Heartspace Midwifery in Troy has brought thousands of babies into the world. Heidi Ricks started her practice 11 years ago and continues to stand beside new moms through every step of their pregnancy.
“I have the best job on the planet; it’s really magical,” said Ricks.
It's a job benefiting women like Stephanie Cosimano, who was looking for such a service when she found out she was expanding her family to five.
“We decided to do a home birth, and we're so thankful that we made that decision,” said Cosimano.
She welcomed her third baby, Scott, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as hospitals are dealing with the inflow of positive cases.
“Even in the two weeks since we’ve had him, things have changed dramatically, so we are super thankful he was born when he was. Having a new baby has been a good distraction,” said Cosimano.
Ricks says she’s busier than ever since coronavirus fears began to rise.
“This is pushing them over that hump of uncertainty and they are coming in droves,” said Ricks. “It’s hard for some people to let go of the anxiety all of this is producing, so I think there are more people asking questions thinking more deeply about their choices for health care.”
Expecting moms are having growing fears overexposure to the virus and restrictions of visitors at hospitals.
“To go through the labor process for our child alone and not be there to rejoice the birth together, with my husband, would be very difficult,” said Cosimano.
But, Ricks says the decision to move to a home birth shouldn’t be made out of fear.
“Regardless of where you’re having your baby, talk to your provider, voice your concerns, insist they hear your concerns, and then make an educated choice froim that. And you can’t make an educated choice until you know all your options,” explained Ricks.
Instead, she says, it should be one that’s best for the family.
Cosimano made that switch after having two hospital births. This time, the home birth allowed the family to experience the journey together. Her two children were able to meet their brother moments after he was born.
“I feel like this guy was born to be a little peacemaker, so I feel like It was the perfect time for him to be born,” added Cosimano.
Ricks has to make some changes to her usual routine to limit exposure. She now does online conferences and check-ins. She says she wears a mask and gloves and makes sure she is socially distancing as much as possible.
“I couldn’t give Heidi a hug, and I really wanted to after the protocols that changed in just a week,” recalled Cosimano.
“I think that’s the worst part of all this is we can’t give the hugs right now,” added Ricks.
While times may be different for news moms, Ricks says she’ll continue to help make those experiences special, no matter the circumstances.