I’m Tiera! Birth junkie, book worm, foodie and maker of fire music playlists! Ha!
I’m a recent Houstonian along with my church planter husband and our 3 littles… a 4-year-old son and twin girls who are almost 2!
While I have a B.A. in Psychology and worked in the mental health setting for 7 years, I felt a pull towards birth work after the birth of my son. My husband and I lived in Mississippi at the time and birth options there are limited, especially in comparison to Houston where we live now. We opted to take a 12-week childbirth class and hire a doula after watching the popular documentary The Business of Being Born. I labored are home and arrived at the hospital pushing when my son was born. It was such an empowering and fulfilling experience. So much so that I realized I wanted to help other women have positive birth experiences as I did.
We moved to Texas when I was about 22 weeks pregnant with the twins. I strongly desired to hire a midwife but ultimately went with a MFM doctor who was known as the “natural-friendly twin doctor.” I opted to be induced at 39 weeks, a week later than most twin moms. With my husband and doula by my side, I birthed both twins vaginally and without an epidural. They were healthy and had no complications or nicu time. Their birth is special to me for many reasons but especially because it helped me to have a balanced perspective on the use of interventions in labor. I feel like I can now educate moms on both the risks AND the benefits of interventions and help them to see that they can still have a great birth even if their birth plan changes!
After I had my son naturally in the hospital, I found myself constantly blabbing to all of my pregnant friends about natural birth and all of the things I learned in my journey. I’ve always been a natural teacher and felt that becoming a childbirth educator would be the perfect fit for both my passion and skill set.
As a WOC, I am alarmed and disheartened by the number of black women dying in childbirth and experiencing other poor outcomes related to maternal health. In Harris County, TX (Houston), the rates are among the highest in the country. As I consider black women, especially black women in these lower income neighborhoods in Harris County, I feel compelled to provide them with the tools they need to advocate for themselves during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Birth Boot Camp’s birth philosophy mirrors my own. I believe in physiological birth, but I also believe that with education and support, all couples can have amazing birth experiences even if the birth isn’t completely “natural.” I love the curriculum and how user friendly it is. And I also love how BBC seeks to empower small business owners!
Jillian Blakeman was my trainer! She was so fun and funny! We trained in Lubbock, TX during a snowstorm! Although it was Jillian’s first training, she made sure she answered all of our questions, even if she didn’t know them! One of the best tips Jillian gave us was “You don’t have to be an expert!” Even now, after a few years of teaching, I feel that “imposter syndrome” at times. I remember what she said and that the information I’m sharing so helpful for couples especially first-time couples and moms who have never had a natural birth!
Adjusting to twins and an out-of-state move has taken a lot of time for my family and I. Now that “outside” is open again, I’m pleased to offer private and group classes again in addition to teaching first time couples for Bay Area Community Birth Center in Houston! With each class I enjoy getting to know couples and watching them grow more confident as they approach new parenthood!
What people are saying about Tiera: “Bill was the best dad-doula & busted out the comfort measures booklet that you gave us as he helped me through contractions at home! Labor was fast & furious on Friday night (with no induction needed), and we got to the hospital just in time to be admitted and push! Thank you for everything, friend!”
You can find Tiera on social media here: