I’m Raevan. When I met Allison Mack (founder of Austin Moms) 20 years ago while we were both participating in the Texas pageant circuit I never imagined the connection and shared passion we would have in the future. Although, some teenage girls are dreaming about their weddings and future children… I was never that girl. My personal ambition and goals were my primary focus, while marriage and being a mother was at the bottom of my list. However, life tends to play out differently than most people expect and time has a way of reframing your priorities. Fast forward to present day Allison and I still have the same shared goals and passion except this time it does not include a crown and sash. Our passion today is to build and support a community for parents, mothers and women with goals of educating, normalizing and bonding over the struggles and joys of parenthood.
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Being an Austin native, I have to witness so many different chapters in our city’s history and experienced the growth that has boomed over the last ten to fifteen years. Although the skyline has changed, the core of Austin is the same comforting, inclusive, “weird” soul it has always been. After graduating from St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in 2006, I left Austin for ten years to go to Texas Christian University and then travel all over the country. My parents still live in my childhood home so I never was away too long. After having my first daughter, Layla, in St. Louis, Missouri the call to come back to Texas was so strong that at 3 weeks postpartum I interviewed for a job in Dallas, moved our family at 5 weeks postpartum and started working when Layla was 8 weeks old. I think I was still riding on the post labor adrenaline but that quickly subsided when symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety set in and the stress of being a young working mother was testing me in ways I have never experienced. As I mentioned before life has its own plan and at 9 months postpartum I found out I was expecting again. I knew immediately, I needed to be back home in Austin with my people to support me. The job I had been working in was a very misogynistic and unsupportive environment so in true Raevan style, I found out I was pregnant at noon that day, quit my job at 2 pm and had moving trucks scheduled for the following week (luckily my husband was able to move anywhere at this point in time with his job). Raising my children in Austin was a necessity for me. Aside from the familiarity I wanted them to be in a community that promotes inclusivity, individuality and free thought.
During my three pregnancies and labor experiences I started to notice just how underserved and neglected parents, specifically mothers are during this pivotal time. The lack of empathy, education and support is mind boggling. I began researching different initiatives and groups that cater to this demographic and began building a concept in my head. My first two labors were very traumatic and when I was pregnant with my third child I swear to do everything differently. For me that meant drug free labor, with a doula, and preventative care throughout. Part of this care plan included, Dr. Katherine Melot who I attribute my successful and very healing final labor experience too. As Katherine and I’s relationship grew and time passed she found herself ready to open her own practice and I found myself ready to jump back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for five years. Over one week and one bottle of Casamigos we developed Birthbabybody’s concept as a holistic care center that would support the perinatal, pediatric, and family demographic through chiropractic, massage and muscle rehabilitative techniques while also building a community that provides education and resources.
It was at this point that I remembered the amazing work that Allison had done with Austin Moms and reached out not only to partner but to pick her brain about how to cultivate success in this industry. One year in, Birthbabybody has rapidly grown and we are already opening our second location in Bee Cave, Tx. After Birthbabybody sponsored the Bloom event in March, I jumped at the opportunity to become a contributor with Austin Moms and be even more immersed in this ever growing movement. Although juggling three young children and a new business is a challenge, the reward of helping mothers and families feel supported, important, and heard outweighs the daily stresses that comes with a busy life.