Rebecca’s Birth: The Making Of A Mother

I heard about the San Antonio Birth Center from a friend of mine who was pregnant with her first baby. When she told me her plans, I thought she was insane. “Is that even safe?” I wondered. “And why would anyone have a baby without an epidural… on purpose??” Surely there was something I was missing.

I then embarked on what became a year-long journey of learning about birth as it was intended to be: natural, peaceful, and intimate. I saw dozens of home birth videos, watched “The Business of Being Born”, and read books like “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin. I couldn’t believe that women all over the world were safely giving birth and having better outcomes with midwives than in hospitals. A part of me lamented that most American women are completely missing out on this, but I was grateful that someone shared it with me.

When I found out I was pregnant, I scheduled an appointment to visit the San Antonio Birth Center. My husband, who was as skeptical as I had been at first, was immediately put at ease upon meeting the midwives and touring the facility. We were so impressed by how personal and informative our prenatal experience was. My first pregnancy brought up many new emotions and fears about becoming a mother, and my midwife never dismissed me as “hormonal” or silly. To her, my personal journey to motherhood was as important as my physical health as a pregnant mother.

As my due date approached, I was continually impressed by the level of medical expertise, encouragement, and excellence that characterized my care. The midwives coached me in nutrition, hydration, and exercise in preparation for birth. Instead of feeling like a patient who needed treatment, I felt healthy and powerful.

Then the day came! I labored all day at home with my husband and we met my midwife at the birth center on a quiet Sunday night. Rebecca Lucille arrived less than two hours later with her cord wrapped twice around her neck, but the midwives had known just what to do. She was here, she was safe, and she was ours. And I had given birth to her. It was the hardest and yet most empowering thing I have ever done, and when we went home with our baby only six hours later, I was strong and full of energy.

Motherhood, like most things that really matter, did not come easy at first. But my midwife’s willingness to talk through the first few weeks with me during postpartum care made all the difference (How many OB-GYNs would listen to you cry on the phone about nursing and bonding after they’ve already “done their job” delivering your baby?). I am the mother that I am because of my midwife and the San Antonio Birth Center. I can’t imagine giving birth without the education, respect, and nurturing they showered on my family during our most vulnerable and precious time. What a gift!