Almost 32 years ago, April Micolino held her first born child in her arms at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. She held her first grandchild in the same place a few decades afterwards. Three generations and seven babies later, Micolino beams with pride when she talks about the place where the best chapters of her life began.
“Becoming a mother and now a grandmother are my greatest achievements,” said Micolino. “UC San Diego Health is part of our family history.”
Micolino had un-medicated births with all three of her children with the help of a certified nurse-midwife (CNM).
“I was impressed with the prenatal care at UC San Diego Health through midwifery services,” said Micolino. “My son was delivered by a nurse midwife almost two weeks past his due date and weighed nearly 10 pounds. My husband and father were in the room throughout the labor and delivery, and I remember all the support from the medical staff.”
It was the opportunity to have a CNM that convinced Micolino she wanted to have her baby at UC San Diego Health. CNMs provide family-centered maternity care, along with well-woman care, family planning and other services. They practice at clinics throughout San Diego, with an emphasis on education and involving women in their own care. Nurse-midwives deliver babies in the Birth Center and in the labor and delivery environment. UC San Diego Health’s Birth Center supports the natural-childbirth experience in a comfortable, home-like setting and is the only one of its kind on the west coast that is cradled in a hospital.
“We decided to have our next two children with the midwifery program also because our first experience was so wonderful,” said Micolino. “Our daughter, Shelly, was actually delivered by a male nurse midwife, Steve Perrin.”
“This was one of my very first deliveries as a nurse midwife at UC San Diego Health,” said Perrin, who is now retired. “I am proud I could help this family and share in such a special moment in their lives. Each birth has a different story and meaning, which drew me into this line of work. In the 30 years I worked in midwifery services, it never got boring.”
Micolino’s youngest and third baby, Daniel, was not in a hurry to enter the world like his sister, but he held his breath for a concerning amount of time after he was born.
“Right after his birth, nurses whisked my baby boy and husband aside to get him breathing again. The nurse midwife remained calm and tended to me,” said Micolino. “My son ended up taking a breath and letting out a loud cry. I was so relieved and appreciated the support and quick response of the medical team during those nerve-wrecking moments.”
Micolino said it was important for her family to continue its health care with UC San Diego Health after their children were born.
“We have been patients since 1981. My children have grown up in the system, and when they started having children of their own, they also wanted to experience the midwifery program and Birth Center,” said Micolino.
The proud grandma now has four beautiful grandchildren ranging from seven months to one year, including a set of identical twins, who were born via Caesarean Section.
“Greyson, Sawyer, Talia and Sage are my heart. Life is so much fun – and busy - with them,” said Micolino. “They are all busy babbling, crawling and getting ready to walk soon.”
Micolino’s daughter-in-law, Jenna, also used doula services during her labor and delivery. A doula is trained to give one-to-one support to women in labor. UC San Diego Health provides volunteer doulas to women giving birth. The doula provides non-medical, physical and emotional care to the birthing mother and may also lend a hand with communications between the mother, her family and the hospital staff.
Because the Micolino family has had so many experiences at UC San Diego Health, some members have spoken at hospital events to share their stories and provide personal insight to future patients.
“I will always highly recommend UC San Diego Health. From midwifery services and Birth Center to pregnancies with multiples and Caesarean Sections, we have experienced several aspects of care at a place that holds a special place in our hearts,” said Micolino.
Obstetrics and Gynecology