Catching Babies


Jessica Kirkwood-Weaver and Kennasha Roberson

Jessica Kirkwood-Weaver and Kennasha Roberson


“I just love being with women.” Jessica Kirkwood-Weaver was raised in rural Washington state and Wisconsin. Her first experience assisting birth was with the cows on her family’s farm. Jessica traveled the country in search of a midwifery school and found herself in El Paso, Texas at one of the most demanding midwifery schools in the country.  Jessica dedicates herself to her clients to ensure they have a positive and memorable experience. After graduating, Jessica stayed at Maternidad la Luz to work in the clinic.


In the midst of applying to nursing schools and getting her bachelor’s degree, Kennasha Roberson decided to study midwifery. “My idea is to be able to work with other women in my community, African-American women, to educate them about natural birth,” she says. Kennasha is now a midwife at Gentle Beginnings Birth Center in Fort Worth, TX. “I love working with women. I still love touching bellies. Every heart tone that I hear, I take the time and thank God that I have the ears to hear with and the skills to know what I’m listening to. I love being a midwife.”


Diana Zanelli


Diana Zanelli recalls when she began her journey to become a midwife: “I decided to be a midwife when my daughter was born. I always say that when she was born, she brought me two gifts: The gift of her and the gift of discovering my passion for midwifery.” Diana graduated from Maternidad la Luz in 2010 and is now in Spain with her daughter practicing midwifery.

Sandra Iturbe

Sandra Iturbe


“I felt like it was time for more women from this community to start taking care of the women here,” Sandra Iturbe explains. Born and raised in El Paso, Sandra also studied the traditional  Mexica beliefs and ceremonies around pregnancy and childbirth. “These two different schools, different ways of looking at birth – this is the type of midwifery that I want to do.” Sandra graduated in 2010 and continues to serve the women of her community.

Deborah Kaley, Founder of Maternidad la Luz

Deborah Kaley, Founder of Maternidad la Luz


Deborah Kaley, Director of Maternidad La Luz, has been practicing midwifery since 1981.  She has worked with a diverse bicultural clientele in many settings, from busy birth centers to a rural home birth practice.  Over the years she has attracted a dedicated and skilled staff of midwives and academic instructors.  They bring their enthusiasm, life experience, expertise and skills to enrich the learning experience of the students.