Peace Arch Maternity has touched so many in the community. Here are their stories. Here is how they will be impacted by the announced closure.
I am writing to express my displeasure over the closure of the Peace Arch Maternity Ward which has made me very anxious and stressed. I am one month away from my due date and being faced with a total change in my birth plans. I delivered my first child at Peace Arch Hospital in October 2019 and had a wonderful experience with both the doctors and nurses who cared for me and my son. I went through the Peace Arch Maternity Clinic for my pre and postnatal care and was always treated with kindness and compassion.
I dealt with extreme anxiety about giving birth during my first pregnancy and was always made to feel safe and reassured throughout my care and delivery. I decided to go back to Peace Arch for the birth of my second child because I felt comfort and familiarity with the team and facilities. These factors have majorly influenced the sense of calm, confidence and mental stability I have felt throughout my second pregnancy, but this closure is causing a huge negative impact on my mental state going into the last month of my pregnancy. It brings with it so much uncertainty and anxiety about such an important part of the birth process. Giving birth is already so unpredictable that being able to choose the location and the type of care one will receive is very important.
Other than my mental health suffering from this news, logistically I live in Tsawwassen which is about a 25 minute drive from Peace Arch Hospital. Being diverted to Langley Memorial Hospital means extending my travel time to 45 minutes or more depending on traffic. With my first child my labour progressed very quickly and by the time I reached Peace Arch Hospital I was almost ready to push. Extending my trip to Langley Memorial Hospital worries me greatly; if this labour progresses as quickly or faster than the last, there is a very real possibility I may not make it in time.
Having dealt with anxiety and depression throughout my journey into parenthood this closure strongly affects me mentally. In a time where the world feels so uncertain, the last thing expectant mothers and their healthcare workers need to deal with is more uncertainty and doubt about their deliveries. I greatly respect the efforts our healthcare workers have put in during the pandemic, it is the very reason I hope to return to Peace Arch to give birth to my second child. The kindness, dedication of care, and hard work does not go unnoticed, and we depend on you and the location in which you work.