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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

procrastination of a student midwife - stories of catching babies

i have periodical exams on tues.. so instead of studying i'm writing. been working since 10am as it is, so what ev's. haven't written in awhile. 

haven't even been back from school for a month. prenatals, births, conferences. it's been a busy month. ahead on school work. moving in a few weeks, moving in with the other student midwife. sickness all around me (seriously universe - fuck off). failing relationships. new relationships. don't even know if i'm coming or going. at least my midwives give me permission for a pint or two and will even join me! 

so yeah. where does one begin. births.

sweet sweet births. one boy. one girl. both born into the water. both with nuchal cords (this is not an emergency!!! just a variation of normal - being in the hospital did not save your baby - sorry. rant. over.). 

last thursday in the wee hours i got the call. had been in bed for an hour or so. my midwife picked me up and we headed to the birth. i was to somewhat manage the birth and catch the baby - four handed. me: i've never done a four handed catch. midwife: me neither. 

sure. why not. 

this mother was so amazing. such a difference from how she was at the end of pregnancy. she absolutely glowed. was totally in control. aware of her body. present.  did what she needed to do. i did a VE (vaginal exam) upon arrival and her cervix was beautiful and open and soft and ready for birth. a few hours later she was complete. 

after a bit in the water, her attitude changed. this is where i need to get with it, be more in touch. change my mindset to midwife, not support.  the midwife was out of the room. me and the birth assistant, the grandma and the sister were in the room. cooing to the mother words of support as the father sat behind his wife. 

there was a shift. she was done. she wanted the baby out. sure, of course she did. it didn't occur to me that baby WAS coming out. of course this is the dilemma of a water birth. dark room. mom on her hands and knees angled so baby will enter the world towards the wall. i had gloves in my pocket. i SWEAR i had gloves in my pocket. water breaks. 

like i said i need to shift my consciousness to midwife not support. i should have had gloves on. plus i should recognize that we had a birth assistant that was available to get the midwife and i should have been more prepared for baby. 

me trying to get my gloves out of my pocket. baby is coming. mind you, even though dad was behind mom, he never even saw his baby coming. midwife: get gloves. me: i'm trying. midwife: or not. me: they're in my pocket!! 

get gloves on finally, baby's head is emerging. i'm not actually used to a very hands on approach to birth and i've never caught a baby in the water. so.. yeah. well maybe i was preventing the baby from extending it's head a bit. gentle and kind words from my midwife, reminding me not to hold the baby in. correcting my hand positions. head is out. i check for nuchal cord (cord around the neck). me: nuchal cord. baby is rotating. born OA, rotates to the left. baby ROA. cardinal movements of birth. i reduce the nuchal cord. it's long enough to pull over baby's head. and in the next contraction the baby lands in my hands. 

the mother turns over and receives her baby. so yeah. it may not have been the most graceful of hand movements that a midwife could have used to facilitate birth. and definite areas of constructive criticism i received. but this is the point of what i'm doing. these mistakes. i have to make. i have to learn. i was trying to support her perineum, not restrict flexion. i could have somersaulted the baby out instead of reducing the cord. most of all. i should have had my GLOVES ON and READY to catch that baby. 

sigh. i did a much better job facilitating the birth of her placenta and i think i did a top notch newborn exam. if i do say so myself. injected the wee babe with vitamin K and she didn't even cry. she was a perfect little specimen that one, weighing in at 7lbs 12 oz.

we packed up everything, ensured all was stable and drove home. i collapsed into bed and awoke a few hours later to the pattering of little feet. not a horrible life. it's good to forget about all the bullshit surrounding you when you are in a mother's birth space. nothing else matters. we may gossip like hens, but the stresses all fall away. it's all external. it's all another world that we are no longer part of. that exists, but is not relevant. the only thing that matters is protecting that mother, that babe. the partner and the birthing unit. that all are safe. 

leaving a birth with a sleeping mother snuggled with her newborn babe is perfection. 


story of baby boy needs to wait. i really should study. 


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