The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Friends and Families
Our Team is Growing!
Hello again friends! We hope you've had an easy week. On Monday our nurse extraordinaire Rachel, her husband Bernard, and their sweet pup Nora, shared some exciting news with the world! Baby Palomera is due in early fall of this year. We are SO excited to for our friends and can't wait for their little one to join our growing community. Congratulations Rachel and Bernard!
Over the weekend we had our first Sunday family meet-up. It was great to catch up with a few families and hear all about their lives as new parents. Our next meet up is scheduled for Saturday April 22nd from 12:30 to 3 pm. We had hoped to have a reunion on the 23rd but we've run into a scheduling conflict. Our new date is now Saturday May 20th. We hope you'll join us!
I was notified that we had a few folks not able to sign into our zoom Core Class: Stages of Labor over the weekend so I've scheduled a make up for Monday April 3rd at 6pm. You should receive a link to the HOH Zoom room when you register. If for some reason you do not, please let me know as soon as you can.
In other exciting news we've added a new workshop to our calendar. We introduced you to sleep specialist Nicola Moy a few weeks back and we are happy to share that she is offering an information filled class for new or expectant parents. Class will be held April 30th 10-11:30 am and is open to the public. Cost is $35 a person/couple. Space is limited so register soon.
Do I really need a CPR class?
On Tuesday most of the HOH staff and some of our favorite doulas recertified their basic life support CPR cards. It was a great refresher for everyone since the recommendations tend to change every so often.
Last time we offered CPR we heard from our HOH mamas over on our Whatsapp group about the times they've had to use the techniques they learned in class. This morning as I was scrolling through our instagram account, I noticed that our friend Gail Gould tagged us in a video. Our HOH mama Andrea Arana of Las Perras Cafe shared yet another story of having to use the skills she learned in class to save her son from choking.
If you haven't taken a CPR class recently, now is your chance to refresh your skills! We encourage every pregnant person and anyone caring for a new baby to take a CPR and first aid class. Our next class will be Saturday April 22nd from 10am-12pm. Class is $45 per person. Get all the details and RSVP here. Please be sure to send your payment to Gail to secure your spot!
Spread the Word!
Friends, we are trying our best to get the word out about our birth center and the Whole Heart Collective. We love getting referrals from you and we REALLY love when you leave us kick ass reviews on Google and Facebook. If you haven't already, would you take a few minutes to write us an awesome review? We're also on Instagram where we share local events and some mildly inappropriate pregnancy and parenting memes. Follow us to spread the word about the incredible community you've helped us create.
Most you reading this have already met me at or at least seen me around Heart of Houston holding a baby, facilitating support groups, or apologizing for my language during one of our Core Classes. Now that I'm officially in the final phase of my midwifery training you'll probably be seeing me more often during your prenatal visit and more than likely at your birth. Since I'll probably get to see you naked at some point, I figured it was only fair for me tell you a little about myself.
Who are you?
Jessica Gonzales, native Houstonian and Co-Founder of Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Center where I am the Director of Programming and senior student midwife. My wife Amanda and I have two incredible kiddos, Elias (age 7) and Anais (age 4) who were both born here in Houston.
How do you serve/help the pregnant and postpartum communities?
I've worked in the field of reproductive health for over 20 years. 12 of those years I worked as a full spectrum doula and attending over 400 births in various settings. I'm also a member of the TLC Alliance and founder of Village Birth and Babies. Currently I'm in the final phase of my midwifery training and running the programming at HOH. I also write the weekly newsletter!
How did you get into this line of work?
I started working for UTMB Maternal and Child Health program and fell in love with all things pregnancy. I had the most amazing mentors that nourished my natural curiosity about the field of reproduction and allowed me to shadow them at births on the weekends. At the time I knew I wasn't ready to go back to school to become a midwife but I stayed in the field until I found doula work. With no children of my own I was able to dedicate every waking minute of my life to helping families navigate their way through the birth of their families. In 2014 my wife and I decided to start our own family and my village of parents supported ME through my own transformation into motherhood. It solidified my desire to continue building community for new families and supporting folks on their journeys. When Mary Love approached me about starting a birth center I jumped at the chance to build the space of my dreams. My work in reproductive justice and the lack of representation of both Queer and Latinx midwives in Houston helped me make the final leap into midwifery.
What do you wish everyone knew about your area of expertise?
Birth work is sacred work. Folks who take on the role of a birth worker walk in spaces most people only see a few times in their lives. When we are with you in your pregnancy and birthing time we know how far reaching this time will be in your life. We know that the way you are made to feel will stay with you forever and we want you to safe, seen and most of all loved. We are also human and sometimes we fall short, but you should know that we never take your trust for granted and every moment we share with you is a complete honor.
What is most rewarding about your work?
I looooooove watching the birth of parents. I love how birth pushes every birthing person to their limits and in the process transforms them into parents. Witnessing a couple grow into parenthood is the most magical part of my job. Our innate wisdom to love and care for one another is on full display when we drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out just who these little people we created will become. It never gets old.
Tell us about something you love.
I love music. All kinds, every kind, but especially live music. I can't play a single instrument and can barely carry a tune but boy do I love me an outdoor music festival where I can sing at the top of my lungs! Oh and baby snuggles, I'm only slightly addicted squishing babies.
This Week's Events
Thursday Postpartum support group: 10am-12pm Open to HOH clients and WHC members
Friday Night Yoga with Bee: 6:45pm donation based for members, please register!
RSVP on all Calendar of Events page
New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100
Monthly Ongoing Events
Wednesday Virtual Postpartum Support Circle: Second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 10-12 on Zoom. HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Thursday In Person Postpartum Support Circle: 10-12 in the community room. Open to current HOH & WHC members. Feeding clinic first and third Thursdays of each month.
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public.
Parents of School Age Kids Circle: First Sunday of every month 11-1pm Open to the public.
Babywearing Meetup: Third Saturday of each month Class with various topics 4-5pm $25 non members Open to the Public 5-6pm Citywide Meet up FREE Open to the Public
Birth workers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm midwives, student midwives, doulas, birth assistants, Obs and L&D nurses are all welcome to attend.
Mindful Movements: First and second Saturday of each month 10:30-12
Yoga with Bee: Every Monday from 10-11am Open to the public members donation based register here.