the work I love with a return to home birth. I found the home birth world to be very busy, especially with a pandemic under way, driving many women from hospital birth to home birth.
I've also partnered with Joan Doglio Smith, CNM of Abundance Midwifery Service and together we have been so blessed to serve over 100 families together.
Last year, I opened a birth center, Manor Birth Sanctuary, with the purpose and vision of serving families who receive Medicaid benefits. We are now fully in network with Superior Medicaid, which opens the possibility of natural birth and water birth to all low risk birthing families.
Over the last 18 years, I have helped over 1400 families through the life changing process of pregnancy, natural birth and the postpartum experience. While there are similarities and my experience allows me to see certain patterns within the process, everyone has a unique journey with their own story to tell. I am still awed by the power of birth, the strength that I am so blessed to witness by being invited into the room, no matter what time of day or night.