We'd like to share our journey... the birth of Westover Hills Birth Center.
The midwives, Robin and Julie, started working together in 2011 when Julie was a midwifery student. In 2018, opportunities arose that allowed them to start building their own birth center. Hear from the midwives, in their own words, what this birth center means to them. Witness the building of their dream…
Robin and Julie have over 30 years of combined experience caring for mothers and babies. Midwifery is a unique approach to pregnancy and childbirth. Midwives are health care professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, which results in confident, supported labor and birth. Read about their journeys that led them to dedicate their lives to serving birthing families.
Licenced midwife / clinical director
Aside from being a midwife, I am the mother of six beautiful children – five girls and one boy – ranging in age from 36 to 26. My youngest are identical twin girls. I am a very proud grandmother (“Oma”) of fourteen! I have multiple degrees in sciences, have attended nursing school and I completed my midwifery training with the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program after beginning my midwifery education in Germany. Beginning in 2002, I was an educator for a local college, mostly Anatomy and Physiology. My tenure ended in 2012. All the students I came into contact with there were fascinated that I am a midwife and I loved teaching about the human body. As an educator, I enjoyed taking that fascination and offering them the opportunity to learn about birth in a positive way. I have been a clinical preceptor for the ATM Midwifery Training Program since 2005 and was an active member of the ATM Education Committee, as well as academic instructor from 2006 to 2014. In 2018 I became the clinical director at Westover Hills Birth Center in San Antonio.
From a very early age I knew that I was destined to work with mothers and babies. I grew up being a caregiver and was also very proactive in my mother’s births. Together, we attended the earliest Lamaze classes and La Leche League meetings. At the young age of 19, I immigrated to Germany. My very first day in that country, my mother-in-law picked up my hands and said to me: “Du hast die Hände einer Hebamme!” Translated, that means: “You have the hands of a midwife!” That was the spark I needed to know what I would want to do the rest of my life. Germany taught me how childbirth should be – in the caring hands of a midwife.
It has been an incredible journey to where I am today. Throughout the years after returning to Texas in 1994, I was one of the original doulas and doula trainer in San Antonio and I have worked in local hospitals in nursing, as a childbirth and breastfeeding educator and staff doula. I have also worked in other birth centers in San Antonio and thrive in that atmosphere.
For many years, I have also focused my attention and knowledge on helping mothers of multiples and became nationally recognized for my work in multiple births. My home birth practice “Multiple Blessings” originated from that work. Twin births have always been very dear to my heart and as a midwife, I offer mothers expecting twins the opportunity to birth their babies naturally and safely with midwifery care.
Another area very near and dear to me is VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). As a woman who has experienced an emergency cesarean myself, I feel it is my duty, not just a passion, to help mothers who have endured a cesarean birth in the past to fulfill their dreams of having a safe, natural birth with their next babies.
I am also very proud to possess a skill that is a dying art in the obstetric world – breech birth. Mothers who find that their babies are “upside down” at the time of birth do NOT have to give up their plans and dreams of a normal, natural birth and agree to an automatic cesarean delivery. Under the right circumstances, most breech-positioned babies are fully capable of arriving earth-side as nature intended and I am very honored to assist these unique births.
As a firm believer in education and having the philosophy that training and learning never stop, it is my goal as a midwife and educator to help all families bring their children into this world in the safety and comfort of a home-like environment because they have the knowledge to choose what is best for them. Over 950+ births later and working with well over 1,200 families, I strive to be the best caregiver I can be. Birth is a blessed event and should be trusted just as we trust every breath we take. Allow me the humbling honor to help you bring your baby into the world.
Licenced midwife / administrative director
I was born and raised in San Antonio. I married my husband in 1999 and together, we have four great kids. My first three children, ages 19, 17, and 16, were born in hospitals. At the birth of my third child, many mistakes (made by my nurse) led to my son being born with no one in the room. When the doctor on call (not my regular OB) came into my room (30 minutes after the birth) he was rude and ANGRY with me! He made my son’s birthday a horrible memory.
When I became pregnant with my fourth child, who is now 8, I wanted to make sure the negativity of the previous birth was not repeated. I had continued to see my OB for routine care in the seven years between pregnancies. When I got pregnant, the first thought was to go to the doctor I had a relationship with. I shared with her my concerns for having this doctor attend another birth. I was willing to be induced when she was on call just to make sure he was not at my birth. My doctor’s reaction to my story was “Don’t you think you should be over it by now?” After my first prenatal with my OB, I left the office crying. I could not return. That meeting led me to seek something different. By chance, while searching through online movies, I came across a film I had wanted to see. I had seen the preview for “The Business of Being Born”, and it looked interesting, but I had no idea what it was about. On the night of my emotional prenatal visit, I watched it with my husband. Everything changed.
I had no idea that midwives still existed and practiced. I thought they were around in the pioneer days and in remote, rural areas where access to doctors and hospitals is limited. The more I watched, the more I agreed with the documentary in front of me. At the time, I worked in the hospital and saw many of the things described. I wanted something different. I sought a midwife for my care. The next day I called and set up a meeting with a midwife. When we met, I felt like I had met an old friend. She was genuinely caring for me as a person. I was not just a number on a file or a body in a waiting room. When I told my story, she was understanding and empathetic.
My entire family enjoyed the prenatal visits. They were like none I had had before. Visits took place in my home and lasted at least an hour. They involved the entire family. My kids were welcome and got to ask questions. They were encouraged to try to feel the baby and “help”. I LOVED the care I got. I remember thinking how much better my other pregnancies and births could have been if only I had the information and time that my midwife provided. None of my doctors had provided the time, care, attention, and education that was provided by my midwife. This was my fourth and I was learning so much.
When I was 38 weeks, my baby turned… sideways. Babies can’t be born this way. Any other provider would have scheduled a c-section. My midwife was patient. We did natural things to encourage the baby to turn. I have never spent so much time upside down! I had a couple of chiropractic adjustments and at 41 weeks, he finally turned. William was born at home in water at 41 weeks 3 days. It was so nice to be able to move and eat and drink. The discomforts of labor were much more manageable with being able to walk, change position, and get in water. I knew that by the end of my home birth journey, I would never be the same.
I decided to become a midwife. After 4 years of training in the home birth and birth center setting, my dream came true. I have been practicing midwifery since October 2014. My favorite part of midwifery is seeing families grow and welcome their new addition. It is the best feeling helping a family birth a new little person into the world.