A Birth Center... Is My Necessity

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Rai Zapata

"This week's guest blogger is a friend of the SCV Birth Center and mommy to the precious, Cataleya. Rai recollects on her emotional experience here at the Birth Center, and her continued friendship with our midwives."

I kind of understood what a birth center was, and, honestly, I did mix up the differences between a Doula and licensed Midwife. My husband, Jezriel, and I interviewed a few other centers, but we made our choice based off the interior of the SCV Birth Center and our instant connection with Renee. I come from an Interior Design background... so I can’t help but judge that first.

Our first meeting was supposed to be with Renee, however, as we all know, natural births aren't always on schedule and Renee needed to head out to a home birth; extra brownie points!

I started my prenatal care back in 2014 when I was 12 weeks; the birth center was my primary care. Let me tell you my whole journey, despite the excellent care, was still nerve wracking, mainly because I was taking a non-traditional route by using a free-standing birth center. Renee’s passion and confidence eased our nerves with every appointment. When you visit the birth center, you’ll understand, it feels like home; plus our tastes were in line.


Our appointments were full of giggles and good info! We shared recipes to help me switch out of sugary breakfast routines, going from English Muffins and raspberry jam to something with a little more protein-- I hope they come out with a "Birth Center Cook Book," because their tips were tasty and realistic. Oh, and lets not forget that 3 liters of water! Water was hard for me, but the team never gave up, they kept helping me-- well, Jezriel--finding ways to get my water intake up.

As for checking up on my daughter Cataleya, the midwives sometimes pulled out their old-school tactics to hear her heart beat--Jezriel liked that part! It always amazed me how they pat around your tummy to find her position.


By the time it got closer to my birth, I felt much more comfortable delivering at the center. Knowing the exact room I was going to be in, that Renee would be catching our baby, and having a glimpse of what that day would look like helped. The in-house childbirth class they recommended was so worth it.

My birth experience was everything I wanted and I actually miss it. I’ll be posting my complete birth story on Cataleya’s birthday so keep a look out on my blog๔€€„!

Shortly after Cataleya’s birth, Renee did a home visit. Yup, she comes to your place--felt like a luxury service! The lactation consulting really was essential to show me how to nurse on my sofa and side nurse while we co-slept.


My last three postpartum visits were at the birth center. We loaded them up with questions, with concerns, and, more specifically, with Cataleya. Gosh, we were so cautious with her... Renee imitated us better than I can explain... if only we recorded her! Plus, it was nice having someone else change her in rapid speed and take over burping duties. Renee actually helped me give Cataleya her first bath, because I was so nervous wetting her stump.

Hands down, that last appointment is a bit emotional. You see the midwives throughout your whole pregnancy. It's been almost a year since I gave birth and I still swing by-- thank goodness there is a Le Leche League every month. It's a great excuse to visit until baby #2 comes along๔€€„.


Santa Clarita Valley Birth Center is SCV’s first free-standing birth center. We empower women to use their natural ability to birth without a dependence on arbitrary hospital policies. Through home birth and waterbirth, babies are welcomed to the world safely and naturally.
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