“I am proud of the beloved community we have built: organizational partners, staff, and clients — a gathering across race, class, gender, and lived experiences — to honor and delight in our babies and children. I am in awe of the fierce protection we wish to offer our future generations through this effort.“-Jessica
Dear Beloved Community,
After 11 years of midwifery and 5 life changing years as Executive Director, I will be transitioning out of my position at Breath of My Heart Birthplace at the end of 2021. The work I have done with Breath of My Heart has formed so much of who I am today, and for these experiences with clients, colleagues and community I will be forever grateful.
When I began this work I was a fledgling midwife, just beginning to practice– I was still very new to this community and to the deep roots that are feeding birthwork in Northern NM through generational practice and ancestral knowing. At the outset I did not know what role I might have in this work, if any, and was eager to accompany the visionary people with whom I was coming into relationship. I offered myself as a midwife who, through my own experience as a Trans and queer person, would do my best to center respect and dignity in the caregiver role that I was still getting acquainted with. One of the greatest gifts I was offered in those early days was trust– the trust of families and community members. This gift has made possible all the growth and movement that has come since that time.
I am proud of so much of the work that I have been a part of over these years. I am proud of the clinical organization and licensed Birth Center that we have built– giving respectful midwifery care a home in Espanola. I am proud and humbled to have attended hundreds of births in this region and for the special bond I feel with families who have chosen me as their midwife and Breath of My Heart as their care providers. I am proud of the incredible team of people we have gathered and built– the folks from this community, to whom this work truly is owed and belongs.
Over the last 5 years we have had tremendous success in growing the organization in significant ways. We quadrupled the organizational budget and purchased an incredible facility in Espanola. We increased our staff from 2 to 10. I am proud that we led significant policy change at the New Mexico legislature and beyond to tangibly increase access to midwifery care and community birth for low income and BIPOC New Mexicans. And perhaps most of all, I am proud of the beloved community we have built: organizational partners, staff, and clients — a gathering across race, class, gender, and lived experiences– to honor and delight in our babies and children. I am in awe of the fierce protection we wish to offer our future generations through this effort.
As you already know, we have an incredible team of leaders who are stepping up to hold this work and take it into its next iteration. I am humbled at the opportunity to pass my responsibilities and accomplishments on to these three talented, visionary people, who I am grateful to also call my friends. Breath of My Heart was always envisioned to be community led– that was clear. When I became Executive Director I knew this role was a bridge to a future moment where the work could be held fully by midwives and community leaders of the Northern Pueblos and Espanola Valley communities. I am so thrilled that this day has come–what a huge win for Espanola and these Tewa homelands.
As for my next steps I will be taking some much needed time to rest, reflect and enjoy my beautiful family. These last 11 years, and especially this pandemic time, have offered me so much to learn, question and unravel both internally and externally. I look forward to continuing to support the new leaders of Breath of My Heart during this ongoing transition. I will be staying in community and in the work to reclaim birth and reproductive healthcare for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities in creative and innovative ways.
My last day is December 31st. Please feel free to reach out to me if you wish to stay in touch at email@example.com.
This heart work has and will continue to fill me so deeply.
With love and appreciation,