I’m writing this while waiting for my three loads of laundry to be done. Yes, that’s right, three loads of laundry. I’ve been so busy in the past week or two that simple things like laundry have just gone out of the window – and today (Sunday) has been my sole opportunity to get laundry done – so I’ve got three machines going at once!
This week has been another week of new experiences on placement – there have been moments where I have felt completely overwhelmed, and other moments where I’ve felt like I’m really getting my head around something, no matter what it is. I suppose that’s just how it works.
So, another week in this crazy world – and I still can’t quite believe how much I am loving it. I’m constantly exhausted, I have an empty fridge and I seem to spend all my time at the moment between scrubs and joggers….with absolutely no middle man – and yet every morning (or evening, depending on when I have night shifts!) when my alarm goes off, I am excited to see what the next day will bring!
So, week 24 of this amazing journey, here is what I’ve been getting up to (as always the order of events has been changed for confidentiality reasons)
Witnessing Another Ventouse Delivery
This week I also got to witness another ventouse delivery. This woman had been pushing for hours and was absolutely exhausted, and then her baby started showing signs of distress, with the fatal heart rate dropping to 90bpm (when it had been averaging 140bpm the rest of the time) – essentially, we had to get that baby quickly. The Obstetrician was called, he decided to attempt a ventouse delivery in the room, and with three pulls the head was delivered, and the body followed with the next contraction.
The baby was a little bit floppy but with a bit of a rub down and a little bit of oxygen, she started crying and turned nice and pink – yay!
I spent the next few hours with this couple and their new baby, helping with her breastfeeding and checking that the baby was all well – and I even got some baby cuddles while the mum had a shower too – very very cute!
While I was looking after the baby and the mum was in the shower, the dad had gone off, I assumed to make some phone calls – however, when he came back, he had with him a box of chocolates each for both me and my mentor!
Obviously, it goes without saying that I don’t do this job for presents, but it really did make me smile and made me feel like I really had made a difference! 🙂
First time breaking someone’s waters!
I was looking after a woman the other day who was ticking by in labour but just a bit slower than medically we would like…so it was decided that to help move things along, and to try to avoid hormone enhancement of the labour, we would break her waters.
My mentor said that as her membranes were nice and bulging, this would be a good first for me. So I pulled on some gloves, picked up an amnihook, and went ahead. It was surprisingly much easier than I expected – they just popped with the slightest movement of the hook! Very exciting and another first!
A Literal Baby “Catch”
This week, I got my 9th baby “catch”. And this time, it really was an actual “catch”!
This particular lady was simply struggling to find a position that she was comfortable in (comfortable is probably not the right word given that she was in labour but you know what I mean!) We had tried the pool, we had tried a birthing ball, we had tried being on all fours on a mat on the floor, and nothing was helping, so we brought in a birthing stool – which finally seemed to be a good position for her.
She started to push, and within 40 minutes we could see more and more of the baby’s head. I pulled on my sterile gloves and it was only at this point that it dawned on me – when she came to deliver, she would be delivering above the ground. And it would be up to me to literally “catch” that baby. To make sure the baby didn’t slither through my fingers and land, head first on the floor. Oh my god, the pressure!
Thankfully, when it came to it, she pushed her little boy straight into my waiting hands, and I didn’t drop him! I passed him up to his mum, and placed him on her chest. we waited a few minutes, then clamped and cut the cord, and helped her up onto the bed for delivery of the placenta.
All went exactly to plan – another gorgeous baby in the world, a happy mum, a happy dad, and a very relieved student midwife!
The “Q” word
It’s always considered bad luck to use the word “quiet” when referring to the state of the hospital, but I’m gonna do it. This week I had a shift that was really really quiet. There were two ladies on the birth unit post-natally, but other than that, nothing doing. For 12.5 hours. Nothing. It was really bizarre – it’s normally a bit of a mad rush, but this shift, literally nothing happened.
We spent the day sorting drugs trolleys, checking equipment and generally having a bit of sort out – and waiting for the phone to ring with a labourer coming in. It was a bit of an eye opener really – and it also hammered home that 12.5 hours seems so so much longer and so much more tiring when you aren’t doing much…so bring on the busy! 🙂
Image by Jana Sabeth Schultz
To read last week’s “Midwife Mondays” post, click here