Pincher Creek welcomes first midwife-attended delivery

June 26, 2024

Jesse Wocknitz and Shae-Lynn Wolosuk welcome baby Chloe at Pincher Creek Health Centre — with the help of midwives Terri Demers, left, and Eve Verdon, and licensed practical nurse Brittany McPherson.

Jesse Wocknitz and Shae-Lynn Wolosuk welcome baby Chloe at Pincher Creek Health Centre — with the help of midwives Terri Demers, left, and Eve Verdon, and licensed practical nurse Brittany McPherson. Photo by Terri Demers.

‘Having a baby with midwives here was a great experience’

Story by Kelly Morris | Photo by Terri Demers

PINCHER CREEK — Registered midwives were welcomed with enthusiasm as they arrived with their clients to assist with the first midwife-attended delivery at Pincher Creek Health Centre.

On June 7, baby girl Chloe Ray was born to third-time parents Shae-Lynn Wolosuk and Jesse Wocknitz, with the support of registered midwives Terri Demers and Eve Verdon, and licensed practical nurse Brittany McPherson.

Everybody was definitely prepared to support midwife-attended births thanks to extensive preparation and collaboration between midwives, nursing care teams, physicians and operations, and all staff at the facility.

“It's not that we just open the door and it happens, it’s lots of strategic planning and lots of preparation,” says Demers. “We also ran some simulations in May, so everyone was ready when the big event happened here at the beginning of June.”

The team was excited to put their practice into action when they got the call only a few days into the month.

“We anticipated that, if she stayed pregnant until June 1, that this would probably be our first client to birth at the health centre,” adds Demers. “So, when doing some of our scenarios, we were already thinking who could be our very first.

“When it did happen, Shae called me first to say she was in labour and I said, ‘All right, let's meet at the hospital,’ and I called nursing and said, ‘It’s me, are you ready? Today’s the day!’”

Although Wolosuk’s previous deliveries have left her with thrilling stories to tell, she was hoping for what she called, “a more normal, non-exciting birth.”

“My firstborn — when I went into labour with him — we got to the Pincher Creek Health Centre, but it was the middle of summer and the surgeon wasn’t available.”

Wolosuk can now tell the exhilarating tale of her roadside delivery, thanks to the help of AHS EMS.

“I was five centimetres dilated when we left,” recalls Wolosuk. “It’s thought that it takes about a centimetre an hour for a first-time mom, so baby wouldn’t be born until, like, midnight. But he ended up being born in the ambulance on the side of the road.”

In 2022, her second child also entered the world at Pincher Creek. Physicians and healthcare staff were ready for her arrival, but her daughter insisted on her own dramatic entrance.

“I didn't realize quite how far along I was,” laughs Wolosuk. “We showed up at the health centre five minutes before she was born. My husband ended up catching her that time.” Knowing that her babies come fast and furiously, this time her care team was prepared.

“When we arrived, they were ready for us,” says Demers. “We knew that there was a possibility this client could work very quickly. Luckily, she granted us a couple hours to all get to know each other during labour.”

After a successful delivery, mom, dad and baby were able to settle in at home only a few hours after birth, with big brother and sister ready to shower them in love.

Registered midwives provide care before, during and after delivery, which allowed Wolosuk to recover at home under her midwives’ continued care. Demers visited mom and baby at home post-delivery — and will continue to see them in clinic until Chloe is six-to-eight-weeks-old.

With three very different birth experiences in her life story, Wolosuk says today she’s happy with her experience at the health centre with the maternal care team, including midwives, who worked together to support her and her growing family.

“I would highly recommend having a baby with midwives here,” says Wolosuk. “It was a great experience.”

The experience delighted her healthcare colleagues, as well.

“All of us at Cardston Midwives are so excited because Pincher Creek Health Centre is so receptive and willing to have us there,” says Demers.

“Nursing has been super-collaborative — and it just made the experience smooth and exciting — not just for the client, but also for us as midwives. We knew we were in a place that was happy to have us there.”