How I Got Here

best Austin midwife homebirth natural birth

I have been thinking about what my first blog should be, and it finally occurred to me...ME! Why don't I start off this new blog with a snapshot of how I got to be a home birth midwife in Austin, TX? This way, you will get to know me and where I am coming from.

So, it all started here...

April 9, 1974 in Flagstaff, Arizona...my mom searched out a doctor that would allow her to give birth to me naturally after being put completely asleep with my brother 4 years earlier. My mom has always told the story how happy she was to see me immediately after my birth.

The years went on...we moved to Austin when I was three and then to Marble Falls when I was 11. My mom is a Registered Nurse, and throughout high school she ran a clinic in Llano providing prenatal care to Medicaid women.

I swore I would NEVER become a nurse like her, so I went to Texas State University (then, Southwest Texas State University) to study Physical Therapy, then Engineering, and eventually earned a degree in Anthropology with minors in Spanish and Mathematics in 1997.

Midwife with baby in Austin

Soon after, I met the love of my life and got pregnant. There was no doubt in my mind that I would have a home birth with Ann Dignan, CNM. Being due on Y2K, January 1, 2000, we took extra precautions to have our baby at my parents' house where there was a generator and well water just in case the world as we knew it came to an end. So as New Year's Eve came and went without a single computer getting confused by the date, we went back to our home in Austin to welcome our son, Samuel, into this world. It was such a powerful and empowering experience. My life was forever changed, and my soul knew that midwifery would be part of my future.

After a move to Baltimore, I got pregnant again and searched out a new home birth midwife. In 2001, home birth was illegal in Maryland, so it took a bit of work to find Kathy Slone, CNM. Our daughter's birth ended up in the hospital at the very last minute (everything ended up being just fine) which was just perfect, and my love for midwifery care and home birth intensified.

Six years later and back in the Austin area, I started training to be a doula. I was all of a sudden supporting lots of women giving birth, mainly in the hospital (here is the link to my old doula blog with lots of great articles...Beautiful Births). In 2010, I ran into a home birth midwife in the hospital, and we quickly became good friends. It felt natural to start apprenticing with her to become a midwife's assistant. After a year, I started to feel the strain of the midwifery lifestyle with small children, so I decided to take a break from apprenticing and continue my doula work. In 2013, after a quick thought to start apprenticing again and a simple text to a friend, I got the opportunity to train under Julia Bower, CNM and Honeydue Homebirth. When my mom passed on her blood pressure cuff and stethoscope to me, I immediately felt this sigh of relief...this is what I was supposed to do all along...be a nurse like her (well, sort of).

Midwife with her own baby

After three years with Honeydue Homebirth, 100 births (194 including doula work), lots of hard work, studying and good times, I became a Certified Professional Midwife and Licensed Midwife in the state of Texas in June of 2016. Which brings me to this first blog post!

Now that I am a home birth midwife, my passion to assist women, their babies and families experience a gentle home birth is realized. I LOVE to empower women to follow their hearts and intuitions in making the best decisions for themselves and their babies during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

My vision for this blog is to pass on lots of interesting information to you related to home birth. I love new research on evidenced based midwifery practices, so I will share what I come across, as well as, sharing local resources for Austin area families.

So that's me in a nutshell! Thank you for joining me on the next chapter of my life!

Love,
Erica

This was my last birth as an apprentice with Julia Bower, CNM. So bittersweet! I tear up every time I look at it!

This was my last birth as an apprentice with Julia Bower, CNM. So bittersweet! I tear up every time I look at it!