BARRY’S BAY – Even though the maternity ward at St. Francis Memorial Hospital closed down years ago, local family physicians helped deliver a healthy baby girl on June 19.
Shannon Lynch, 26, is a stay-at-home mother of three children and one stepchild. Last month, she was preparing for baby number three, when an emergency forced her to step away from her original birth plan.
For the first two trimesters, she was under the care of her family physician, Dr. Raymond Dawes, in Barry’s Bay.
When she was nearing her third trimester, she decided to go see an obstetrician at Pembroke Regional Hospital.
Lynch said she chose Pembroke over Bancroft because as she understood, Whitney ambulance would only ship her to Barry’s Bay, and then on to to Pembroke.
On June 12, Lynch made the almost two hour trip to Pembroke for a routine check up. Her physician informed her that she was already six to seven centimetres dilated.
“I wasn’t having frequent contractions, so he told me to go home, even though he knew all of the circumstances – that I was alone, that my husband works away, that I have three other kids and I live an hour and 40 minutes away,” Lynch explained.
Despite feeling off by her obstetrician’s decision, she made the trip back home to Whitney.
“I was worried when they sent me home,” she said. “I have never heard of a woman being sent home that dilated. I just never heard of it. But they told met that it has happened.”
Lynch was also worried that when it was time for her baby to come, that it would be like her two other pregnancies – very quick. In fact, her first was born in three hours and her second took one and a half hours, from first contraction to delivery.
“I knew in my head that I was going to have a baby on my kitchen floor or in Barry’s Bay hospital because I knew that I couldn’t make it,” Lynch explained. “I just can’t see why they would send somebody…home that dilated.”
Carolyn Levesque is the public affairs and communications coordinator for the Pembroke Regional Hospital.
Levesque said the hospital could not comment on Lynch’s case due to patient confidentiality.
But she did say that patients could be released from the hospital under the advice of the attending physician.
“Such decisions are made by the patient’s treating physician, using his or her best judgement, and based on the patient’s clinical presentation at the time,” Levesque said.
It took exactly one week for Lynch to go into active labour. At around 9:30 a.m. on June 19, she experienced a strong contraction.
Since she was home alone with her children, she called the ambulance right away.
Story continues in the July 11 issue of The Valley Gazette.