In the next few months the Lakes District News will be showcasing stories of women having babies, or who’ve had babies and what obstacles they’ve encountered.
Nancy DeLury knows firsthand what it’s like to be a pregnant woman living in Burns Lake or the area and have to travel to deliver a baby.
The mother of two young children, a girl, Tegan, who will turn three at the end of Judy, and a boy, Torin, who is a year-old, travelled to Smithers to deliver both of her children when they were born.
For each child her experience was different.
When she was pregnant the first time with Tegan she had planned to travel to Smithers a couple of weeks before she was due so she wouldn’t be rushed to get there.
She ended up going into labour two weeks early and nearly had her baby in the car on the drive to Smithers, making it to the hospital with about 20 minutes to spare.
“So we live out at Francois Lake and we had to check in at the hospital in Burns Lake because they tell you to do that before going to your delivery hospital so they can check that everything is okay and that you can make it. So we did that and I think we spent close to an hour at the Burns Lake Hospital before we left. They hooked me up to all the machines to check my contraction times and all those types of things. They didn’t think I was very far along in labour, they thought I had plenty of time, partly because this was my first kid you know I was only two centimetres dilated at that point and they said you’ll have tons of time. I barely made it. We got to Smithers and after we got to the hospital Tegan was born about 20 minutes later,” DeLury said, “it was incredibly quick.”
During her second pregnancy, DeLury made sure she was in Smithers before going into labour.
She stayed with her sister for three weeks prior to her due date, and ended up delivering her baby on time at the hospital in Smithers.
Even though her two experiences were very different, the first almost delivering a baby in a car, and the second having plenty of time to get to the hospital to deliver the baby, DeLury wouldn’t want to go through either again.
“Both very different experiences, but both very stressful and I wouldn’t want to do either one again,” DeLury said.
The reason behind it, DeLury points out is that at that point in a pregnancy, the natural instincts are to be nesting, and that taking that space away to move somewhere that while may be familiar to you physically, it isn’t what you have been used to.
She says that the new maternity ward is great, but adds that to be able to take it a step further and be able to do complicated births in Burns Lake would be huge.
In order to do that, Burns Lake would need an operating room at the new hospital, something that has been discussed, but isn’t being built in the new facility.
DeLury doesn’t want people to get the wrong impression.
“Don’t get me wrong the maternity ward is great,” DeLury said, “I just think it’s really important for women to be able to have their babies in town. If I could do it again and only have to drive 20 mins to town to have a baby I mean my goodness it’d be so easy.”
The new hospital in Burns Lake is expected to open in January 2015.