Speaker Details

Deborah L Amis, RN, LCCE, FACCE
Publisher, author, bookstore manager
The Family Way Publications

When I went to college in Colorado, I wanted to be an international diplomat and solve the problems of the world. I took Russian, geography, and political science. Then Steve proposed and I realized that nursing or teaching would be more practical for putting him through law school. We both transferred from the University of Colorado to the University of Texas to complete our educations. During nursing school, I worked part-time in Labor and Delivery at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. I was both fascinated with birth and horrified at having to strap down the women who chose Twilight Sleep. When I went home for the holidays, my OB dad would wake me so that I could accompany him to the births of the women who planned natural births. In the early 70s, Dad was featured in a TV news story as one of the few OBs in the Dallas area who would allow fathers into the delivery room. After I spent several years nursing, both in the hospital and in public health, Steve graduated from law school. Six months later our first son, Brian, was born. Teaching childbirth classes seemed like the natural next step. I became certified by Lamaze International and active with a local community-based childbirth group. I had a second son, Ben. The rest, as they say, is history. I volunteered with Lamaze International and have continued to be an active member for many years. I have served as president and as Education Council Chair, and my husband, Steve, has also served two terms on the Board of Directors. I have also enjoyed being a member of both ICEA and DONA, attending their conferences for many years. Today, my business partner, Jeanne, and I run The Family Way, publishing childbirth education materials and training new childbirth educators. I enjoy speaking at conferences around the world, but my greatest joy is my family. As the mother of two boys, I will always be the “mother-in-law.” Before my daughter-in-law became pregnant with our first grandchild, I gave her the book, Pushed, to read. After she finished it, she called to ask how she could have the birth that she wanted. When she did become pregnant, I was delighted that she chose a combined midwifery-OB practice and invited me to be her doula at both her births. To watch and help her and my son experience the joy and the challenge of natural births were high points of my life. And the end result – everything they say about being a grandparent is true. Spending time with Ben and his husband, James, and with Brian, Jordan, and our two grandsons are our greatest joys. We also love traveling, rooting for the University of Texas and Rice, and reading. Life is good.

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