By Sue Tiffin
At 3:55 on the morning of Jan. 8, just a few hours after his due date, Hunter Paul Boesveld was born at home, making him Minden’s youngest resident and the first baby in Haliburton County welcomed with support from the Midwifery Services of Haliburton-Bancroft.
Hunter’s parents, Scott and Kate-lynn Boesveld, are new to the community too, having moved here at the end of October from Cambridge after buying Ray’s Place on Hwy 121. The pair are high-school sweethearts, and also grew up living kitty corner from each other their entire lives, with Kate-lynn joking that she’s the “girl next door.” Kate-lynn said their first child came quickly, so having a home birth option was reassuring rather than worrying about getting to the hospital in time. In the few months they’ve been here, they were able to make their house their home, comfortable for Hunter’s arrival.
Hunter makes Taylr Jane Boesveld, who turned two in October, a big sister. She reportedly loves holding, hugging and kissing her baby brother. He is also loved by fur siblings Cinder and Ella, border collies with a keen interest in the wee babe.
Although Hunter was admitted to McMaster Hospital for some testing, his parents said on Jan. 11 that he is doing well.
Stephanie Simon, registered midwife with the Midwifery Services of Haliburton-Bancroft, said that while January is a light month this year – possibly due to the beginning of the pandemic – the rest of 2021 will “definitely make up for it.” Babies expected to join the world in January are mostly from the Bancroft area, with many new additions from Minden. Haliburton’s first baby of the year is expected toward the end of the month, and a new resident in Highlands East in late February.
Last year, the local midwives provided support to 98 clients and 99 babies – 53 from Haliburton County, with 26 being born at home, two in a hotel and 70 in hospital.
“Although 2021 is off to a slow start in terms of expected births, the majority of 2021 is above average for birth numbers,” said Simon. “For comparison, 99 babies in 2020, whereas 2021 January to August is already above 90. And that’s with January numbers being lower than expected.”
The Midwifery Services of Haliburton-Bancroft has been encouraging residents to call as early as possible in pregnancy to avoid being put on a waiting list.
“We continue to do our best to provide care to those who call as we are cognizant that maternity care options are limited within the county,” said Simon.
She said the past year was a busy one for the practice, with midwives joining and leaving the team, as well as the ever-changing days of pandemic.
“It’s hard to believe that many of the families who are having babies now will never have seen their midwives faces without masks,” said Simon. “And likewise, we haven’t seen the full faces of some clients until they’re in labour. We know that the changes haven’t been easy for our clients and our community but we do want to thank everyone for the support. Especially thank you to all of the families who had to adjust to changing guidelines for appointments, ultrasounds and birth – for waiting in your car instead of the waiting room, adapting to phone appointments, arranging childcare for your visits, having limited access for hospital visitors and for taking the lack of laughing gas for labour in stride – don’t worry, it’s back. And now, more than ever, thank you for staying home.”
For more information about the Midwifery Services of Haliburton-Bancroft, visit mshb.ca or call 705-457-9992.