My partner Lori left for vacation this week. I was more than a bit concerned, because we had FIVE clients due in a 9-day span -- due dates were the 11th, 12th, 15th, 19th and 20th, I believe. However, all but one were first time moms, and they usually tend to go overdue, so Lori thought that it wouldn't be TOO bad while she was gone..... HAH!!
She left Friday afternoon. By Saturday mid-morning, I'd received calls that TWO of our clients might be in labor -- uh-oh, not a good thing. By nighttime, they were both contracting about every 3-4 minutes, and it looked like I needed to make a decision. I could be at one birth or the other, but not both. I called my friend and former partner, Audrey, to see if she'd like to attend one of the births. No good -- the hospital she's working out was SWAMPED with people in labor, and they'd asked her to come in and help on her day off!! (Babies popping out there too!!) I called another birth assistant, but she didn't return my calls. Finally, one of the midwives started helping me make calls, and we managed to find someone who could go to the other birth at the birth center.
Around 11:45, the midwife called me back, and said that she hoped she hadn't made a bad call, as the 2nd client had phoned and said it seemed like her labor was slowing down. At that point, I really didn't care. I figured I'd go to sleep and they'd call me when they needed me. So I was absolutely shocked to be awakened by a call at 12:25: "Hey, Pam, this is J....... the baby is OUT and we can't reach the midwife.... what do we do?" Holy cow -- is this a JOKE?? Not funny!!!
But it was true! The client had tried to lay down for a while, but couldn't get comfortable; got up and walked around a bit, then decided she needed to use the bathroom -- and 10 minutes later gave birth to a cute little baby girl!!! Unbelievable birth for a first-time mom!!
The midwife and I arrived within the 1/2 hour, checked on everyone, cleaned things up, made sure all was well, and helped with breastfeeding before leaving around 4:30 AM.
While there, the midwife told me that my first client had gone to the birth center, been checked and was only 2 cms., so they sent her back home. I called the client's husband on my way home to check in and told him I'd be available for them now. So I was surprised (and not very pleased) to hear later that the clients returned to the center around 6:30 AM, and the midwife had the back-up attend instead of calling me in. I hope the client was OK with working with a birth assistant she'd never met before......
It turned out to be an extremely long, drawn-out birth, and it was probably a good thing I didn't go. The baby was not born until 5 AM Monday, meaning she'd been in labor over 30 hours. The baby's head was positioned very crookedly (called "asynclitic") and it took a lot of position changes and a lot of labor to get her head to move. However, ultimately, it did, and the client gave birth at the center to an 8 lb., 9 oz. baby girl!! Good for her!! I hear she's quite proud of herself, as she should be -- what a good job!
So on Tuesday at 3 AM, my phone rang again -- this time from the clients having baby #2. They wanted to give me a heads-up that she might be in labor. Good -- I'm going right back to sleep until you call again, thank you!! Around 5 AM,, they called again, said labor had continued, and the midwife wanted to get there before the AM rush hour traffic. So a quick shower, change my clothes, grab my bags, and I'm on my way!! I arrived around 6:30 AM, and we had a cute little baby boy at 10:30 AM! Nice, easy, straight-forward birth with clients who were very self-sufficient!! What a nice way to begin a day!!
So the total is 3 babies in 58 hours -- not bad!! Now, if at least one or both of the remaining October clients will wait until Lori returns.....