JACLYN MICHELE, THE HUMAN
First things first, you probably already noticed my name. Heyyy. You can call me Jac if you like nicknames. But I might poke your eyeballs out if you call me Jackie. I lead a chaotically quiet life sharing my home with my wife, Christine, and our children. Together we are raising a little flock of hens, our dog, a couple gerbils, and a bearded dragon. When I am not filling my days with pregnant ladies and babies, I devour books almost as eagerly as I devour deliciously vegan food. Yes. Vegan. No worries, I do not Crossfit so I am only half as self-righteous as I could be. You can usually find me camping or otherwise outside breathing in the fresh air and communing with nature in the most corny way possible. Unless it is winter, in which case, I will be in full hibernation mode shoving comfort food in my face reading in bed with twelve pillows or binging on X-Files and It’s Always Sunny.
DOULA FEELS + QUALIFICATIONS
“I do not care what kind of birth you have… a homebirth, scheduled cesarean, epidural hospital birth, or if you birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.” I did not say that, January Harshe did. But I feel that shit in my bones. And my goal is to make you feel like a birthing warrior badass no matter how you choose to birth or what circumstances arise.
My journey into becoming a birth worker began with my own homebirth. I had no idea birth could be like that when I endured the trauma of my first labor and delivery in the hospital without support. I got into birth photography starting with the birth of my nephew the following year. That allowed me to attend births on all areas of the spectrum, from planned cesarean to a full-term twin homebirth! When my own midwife posted online about a doula training workshop coming to our town, there was nary a moment of hesitation in clicking that registration button.
I was formally trained as a birth doula by The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options and Resources, formerly ALACE. Their philosophy is woman-centered and advocates for the midwifery model of care, even if you choose to birth in a hospital with an obstetrician and nurses. ESPECIALLY if you birth in a hospital with an obstetrician and nurses. I have attended and observed many homebirths with midwives of different training and birth care backgrounds, as well as doula supported hospital births with varying degrees of intervention. This has given me a wide spectrum of insight into ways to best assist in supporting women and partners as they navigate through the journey of childbirth.
Additionally, I am currently studying and apprenticing under a homebirth midwife working toward one day catching babies myself. I continue to expand my professional knowledge and experience by attending regular workshops, training, and seminars. Along with always having my face buried in a book. I am certified in Neonatal Resuscitation by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association. Every day I seek to learn more, thereby providing you with the best evidence-based care possible and up to date information.
MY ARTIST HEART
I am a girl with a camera who wants to tell your story. Observing human connection and interaction comes naturally to me as an introvert who is more comfortable on the periphery than being the center of attention. I deliver timeless photographs in handmade heirloom albums and archival prints. I love empowering women. Documenting love in all its forms. This is what I do and who I am and I want to share the experience with you.
If you are one of the many people have not heard of hiring a professional photographer to document the labor, birth, and moments immediately after your baby is welcomed earthside, your mind may be swimming. Thinking how completely awesome it would be to have those photos. Or you may be totally grossed out at the mere thought. Because birth is nasty, right? If that is the case, give me a second to school you.
Birth is amazing. Amazing. There is no other word that can describe it. Two times I have been the woman bringing a new life into the world and photographed or supported many other strong women birthing their bubs. Amazing. The thing about birth is that you forget it. You remember it because your life was forever changed, but the small details? Nope. Maybe one or two mental snapshots or memories hold over the years. Or maybe you only remember because you’ve repeated them over and over so many times to family and friends. Now imagine having a box of prints or an album containing all of those story-telling details. The moments of weakness. And the moments of absolute raw strength and primal animal instincts. The look on your face the moment you first look at the baby you’ve become so attached to as it grew inside you. That is why you should hire me. To record those moments.