Sunday, 30 January 2011

Passion and fear

This week I have witnessed two ventouse deliveries - this is where a suction cap is attached to the baby's head and as the woman pushes, the doctor pulls which helps the baby to be delivered. There are various reasons why a ventouse delivery might be deemed necessary - maternal exhaustion, prolonged 2nd stage (the pushing stage), fetal distress, amongst others.

Of the two ventouse births I witnessed, one was due to slow progress in the 2nd stage and the other was due to fetal distress. I can't really share too much information about the deliveries themselves due to confidentiality but in the event of the fetal distress, my heart was in my mouth and I felt very emotional when the baby was safely delivered. I'd helped to care for the couple all shift and learnt quite a lot about their journey so far, and therefore I found it mattered a lot to me, my part in their story. I was really pleased to be able to see them again the next day. 

I now have 5 deliveries to my name, three of which you already know about in my last post Not one but three. I've been lucky to work with a brilliant team and I feel like I have learnt loads in just the last week. Four out of my five deliveries were in the semi-recumbent position but the fifth (actually fourth but this could get confusing) was on all was brilliant to get my head round exactly where I was putting my hands, and to have a different perspective - however I have got to's far messier. My final delivery of the week was lovely and controlled and as a first baby, my mentor had loads of time to point things out to me as the baby progressed. 

This week I am onto day shift and I think I will experience very different shifts to the night ones - there will be far more postnatal checks that need to be done than there are in the night time but there are also generally more staff. It will be really interesting to see the difference though of course I am hoping for a couple more deliveries and moving towards becoming more autonomous. I shall be investing in a book where I can keep a record of all my own deliveries as I am sure I will want to look back on them all one day. 

One thing that has struck me this week is the value of good support. I have been told how lucky I am to be able to witness birth and I agree I am lucky. However I am also lucky to witness the amazing roller coaster of emotions during labour and the special bond between the woman and her birth partner.  I have seen the love, the fear, the hope and the excitement all in the eyes of the birth partner as well as the woman. With the couple whose baby was in fetal distress, I witnessed the pure joy on the face of the mother, that the time had arrived to meet her baby, which was contradicted by the absolute fear in her partner's face as he could see the slowing heart beat and the number of people suddenly in the room. Not for one moment did he let his wife know just how worried we all were, but he continued to support her, to encourage her and be by her side the whole time. And then once the baby was born, I continued to watch that amazing bond between them, the continued joy and amazement on her face, and the relief and joy on his. You tell me I am lucky - I wholeheartedly agree and  no matter how lucky you think I am, I know I am 20 times more lucky than that. 


  1. this has just brought a tear to my eye, what a privileged position you are in x

    Just a thought, is there truth in the myth that more babies are born at night? Was wondering about this when I saw how many catches you had had this week!

  2. Wow. What a special blog again. I can't imagine the emotions. My friend did a biit of work as an ma before starting her nursing degree and said much what you have about the emotion. I certainly included all my staff in my birthstory for H and I bet you will be in loads. You lovley ladies play such a special role in the lives of the women and partners and babies xxxx

  3. Bombay Sapphire - yes there certainly seems to be truth in that more babies are born at night. I've switched to night shift for the next three days so hoping to have some more catches :)

    Will post another blog post very soon

  4. Wow,your going to be an amazing midwife.your still training but have shown ALL the characteristics I wanted and in the en needed to see when my son was born in August yet the midwife who looked early 50's lacked all of them. Your caring attitude alone will make your presence a huge difference to a womans labour experience. :D