First-time mother Alex Gilmore describes her experience giving birth during a global pandemic
Winnipeg-based entrepreneur Alex Gilmore is no stranger to challenges. Alex and her husband JT Gilmore are known throughout Winnipeg as the co-owners of Thrive Active, a local business that specializes in high-intensity interval training workouts, bootcamps, and personal training. This hard-working couple opened not one, but two locations during the pandemic, finding huge success in their friendly, fitness-loving community.
The pandemic brought along an additional challenge that neither Alex nor JT could have seen coming when they first planned to expand their family—the isolation of Alex having to experience the prenatal care by herself.
“Because of COVID, JT wasn’t allowed to attend doctor visits,” Alex explains. “During one appointment our baby was flagged for a potential genetic issue. It ended up not being a problem, but at the time I was so scared. It was nerve wracking to not have my partner with me.”
What began as a time of uncertainty led to a time of community and support. Fortunately by the time Alex went into labour on July 3, 2020, pandemic restrictions had eased and JT was permitted to stay with her while she gave birth. Shortly after going into labour, Alex and JT were greeted, at the HSC Women’s Hospital by a triage nurse. What wasn’t expected was that the nurse was a member of Thrive Active! Roles now reversed, the Gilmores found themselves being coached through labour by someone they had previously trained.
Both their obstetrician, Dr. Carrie Palatnick, as well as their post-natal nurse, Angela, were also part of the Thrive Active community. After months of having to attend appointments by herself, Alex now found herself surrounded by familiar faces—a very welcome change.
Coached by their medical team, Alex and JT went through labour feeling supported every step of the way. “The staff at the hospital were so wonderful. Throughout the entire experience the nurses stayed calm, helped me change positions, and showed JT how he could support me.”
Ten hours after going into labour, Alex gave birth to her son, Kylo John Gilmore. “Because Kylo was healthy and I was doing well, we only stayed at the hospital for an extra day after he was born. The staff were wonderful; they really helped us through our first day as parents and answered any questions we had. Going to HSC Women’s Hospital was a wonderful experience.”
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By Heather Milne