I met Gloria and Holly when they came down to the forks for the meet & greet! Holly was a tiny little ball of perfection that had my ovaries screaming at me by the time they had to head out. Thank you for coming down and sharing your story with me Gloria! (PS- does the photo below not make you want to smell that sweet new baby head?? I totally had to hold back... but I do vividly remember when my boys were wee, all I wanted to do was smell their little heads and snuggle them..... there is nothing in the world like new baby smell)
Who are you? What do you do for a living? How many kids do you have? Tell us a little bit about you!
My name is Gloria Saganski. I'm 31 years old. I live in Winnipeg with my husband Michael. I work for the Government of Canada. Holly is our first child.
How did you come to know that midwifery care was an option to you and your family?
I've been a birth doula for almost 6 years. I've worked with midwives professionally and always knew that when my time came for having babies midwifery was the best choice for me.
How far into your pregnancy did you apply for care?
I'd known that getting accepted into midwifery care was pretty tough, so I knew to call Central Intake ASAP. I told my husband & then called; before I told my mum I'd called to try & get a midwife! I do have a family doctor, but as he doesn't do deliveries anymore he referred me to an OB/GYN;
When did you find out you were accepted into care?
When I got the letter (in May 2015) stating I wasn't accepted I wasn't surprised, frankly; when I'd done the intake they'd advised me that more than 50% of interested women get turned away. But I wasn't dissuaded - I called Central Intake again & again [stating I was still interested in midwifery care] and called/emailed friends & peers & acquaintances in the local "birth world" and then FINALLY, a few months later, I received a phone call & made my first prenatal appointment with my midwife.
Are you willing to share your birth story/stories with us? We would love to hear them!
Friday morning I woke up at 4am to go the bathroom again (of course!) and noticed some "bloody show" starting, as well as some contractions. When Mike awoke at 6am I'd told him that things were possibly starting, so his plan was to go to work to get things sorted in case labour was starting in earnest. I called my friend Tracy (who we'd hired as our doula) to let her know. I puttered around all morning, sitting on my ball & doing cat-cow stretches. I called Janet & asked what the plan was - she advised to call her back when things were more active & she'd meet us @ the Birth Centre.
Mike came home & we had lunch; I tried to nap but by that point I wasn't able to really sit still or be comfortable during contractions. We took the dog for a walk around 3pm and that's when things really started to pick up. We got back to the house and started packing up - the birth bag, our clothes & the food/drinks we were wanting during labour. Things were intensifying & I called Janet at 5:30pm; she told us to head to the Birth Centre & she'd meet us there. The car ride there was the WORST car ride ever!
Janet checked me when we arrived - I was 2-3 cms but very effaced already. She suggested I walk around for an hour & then she'd check me again, as I wasn't yet far enough along to be admitted to the Birth Centre. So Mike & I walked the loop for an hour. Janet checked me again at 7:20 pm & I was 4 cms. I thought "Oh good, because there is NO WAY I am getting back into that car!" We asked Tracy to join us then & headed to the Wild Aster room. Janet started filling the tub for me & I got into it as soon as I could. Tracy arrived around 8:15pm; Mike was very thankful as he'd been the sole back rub provider up to that point & was ready to share that duty! So I laboured on with Tracy & Mike doing a wonderful job of supporting me.
Eventually I started making pushy noises & Janet checked me just after 9pm - to my surprise & delight I was already 9 cms! I laboured some more, trying to not push. It's tough to not push but I think I managed well enough (hooray for motorboat lips!) Janet checked me again at 9:45pm - I was still @ 9+lip but my cervix was "buttery soft & smooth" so she had me push & my cervix just slipped away. Going from not pushing to pushing took me a few contractions to get the hang of; they suggested I sit on the toilet for a bit which I HATED. Then Holly's heart rate started not recovering well after my contractions. The midwives (there were 3 by this point) asked me to lay on my left side on the bed. Holly's heart rate was still not awesome in between contractions so I was given an oxygen mask & EMS was called. I remember seeing the red lights flashing on the walls, and then hearing a man's voice outside the birthing suite, but thankfully by that time Holly was nearly born & her heart rate had improved. We'd discussed prenatally about Mike catching the baby so when she was almost born I said "Mike catch the baby, Mike catch the baby!" - he hustled to the other side of the bed & after Holly's head was out Janet helped Mike catch the rest of her & then he passed her to me. Holly Margaret was born at 10:57pm, weighing 9lbs 5.5oz & was 21 inches long. Thank goodness I hadn't known she was that big or I'd have been a lot more worried about pushing her out!
As soon as Holly was born things really calmed down. Dawn & Sheila left to help another mother who was labouring there as well. We ate some of the food we'd brought & opened a little bottle of champagne. Holly was skin-to-skin with me for a long time. Mike cut the cord. Janet gave us a "placenta tour". Once we were ready we packed up & headed home; we were back in our own bed by 4am as a new family.
What, in your opinion, was the most important part about the care you received?
The time the midwives spent with me prenatally. All of my prenatal appointments were 60 minutes, so there was always ample opportunity to discuss questions & concerns I had from month to month (and then week to week). And they never told me what I "should" do - we'd discuss options & they'd give me the information to make my own decisions. I really appreciated that.
Would/do you recommend midwifery care to family and friends who are expecting? If so, why? If not, why not?
I'd absolutely recommend midwifery care to friends & family. Midwives are so knowledgable & skilled in pregnancy, labour/birth & postpartum care. And they're so excited about it! They love to share their knowledge & are very inclusive.
Finally, who were your midwives? Do you have a message you would like to send them?
Tracey Novoselnik was my primary midwife. I saw her & Sarah Harpe prenatally. Janet Macaulay was my birthing midwife, as well as Sheila Mills & Dawn Wiscombe (neither of whom I'd met before, but they were so wonderful @ the birth). I was so blessed to have these wonderful women with me throughout my pregnancy. I've been a "birth nerd" for a long time & the care I received from them was pretty much the stuff my dreams were made of. Thank you Manitoba midwives from the bottom of my heart XOXO
**If you are looking for ways to help, you can sign the petition supporting our Midwives and Midwifery care in Manitoba. It can be found HERE.
***If you would like to be a part of this series, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to share your story!