One of my worries with living up north was the fact that my options for childbirth were limited to the local hospital. There were no midwives there. When we moved back to southern Alberta, I was excited that we were once again close enough to a major centre to access the services of a midwife. So, shortly after finding out for sure that we were pregnant again, I asked a friend for the name and number of her midwife.
What I soon found out was that I’d waited too long. Now that the government has fully funded midwives in Alberta, the midwives are busy. I should have been looking up midwives the day I suspected I was pregnant. I called every midwife in the area and got the same response: booked up for May, will put you on our waiting list.
A little chagrined at missing out on the midwife, I went in for an appointment with a local doctor. I liked her. She was friendly, flashed me a smile when I said I’d only gained twenty pounds in my last pregnancy, suggested that because I’m a twin I should go for an ultrasound to make sure I’m not carrying twins but then listened when I said I’d prefer not to have an ultrasound. I felt comfortable with her, yet still, the appointment felt rushed.
One thing I am not impressed about is that our local hospital (a block away from where we live) doesn’t deliver babies. Instead, when I go into labour, I’ll be going to the hospital in the next town over (fifteen minutes away) to have the baby delivered by whatever doctor is on call. Doctors in that town aren’t taking new patients, so it’s not even worth it to try to get one of them for my prenatal care on the off chance that when I go into labour, they’re the one on call.
I’m not very impressed about the situation, especially since I do like my doctor and she has ten years experience in obstetrics. However, it seems to be common, as my best friend in another town is facing a similar situation (she’s due a few days before I am and we both think that’s so cool). During my prenatal care with Sunshine, the three midwives in the program made sure that they each saw us for several appointments so that, whichever of them ended up on call when we went into labour, we already knew them. The appointments were also an hour and a half (with the group), rather than ten minutes, so that we had ample time to ask questions, not only of the midwives but also of the other women in the group who had already given birth once or twice.
Closer to my due date, I’ll try to get into the hospital for a tour of their labour & delivery ward and ask a few questions. I’m considering finding a doula as well. At the very least, I’m glad for the good experience I had with Sunshine’s birth and the fact that I know what I want from this birth.