Serving Women and Families with Natural Birth

I am a Certified Professional and Licensed Midwife as well as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. My homebirth practice covers an 80 mile radius from North Austin to San Antonio and I have offices in both South Austin and Blanco, Texas.

After my own wonderful homebirth experience, I decided to become a midwife and ever since, it's been my hope and joy to bring the miraculous experience of a natural birth to other women and their families. I've had the joy, from 1997 until the present to have attended 700 births.

My journey into midwifery

After working many years as an LVN and returning to school to obtain my RN, I became pregnant unexpectedly after many years of fertility treatment. It was after I had stopped obsessing about having a baby and discontinuing all fertility treatments and focusing on my studies that I became pregnant. What a wonderful surprise!!!!! At the time I was working two nursing jobs and going to school. After 10 years of trying to get pregnant, I decided to work only one job and discontinue my nursing clinicals for the time being, even though I only had only one year left. I was not going to risk loosing this "miracle" baby.

I grew up in a small rural southeast Texas town. Somewhere along the way, I had decided if I ever had a baby I would have them at home with a midwife. I had never
known anyone who did this and had never met a midwife. When I think back on this, I believe it was a friend who's grandmother had had all of her children at home.
Since I was now living in Austin, it was like midwife mecca (1992). I felt a bit over-whelmed and decided to go and talk to the midwives my friend Sally had used. It was Melanie VanAken and Barbara Christman at All God's Babies. I loved them from the first visit and didn't interview anyone else.

After my wonderful experience and successful homebirth of my first child, Maya, in 1993, I had a little spark of a thought, "I don't want to be a nurse, I want to be a homebirth midwife". To tell you the truth, I didn't even realize there were two different types of midwives - Direct Entry(now we are Licensed) and Nurse Midwives that worked primarily in the hospital setting. The plans of studying midwifery were surprisingly and wonderfully changed when I learned I was pregnant at 2 months post partum. Another miracle baby!!!!!

During the middle of my second pregnancy, I told Melanie VanAken (one of the midwives) that I wanted to possibly have this baby out in Blanco, Texas as we had bought some property out there. She became very curious and in the end we learned that we both had bought property on the same ranch and the same road less than a mile apart. I didn't have the baby in Blanco but had the baby, Crystal, in Austin with Melanie VanAken and her associates. The desire to be a midwife never left but needless to say I had my hands full with 2 babies less than a year apart.

In 1997, had a strong desire to begin a new journey into midwifery. With much support from my husband and friends, I began a formal apprenticeship with Melanie VanAken.
Before I completed my training as a midwife, I had a third miracle baby in 1998, my son Adrian. I took about 3 weeks off and returned to my work/studies with a breastfeeding newborn in tow.

In 2000, after becoming a CPM and Direct Entry Midwife, I began my own practice and working with Ann Dignan, CNM/FNP in Blanco , Texas.
I feel very blessed to be a midwife and helping families have their babies at home. I also feel very blessed that there are so many wonderul midwives in the Central Texas.

Historical Summary

1983-1985 Lamar University-Orange, Texas Licensed Vocational Nursing Program
1985-1986 Brackenridge Hospital- Staff Nurse Medicine Floor
1986-1992 Dr.Tom McHorse- Staff Nurse- Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology
1988-1997 Austin Regional Clinic-After Hours Clinic-Triage Nurse-Family Practice and Pediatrics
1988-1992 Austin Community College
1992 Challenge Test for first year of clinicals of RN program ACC, Austin
1993 Birth of first child, Maya, at home in Austin
1994 Birth of second child, Crystal, at home in Austin
1997 Began studies in midwifery as a direct entry midwife with a formal apprenticeship with Melanie VanAken
2000-current Certification as Certified Professional Midwife by National Association of Registered Midwives Documented/Licensed Midwife State of Texas
2000-current Hill Country Midwifery-Ann Dignan, CNM/FNP-Staff Midwife
1985-current CPR certification
1985-current Neonatal Resuscitation certification

CEU's (Continuing Education Units)

May 1996 Trauma Across the Lifespan
Pain Management in the Elderly
May 1998 Maternal Neonatal Nursing
Nov 1999 The Gathering Of Midwives
Postpartum Depression
Herbs in Pregnancy
May 2000 Clinical Arometherapy
May 2002 Spanish for Nurses
Feb 2003 For Women Only-Well Woman Health
Nov 2003 The Gathering of Midwives
Round Table Discussion Panel- CPM's working with CNM's - Bridging the Gap
Nov 2003 M.A.N.A. Conference, Austin, Texas
The 4th Trimester-The Happiest Baby on the Block
Suturing Workshop
May 2004 Pediatric Assessment
Nov 2005 Gathering of Midwives
Resolving Shoulder Dystocia
Substance Abuse In Pregnancy
Assessing Risk for Lactation Failure
Celiac Disease in Pregnancy
May 2006 Women's Health: Contemporary Advances and Trends
Nov 2006 The Gathering of Midwives
Preventing Prematurity