Imagine never waiting in a waiting room for a prenatal appointment. Imagine entering the exam room and seeing a comfortable couch to sit on. Imagine never being asked to undress and wear a paper gown. Imagine never having to sit on an exam table waiting for your care provider to finally knock on the door and come in. Imagine resting comfortably and completely clothed on a couch and enjoying a pleasant conversation for an hour with your care provider. Now imagine bringing your parents to your appointment. Take it even further and imagine bringing your children.

I'd always go alone when I first started seeing Maria Iorillo for my prenatal care. We have a three-year old and it just made sense to have my husband stay home with him. My first pregnancy, I was use to waiting an hour or more for our prenatal appointments and then only visiting for ten minutes with our care provider. I would write out my questions before my appointment because it was nearly impossible to remember them all under the stress of knowing three other mommies were waiting for their hour late appointments too.

In Maria's office, I never wait. I am greeted right when I walk in the door and sit on a couch across from a small area with wooden toys including a lovely cradle with a baby doll in it. Maria didn't need to say that children were welcome at her appointments.

Right before my third trimester, I started asking the grandparents to watch Mikey so that Zack and I could both go the appointments. As I grew more and more comfortable with my long, stress-free appointments. I invited Mikey's grandparents to come and meet Maria. So one beautiful sunny San Francisco morning Mikey, Mikey's grandparents, Zack and I all showed up for my appointment.

Maria smiled and welcomed the grandparents and Mikey to sit on the love seat next to Zack and I. She didn't ignore them and continue with her routine appointment with us, but instead said, "When grandparents come to an appointment, I like to ask them to share their birth stories." So while Mikey played with the baby doll and peered out the window watching for each Muni train to pass taking its passengers to work. Zack's mom told Maria about the birth of each of her two children at Kaiser in San Francisco in the 70s. Then, Barbara asked Maria a couple of questions about newborn care right after birth and Maria took her time to answer them. I never felt like she was rushing them out nor annoyed by their presence. After about a half an hour, the grandparents left with Mikey and Zack and I finished our appointment with Maria by checking the baby's heartbeat, my blood pressure, pulse, and weight. After that wonderful experience, we now take Mikey with us every visit so that he can be apart of his brother's birth as well.

My other posts on home birth:

On my blog:

On SFGate:

Read some of my other posts about birth here, here, here, here and here,and here.