A small miracle is in this living room. Four newborn babies rest peacefully. At the same time. They have been nursed, soothed, cuddled, and caressed by their mommas. And now they are all asleep, or content in mom’s arms, as the four women share their stories with the Pioneer.
Lindsay LeBourdais, Krystal Haggard, Jacinda Harding, and Johana Roggeman, all gave birth within two weeks of each other this June. At one point, shared Lindsay, it looked as though the four friends might even deliver within 48 hours of each other. And all four were under the watchful care of Sweet Pea Midwifery, run by midwives Kyra Warren and Jo Gillies. The friends would joke towards the end that if an appointment was pushed, one of the other three must be in labour now.
The four friends are part of a group of about 10 to 15 women who get together on a regular basis for dinners and social time. The moms all agree that this support network has been invaluable, with everyone sharing baby supplies, clothes, advice, and real-life stories of giving birth and raising babies.
“I don’t think I bought one article of clothing,” Krystal comments of the generosity pouring out of the moms’ circle.
And Lindsay says the honest advice has been great.
“If all you were to do was read the books, I think you’d go in a little bit blind. But to actually get first hand experience / information from friends who will tell you the truth, then you’re a little bit more prepared,” she says.
Like every pregnancy and birth, the tales are different for Linsday, Krystal, Jacinda and Johanna. For Krystal, her baby was measuring small and she was told she would need to go to Cranbrook given the baby’s size.
“I’m surprised I made it as far along as I did, because I was actually expecting to deliver two weeks prior to that,” remarks Krystal.
Baby Zoe is now a healthy three-week old who looks like her daddy and loves to wiggle her arms in the air – so much so that mom Krystal calls her arms Zoe’s nemesis, needing a tight swaddle to allow her to sleep.
Through a series of events, Jacinda’s pregnancy led her to the point where she needed to deliver within 24 hours, otherwise she would have to be induced.
“We went to Fuze for Pad Thai with lots of hot sauce, and had a good walk. I was trying all the things, and then I drank the midwife cocktail,” she lists.
Nothing was working to kick-start labour. She was scheduled to go to the hospital that evening to be induced. But on the way, she went into labour and started having contractions. She arrived at the hospital at 6 p.m.;
Bryce was born at 7:51 p.m.
Bryce is a true second child, who basically lives in the wrap and gets poked, kissed, and hugged often by his doting two and a half year old brother.
First-time mom Johana had wanted to deliver in Cranbrook’s hospital, just in case things went south and she needed more support. However, her baby also came very fast, so she ended up delivering in Invermere.
“I was afraid of having my baby here,” admits Johana. “But everything went well. Kyra and Jo are so amazing, and they always play it safe … they don’t give a chance for something to go wrong.”
Diego is all smiles, and loves to stay awake so he doesn’t miss a thing.
Lindsay was due first, but gave birth last. She began to careen a little towards the end of her pregnancy, she admits, feeling like she was might never give birth.
“Without even being prompted, both Kyra and Jo texted me ‘This is normal, this is what we expect’. They talked me down off several ledges,” Lindsay says.
As a “well-cooked” baby, Xander tends to eat and sleep well so far, reports Lindsay.
The four friends marvel at the odds of not only being pregnant at the same time, but having their babies born so close together too. And they could not praise the care of their midwives enough. Johanna, Lindsay, and Krystal – all first-time moms – agree they had misconceptions about working with a midwife, with assumptions ranging from no anesthetics to mandatory home births. But, they all agree, instead what they found was exceptional support and care.
Jacinda said having Kyra deliver her first baby, then having Kyra and Jo as midwives for Bryce, was the best choice for her.
“I know they’ve done it thousands of times. I don’t know what I’m doing, so I trust their knowledge, and their expertise,” says Jacinda. A miscarriage in between her toddler and her newborn was made a little easier with Kyra supporting her through the process.
“Kyra was my rock,” she sums up.
A couple weeks into motherhood, the moms are adjusting well and using their friends network and midwives to answer a thousand questions, from sleep issues to nursing to soothers and more.
Xander, Bryce, Diego, and Zoe are all doing well, and the moms know that, with the help of their friends, they will be OK too as they launch into parenthood in the Columbia Valley.