The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families
Waiting is never easy. Waiting for your first baby to make their arrival gets more and more difficult once you've passed the forty week mark. Every day after forty weeks feels like an eternity. The well meaning text from friends and family asking if the baby has arrived can add to the frustration and urgency. And then, all the months, weeks and days of waiting are reduced to hours, then minutes and a final exhausted breath. The space between two worlds is momentarily blurred as your baby moves from the otherside to earthside and into your arms. You did it! YOU DID IT! Look at the little person you've grown and nurtured inside of you for forty plus weeks. What magic. Your soul will sing and you will never, ever be the same. A year from now, when you look back, those forty weeks will feel like a blink of an eye and you'll swear you'd do it a million times over because the baby you are holding is worth it. We see you. Hang in there dear ones, the magic is already happening, the grand finale is just around the corner.
A couple of weeks ago I asked folks to send me a list of the books they love and what makes them special. Whole Heart Collective members Heather and Brad were first to respond with a few favorites. "We read various board books during the day, but at night we read from a collection of Roald Dahl books! We have already read through The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and George’s Marvelous Medicine. We are now about a third into Matilda.
Brad and I obviously grew up in different countries where children’s stories often differ, as we’ve learned. Some of these Roald Dahl books are known to both of us, some to only one, and some are new to us both! We’re enjoying reading these together as a family before bed!"
What a great idea, guys. I've read Goodnight Moon more times than I'd like to admit. We still haven't reached chapter books at bedtime but I think we'll try it tonight!
Support Group Guests
This week is a great week to participate in our postpartum support groups. Wednesday the 2nd our fabulous IBCLC Leah Jolly will join us for our biweekly Latch Clinic. We'll be on zoom and folks can get help with all their breast/chest feeding questions. On Thursday I've invited a very dear friend and physical therapist Sarah Ammons, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT for a Q&A on all things pelvic floor and general recovery during the fourth trimester and beyond. We hope you'll join us!
Meet the newest members of the HOH team
Joanna Zepeda, CLD, CBE, DFBI
Birth Assistant, Educator
Joanna Zepeda is originally from Houston and has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and an Associates in the Arts from HCC. While her first calling was classical dance, over time she pivoted her skills and moved into the field of birth work after the birth of her nephew. She has been a birth worker for over 16 years and currently works as a Doula, Birth Assistant, Birthing from Within Childbirth Education Mentor, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Dancing for Birth Instructor Peer Support Group Leader for the Shades of Blue Project and a Birth Story Listener helping individuals process traumatic birth experiences.
Joanna believes that birth, however it unfolds, and the path into becoming a parent is a heroic journey. By meeting an individual just where they are, without judgment, is her goal in the hopes of supporting parents she works with as they cross into the threshold of parenthood.
Joanna is so excited to be a part of the team working with all the amazing individuals at The Heart of Houston Birth Center.
Rachel Palomera, RN, BSN
My name is Rachel Palomera. I am a RN, BSN since 2009 and have a passion for all things prenatal, birth and lactation.
I moved from Minneapolis, MN, where I previously worked at a birth center. I am excited to get back to the birth center world and do what I love. I have training in lactation and am currently studying to become a certified lactation consultant.
A few fun facts about me: I have worked and lived in Haiti at a birth center (Heartline Maternity center) and enjoy speaking Haitian Creole. Mwen renmen Ayiti anpil! I live in Dickinson with my husband and dog. I enjoy bargain shopping, taking lots of walks, listening to worship music, and watching reality tv. I'm so happy to be part of the Heart of Houston team!
Tori Herbert, BSN
Tori is a passionate Student Nurse-Midwife expanding her knowledge and scope in women’s health. Tori has been a labor and delivery nurse caring for families and welcoming babies into this world for 4 years. As an advanced practice nurse, Tori strives to provide a safe space to empower the birthing person and help educate them on their powerful, constantly transforming bodies. Tori believes birth is a beautiful, natural process and should be treated with that respect. She thanks each and every one of you for being a part of her journey and giving her grace as she learns more about the incredible world of midwifery.
Ricki Wegner, CPM
In early 2019, Ricki became a CPM with the intention of diving into the public health/maternal health field, particularly in low-resource areas. Later that year, she and her husband moved to Afghanistan to work on several medical projects. Ricki did basic women’s health triage in mobile clinics, taught HBB and HMS trainings , as well as partnered with WHO to give trainings on COVID-19 & maternal patients. Recently, Ricki and her husband and their baby relocated to Houston, where they continue to be involved in health projects in Afghanistan from a distance and help new arrival refugees.
Ricki cares deeply about collaborating with others to see health services in communities accessible to everyone. She is really excited to be a birth assistant at Heart of Houston and looks forward to supporting birthing people and their families during such a transformative life transition. It is an honor to be present during such a special time in people's lives!
Rowan, Bethany, Ricki and Tori all attended a birth together over the weekend and it 'bout brought Mary Love to tears! The on-call life is hard y'all. Not just hard on you but also hard on family and friends. Early on Mary and I committed to fostering a work environment that honors the whole birthworker with a healthy balance of serving others and caring for themselves and their families. We've invited these four birth workers to join our team so that you all get the very best of each of us. And we get learn and share space with these pretty rad people. Welcome y'all, we are so glad you're here.
Still time to sign up
Massage, relaxation and sleep: Certified Infant Massage Instructor and founder of Bloom and Grow, Zoie Drake will offer two different classes to bond with your new baby. Saturday February 5th at 1pm join Zoie for a specialized baby massage workshop geared towards helping baby AND caretaker with relaxation for better sleep.
Latch Clinic: Now on Zoom Wednesday 2/2 10am, Leah Jolly IBCLC will join our weekly postpartum support group to answer your feeding questions. We have breakout rooms now so you can spend a few min in private with Leah if necessary.
Take a Walk PP Support Group : No walk for 2/3 Guest Sarah Ammons PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT will answer all questions pertaining to healing in the fourth trimester
Dance and Stretch: Saturday 2/5 and 2/12 10:30am-12pm Join Joanna Zepeda for an hour and half of grounding, breathwork, stretching and dancing to prepare you for your big day.
Massage, relaxation and sleep: A specialized baby massage workshop geared towards helping baby AND caretaker with relaxation for better sleep.
Pregnancy Circle: Sunday 2/6 2-4pm HOH Zoom room
Postpartum Support Group: Every Wednesday from 10-12ish and Thursday 9:30-11:30. Zoom link has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 3:30-5pm Open to the public!
Birthworkers Circle: Second Sunday of every month starting Jan 2022 time 11am-1:30pm