Happy Father's Day!

It is my priviledge to watch, on a regular basis, men becoming fathers, and it is such a beautiful thing! I see their tireless, loving support for their partners in labor, their joy and tears as they watch their baby's being born, sometimes they are the first hands to catch their baby on the way out, and their tender caresses of their newborn baby placed in their arms. Many have never held a baby before, but this one is theirs! They instinctually bring their baby to their chest in the most protective, gentle way and shower all their love and kisses on this precious baby's head. You can't underestimate the power of this moment! Happy Father's Day!

Welcome Helen Adria!

I had the honor of attending the birth of Keris and Stuart's first born, an adorable boy named Aston Davis, so I was thrilled when Keris was pregnant again and asked for me to be their doula and photographer for the birth of their little girl, Helen Adria.  Keris was induced for her first birth, but she decided to wait a little longer this time and let Helen pick her birth day, and she did!  Labor started gradually and Keris did a great job of distracting herself during those early contractions, and when they started getting more intense but we still spaced out a little, they waited a little longer and labored at home.  They told me to wait too, but I knew things might pick up and go pretty quickly.  Sure enough, her contractions were soon under five minutes, and they headed to the hospital, and I left to join them, but on the way there they just kept coming on faster and faster.  When they got checked in she was already 9 cm!  I arrived shortly after and Keris was laboring on the bed on all fours, but doing a great job and still laughing with Stuart in between contractions.

laughing during labor; austin birth photographer

Just a few contractions later, she felt like she needed to push, and Helen pretty much came flying out! Aston was 9.5lbs (and Keris is very petite) so she pushed for a few hours with him, but Helen was much smaller, and even though she had a nuchal hand, she came out much quicker.

Between two worlds: austin birth photographer

One of the special things about this birth was being able to witness the birth pause, in which the birthing mother takes a brief pause to gather herself and make the great transition from birthing her baby to the first step of mothering, picking up her baby on her own terms.  Since Keris was still on all fours, she requested a minute to breathe and rest before she turned over to pick up her daughter and bring her to her chest.

The birth pause: austin birth photographer

The birth had happened so quickly, that there was still so much shock and surprise mingled with the relief and great joy as she welcomed Helen in her arms.

the relief and joy as baby is finally her: austin birth photographer
Let me get a look at you: austin birth photographer
so much surprise and joy!: austin birth photographer

It was such a joy to see the love between Keris and Stuart flow over as they both began to bond with their precious new daughter.

the new family snuggling in
hands of support and love: austin birth photographer
holding daddy's finger: austin birth photographer
the first kiss after the birth: austin birth photographer
Daddy gets skin to skin too: austin birth photographer

And before long, Keris's mom brought Aston came to meet his new little sister.  He wasn't quite sure what to think of this new addition.

little brother pats baby's head: austin pictures of birth
little brother checking out his new sister: austin birth photography
the new family: austin birth pictures

A little later, Keris had some quiet time to start breastfeeding Helen, and she was a champion nurser!

new little baby rolls: austin baby photographer
such a great latch! birth photographer in Austin

And then it was time to transition to their postpartum room and try to get some rest and settle in with their new baby.

Daddy can't get enough of this cutie: austin birth photography
Mom and Dad gazing at their baby: austin birth photos
mom and dad hold baby's hands: austin birth pictures

Congratulations Keris and Stuart!  It was such an honor to serve you at the birth of both your babies, and see your beautiful family grow.  You have so much love for each other and for your children, and it is a blessing to share in your joy!

Happy Mother's Day!

I have an amazing job that allows me to witness women becoming mother's.  They pass through the fire to get to that point, but there is noting like the joy of a mother meeting her baby for the first time.  I hope you enjoy this collection of those moments and, if you have children, it will bring back those memories of the first moments you spent with your baby.

Hazel's Birth Story

Tricia and Eric were expecting their first baby, a little girl.  They planned to give birth at Natural Beginning Birth Center.  I came during the night when Tricia was in active labor, and she was laboring in the tub.  She was well-supported with her husband, doula, and midwife at her side. She was such a peaceful laborer, and had a such a calm environment.  She labored through the night trying many different positions.

laboring in the tub--austin birth photographer
hands of support--Austin birth photographer
the tub by candlelight--Austin birth photographer
a strong grip--Austin birth photographer
a doula's support--Austin birth photographer
laboring on the toilet--Austin birth photographer
laboring in the shower--Austin birth photographer
hip squeezes--Austin birth photographer

Finally, with the morning light shining in, it was time to push!

pushing in the morning light--Austin birth photographer

She pushed with all her strength to bring that baby down.  She tried several different pushing positions and techniques.

the birth roar--Austin birth photographer
pushing on hands and knees--Austin birth photographer
a kiss of encouragement--Austin birth photographer
tug of war--Austin birth photographer

Finally, exhausted after pushing for many hours, it was decided that it was time to transfer to the hospital.  This is such an emotional decision, but she was so lovingly supported and encouraged that she was making the right decision for her baby.

the decision to transfer--Austin birth photographer

The hospital is across the street, so the whole birth team walked over with a determination to see this baby being born.

the walk to the hospital--Austin birth photographer

Her doula lovingly set up her hospital space, and she enjoyed a nap with an epidural before beginning to push again.

pushing by candlelight--Austin birth photographer
pushing with the squat bar--Austin birth photographer

After pushing again for another few hours, it was time for baby to come.  A doctor joined us and assisted with a vacuum to bring baby down the rest of the way.

the crowning--Austin birth photographer

After all her hard work, Hazel finally made her appearance and is in mama's arms.  The new family rejoiced and dad bonded with his new little girl.  

in mama's arms--Austin birth photographer
Holding daddy's finger--Austin birth photographer
"you did it" kiss--Austin birth photographer
baby breastfeeding--Austin birth photographer

Radiant, yet exhausted, a full 24 hours later, mom finally achieved the fruit of her labor and had her baby girl in her arms. She worked so hard and was so brave and determined through all the changes in plans.  The depth of love and strength of a mother as she works to bring her baby earthside is unplumbed.  

the proud mama--Austin birth photographer

Congratulations Tricia and Eric! It was an honor to document your story!

2017 in Pictures

2017 brought some beautiful births, strong mamas, supportive partners, and adorable babies that it was my honor to capture.  These are a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!


2018 is already looking to be an amazing year.  If you're due in 2018 and want a doula or photographer, book now

Welcome Aiden James!

Congratulations to Gaby and Alex on the birth of their son, Aiden James! This sweet couple were college sweethearts; now they're married and starting their family.  Gaby was committed to having a natural birth out of the hospital, and she chose to give birth at Austin Area Birthing Center.  It was a little before her due date when her water broke unexpectedly.  Contractions began soon after but things weren't progressing into active labor.  We tried some positioning and walking, and she was exhausted after a day of prodromal labor.  She checked into the birth center, and we all tried to get some sleep before beginning the midwives induction routine of pumping, herbs, and castor oil in the morning.  A few hours after that, things started to pick up and labor got intense and progressed quickly.


At the beginning of her labor, she did such a beautiful job of relaxing.  I love her posture her with her hands open as she surrenders to each surge, letting it open her and bring her baby nearer.


With her eye on the prize, she found her focus to help her through each wave.


Her husband was such a great support to her, giving tender encouragement, and intuitively following her lead.


This is transition, and she needed to clear gaze of her husband to help her through.  This look below shows so well the feeling of "I can't do this anymore, please help me."  But with constant support and encouragement, she pressed on toward the goal.


Even as she neared the finish line, she was so composed and relaxed.  I loved the way she folded her hands so beautifully in front of her.


Now for the pushing--such a powerhouse of strength and determination!


And finally, after so much hard work, baby is in her arms!


This such a beautiful, intimate moment as mom turns to her partner after the birth, with the expression of "we did it!".


This newborn baby knows his dad, and gazed so intently at him.


This beautiful golden hour as the new family settles in and gets to know each other!


Such a proud, gentle papa as he gets to hold his son for the first time!


Welcome to the world Aiden James!  This beautiful healthy baby weighed in at 6lbs 14oz and 20 in.  It was such a pleasure to serve this sweet couple and witness such strength, love, and beauty as they brought sweet Aiden into their arms.

The Triumphant Homebirth of Phoeniks Ezra

I had the privilege of attending a really beautiful homebirth for one of my former clients. I had worked with Andrea and Hector two years ago at the birth of their twins. While she had been hoping for a natural, vaginal birth for them, she developed pre-eclampsia and went into pre-term labor at 30 weeks, so it was decided that a cesarean was the safest way for them to be born. They were such tiny babies, and had to stay in the NICU for 53 days. Andrea's older daughter was also born prematurely when she had pre-eclampsia the first time.  These births were traumatic for her, and she desperately wanted to be able to avoid that if at all possible this time and have the homebirth she had dreamed of.  She took especially good care of her health and diet this time around and when she reached 35 weeks, still healthy, she was released from her high-risk status and got accepted with Central Texas Birth Center for a homebirth.  It was such a blessing as she reached full term, perfectly healthy.  Andrea's labor began on Friday evening with light contractions that continued through the night and much of the next morning.  By noon, they had picked up some, but they still seemed irregular and bearable, so her midwife decided to come check on her.  To everyone's surprise she was already 8 centimeters! I came shortly after, and Andrea was doing well, breathing through her contractions and making everything look easy.  It wasn't too long, and her water broke.  She got into her birth pool and had about three intense contractions and then the baby just slid out before anyone was quite ready.  Hector, who had been caring for one of their twins who had been sick, just made it into the pool and was able to catch the baby.  Andrea kept remarking after the birth that "that really wasn't too bad."  It was a beautiful, gentle birth, with a completely healthy baby who was born right into their arms in the comfort of their own home. It was such a joy to witness and document this birth for this sweet family and see them have the birth that they had waited so long to have.


Andrea and Hector waited to find out the gender, and when he was born, they waited till everyone had gathered to look and to announce that "Its a boy!" He was immediately welcomed by the whole family, two big sisters, two big brothers, and grandmother.  His big sister had such a perfect response!


Yes, Phoeniks Ezra, you were indeed worth the wait!  Congratulations to Andrea and Hector and the whole family!  It was an honor to serve you in both of your births, and to rejoice now with you in the beautiful birth of this beautiful baby!

Welcome Baby Isaac!

Congratulations Allegra and Shaune on the birth of Issac Henry, their second son! He weighed in at 7lb 14oz and 21 1/4 inches long. This was such a beautiful, triumphant VBAC as Allegra pressed through her doubts and fears with so much strength and courage and birthed her baby just as the doctor was saying that he needed to be born soon. It was so amazing to see this mama do everything she needed to for her baby! Not a dry eye in the room! It was such a pleasure to work with this sweet couple!

Welcome Luna Leigh!

Thalia and Ernesto were overjoyed to welcome their precious daughter, Luna Leigh on July 24 at 6:05am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 10oz and 19 3/4 inches.

Thalia had such a beautiful positive spirit as she adapted with grace to each new challenge ahead of her.  Although she hoped for a home birth, she came to accept that her daughter would have to be born in the hospital.  And then when her water broke but labor didn't begin, she accepted the induction that she didn't plan on.  But eventually, her body took over, and Thalia surrendered to the labor process and accepted the changes her birth plan took.  But it was all worth it when her beautiful baby was laid on her chest.  

Congratulations Thalia and Ernesto as they begin their parenting journey together!

It was a pleasure to work with you and to be part of your journey!

The Homebirth of Elianna Grace

Congratulations to Marissa and Samuel on the birth of their daughter, Elianna Grace! This beautiful homebirth was a triumphant end to a long story. After a loss, Marissa and Samuel planned a homebirth for their first, who was breech and had to be delivered by cesarean, so determined, they decided to try again for the birth they dreamed of. But after Marissa's water broke, and several days of prodromal labor, that dream seemed to be slipping away. With lots of prayer, careful monitoring, and trust in the birth process from her midwife, Elianna finally decided to make her appearance. And she was born at home, in the water, and caught by her dad. Here is a slideshow that captures the beauty, hard work, loving support, and joyful birth of Elianna Grace.

Welcome Matias James!

Congratulations to Katlyn and Gustavo just welcomed their third son, Matias James, into their family.

This sweet couple was such a joy to work with, and Katlyn was such a pro when it came to labor.  She had already had two natural births, and when faced with an unexpected induction and other inconveniences, like a faulty monitor that required constant adjustment and no hot water in the shower, she didn't let it stop her.  She just kept powering on until she finally had precious little boy was in her arms.

There's just nothing like the rush of emotions when you hold that baby for the first time!  This is one powerful mama!

And Gustavo was such a loving and supportive papa. He's already planning the next one!

Happy Father's Day!

Its somewhat to be expected that when it comes to birth, mother's get all the attention, and they surely deserve it.  But today, on Father's Day, I want to celebrate the amazing dads that have supported the mother's of their babies in such loving, selfless, and caring ways.  And seeing the moment a dad looks on his child for the first time is magic.  Here are a few of those moments to celebrate the awesomeness of dads. Click through this slideshow to see some of these beautiful moments, when a man becomes a dad.  See the loving support for his partner, the joy of seeing their little one for the first time, and the love that beams through in that first cuddle.

Welcome Baby Micah!

Congratulations to Iradis and Kyle on the birth of their son, Micah!  Micah is their third child, and second son.  He weighed in at 7lb 9 oz, a healthy beautiful little boy!

The joy of birth-Austin Doula

This is the look of pure joy as mama reaches down to touch her baby for the first time.  This was Iradis's second VBAC, which she rocked without pain medication, as was her desire.  Kyle is a pretty proud papa too!

proud papa-Austin Doula

Thanks Iradis and Kyle for the privilege to serve you and witness the birth of Micah!

first snuggles-Austin Doula

I just love those first blissful snuggles!

Jamie and Iradis-Austin Doula

Welcome Sophie James!

Congratulations to Stephanie and Willie on the birth of their beautiful daughter, Sophie James!  Sophie was an early Christmas present for her parents who were overjoyed at her arrival on Dec. 22 at Natural Beginning Birth Center.  She weighed in at exactly 7lbs.  Stephanie did an amazing job coping with her labor and was so relaxed through it all, and Willie was such a loving and supportive presence for her.  It was such an honor to work with this great family!

Happy New Year!

Despite being a rather tumultuous year on the national scale, 2016 has been a great year here at Empowered Birthing, in fact the busiest year yet.  I had the privilege of serving 19 families in 2016.  There were 5 birth center births, 12 hospital births, 9 unmedicated births,  2 VBACs, and I had the privilege of witnessing two cesarean births (thank you St. David’s Medical Center for supporting doulas in the operating room!).  But more important than numbers are all the beautiful families that I had the privilege to serve.  At each birth, I watched fierce, strong mamas who worked so hard to bring their babies earthside, and loving partners who believed in them and supported them each step of the way.  Every birth presents its own challenges, and each time I see these women look deep within themselves and find their strength to meet their own unique challenges.  It is such a joy to behold!

I have also continued to grow in my knowledge and in the services I am able to offer my clients.  In January I embarked on my journey to recertify as a doula.  Instead of recertifying with my original organization, I have decided to join with DTI (Doula Trainings International).  This amazing organization provides a wonderfully supportive community (we doulas need a lot of support from each other in order to keep ourselves replenished) and they provide of model of total inclusivity of all birthing families (whatever size, shape, or color they come in) that prepares us to meet the needs of all our clients and their unique situations.  Moreover, they encourage us to be agents of change in the contemporary birth scene.  All birthing parents deserve a respectful, compassionate, and evidence-based care!  So it has been a pleasure to be part of this organization and be so fully in line with their philosophy.  I attended a DTI training last January and became a DTI certified birth and postpartum doula in October.   With the addition of my postpartum credentials, I have been able to offer more post-partum care to my clients.  I have also begun my training as a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor in order to more fully support my clients in their breastfeeding journey.   And as a sneak peek into this new year, I am hoping to increase the diversity of my offerings to include breastfeeding support, childbirth education, and photography.  I am excited to share these new offerings with you in the coming months.  I have also been elected to serve as the Secretary of CTDA (Central Texas Doula Association) and so look forward to serving the larger doula community in that capacity.

As always, I thank you so much for all your love and support.  I had the privilege of serving three families who had been referred to me by lovely past clients.  Please keep telling your pregnant friends and acquaintances.  (And,  I’m hoping to add a new referral bonus, so stay tuned!)  I have also received some wonderful testimonials that I am pleased to share.  Here are a few of these inspiring words that help me to keep providing better, more individualized support:

“During the birth, more than one time she helped me understand what was going on, to ask questions, and make sure that what they were doing was to my benefit, not to their convenience."
“Despite not having my ideal birth, I left the hospital with my healthy baby feeling empowered in a way, because I was able to advocate for myself despite feeling moments of vulnerability. I was able to handle the initial grief of an unwanted c-section because Jamie was by my side with empathy, allowing me to go home ready for the excitement of being a new mommy.”
“I was much more comfortable with ways to make my wife be calm and more comfortable through labor.  Having a doula gave me more options than I knew existed to help my wife.”  
“I think the prenatal visits are possibly the most important and most valuable part of the services Jamie offers. The amount of hours she dedicated to me and my partner before the birth was unbelievable. We were so lucky to have her support leading up to the birth.”

I always appreciate getting your feedback, including suggestions for improvement, so that I can better serve my future clients.   And I love getting updates from you to see how you’re doing and how your little ones are growing.  Please friend me on Facebook if you like; it’s a great way to stay in touch, and be sure to follow my page at https://www.facebook.com/Empoweredbirthingaustin/.

It is such a honor to do the work that I do: to be invited into your birth space, to witness the miracle of new life, and to encourage and support you in your journey as new parents.  Thank you for your support of me so that I can continue to serve more families.

Have a blessed New Year!

Lisa 3_edited.jpg

It is such a honor to do the work that I do: to be invited into your birth space, to witness the miracle of new life, and to encourage and support you in your journey as new parents.  Thank you for your support of me so that I can continue to serve more families.

Have a blessed New Year!