Barely two days since moaning about matern-a-taxis, than I get sent to another one.
“We have a job for you”, said Control.
“Of course you do, I was just about to have a cup of tea”, I replied, “so…what is it”.
I looked at the display terminal in the car.
“It's a bloody maternity”, I was outraged, “One minute contractions – I bet they'll be ten minutes apart when I get there”.
“I reckon they will as well”, replied Control.
So I dutifully shot down there, to a place fairly well known to me – it's a large housing unit for teenagers, they all have social workers and are looked after pretty well. To be honest I think it's a pretty good place, I've never had any trouble there and the residents tend to get a fair bit of support.
I entered the accommodation, to find a young woman having a contraction, while standing in a puddle of fluid.
No problem I thought, the waters have just broken.
“I really want to go a poo”, she said.
“Oh bugger”, thought me.
It's one of the guides as to how close you are to delivering the baby – if you want to go a poo, then birth probably isn't too far away.
Then she had another strong contraction, then another – they were one minute apart…
So I turned on my breezy, “relax – everything is fine, nothing to worry about” personality and quickly phoned Control to see when the ambulance was. I was told it was on it's way and they turned up pretty quickly, but by then birth was too close, so we decided to “stay and play”.
A midwife was called for, and she told Control she would make her way there in her own car. I do have a slight problem with this. If an ambulance crew needs a midwife, it's generally as an emergency, otherwise we transport the patient to hospital. If it's an emergency then shouldn't we pick up the midwife and get her to the job on Blue lights and sirens?
The ambulance paramedic and myself let the ambulance EMT do must of the mucky work. Not because we are cruel (particularly), but because it was his first ambulance delivery, and it's a good experience.
A lovely baby girl was born at 10:29, and we let the father cut the umbilical cord.
Then, after all the screaming, poo, blood, fluid and pain, the midwife turned up.
Luckily for us the birth was uncomplicated – it took maybe a shade longer than I like, and apparently the birth fluid was stained green (to my eyes it looked normal, but then I do have strong prescription glasses). The fluid being green means that the baby may have pooed while being born, and that could be a sign of distress.
I also managed to use all my very bad jokes during the delivery, which is a sign of how long the delivery took, because I have a lot of bad jokes.
It's always good to be involved in the birth of a baby, everyone is happy, you hopefully end up with a pretty little baby, and dad normally bounds around taking photos of everything. It always feels like a “job well done”.
We don't get much training with birthing, and when we do deliver it's normally in an awkward place, with poor lighting and loads of people panicking. It'd be nice if our training encompassed a little time in a maternity unit, rather than sitting in a classroom for a morning.
But in an uncomplicated birth, it really is a case of just catching them as they pop out.
Anyway – I gave me a big grin on my face for the next few hours.