Home delivery is alive and well in Okotoks. Brigitte Legault rang in 2016 by giving birth to her second daughter, Mercedes Nova Kunz, in the bathtub of her Cimarron home at 1:56 a.m. on Jan. 1 – the first Okotoks baby born in the new year.
Home delivery is alive and well in Okotoks.
Brigitte Legault rang in 2016 by giving birth to her second daughter, Mercedes Nova Kunz, in the bathtub of her Cimarron home at 1:56 a.m. on Jan. 1 – the first Okotoks baby born in the new year.
“We were considering going to the (High River) Hospital or to stay home depending how things panned out,” Legault said on Jan. 4.
“The baby came so quickly we wouldn't have made it to the hospital on time anyway.
“Having it at home and being ready for a planned birth at home worked out really well.”
Legault was assisted by Marie Wilkinson, a midwife with Foothills Midwifery. While there were no complications with Mercedes' delivery, it being New Year's Eve when Wilkinson got the call, there were some minor delays.
“I came down the bottom of the hill and there was a Checkstop by the RBC bank,” Wilkinson said with a chuckle. “They wished me a happy New Year and asked if I had anything to drink.
“I said no I haven't, but I am in a bit of a hurry because I have to deliver a baby. He wished me good luck and waved me through.”
It was the second time Wilkinson had teamed up with Legault and her husband Dylan Kunz in the delivery of a baby.
“Marie was involved in our first delivery (daughter Felicity) at High River Hospital and we just really bonded with her,” Legault said.
Mercedes' due date was Dec. 29, but she followed in her sister Felicity's footsteps, who was born Jan. 11, 2012, by being a bit late.
“Our first was really late, so we kind of expected it,” Legault said. “Just before midnight, I started going into labour… Marie barely made it just in time.”
Of course, the definition of an easy labour is when it happens to someone else.
“Yes it was painful,” she said with a bemused chuckle. “Men will never get it, but that's okay. Much better than the first one. This was only an excruciating 25 minutes. Much more doable.”
Mercedes weighed in at seven pounds, 14 ounces.
“The plan B was always to go to the hospital if there were any problems,” Legault said. “The Foothills midwives are highly trained and we trusted Marie to make the call if we had to go to the hospital.”
Mercedes saved Dylan and Brigitte the trip with a smooth delivery.
In fact, midwife Lindsay Snodgrass drove out from High River to assist and just missed Mercedes' coming into the world.
Snodgrass hung around to help with events afterward.
Things couldn't have gone much smoother.
“It was a nice water-birth at home,” said Wilkinson. “No problems at all. Brigitte called me just after midnight and it was a nice delivery.”
As for Felicity, she missed out on all the activity.
“She woke up to a baby sister so she was pretty happy,” Legault said with a laugh. “She slept through the whole thing.”
The first baby born at High River Hospital was to an Okotoks family. Anthony James Tabor was born at 4:26 p.m. on Jan. 2, to mom Ashley Tabor.
The proud father is Ashley's husband Adam. Also delighted is seven-year-old sister, Jerrika.