24 hours On Call

What a little flurry of excitement it has been since Monday morning! Having had a child free weekend recovering from my horrible mouth infection (which I spent mainly snoozing on the sofa and watching re runs of Friends episodes), I was all geared up for a full day back at work on being on call by myself. Not quite as full on as I had expected!

Monday 9am: Up, dressed, 2 kids dressed, 2 breakfasts gobbled, 2 pack lunches made, 2 drop offs and full of beans ready for what the day might bring. I spoke to one of my women who had been niggling (a midwife term meaning irregular contractions but not yet establishing) all weekend but no sign of baby. My other 2 colleagues were at the hospital handing over from a birth they had over night so I did a few antenatal visits then popped over to see my woman in early labour. After a cup of tea and a full midwives assessment, I found her to be 9cm dilated! A little surprising for us all but thrilling for her and her husband so plans were made to go to the local hospital and we bagged a room with a pool. 5 hours later there was no sign of baby and with my energy levels flagging my lovely colleague arrived to take over so I could go home to rest.

Monday 5pm: Kids home from holiday club and nursery, husband with a bad back, tea being made whilst my mind was thinking about my poor woman at hospital. Gobbled down a bowl of pasta pesto (essential carbs) and off I went back to the hospital to take over from my colleague for the night

Monday 7pm: Arrived back at the hospital to be met with the news that we were going to theatre for a ‘trial’, A trial means the doctors need to perform an assisted delivery (ventouse or forceps) but in theatre in case it doesn’t work they are in the right place to perform a caesarean section.

Monday 7:30pm: Baby Martha weighing a whopping 9lbs was born with a little assistance but not a caesarean thank goodness! Mum and Dad thrilled! Midwife thrilled but the night was still young.

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Monday 11:30pm: Pager goes off to notify me that one of our women is in labour. I finish my notes take my lady to the postnatal ward and gear up my energy for another labour. Glad I have carbs in my system! The labour in surprisingly quick but lots of ‘you can do its’ and ‘one more push and your baby will be here’. Phew I was wacked but looked forward to getting home and hitting my pillow. Sleep is most definitely not for the weak. When I’m on call I try to forget that my pager can alarm me at any moment and I put it on the other side of the room. Out of sight out of mind.

Tuesday 1:30am: I’m finally in bed, fast asleep.

Tuesday 4:09am: Pager goes off. I jolt up in bed. Takes me a few second to realise what this means. The pager message tells me one our women is in labour at home and needs me. Luckily it’s just around the corner, so I’m up dressed and in her bathroom by 4:20. She is in strong labour and this is her second baby so the birth is imminent. Her amazing husband finds towels, an old rug and plastic sheeting to protect the carpet. A second midwife arrives and by 5:30am a beautiful baby girl is born in the family bedroom. The morning light fills the room and tears of joy wept by all us soak our grinning cheeks as the woman cries ‘I did it’. Tea and Jaffa cakes are shared as we all embrace what an incredible job she has done and how lucky us midwives are to be have been part of it all. Granny and Grandpa arrive and the big brother awakes to great his new baby sister. It was really a perfect setting.

Tuesday 6:30am: My adrenaline starts to fade and the sheer exhaustion of the last 21 hours kicks in. With the family safely tucked up in bed, my colleague arrives on her bike to take the placenta away with her (yes really!) and I leave with my half empty delivery kit.

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Tuesday 07:30am: I’m back in my bed again and the girls are up and bouncing with excitement eager to hear all about my night. They love hearing about the baby catching Mummy has been doing. Eventually my husband (the unsung hero of this all) took them off to nursery and holiday club and with my eye patch and ear plugs firmly in place, I could finally go to sleep. But not without thinking of this moto brilliantly printed on a bag given to me as a present from one of my women.

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7 thoughts on “24 hours On Call

  1. Aw Clemmie I felt exhausted just reading that. I don’t miss on calls but you do get so much job satisfaction from working like that. You are doing a great job, make sure you look after yourself as well as sounds like you have had a bit of a rough time lately. Love Katheryn (aka The Vintage Midwife) x

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