Gagnon, and Loki’s father, Nicholas Van Den Beld, are all smiles after the wild birthing ordeal. (Contributed photo)

Gagnon, and Loki’s father, Nicholas Van Den Beld, are all smiles after the wild birthing ordeal. (Contributed photo)

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Frédérique Gagnon had every expectation of giving a normal birth to her first child.

Her son, who was named after the Norse trickster god, Loki, had other ideas.

The mischievous infant decided to make his way into the world when his mother was in his grandparents’ driveway.

READ MORE: Pregnant in a pandemic: Expectant B.C. moms change birth plans due to COVID-19

After being woken up by a burst of pain on Monday (Aug 3) morning, a pregnant Gagnon realized her contractions had started, and called the hospital to see what she should do.

“They told me I could come to get medication if I wanted to, and they would check me to make sure I was actually in labour, and not false labour,” she said.

Her partner, Nicholas Van Den Beld, drove her to Royal Columbian Hospital, where she was checked and given morphine and Gravol.

“My contractions were two minutes apart, but they didn’t think that was enough, so they sent me back home,” Gagnon said, noting she was told it would probably take another four-to-five hours for her baby to be born.

Not wanting to drive all the way back to Pitt Meadows, the couple opted to go to Van Den Beld’s parents’ house in Port Coquitlam, so they’d be closer to the hospital.

Gagnon said she took a bath and her partner drove home to pick up their pet.

“Maybe 20 minutes after he left, I felt like the pain was way too much and then I felt as if something was coming out, so I started freaking out,” Gagnon said.

Her mother-in-law, and Van Den Beld’s sisters – who Gagnon said have each had at least three babies – thought she might be over-reacting but after a quick look, they realized the baby was ready to be born.

They called 911, and a dispatcher was able to give them some advice until paramedics showed up.

“At that point I was having a contraction every minute that would go for 30 seconds,” Gagnon said, “But the paramedic thought we could make it to the hospital.”

The paramedic broke Gagnon’s water – as she was in a lot of pain – and then helped her get down three flights of stairs on the way to the ambulance.

“As we got in the driveway, there was this stretcher laid out and as soon as I sat on it, I knew the baby was coming,” Gagnon said.

“I just pushed once, and his head came out – but the cord was around his neck, so that was bit stressful – but the paramedic said we’re good, and fixed it, and then I pushed a second time, and he just came out.”

Gagnon said she didn’t pay much notice to the audience surrounding her wild moment, but found out later, there were over a dozen neighbours gathered around.

During the ordeal, Gagnon said the onlookers were amazed at how relaxed she was.

“I was kind of calm because of the morphine,” she said, “I think without it I would have been freaking out a lot more.”

She also noted, having people with a soothing energy around her helped.

“My partner seemed really calm but he said he didn’t know if he wanted to throw up, or cry, or freak out, but he seemed really calm, so that’s what mattered.

A knowledgeable paramedic was crucial too.

“It was this paramedic’s 11th time delivering a baby,” she said, “He was super good, and calm, and that made things way better.”

Sarah Morris, a media relations officer for B.C. Emergency Health Services, said pre-hospital births -unplanned/early, ambulance and side-of-the-road deliveries – are quite common in B.C.

“B.C. Emergency Health Services responds to an average of 1,450 pregnancy and childbirth-related calls each year,” she noted.

“Our call takers, dispatchers and paramedics are medical professionals, trained to provide childbirth directions and assistance, whether by phone or once paramedics arrive on scene.

“Through the feedback BCEHS receives from individuals/families and through our Thank a Paramedic/Dispatcher program we often hear how grateful new parents are for the calm nature and professionalism our staff display during what is often a emotional, stressful life moment.

“Their reassuring words of encouragement and clear, concise direction are often cited as key to assisting in the patient(s) remaining calm and having a safe delivery.”

Morris said staff are awarded special “stork pins” after delivering a baby.

“These pins are coveted, revered and a true point of pride amongst our staff.”

For young Loki, the story of his birth will not soon be forgotten.

“He’ll definitely hear about it a lot,” Gagnon said.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BirthsPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gagnon is helped down three flights of stairs in an attempt to get to the ambulance. (Contributed photo)

Gagnon is helped down three flights of stairs in an attempt to get to the ambulance. (Contributed photo)

Baby Loki’s first look at the world was blue sheets, a blue garbed paramedic, and blue skies. (Contributed photo).

Baby Loki’s first look at the world was blue sheets, a blue garbed paramedic, and blue skies. (Contributed photo).

Just Posted

Saanich council approves of a five-story multi-family development at 300 Gorge Road West and 2900 Tillicum Road. (Rendering via Alan Lowe Architect Inc.)
Saanich approves five-story, mixed-use development for Tillicum area

Plans include 53 residential units, three commercial units at Tillicum Road, Gorge Road West

Coun. Niall Paltiel of Central Saanich has filed a notice of motion directing staff to work with the WSANEC leadership council to develop a program leading toward the “gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names for key collector and arterial roads”(Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich councillor wants road signs to use WSANEC names

Coun. Niall Paltiel proposes ‘gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names’ for key roads

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read