By Michele Rivoli
Tamara Jacobs admits she did not know what to expect when she chose certified nurse midwife Heather Shannon to deliver her first child. “But the experience was truly amazing,” the new mother says.
Shannon was with Jacobs and her husband the night of Saturday, Feb. 9 to help bring Julianna Angel Jacobs into the world. The new baby — 7 pounds, 20 inches – was one of first Shannon caught at Upstate’s Jim and DeDe Walsh Family Birth Center at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus. Shannon and Upstate’s midwifery program will move from downtown Syracuse to the Community Campus this spring, but baby births are already taking place there.
Jacobs, 30, is an interpreter and a native of Zhitomir, Ukraine who moved to the United States eight years ago. Three years later she met her husband, James, and they married in April 2011.
“We took a trip to the Dominican Republic for our one-year anniversary, and I came back pregnant,” Jacobs recalls. “Now we have this miracle.”
The birth was a “wonderful experience,” she says, thanks to the relationship she built with Shannon throughout her prenatal care. “I had a lot of questions, but Heather answered them all. By the time I was ready to deliver, I felt so safe I knew I could trust her with not only my life, but my baby’s life.”
Her husband agrees. “During the office visits and delivery it felt more like we were spending time with a friend,” says James Jacobs, 48. “That made a big difference.”
Within a few days of returning home with their daughter, the new parents received a congratulatory card from the staff of the Family Birth Center.
“We were really touched,” Tamara Jacobs says. “We’d been home a few days, and they were still thinking about us.”
Listen to an interview with Heather Shannon
Read about twin sisters who delivered their babies the same day
Read about the first baby born at Upstate in 2012