Midwife Mondays 27: Final week of placement two!

Ok, so it is a little late but sleep and social life (shock horror!) won this weekend and so I didn’t get around to writing this post until now, post-lecture, sitting in my little flat with the windows open as far as they go!

How gorgeous is this weather?!?! I could so definitely get used to this – just need to dig out my summer wardrobe!

So last week was the final week of my second placement – how has that gone so quickly?! It seems like only last week I was talking about starting my Birth Centre placement and now it’s finished! 6 whole weeks (minus one for the plague!) and it’s done!

And boy, was it a good week to go out on! I only had two shifts, but my goodness did I cram a lot of learning into that time!

Baby “catch” number 11!
Yes, I “caught” my 11th baby this week! It was such a lovely, normal, low risk, textbook delivery too! I arrived on shift and we went into the room to introduce ourselves to the couple and then just cracked on from there.
Within 6 hours of us arriving on shift, the wonderful mum had delivered a gorgeous baby girl into my waiting hands. She was on all fours when she delivered which meant I had to pass the baby through her legs to get it up onto her chest, and then she settled down and the baby immediately latched on to breastfeed, almost without any encouragement at all!
The couple had a daughter already and so my day was made even better by their adorable nearly-3 year old daughter arriving with her grandparents and proceeding to spend the best part of an hour sitting on the bed next to her mum and baby sister, just kissing the baby’s head! If I wasn’t broody before, I certainly was in that moment! Very very cute!
I do love meeting the families when they come into the hospital to visit after the delivery. You spend this time with a couple and you get a glimpse into their world. They tell you about their family and their lives and then when you get to meet members of the family and see how the new baby fits into their family picture, it all seems to come together – it’s a really unexpectedly special part of the job.

Final shift drama!
On my final shift, I was looking after a really lovely lady who had come in about 3 hours before the start of my shift in labour.
Her labour progressed really nicely, and having been 5cm on arrival, she had managed to get to 10cm by mid-late afternoon and she started pushing instinctively. It was really lovely to see her following her body and just doing whatever she felt she needed to do. We ended up with her on a birthing stool, and the baby’s head was progressing really well, until the eyebrows were out, and then she needed some real encouragement to push out the rest of the baby’s head – she was completely exhausted by this point and her pushes just weren’t as effective as they had been to start, bless her.
Finally the baby’s head came out, but the shoulders just wouldn’t budge and suddenly everything happened at once….but also in slow motion.
We ended up having to pull the emergency buzzer. We had managed to get the lady up onto the bed and into a better position for widening the dimensions of the pelvis but the baby’s shoulders were stuck – something called Shoulder Dystocia – and despite the midwife I was working with, and then the midwife co-ordinator trying, there was no shifting that baby, so the obstetrician ended up stepping in and performing an episiotomy and delivering the little baby boy that way.
After a minute or two with the paediatricians (which felt like so much longer!) the baby let out a really good cry. At this point, the mum gave my hand (which she had been holding from the moment the obstetrician had taken over) the biggest of squeezes and her eyes filled with tears as she said to me “Oh my god – I’m a mummy!” (which obviously made me tear up too!)

Yes, it was a bit of a scary situation to be involved in as a first year. But every one of these experiences is something I will learn from – and I really felt that I did my part too in supporting the mum, and her partner, as much as I was able to when it all got a bit tricky. I’d spent the day with them, and in that room, I was a familiar face amongst a hell of a lot of people they hadn’t met before, who had answered the emergency bell.
Once it had all calmed down a bit, I walked the dad over to the baby, and he looked at him in complete awe – it was just so wonderful to see his face light up at seeing his son for the first time.

So, not the gentlest final shift of placement, but I definitely learned a lot – and, despite it getting a bit tricky, it was still such a positive experience, both for me, and for the parents (who said afterwards that they had actually had a really great birthing and labour experience, despite the slightly scary bit!) – and both mum and baby were doing fine when I left, which is after all, what it is all about!

Now, placement is done, and I’m back in uni for two weeks, before a whole two weeks of easter holidays. I love this job and I love this course, but my god do I need a holiday about now! I am absolutely EXHAUSTED!

We have our research essay deadline next Friday so this week is gonna be all about finishing that and getting it submitted. Ideally, I’d like to submit it on Sunday or Monday if I can, just so I don’t find myself tempted to make last minute changes that ruin it all – I know how my brain works….!
This essay has been a LOT more stressful to write than our first. Something about it being critiquing research when I feel I’ve only just started actually reading research – I kinda don’t feel qualified to critique it – but there you go! Hopefully it won’t be too tricky to get finished and this time next week I will be able to breathe a big sigh of relief!

Image by Zach Lucero

To read last week’s “Midwife Mondays”, click here

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