Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

'Your Going To Be Giving Birth At Work?'

It's true, I gave birth to my first baby at my work place.

Not too many people can say that unless they work from home and had a home birth, or maybe they had a 'surprise' birth in the bathroom stall on a work break. Of course, I wasn't technically working a shift when I gave birth to my first but I was still at my work amidst my colleagues. I gave birth in a room where I had previously been to lots of deliveries and was in a space with people who I usually work alongside with.

I'm planning to have my second baby 'at work' again and don't feel one ounce of weirdness around that. Of course, I've been asked many (many) times where I plan to labour and give birth. Apparently it weirds some people out at the idea of giving birth at the place where I work. For me, the answer is super simple and not even a question. In fact, if we have a colleague who is pregnant and plans to birth some place else we are usually quite offended unless there is a really good reason.

I've had some funny reactions from outsiders about giving birth at my work place. The top question seems to always be...

'Oh my god! So, the people you work with are going to see your VAGINA!!?'.

Listen up people, professionals who work in the field of delivering babies do not care what your lady parts look like. Also, it doesn't really matter to us what your parts look like. The over exposure effect kicks in and it truly becomes just another body part. It's sort of like looking at a bunch of noses; they all have the same basic structure and function but they all look a bit different.

Other questions I get asked is if it is awkward having my coworkers seeing me in the middle of intense personal moments. Like if I was to really lose it during the transition stage and started acting all loud and crazy or something like that. The thing is, my coworkers are truly lovely people and when I gave birth to Ben I was LOUD and vocal and no one gave me a hard time or thought it was weird. Instead, they all had compassion and support for me and it's the same with every other coworker that comes in to have their baby. We see hundreds and hundreds of women give birth and we know firsthand there is a huge spectrum of how women birth, so all of the variations become normal for us.


At the very start of my induction with my lovely nurse Bev.


Mitra was the nurse who laboured with me the longest and was at my birth.

The nurses that I work with have been wonderfully supportive of me during this pregnancy so far. If we have a crazy shift with lots of labours going on and no one gets a chance to have a break (yeah, no break in 12 hours), they somehow make it a priority to give the pregnant diabetic nurse a chance to eat. And even though we see belly upon belly, they still take the time to celebrate my growing belly! How wonderful is that?


I was a complex high risk labour and loved my nurse (who is also my coworker!).

So, as December approaches and I become a regular in our Fetal Monitoring clinic I look forward to having my coworkers monitor and care for me and baby #2. As January comes around, I eagerly anticipate birthing in an environment where I feel safe and well taken care of. For me, that just happens to be at work.

9 comments:

Amanda said...

I think it is wonderful that you get to give birth in a place where you feel so loved and supported.

And the photos of your first birth experience are beautiful.  I think it must have been your husband who took them because of the feeling of intimacy they invoke.  Lovely!

October 6, 2011 at 9:23 PM  

You are right Amanda! My husband took A LOT of images through the whole labour and birth. They are so special to me and I love having all of them. There are lots 'just for my eyes' only and I really treasure them.

October 7, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Sue said...

I gave birth at the hospital where you work. All nurses were professional and kind. You're going to be in the hands of wonderful colleagues who help you bring a wonderful being to this world. 

October 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM  
Denise_Freedman said...

That is really something and I totally love the support you have for your coworkers. Not too many people feel that kind of love from the people they work with. It is sort of like you are having a 'home birth' but at a hospital. I mean, think of how much time you spend there and how much time you are with your coworkers. 

October 7, 2011 at 5:58 PM  

This is awesome!  I so admire and love the labor + delivery and maternity nurses.  They got me through tough moments before, during and after.  This is really a great thing.  Best of luck.

October 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM  
Jenna said...

Gives me chills reading this... I drove past saint pauls the other day and the most beautiful memories flooded my body. I absolutely loved my experience there. Crawling down the hall screaming in transition and having the lovely nurses bring me to my birthing room. The place where luca and I made our home for a week and a half. SO lucky you have this job and get the affect people in the way you nurses affected me forever. Can't wait to see the pictures of you birthing babes número dose!

October 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM  
Jenna A said...

Gives me chills reading this... I drove past saint pauls the other day and the most beautiful memories flooded my body. I absolutely loved my experience there. Crawling down the hall screaming in transition and having the lovely nurses bring me to my birthing room. The place where luca and I made our home for a week and a half. SO lucky you have this job and get the affect people in the way you nurses affected me forever. Can't wait to see the pictures of you birthing babes número dose! 

October 7, 2011 at 7:20 PM  
harrietglynn said...

How wonderful! What gorgeous photos. It must be nice to know the people supporting you along the way as well.

October 8, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Michaela said...

I've been following your blog now for a few months! I am also a Vancouver mumma to be (who blogs), so it's fascinating reading about your life in Van and being a mum! thanks for sharing.

October 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM  

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