Aimee Renard gave birth to Jaxyn Goleski on the side of a Manitoba highway. Megan Benedictson/CBC
A newborn baby boy's entry into the world was through his mom's pant leg, while she was giving birth in a pickup truck at the side of a Manitoba highway.
Aimee Renard, 24, was visiting her dad in the western Manitoba town of Hamiota, when her contractions began early Sunday morning.
Her due date wasn't supposed to be until Dec. 26 or 27, so she didn't think much about it — until things progressed quickly.
Renard's dad called the Hamiota health centre, located a couple of blocks from his home, but staff suggested Renard go to Brandon — an hour's drive away — rather than come to the centre.
Staff were told Renard's water had broken, but they insisted she had time to make the trip.
So Renard and fiancé Jay Goleski jumped into their pickup truck and started heading for Brandon.
But baby Jaxyn had no intentions of waiting that long. Within 40 minutes he was making his way into the world.
"I just started taking deep breaths and as time went on, it was like, OK, the baby's head is there. So like I have to push," Renard said.
"And [Jay's] like, 'no don't.' I told him to stop the truck. And as he was stopping the truck, I pushed out the baby."
Renard felt him slip into the leg of her sweatpants and then Goleski heard a faint cry from his new son.
He pulled the truck over so he could help Renard.
"It was kind of terrifying," Renard said. "But it was pretty exciting, I guess. I just pulled down my pants a little bit. And took him out. And the cord was wrapped around his neck. So Jay unwrapped the cord from his neck."
Goleski then called 911 and within minutes an ambulance arrived to take Renard and Jaxyn to the hospital.
Mom and baby are both healthy and doing fine.
But Renard said she may file a complaint with the Hamiota District Health Centre.
She wants to know why she was sent to Brandon after her water broke, instead of being treated in Hamiota.
"It was not the right thing," she said. "They should have at least assessed me and then called an ambulance or something, instead of just telling me to go to Brandon after my water broke."
Health authority admits system failed
Prairie Mountain Health officials admit the system failed Renard.
Pat Cockburn, senior adviser for acute care and nursing, said the nurse Renard spoke to did not make the best decision.
She said it would have been better if Renard had been examined in person, then sent by ambulance to Brandon.
"We definitely prefer [patients] to go by ambulance," she said. "I am sorry. It was just the clinical decision that was made. It was not the best decision."
Cockburn said she has spoken with Renard and the incident is under review.
She said in rare instances mothers have given birth in Hamiota when there wasn't time for them to get to Brandon.
"Hamiota is not a facility that provided obstetrical services, so certainly the experience and the expertise of whichever nurse that might be on at the time can vary greatly," Cockburn said.
Disciplinary action against the nurse who advised Renard to go to Brandon is not being considered, Cockburn said, but the authority will ensure medical staff understands what to do the next time a similar situation arises.
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