Early yesterday morning I got a call from my lady. Her waters had gone. It was 6.30am. Okay, being on call over Christmas brings the risk of having to work on Christmas Day, but it looked like all was okay and that I was going to squeeze the birth in by the skin of my teeth. I cancelled the back up Doula, grabbed my bag and was good to go.
I arrived at my lady's house where she was contracting nicely but not ready to leave for the hospital. We settled in and her contractions began to increase, so much so that she was insistent on going to the hospital. Her plan from day one was to have an epidural. This is quite an unusual choice for a woman who uses a Doula, but my role is one of support, not decision making.
On arriving at the hospital we were told that her cervix wasn't yet open and that she would have to return home as she was in latent labour. She wasn't very happy, but we went back home. About 8 hours later her contractions were good and strong and lasting over a minute and coming every 3 minutes. So, we hopped a cab back to the hospital. The cab driver spent the majority of the drive telling us why we should have called an ambulance.
Back into the hospital again. Met a lovely midwife from earlier that day. Client examined, cervix barely open. 1cm dilation. The cervix needs to dilate to 10cm before the 2nd stage of labour (the pushing) begins. I don't think devastated is quite the term to describe how disappointed she was. We were sent home again. Now this rarely happens, mostly because I'm good at keeping my ladies at home but also my ladies tend to want to stay home until they practically feel the baby coming. We were both disappointed and my lady was getting very very tired. I don't mention my worry that perhaps I would have to miss Christmas with my children.
Home again and the contractions were falling off. One of her friends was going to stay with her so that I could pop home to wrap Christmas presents and get some sleep to be fresh for the next day. The hospital wanted her in for a 7am induction as it would be 24 hours after her membranes had ruptured (waters gone). As it drew closer to the time that I was to leave she suddenly begged me to stay. Remember, Doula in it's original state means female slave. So stay I did. I slept badly on cushions on the floor. Not a good look.
She slept on and off and contracted through the night. We called ahead to the hospital who told us to come in at 8am. We arrived to find 2 other couples waiting, 1 for a caesarean due to a breech presentation and another couple who looked like labour was progressing rather nicely. At 8.42am they took the labouring couple to a room and the section couple went off to be prepped for theatre. At 9.00am we heard that the labouring couple had had their son. Fantastic.
At 11.30am we were finally shown into the room where my lady's birth was due to take place.
At 1.50pm the lovely midwife finally gave my client a vaginal examination. She frowned a little and said that she would need to get a doctor in to confirm her findings, an undiagnosed breech presentation! At 3.10pm a beautiful baby girl was born by caesarean section. Not what Mum was expecting but a happy end to over 36 hours of intense on/off labour.
After ensuring that mum had successfully breastfed baby I left and have come home to wrap Christmas presents, prepare Christmas stockings and basically collapse in a heap!
Christmas a season of great joy and one mum in particular is smiling tonight!
|My lovely lady Tamsin and her daughter Matilda born May 2007|