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Baby born on townhouse floor after hospital visit in Yorkton

Mother still hoping for better response from hospital after being sent away twice.
Husband Mitchell Luce helped his son be born before EMS and firefighters arrived.

YORKTON - It was a day in December with the temperatures flirting with minus-40, Tara Luce realized she was likely soon to give birth.

It was Dec. 20, “when contractions started around eight in the morning,” she related, adding she and her husband Mitchell headed to Yorkton and the Regional Hospital, not realizing she would be turned away twice before finally giving birth on the floor of her mother’s townhouse in the city.

Luce said by 2 p.m. she was at the health centre, and on the stress monitor.

“My contractions were irregular,” she said, adding she was only three centimetres dilated. Given those factors she was told to go shopping, or out for a bite to eat and see if things progressed.

By five the contractions remained irregular, but she was in considerable pain and so she headed back to the hospital.

Again Luce said she was put on a monitor, and was again measured at only three centimetres dilated. In spite of the pain she was feeling, she said it was suggested she go home – 45-minutes away in Stockholm, or take a hotel room.

“They did not offer to admit me at all. I was not given an option to stay, or I would have . . . I don’t know if they had any beds open,” she said.

Luce added staff were aware she was in pain.

“The second time around a nurse came in and I was on my knees having a contraction,” she said. “. . . I was in pain so I knew things were progressing.”

Rather than go home on the frigid night she went to stay with her mother.

Luce said she took a warm bath hoping it would quell her pain, then laid on the floor in her mother’s bedroom.

The pain remained and she started “to bleed a little bit,” she said.

Luce’s husband called 911, but it was too late, the baby was on its way.

The ambulance was in use, so that was out anyway, so it was up to a 911 operator to talk Luce’s husband and brother through a home delivery.

“Four pushes and it was over,” said Luce who added they are certainly thankful for such an easy birth under the circumstances.

Luce noted it was her third birth and things usually move faster with births after the first one.

Firefighters arrived first, and made sure mother and baby were all right, then EMS arrived, and checked her over.

“They had to deliver my placenta,” she said.

And then with the help of the firefighters to manoeuvre through the townhouse Luce and her new baby – soon to be named Lincoln – were put in the ambulance and taken back to the hospital they had been in twice before that day.

At the hospital mother and child checked out healthy and held overnight, then went home for a day before returning for the child’s normal blood tests. All was good.

But, it could have gone so much worse had there been any issues with the bedroom floor delivery by two untrained men and the help of a voice on the phone.

Luce said she has made calls, getting little satisfaction regarding what happened from the Saskatchewan Health Authority or Yorkton maternity ward, neither offering any suggestion there were errors on how they handled her situation.

It has left Luce disappointed and disgruntled. She said several people have reached out about the incident, including a lawyer.

“I would like more to happen. I’m just waiting and seeing what that might be and if a lawyer needs to be involved,” she said.

Luce said in her mind the “the health care system has gone down so badly,” and that really came into focus when a mother had to give birth on a townhouse floor after being at the hospital earlier twice the same day.