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Why I'm Going Out of Town to Have My Baby

Why I'm Going Out of Town to Have My Baby


Okay so I admit it, when the beginnings of my birthing plan fell through I was pretty much hysterical. I know I should have started working on an alternative, but instead I cried and told myself it was the end of the world. It felt like the end of the world. One of the biggest decisions I've had to make so far in my pregnancy is where to give birth.

Step 1 - Choose Care Provider

Initially when I started seeking out a care provider I wanted a midwife and I was very interested in having a home birth. As a holistic nutritionist this was very important to me. I was only 6 weeks pregnant when I began calling the midwives in Calgary and I was shocked when every single one of them was booked full for my due date. The few of us who can get a midwife in Alberta are very lucky because our health care covers the cost of midwifery. As such, midwifery demand has skyrocketed and there isn't enough midwives to cover the increase. This is why I believe the choosing of patients is very political in the midwife world, why else would someone so early in her pregnancy be turned away. Really, how many pregnant women even know they have a bun in the oven at 6 weeks and immediately start calling midwives.

Step 2 - Choose a second care provider because first choice has no room

After my first let down I didn't cry or get upset, I dusted myself off and came up with a second plan. We just had a new hospital open in Calgary with a brand new birthing facility. Every woman gets a private room, husbands can stay, labour & delivery all happen in the same room, and they only resort to a cesarian if there is a life/death issue during delivery. This is where I was going to have my baby.

At our first prenatal care visit I asked my family doctor to send a referral over to the new hospital. He assured me no clinic accepted referrals until after 12 weeks. So we compiled my blood testing and ultra-sound info and my doctor sent the referral when I was almost 14 weeks along. Yesterday I got the call, the clinic was booked and all overflow patients were being booked into the one hospital in Calgary I refuse to have my baby at. I was devastated. After the first let down with the midwives I just couldn't believe I was let down by my second choice.

Step 3 - Cry, sob, be mad at the world because it seems there is no where decent to deliver a baby!

That is exactly what I did. 

Step 4 - Buckle down and look at the remaining options

After Mr. B rushed home from work, I talked to my mom, and my hysterics subsided, I got to work reviewing our options. 

  1. Go to my parents small town in BC to have my baby
  2. Go to my husbands parents small town in Sask. to have my baby
  3. Go to Highriver to have my baby (a small town about 45 minutes south of where I live)
  4. Go to one of the two remaining hospitals at the opposite end of the city from where I live to have my baby

Step 5 - Choose a third care provider out of town, because let's face it, Calgary has let you down

I have big plans to be at home this summer, fostering my greenthumb by working in my garden and just enjoying my pregnancy. I really want to bring my newborn home, not to a place I am staying at. I also want Mr. B to be able to attend the birth. When I think about it, I'm a little pissed at what Calgary has to offer, so why should I choose another busy city hospital.

I called up High River's prenatal care unit and requested an appointment. To my surprise they didn't require me to get a referral from my doctor and they booked me in for my first appointment right away. I also learned there are 2 midwives as part of the birthing team and lucky me I get to meet with one and will probably have her care throughout my pregnancy. My husband can stay with me at the hospital and we are allowed to bring in our own food. They also have a lenient visitation policy. Can you say "OMG why didn't I just call there in the first place!"

Lesson Learned

Now that I have calmed down and reached a decision, I believe that everything has turned out for the best. Although finding a good care provider and place to have my baby has been a frustrating experience, I ended up with the best of both worlds, midwife and doctor all on the same team. 

My advise to you:

  1. If you live in a city - choose a prenatal clinic and get booked in as soon as you know you have a bun in the oven. If that clinic requires a referral from a doctor and your doctor wants to wait, immediately go to a walk in clinic and have that doctor send a referral.
  2. If you are looking for midwifery care, find someone who has had a midwife and ask them to refer you
  3. Don't let the hiccups in your birthing plan get you down, face it with a level head, and remember, it will all work out in the end

Were you able to find the care you wanted during your pregnancy, let us know by commenting below. 

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Love and happiness,

Krystal Bernier, Holistic Nutritionist

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