Birth Stories and Photos

These are the stories and photos some of our clients have submitted to us, about their experience with midwifery care. We have not edited them for content – please be forewarned that they may include graphic and intimate content, reflecting the nature of birth itself.

Amanda and baby Maclean

At the beginning of my pregnancy I would not have envisioned my sons delivery to have played out as it did. My husband and I have been blessed with three amazing boys. All of which arrived in very different ways . It was after our eldest Son’s birth that I found Quinte Midwives. It was the Midwifery Model of Care that drew me to their clinic and my husband and I have never looked back. The professionalism and personal touch that starts with Laurie the Admin Coordinator, through to each Midwife we have had the pleasure to deal with, has made each of our experiences unforgettable. So… when my husband and I learned that Les and Christy were our assigned Midwives,  we were excited to get to know them both.

Les is a calm and gentle mannered person. Always smiling and supportive. We found her to be very knowledgeable with an immense trust  in birth. When my husband and I expressed interest in a homebirth. Les was a great resource that provided unbiased information and answered all questions without judgement. We looked forward to all of our appointments with her, as we built a strong foundation for our wonderful delivery. Christy was our secondary Midwife and a great addition to the team. Always smiling and positive, she provided great evidenced based research as needed. It was after attending a homebirth session  she led, that my husband and I felt increasingly excited and comfortable about our choice to deliver at home.

On May 7th (my due date and husband’s birthday), I was having contractions all day. In typical form, I ignored them thinking they would not amount to anything and were just Braxton hicks. With two very busy boys, it was not until after they were asleep that I sat to rest. With an inkling that this may be “the night,” I contacted our Doula to give her an update and my husband stocked the fridge. It was around 11:30pm that my contractions were significant enough that we decided to page our Doula. I laboured in the dark of our bedroom, with candles placed around the room and peppermint essential oils, which helped control the nausea. It was an idyllic setting our amazing Doula and my husband had created. Les arrived at 3 am and respected the environment I was labouring in. She asked only to check me once to have a baseline, something I had expressed in clinic as a request during labour. A “mini clinic” was then set up in our living/dining area. I left the bedroom only to receive antibiotics, which I received while labouring on a ball. Once finished, I was able to return to our bedroom and begin labouring in the birth pool. All while our older children, (33months and 16months) slept soundly in their rooms. Labouring in water was amazing! I found such immense comfort in the warm water and freedom to move as I needed.  It was a comfort measure that took the support of Les monitoring temperature and  my husband and Doula bailing and adjusting the warmth as needed. A great effort that allowed me to stay in what felt like the perfect environment to labour, and give birth.

Throughout my labour Les encouraged me to trust my body and lead the way. She was the least intrusive as possible while completing her clinical assessments, never disturbing the rhythm that I had developed. When Christy and her student Catherine arrived I was unaware. I can remember at one point in labour looking up and seeing a silhouette of them as they kneeled by the bed observing. Everyone present fostered the rhythm I was in, and it was bliss! I believe I was able to reach deep relaxation during breaks and felt well controlled during contractions, as my husband coined “the zone,” because everyone present respected this process. At a point when Les needed me to heed her guidance, it took only the change of her voice and the support of those in the room to focus my attention immediately. This was all possible because of the trust we had built over our time together.

It wasn’t until I expressed an overwhelmingly innate urge to push that the “pushing” stage began. I was never instructed on how to push or told to push when I did not feel the need. Only encouragement was offered. Just prior to my son’s birth I can remember Les calling for my husband saying he was going to miss his birth. Our eldest son had woke, and in a last minute decision my husband brought him in to the room. It was May 8th, 2013 as the sun began to rise that Maclean was born, weighing 9lbs 8 oz and over 21 inches long. It was an overwhelming emotion. One of complete elation. Maclean entered the outside world in such a  peaceful manner. I can remember him on my chest just moments after his birth and staring into his eyes. There was no crying. He was calm and it seemed as if he was studying every square inch of my face. Our eldest son was then joined by our second born, and they sat on our bed starring at us beaming with smiles. It was a magical moment. There is no other group of people that I would have wanted present than those that were on hand. They had a confidence in me that gave me an unwavering self-assurance in my abilities. We had built a bond over months of prenatal visits that allowed me to deliver my son, with inhibitions aside. My husband and I had a trust in their expertise and skill that left us certain that a homebirth was personally our best option.

It is not often that you cry during the last appointment with a care provider because you will miss your appointments and time together. However, Les and Christy have left an imprint on our lives. We will be forever thankful for the care they provided throughout our time with them at Quinte Midwives.

Amanda and baby Cyndi

I had no idea how much my life was going to change the morning of June 14th, 2007. what I did know though was that I had a midwife appointment that bright sunny day and that I got to visit with Stacey; for this I was excited. Chris had to work today, which is unusual about a midwife appointment day because Chris always went with me and usually we would have the morning off together, but not this day. That morning we would meet together at the clinic for our appointment. We had a great visit with Stacey as we celebrated our 39th week and I remember her saying something to the effect of, there are a few things that you can do to bring on labour, some may be tales and some may be true. Eat Spicy food, go for a bumpy ride, and then quite matter of factly spoken, have sex. I couldn’t help but smile. So, Chris and I left our appointment and followed Stacey’s facts or fiction… Chris drove me home by way of a windy bumpy road, it was such a lovely drive and, then I made us some delicious curry to feast on. Then we went to bed for the night on a night we had no clue would change our lives forever. My water broke at about 7:45 in the evening. I called Stacey and she said not to worry, labour will start and then I will know to call her. I looked at Chris and we decided, no point in waiting around, he might as well grab a coffee and we can come back and hope for things to start happening. By the time we got to Tim Horton’s I was starting to have contractions and begged Chris to hurry us home. I called Stacey back to tell her that I had reached the required time in my labour for her to make her way to my home. I sat in my tub, Chris holding my hand until Stacey got there. When she arrived she could tell that I was excited, she checked me out and I still had more of a labour journey to lead. I made my way between my room for checks by Stacey and my tub for the entire labour… what felt like FOREVER. I remember at one point in my labour thinking that I could not do it anymore and feeling like giving up. Chris was sleeping as he had just worked 3-15 hour days back to back and he could not keep his eyes open at all any longer, I felt alone, but there sat Stacey beside me… she rubbed my arm and told me that we could go to the hospital and then explained the rest of what would happen there. I remember feeling a surge of power run through my body… like wait a minute, I wanted to do this, here I am doing itÉmaking my own decisions and being supported by them no matter what they are… I have a job to do and I am going to get this baby out of here. No point in fighting what has to be done… just go with it. I felt incredibly empowered. Soon I was ready to almost start to push my baby out and Stacey went to wake Chris up and we made our way to our couch. I remember feeling my body take over what needed to happen. I felt it start to contract and push my little honey bear into our earth. I pushed one time and Stacey eased my miracle out to take her first breath. Stacey passed my tiny precious wonder onto my chest at 5:55 am where I looked at her with sheer astonishment. I had done it. I delivered my baby, at home with no use of any drug and I looked at her and felt such a sense of power. She looked proud. I looked at my lover and cried that we made her, we kissed and hugged for some time. Stacey did a whole bunch of stuff while we looked over our little sweetie and then I went to the bathroom and changed and Jeannette and Stacey looked my Girl all over. After we were all settled and our little miracle was nursing, Stacey left with a promise to return soon. Stacey supported us through several visits after Cyndi’s birth, always there to answer questions no matter how silly, she was always concerned for both myself and Cyndi and supported all of our wishes… even naming her when she was 4 days old. 😉 Having a midwife was easily the most empowering time in my life. Soon after Cyndi was born I thanked Stacey for delivering our baby. She looked at me and said YOU delivered your baby. I have never forgotten those words, they will stay with me forever and served very well through the birth of our son too. 😀

Erin and baby Olivia - 2nd baby, home birth

As my due date came and went, my husband and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second child.  This time was different however because we had no preconceived plans as to how or where she would be born.  With my first born, I was determined I was going to have a home birth, but was disappointed when I was unable to, so this time I wanted to do what felt best for me when the time came. My midwife Liza was amazing, and always assured me that it was my choice.

On Saturday morning my contractions began as I was waking up. We decided to have our daughter go with her grandparents just incase this was it.  Of course my contractions stopped once my daughter left, and then were very irregular throughout the day.  I felt let down, missed my daughter, and decided to head to bed at 10pm.  Once I got in bed, my contractions began again and became regular.  After an hour, I had my husband start keeping track for me.  At 11:45pm I called Liza just to let her know what was going on. At this time I also informed her that I was battling a cold, was tired and just wanted to head to the hospital as soon as I possibly could.  I didn’t even want to attempt a home birth.  Again, Liza stood behind me and told me to sleep as much as I could and to call her when I was 4 minutes apart.  I managed my contractions until about 4:30am and then told my husband to call Liza, I was ready to go to the hospital!  I got the message that she was on her way over to see how far along I was.

st_erin_oliva02When Liza arrived, she informed me that I was 8cm and that the baby was probably going to arrive in the next hour, and that it was still my choice, but I likely wouldn’t even have enough time to get an epidural.  I contemplated what to do, thought about how dreadful the car ride would be, and how I might not even be able to get the epidural, and then decided I would just set my sights on the fact that I was going to meet my baby soon, and I would do it at home.

We headed to the room I had set up prior, and not even 15 minutes later my water broke, and the transition began.  I was in a completely different zone, and wasn’t totally aware of all the things going on around me. I know Liza was working quickly to get all her things set up, and talking me through the things she was doing.

st_erin_oliva01Soon Tracey showed up, and two of them were doing everything they could to make me comfortable and support me.  I’m pretty sure I was one of their most stubborn patients, but they were so patient with me.  I will never forget that.  My baby was not coming as quickly and easily as we hoped, but Liza assured me everything was progressing and that I was doing well.  When it seemed like the baby just wasn’t moving along with my pushes, the midwives urged me that I needed to change positions, and although I tried to ignore their requests as long as possible, they helped me into a better labouring position and within minutes my baby was on its way out.  When my baby girl, Olivia, finally appeared, it was like nothing I had ever felt before in my life.  Words cannot describe the feelings and emotions.  I had naturally birthed my baby and now was holding her to my chest.  I lay their feeling overwhelmed with joy, triumph, amazement, relief, shock and pride.  It was the most amazing feeling.  Olivia Faith came into the world at 9lbs 8oz, and the two of us spent the rest of the day cuddling in bed completely relaxed. When the midwives left, you would have never known a birth had just taken place, and I had my husband spoil me the rest of the day.  Liza checked in on me again that night and I was still on my high.  It was also comforting to know the midwives were there for me for all my concerns after the baby was born.  I feel extremely grateful that I got to experience a homebirth and am so grateful to Liza and Tracey.

Jennifer and baby Laynee - 1st baby, hospital birth

To be completely honest, I’m not sure I would have ever considered the idea of working with a midwife had my girlfriend not recommended it, I’m not even sure I would have known it was an option. My hope is that midwifery becomes more widely accepted, and people are properly educated about what their purpose is. So many people are missing an amazing experience.

st_jennifer_laynee01I look back at my experience with Quinte Midwives, and have no regrets. From the very first phone call with Laurie, my journey has been nothing but positive. Every time I called, and every time I walked through the doors of the office, I felt I was meeting with friends. Liza and Jeannette quickly became people who I felt extremely comfortable with. From the beginning, they gave me every confidence that they were the right people to be leading me through my first pregnancy and childbirth. I embraced the idea that their role was to educate me, allowing me to make informed choices…allowing me to make my experience what I wanted. I’m not sure I can properly put into words how important that made me feel. We so often leave these decisions to doctors, as we are taught that they know best. Liza and Jeannette taught me that my body would guide me through this journey. Every milestone of my pregnancy, from the sound of my baby’s heartbeat, to the first kick was celebrated with excitement. I’m not sure I ever really felt like a patient, but instead an old friend guided by years of experience volumes of knowledge.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Liza proposed the idea of a student participating in my remaining appointments, and possibly the birth as well. As much as I embraced the idea to begin with, I remember having slight hesitation with the student attending the birth (quite frankly…who needs yet another witness??). Quickly after meeting Angela, I immediately knew her kind nature, mixed with her eagerness to learn would only add to my birth experience. After only a few appointments, Angela became a close member of our team.

st_jennifer_laynee02Although my due date was not until the 19th of February, on the 9th I remember my body started to feel a little “off”. I spent the entire night, through the next day, having mild contractions…still not convinced I was in labour. Around 2 AM on February 11th, my contractions were about 3 ½ minuets apart when I decided it was time to call Liza. My midwives had spent several appointments preparing me for labour, however I was still not convinced it was happening….I was expecting a lot more pain! Amazingly, within half an hour, Liza and Angela were at my doorstep, as if it had been part of their schedule. I was 6 cm dialated at this point, and with excitement and support, Liza and Angela suggested we make our way to the hospital, as this was part of my birth plan. We arrived at the hospital, and went directly into the birthing room. The next few hours will remain vivid in my mind for the remainder of my life. My midwives worked with my sister and husband coaching them on techniques to keep me calm, help me breathe, and work through my increasing contractions. Throughout, I remember Liza and Angela both encouraging me to trust my body….a concept that helped me through. When the time came to start pushing, Jeannette arrived, and she matched the stride of the team helping me finally give birth to my daughter. Laynee was born at 5:44 AM. Words fail me, as they could never properly describe that moment. She was healthy, beautiful, and amazing! I remember my midwives scurrying around doing what needed to be done, while giving me and my new family the time to get acquainted. After attempting to breastfeed, the assistance and positive reassurance from Liza and Angela made me feel like Laynee and I would figure this out together. We were discharged 3 short hours after I gave birth, and returned home for some much needed rest. The idea of going home so quickly would have been extremely overwhelming, without the support of my midwives. They reassured me that they would be coming to my home to follow up with how we were feeling, assisting me with breastfeeding, and fielding any other questions that we had.

The following weeks involved a few more appointments, where all of my questions were answered. Liza and Angela were thrilled to share Laynee’s newness with close family and friends that were there. Laynee and I were met with excitement at every visit. My last visit was bitter sweet. I was sad that we were being sent to doctor land! I’ll never forget the encouraging words that Liza left me with. She said no matter what, I was the expert on my baby, and I knew her best! What amazing confidence to give a new mother!

Many thanks to my team, Liza, Jeannette, Angela and Laurie! An experience I’ll never forget.

Jaxsyn's Birth Story

What an unforgettable and joyous moment it was to discover that we were pregnant with our first child. It seems as if we were the last of our friends to start the family thing. Many of the stories we had heard of their births helped us choose the route of midwifery. All the birth experiences with midwives were so encouraging whereas the stories of OBGYN’s were filled with complications and interventions. My first phone call with Jeannette was so welcoming, and from the moment my husband and I met her, we knew right away that this was the right experience we were after.

IMG_0325Being first-timers, Chip and I had a long list of questions each visit, to which Jeannette was more than willing to address. Each visit was scheduled later in the day so that both of us could attend and avoid taking time off work. It was great to meet Susan each visit and be greeted with genuine excitement about how things were progressing. We had appointments with Stacey as well, in case she had to deliver our baby. The atmosphere was nothing of the uncomfortable, sterile Doctor’s office we were used to, but rather a cozy, welcoming office space. Each appointment was never rushed and if there had to be a cancellation due to a birth, we would know soon enough in advance. Each appointment was approximately 30 minutes in length which we appreciated as we traveled from Bancroft for each one

It was about 11 p.m. in the evening when my contractions started every 5 minutes. When I woke my husband, he was so excited that when he paged Jeannette he didn’t listen to the instructions and had to do it about 3 times before he got it right! After getting stopped for speeding by the police (yes, my husband was a bit excited!) and seeing more wildlife on the road than ever before, we met Jeannette at the office where she examined me and decided that we needed to head to the hospital. (We wanted a hospital birth). Jeannette was unbelievable. Her calm, warm manner was a constant reassurance to both of us, and she never left our side. She worked with us using strategies to alleviate the discomfort of contractions and explained to us what the nurses were doing before they did anything. We had created a relationship with Jeannette where we felt so comfortable; something I know was a true asset to our delivery and experience. Since the hospital had yet to accept the midwives practicing in the hospital, Jeannette could only act as a Doula, rather than do her usual midwifery duties. (Care had to be transferred to the on-call OBGYN to deliver) It was at our last appointment that we heard they will be able to birth babies in the hospital, the goal they had been working very hard towards….we’re ecstatic for them and the couples who wish to have a hospital birth. After about 4 hours of steady contractions the pushing phase started and Chip and I were so blessed to have Jeannette there by our side to help get us through. She was so calm and reassuring, motivating and encouraging me the entire way. When the doctor did arrive with an attending, Jeannette stayed right beside us. I don’t remember the doctor or attending encouraging me or motivating me to push at all! It didn’t matter because our focus was on having a baby naturally. Jaxsyn Thomas was born at 9:14 a.m. and what a sight he was!! Absolutely perfect!!

Jeannette stayed with us until Jax was breast-feeding well and then left us to have our first family time. She returned later that evening to check in and make sure we were all well and answered our questions and explained what the next few days would entail for visits. Stacey came to see us the next day because Jeannette was on her weekend off, and was fantastic! She helped get Jax latched on better and checked me out as well. Stacy was so reassuring, helpful and genuinely excited for us.

It is with great appreciation of the Quinte Midwives that we write this story to share with others who are considering the midwife approach. There is no doubt in our mind that once we are ready for our second child we will want the Quinte Midwives to care for us again

Chip, Barb & Jaxsyn Gillis

Bancroft, ON

Jennifer's Water birth photo with Sarah as midwife

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Anna and Xavier's Home Birth

 

I believe that like a “wedding day fantasy” every person, who wishes to be a parent, has a dream of what having a baby will be like. When will it happen? With who? How will I tell my family? Will it be a girl or a boy? What will I name them? I had a dream of what being pregnant would be like and how my life would change with a child. On March 11, 2013 at 9:09pm I was blessed to welcome a beautiful boy into my life and while it may not have been exactly what I dreamed of it truly was a dream come true.

I have always been a strong believer that having a baby is a very natural thing. My mother raised me to believe that having a baby is just like having a big poo and that labour had come very naturally to her without any medical interventions. After marrying my dear husband in 2011 we started talking about having children. This is when I started doing research. I had heard of midwifery care in Ontario through some health courses I had taken in University but really wanted to get a firm grasp of what it was all about. I was truly amazed by the model of care provided by midwives and how with their support my birthing experience was truly in my hands. I had choices and with their support would be able to make the right ones for me.

When my husband and I finally decided to have children I started looking at my options for midwifery care in our area. That’s when I stumbled upon the Quinte Midwives! I read up on all their midwives and even called the office before I was pregnant to see what I had to do to get into their care. The day my pregnancy test was positive they were my second call (the first being to my husband). I was so relieved and completely ecstatic when I was accepted into their care immediately.

My first appointment was with Emily and she was absolutely wonderful. I had a million questions and so did my mother (my husband was unable to make the appointment). It felt very reassuring to have someone take the time to answer any and all our questions. This continued throughout our entire pregnancy. I would bring my list of questions (I made a list otherwise I would forget) and when the time came both Emily and Stacey were able to answer all our questions. Their continued guidance and support reassured us and helped us make the decision to have a natural homebirth. My husband and I took a Hypnobirth class, rented a birth pool and waited, not so patiently, for the day our son would arrive.

The morning of March 11, I woke up and was unable to keep my breakfast down and told my family “I am having Xavier today!” Of course they all giggled at me and we continued on with our day. I had a massage booked for 10 am which was absolutely amazing. I ran a few errands afterwards and headed back home for lunch. Once home, I started noticing “cramps” that were stronger than before and I told my husband I think I might be going into labour but I was still very comfortable. My husband and parents decided they wanted to go out for lunch but I was too nauseous to join them so they opted for take-out. Once they came back, I told my husband that I was pretty sure now that I had started going into labour and that he should cancel his dental appointment he had that afternoon. Soon after we started timing my contractions and around 1:30pm we paged Stacey. She assured me over the telephone to stay comfortable and that she would be coming around 3pm but to page her if anything changed.

Stacey and her student, Catherine, arrived shortly after 3pm and told me I was just starting active labour. I continued to walk around the house, go to the bathroom a million times and used a birthing ball for what seemed like minutes but in reality was a few hours. Around 7pm I had dilated to 7cm and was able to go into the birth pool which helped me relax tremendously. The ability to move around for the first part of my labour and the warmth of the pool kept me very calm, happy and in my own little world.

Suddenly I felt the urge to push and told my husband “oh no I feel like I have to push and I can’t seem to NOT push”. He quickly went to let Stacey and Emily know (she arrived sometime I am not quite sure when) and they reassured me to listen to my body and go with my instincts. I barely noticed them there. They supported me and supported what my body was telling me to do. I felt very empowered and in total control of what was happening to me and my body. My husband and I welcomed our son, Xavier, at 9:09 pm that evening. Once Xavier was born I was able to walk to my bed within minutes. I was able to have him skin-to-skin and nurse him with the midwives working around us for the first hour after his birth. This allowed me to get to know my baby in his first few minutes and form an incredible bond. After about an hour I went and took a shower while they completed their full assessment of Xavier. Shortly after midnight the midwives had packed up all their equipment and we were finally able to rest as a new family of three. That day really was a dream come true.

Emily and Stacey continued to care for us and helped us through any obstacles we faced with our newborn. Their care was absolutely exceptional from our first appointment until the very end. We are very happy that we were able to have them as our primary care providers for Xavier’s birth.