I'm not on call. So that means I can go anywhere I like including up, down and out of the country. There are no babies due to be born on my watch. I can drink red wine until the sun goes down (or even comes back up again).
Just like the other Doulas do, I suspect, I made concrete plans. I was taking the Wee Weapons (of Mass Destruction) to the theatre to see Beauty and The Beast at the lovely Unicorn Theatre. I was not worried that my lovely twin mum (EDD - Estimated Date of Delivery - March 2011) had been leaking water. She had been scanned and the waters around the babies were fine. Hospital sent her home and told her to keep an eye out for signs of labour but that she would probably continue on for several weeks yet. Are you jumping ahead of me people?
I get on the bus with the WWs and their sister (my space fairy). The phone rings. I recognise her number. There's been a show of blood and they've gone to hospital to be checked out. She is 7cm dilated and is there any possibility that I can go to her. Sadly not! My heart broke, but what was I to do? Three children of my own who were very excited about a pre-Christmas Theatre trip. She understood; my on call for her didn't start until the beginning of February.
Remote support. That was the best that I could give her, whilst ringing and texting around to see if there were any Doulas available at such short notice. I hopped the tube. I called at the other end. The hospital were keen for her to have an epidural. She was not keen. We talked through the pros and cons. Then moved on to text as I had to go in to the Unicorn.
I watched the first half of the show with a sad heart. I love birth. I hate missing births. I rarely miss births. Compulsive checking of my phone so that the man behind me clearly thought I had a sense of self-importance. Intermission. A text flashes through:
"Babies born. All well!" Sob!!!!!! Gone were my dreams of a last minute hospital dash.
There had been no time for the epidural. She had a natural, vaginal birth. The babies were whisked into special care, then transferred across London later that night. No room at the inn. :(
I spent most of yesterday talking to Mum and Dad about ways they could get transferred to the same hospital as the baby. The Midwives were determined to discharge her. "You've had a normal delivery. There are women waiting to give birth!" A sympathetic doctor arranged the transfer but she had to make her own way to the hospital.
The next few weeks will be spent encouraging her as she expresses her milk for the boys. She was sad today as she was barely getting any drops. But these things take time and the milk will come.
Today ends with me feeling a little at sea but despite not being there I know both parents appreciate that I'm at the end of the phone at any time of day or night.
Two healthy boys! Lots to give thanks for.
|These lovely boys are now 3yo and have been joined by a sister|