WESLACO — Nearly two years after they were at danger of closing their doors, Holy Family Birth Center unveiled renovations to their facility in Weslaco.
Thanks to a grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, the faith-based midwifery services center has been able to remain open, and on Saturday, Nov. 10, they unveiled renovations to their center. The system of small homes was refurbished for the first time in over 30 years, and “now (they) have the facilities to match their services,” said Sandra De La Cruz-Yarrison, director of operation for Holy Family.
Each room now resembles a hotel suite, but with a large bathtub with support grips in front of each bed. Women who chose to have their children at Holy Family stay in the suites until they experience labor naturally. A space for such intimate experiences should be well taken care of, said De La Cruz-Yarrison, who had a child at Holy Family and is expecting another.
Their caseload has almost doubled since nearly two years ago, even though the amount of staff and volunteers has remained consistent. Restructuring the way they operate has made them more sustainable, she said.
As attendees toured the facility, many walked into the same rooms and walked past the very spot where some gave birth, and others were born. Maria De Hoyos of Weslaco had several children at Holy Family, and as she toured the facility, she could feel “all the emotions running through” her.
De Hoyos, who is now a certified midwife assistant, had her first four children in hospitals. She came to Holy Family for her next two births in search of a more woman-centered birthing experience. What she got was exactly that, she said.
“Every time afterwards I thought ‘there has to be a better way,’” she said. “I didn’t like how my husband got kicked out and I didn’t get to see the baby for several hours after.”
That’s exactly the vision Angela Murdaugh, one of the founders of Holy Family, had when she opened the center in 1984, on what used to be a broccoli field.
As she toured the facility, she points to each room and calls it by name. Then, it was operated mostly by Franciscan nuns like herself. According to center officials who attended the tour, the center was often referred to in the community as “Las monjitas.”
“It’s wonderful; it’s beautiful,” Murdaugh said of the 34-year-old facility. “Of course it has changed. Lord, everything changes.”