Mom of 'Deerfoot baby' appeals for hospital in Airdrie

Giving birth en route to hospital is not good enough, say some mothers in Airdrie, Alta., who are calling for better health care in the growing city just north of Calgary.

Several women deliver babies in cars and ambulances en route to Calgary hospitals

The Brockway family of Airdrie, with seven-year-old Noah (second left), who was born on the Deerfoot Trail, in the front seat of the family truck. (Submitted)

Giving birth en route to hospital is not good enough, say some mothers in Airdrie, Alta., who are calling for better health care in the growing city just north of Calgary.

A number of them have shared their tales of delivering so-called 'Deerfoot babies' — referring the the highway that stretches the 30 kilometres between the two cities — on a Facebook group called 'Airdrie Moms.'

Kelsey Brockway told the Calgary Eyeopener what she went through giving birth to her son. Here's an edited version of their conversation.

Q: What are 'Deerfoot babies'?

Deerfoot babies are the women in Airdrie that have tried to get to hospital in Calgary and have not made it and delivered on the road while moving.

Q: Do you know anything about that?

On Jan. 13, 2009 at 4:30 a.m., my husband and I tried to make it to the Peter Lougheed Hospital.

We made it as far as Country Hills Boulevard, and Noah had already arrived with my husband still driving.

Baby Noah's hospital card lists his place of birth as 'outside'. (Brockway Family)

Q: What was that like?

It was scary, but adrenaline takes over and you do what you have to do.

I just caught him and threw him on my chest, and by the time he came out, my husband pulled over and he was on-call with a dispatcher, and five minutes later, the ambulance and fire trucks arrived and took over.

Q: Amazing story. And you're not alone in this?

From what I know, there's three other ladies that have had almost exactly the same situation with their husband still driving and them delivering their own babies.

I did mine in the front seat of the truck, I'm not sure where they did theirs.

Q: What are people doing to try to solve this problem?

I know of a lot of petitions going on and going to council. I don't know the extent, but I know that it is very much needed in Airdrie — and not just 24-hour care, my belief is we need a hospital.

Baby Noah 'came very fast,' says mom Kelsey Brockway of her firstborn child. (Submitted)

Q: Why not call the ambulance instead of trying to drive in?

Because I didn't know I was that far along! It was my first child. Prenatal care teaches you to stay home as long as possible. If you go too early, they're just going to send you home. I live in Airdrie — I'm not going to go all the way in and go all the way home and go all the way back again.

He came very fast. I was only in labour for 40 minutes.

Q: The government is pledging that urgent care will be available in Airdrie 24/7 some time next year. Do you think the Airdrie Moms Facebook group had a role in this?

I hope so. I feel like Airdrie moms here do their best, and they all want it more than anything. It's kind of a hot topic.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener


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