Monday, 30 May 2011

A glorious weekend

Most people that I know look forward to the long, bank holiday weekends.  We dream of the lie ins, the friends and family we'll see, the dancing we'll do, possibly even a barbecue or two (weather permitting).

This weekend was a tale of two births.  Almost two weeks ago one of my twin ladies gave birth by caesarean section as the presenting twin was breech.  Breastfeeding was nicely established and, despite the fact that I am there for postnatal support as well, they said they didn't need me.  Perfect!  I love what I do and I love it when my ladies don't need me.  So I was gently easing my way towards this weekend knowing that I had two ladies yet to birth.

Birth 1:

My client had had a caesarean section for her first baby.  Her waters had gone early and he wasn't ready to be born.  Long long labour.  Syntocinon given to help things along.  4 days after the waters, 1 tired mum, I tired dad, 1 tired Doula later... section. Gorgeous boy!

S hates hospitals.  So when she found out that she was pregnant again she wanted a homebirth.  The hospital were not keen, so after fighting for a while she decided to hire Independent Midwives.  Everything was wonderful.  She went into spontaneous labour as her waters broke on her EDD.  I arrived at about 6pm last Thursday.

The IMs were gorgeous.  We had met before be make sure we were all on the same page. 

 S was labouring beautifully in the water.  The IMs were reasonably sure that she was fully dilated.  She had the lovely purple line up her bottom.  But things were stalling.  So rest was called for.  Got her out of the pool and into bed.  Throughout the night we all tag teamed to get some sleep.

In the morning nothing had changed.  S was getting tired.  Baby was happy throughout.  In the end the decision to transfer in was made.  S opted straight for section.  The lovely Consultant explained that the baby's positioning meant he wasn't going to come out without help.  Her gorgeous son was born at 9.40am on Friday.

It wasn't an easy thing for S to have a caesarean once again, but I'm so proud of her.  She was so glorious in labour and though she wept at the thought of the section, she was strong and accepting.

I texted my next lady (who I had kept in the loop) to say that the baby was born and she should go for it.  She replied that she would give me a couple of days to recover from the first birth.

Birth 2:

On Saturday J called to tell me that she had woken with some twinges and some cramping but that all had gone quiet and she was going to get on with her day.  That evening she called to say that she was getting irregular contractions but that they were every half hour.  I sent her to bed.  I got a call at 10.30 on Sunday morning to tell me that she slept a bit but that she was still getting irregular contractions and could she do anything to hurry it up.  I told her to enjoy her Sunday and to wait because the baby would come when it was ready. 

Sunday evening I got a call around 6pm telling me that the contractions were every 5 mins thereabouts and that they were increasing in intensity and would I mind going over.  After I arrived, J relaxed considerably and things seemed to slow again.  I made sure that they had eaten and then told them to go to bed because it might be a long night and they needed their rest.  J went to bed around 10pm and P (her partner) faffed about for another hour and a half before eventually going to bed himself.  I pulled out the sofa bed and let myself drift off.

6.45am this morning P woke me.  I asked how the night went (I had woken periodically and not heard anything).  He said fine and that J was getting into the bath.  I went to see how she was doing.  She was rocking beside the bath and said "I need to get in now".  She got into the bath and her breathing changed.  J was a very vocal labourer/birther.  I reminded her that she could go to the hospital when she was ready and felt she needed to be in her birthplace.  She looked at me and said, "I don't think I can get out", then she closed her eyes and roared!  I asked P to call the Birthing Centre.

I spoke, evenutally, to the wonderful Belinda Green (Supervisor of Midwives) who asked me what I thought was happening.  (I have been at a birth with Belinda before).  I told her that I thought she was getting ready to push as she had strong poo-ing urges.  Belinda asked if she had poo-ed.  I said no, looking into the bath and said yes.  J roared again.  Belinda said it didn't sound like pushing noises but that if I thought she was close, we should go straight in.  Dad picked up the phone to call a cab.  J roared.  I looked between her legs.  Her labia was fully extended and I could see the tiniest bit of the baby's head.

 I called to dad "Hang up and call 999 NOW please" which he did and then he babbled to the controller.  I asked (rather firmly) for the phone and spoke to the controller who told me I had to drain the bath and then I had to put my hand at J's vagina and my other hand to support the head.  Meanwhile J was roaring and I told her to breathe.  The controller shouted to me "Are you listening to me? Don't listen to her, listen to me".  Then she told me to tell J to push as hard as she could.  Whilst all of this was going on, I was talking myself through birth in my head.

One half of me was calm.  'Remember, mums bodies are made to birth.  Just let it be.  If there's a cord, use your thumb.  Relax and be sure to take the baby head and face first out of the water (esp as it's draining away).  The other half of my head was screaming [add many many expletives].  My out loud voice said, "Relax J.  Good girl.  Fantastic.  Your baby is coming.".  I dropped the phone because, in fairness, the controller was doing my head in with her purple pushing directives.  J roared again and her baby slipped gently into my hands.  I turned her (yes Reader, it was a girl) and lifted her to her mother's abdomen.  The cord was short so she didn't go up very high.  A minute later a beautifully handsome paramedic arrived.  She was born a 7.19am.  J was glorious.

He was wonderful (not cos of his looks) and gentle.  He invited dad to cut the cord after it had stopped pulsating.  He was happy to do a physiological third stage.  All was calm.  The three other paramedics waited outside.  There was a shift change at the hospital but Mr Gorgeous went off to collect the Midwife.  She had not had her tea at home that morning because (as she told me) her boyfriend and flat mate had not replaced it.  She's gone into Sainsburys and as she came out she got a call to get to work quickly.  Mr Gorgeous met her at the door and brought her straight round.  She was gentle, kind and so so loving.  She was disappointed that J had to be transferred in for a retained placenta, but she gave it everything to see if they could stay home.  

As I said to my friend this morning, this job that I do makes me blessed amongst women.

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