I am the oldest child in my family of seven siblings, and we were all born at St. Boniface Hospital. I now have two kids of my own that were also born at SBH, and my, how times have changed.
On the day I was born, it was November 29, 1970, a Grey Cup Sunday! The Montreal Alouettes were playing the Calgary Stampeders in Toronto. When my parents arrived at the Hospital that day, there was nothing to do but to wait for the baby (me) to come out, so my dad was told that he could leave if he wanted to. That was an invitation he couldn’t resist, so off he went to watch the Grey Cup on TV at home! After I was born, my dad was back at the Hospital to welcome me into the world. He was not there for the delivery, but that was common back then.
Flash forward to 2001 when I was pregnant with our first son: I was in labour for over 24 hours, and when it was determined that a cesarean section was required to get my baby out, I was petrified. Luckily, not only was my husband at my side the entire time, the staff at the Hospital made him a part of the team; from walking with me to induce labour, to ensuring I had a steady supply of ice chips to crunch on, he was my partner through it all.
The surgery went well, and my husband was even there when they first pulled out our very big, very healthy baby boy! Since that day, we had our second child, a girl, through a planned cesarean section at the Hospital. That experience was much less stressful!
Although there has been cultural shifts in the role of the father during child birth, the one thing that has not changed over the decades are the staff at St. Boniface Hospital: caring, friendly, and compassionate. The times they may be changing, but I am glad that some things stay the same. My name is Suzanne, and this is my SBH.