I met Carly for the first time during a Mom & Me session! It wasn't until we met in person that she told me she was a midwifery client! I excitedly asked her if she would be willing to share her story, and a beautiful story it is! Thank you for supporting Manitoba Midwives Carly!
1) Who are you? What do you do for a living? How many kids do you have? Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am Carly. Am 29 and I work as a client services/production coordinator in the print industry. Baby Oscar is my first. I enjoy checking out local bakeries and love to travel!
2) How did you come to know that midwifery care was an option to you and your family?
I can't specifically remember when or how I found out about midwifery care in Manitoba but I feel like it was at university. Most likely in a Women's and Gender Studies class.
3) How far into your pregnancy did you apply for care?
I called the day I had a positive home test which was about 4 weeks. I called before telling my parents or getting a blood test to confirm through my family doctor.
4) When did you find out you were accepted into care?
I received the acceptance call around 8/9 weeks. I felt like I won the lottery!
5) Are you willing to share your birth story/stories with us? We would love to hear them!
This is more of a birth timeline. I am not great at telling stories!
I was very determined to have an on time January baby. The weekend before my due date I walked 15kms! Tuesday January 26th I had my membrane swept and was 1cm dilated. I went back to work after my appointment and walked even more! That night I started having contractions at 2:30am. My contractions were 10 minutes apart lasting 1 minutes within the hour. Our doula, Brianna, was at our place by about 4am. She was extremely helpful and took the pressure off my husband having to time the contractions.
We spoke with Emily, our midwife on call, and planned to meet at the Birth Centre for 6am. It was storming and the car ride was horrible. The roads were bad plus the pain of contractions, obviously. Emily checked me once we arrived at the Birth Centre, I was 7cm dilated. Then I vomited. That check was so painful. I always wondered why women throw up during labour. That is why!
I moved into the tub and continued to labour there for as long as I could. I honestly don't remember much. I moved when someone told me to. Breathed when someone told me to. Sipped water when someone told me to. The atmosphere was very supportive. At some point Brianna was substituted off by Helena.
I think around 8am I moved to the bed. Babies head was not coming straight down like he was supposed to. His chin was not tucked properly. I pushed for 2.5ish hours. They kept waiting for me to tear but it wasn't happening. I even did perineal stretching for weeks before labour. At this point there were 4 midwives (3 + 1 midwife in training) attending my labour all trying to help Oscar out. Eventually they had to do an episiotomy. This helped a lot and Oscar was delivered shortly after. Luckily his heart rate was steady the whole time. He did not seem to care that I was in labour. He was born January 27 at 10:58am. One day early!
My parents and brother arrived shortly after Oscar was delivered. We had the room to relax and enjoyed some snacks. We left the Birth Centre and were driving home at 2:30pm, 12 hours total from the first contraction.
6) What, in your opinion, was the most important part about the care you received?
Every part of my care! The prenatal care was never rushed. I could ask my laundry list of questions. I didn't hear the heart beat at our first appointment (13 weeks) so she had me come back at 15 weeks just to hear the heart beat. We met each midwife on our team and got to know the person who was going to deliver our baby. It was not a random doctor who happened to be on call that day. The post natal visits were a life saver. Knowing the midwife was coming to our home, in for example two days, made it easier to get through the hard days and nights.
7) Would/do you recommend midwifery care to family and friends who are expecting? If so, why? If not, why not?
I would highly recommend midwifery care. I think one of the biggest issues around midwifery care in Manitoba is education of the public. People do not seem to fully understand the care they offer. Too often it is assumed you can't deliver at a hospital with a midwife and many other misconceptions. I want women to have the choice to access this exceptional care. I hear of couples struggling after bringing baby home and they have no support. If they had a midwife she would be a phone call away and could come to their home to help, give guidance and encouragement.
8) And finally, who were your midwives? Do you have a message you would like to send them?
The team was going through a bit of transition while I was pregnant. I had many prenatal appointments with He Hu but she moved to another team before I delivered. I had a few appointments with Fluer. Emily was my primary and she delivered Oscar. Joan, Tanya and Maren were at the birth. I had met Tanya before as she was training with Emily.
I cannot express how thankful I am for having a midwife. All of these women are amazing individuals for the work they do. I trusted them completely and overall could not be more pleased with my birth experience. While the care is primarily for mom and baby they also were there to offer support to my husband which did not go unnoticed. The bond formed goes above and beyond a client/medical professional relationship. We think the world of Emily. I cried at our last appointment. It is hard to put into words!
**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. You can also contact your local MLA to see what they are doing to help advance Midwifery services for Manitoba families! You can find your MLA HERE.
***If you would like to be a part of this series, please email me at [email protected] . I would love to share your story!