I met Jenn and Archer a few days ago. After chatting for only a few minutes, I felt like I've known her for a long time. It's amazing how birth can bring women together! Thank you for sharing your story Jenn, and many congrats!!
Who are you? What do you do for a living? How many kids do you have? Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Jenn Kiziak. I'm a 32 year old wife to Bryan and mama to Archer and bébé #2. I've recently finished my mat leave and I'm back to work as a grade 4/5 teacher.
How did you come to know that midwifery care was an option to you and your family?
Before I was married, I worked as a nanny to a family of 4 kids, each one delivered at home by a midwife (2000-2008). I immediately identified with the warmth and personal touch that midwives brought to the experience. I did a lot of reading on midwifery (this was my second option for a career) and knew this would be the route for me.
How far into your pregnancy did you apply for care?
I called for a midwife immediately. Because I went through IFV, I knew I pregnant 5 days sooner than any "normal" pregnancy could have. I called as soon as I transferred an embryo, before I got a positive as I knew what my due date would be.
When did you find out you were accepted into care?
I was originally denied midwifery care, but got a call at 11 weeks saying they had found someone to take me on.
Are you willing to share your birth story/stories with us? We would love to hear them!
With my 14.5 month old son I went into labour immediately after my water broke at 6:15 pm with contractions 3 min apart. I called my midwife Crystal to let her know. At 11pm we made our way down to the Birth Centre. While there, I made use of the beautiful tub, labouring in a calm, comfortable setting. 16 hours after my water broke, I still had not made progress and was at 2cm. My midwife suggested that the best thing for babe and I was to head to the hospital. Once there, we met our other midwife Crystal. The Dr. on call wanted to give me Pitocin right away, saying I hadn't progressed in so long. Crystal asked what I wanted. We held off on the medication!
I laboured for 27 hours. When Crystal checked me she did a double take, as I was at 10cm. She asked if I felt like pushing or if I wanted a bit of a rest first. I'm so glad I rested for a bit, as I needed the energy.
With her gentle encouragement, I delivered my beautiful 7 lb 11 oz after 30 minutes of pushing.
What, in your opinion, was the most important part about the care you received?
The prenatal care that focused on me as a human being with emotional as well as physical needs was amazing. The calm, collected nature of the midwife during labour helped me stay calm and focus on bringing my baby into the world.
But I think the absolute most important part for me, was the after care. Being a brand new mama with a tiny human who is solely dependent on you, can be a scary thing. Having my midwives come to my home while I was recovering and bonding was incredible. I was cared for, my baby was cared for. Both of us were equally important. Having the support for breast feeding during those first few (hard!) days was amazing.
Would you recommend midwifery care to family and friends who are expecting? If so, why? If not, why not?
I recommend midwifery to anyone and everyone who will listen. I feel I've personally "converted" 5 of my friends, 3 of which who actually got midwives after discussing it. The reason for the recommendation is that the care is unparalleled. The appointments are an hour long, where mama's health is discussed in everything from diet to ppd. Discussions of what to expect once baby comes can be so helpful, which is something I had never received with an OB.
Finally, who were your midwives? Do you have a message you would like to send them?
For my son, my midwives were Gisele, Sheila, Crystal and Amber (only saw once)
I am forever grateful that Gisele called my at 19 weeks asking if I wanted to be taken on. Crystal, you were exactly what and who I needed to help bring my sweet boy into this world. You were amazing in the care of Archer and I during and afterwards despite being the busiest person I had ever met!
Sheila, your matter of fact demeanour and extensive knowledge were very welcome during the first postpartum days. Your guidance with breast feeding helped me establish one of my most cherished ongoing experiences, ever.
Thank you all for doing what you do.
For this current pregnancy, I will have Elaine as my midwife. I am beyond excited to meet her on the 22nd and look forward to building a relationship with her and her team.
**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!