Kristin homesteads at Marsh Lake with her partner Ron, her two sons and her stepson and her
parents living close by. She had imagined having her babies at home since she was a teenager.
“Giving birth is natural, every animal does it and we were made to do this,” she says. But when she went into labour with her first baby she felt like it took forever.
“I walked up and down the icy driveway, I hung out in the birthing tub, it all seemed very long to me,” she says. “After 36 hours of labouring at home we couldn’t hear the baby’s heart rate and my midwife couldn’t be sure that the baby was okay so we decided to move to the hospital. My midwife, Ron and I rode in the ambulance and the 45-minute ride was very bumpy and awful, but it was kind of nice to have neighbours and friends as our ambulance attendants.”
In Marsh Lake the ambulance crew is made up of a bunch of wonderful volunteers and they usually know when someone is pregnant. Because Kristin was planning a home birth she even had the on call volunteers’ home numbers and Ron was able to call them directly at home when they were needed.
Once they arrived at the hospital everything was fine with baby and labour really picked up, but it was too late to go back home. So she used a birthing tub in the hospital to labour in.
She gave birth to baby Nathaniel (who weighed eight pounds 10.5 ounces) standing beside the bed supported by Ron, her mom and dad, her midwife and the nurse and physician in attendance.
“I was so, so tired after labouring for two days, but as soon as he was out I was excited and happy,” she says. “I was not going to hold on to having a home birth at the cost of my baby’s or my health, but of course I didn’t like having to go to the hospital.”
After the birth, Kristin slept a few hours, but left and went home less than 12 hours after Nathaniel was born.
Two and a half years later Kristin was again planning a home birth with baby number two.
“My second birth was very quick and efficient, by the time he was ready to come he was coming. I had told my birth team (again: Ron, my mom and my midwife) ahead of time to just be quiet and let me do my thing and they did.”
It was a stormy night with the waves crashing against the shore in the yard. She didn’t have to push very long and baby Remington was born in a birthing tub at home at Marsh Lake. Ron likes to say, “He shot out like a torpedo!”
They woke up Kristin’s dad (who was on babysitting duty), big brother Nathaniel and step brother, Andrew. They all met their little brother before the cord was even cut. Kristin thought that he would be pretty big, and he ended up weighing 10 pounds and everyone was amazed at the chubby, chunky, beautiful baby they had.
“I am glad that Remi got this start in his life,” Kristin says. “I feel like I proved I could have a baby at Marsh Lake, ultimately making the family stronger. Anytime you exercise a choice you make strides in letting other people know about that choice and to make sure it stays available. I strongly believe that every woman should have access to a midwife and choice of birthplace if she chooses that route and I am a strong supporter of having regulated and funded midwifery in Yukon.”
To Kristin’s knowledge Remington was the first baby born at home at Marsh Lake in the last 30 years.