So it seems that many of you are either very clever, or have been reading this blog for a long time.
Yesterday was incredibly busy, there were a lot of ambulances off the road because there was not enough staff to man them, and there were only two RRUs in the area. One of which was me, and so I was being run from one side of my patch to the other all day. I don't mind driving miles, as it's always entertaining to race through the streets on blue lights.

My last job was a maternataxi in one of the 'less exclusive' parts of town, my patch touches on both the highest and lowest income areas in London. This place was within sight of where multi-billion pound deals are made.

It was a small flat, and the family were about to prepare to break the Ramadan fast. The young patient was having contraction pains, and her waters had just broken. She was being looked after by her neighbour, and on immediate inspection there was nothing much to worry about.

'Hmmm', I thought, 'She's pretty close to giving birth though'.

Contractions were about two minutes apart, and were lasting one minute each. Still, at least she didn't have the urge to push.

Time passed…

No ambulance arrived.

More time passed…

Still no ambulance.

I phoned up my Control.

'Hi there, EC50 here on a labour. If there is a truck on the way, they might want to bring the carry chair with them', I was up in the clouds in a block of flats, so I didn't want to have them running down to get the chair when the mother was getting close to that 'I can't walk' moment.

The patient groaned and said something in her own language.

'She wants to push', translated the neighbour, but looking at the patient I didn't need that translation.

'I think we'd be better off in the bedroom…', I suggested.

But the patient didn't want to struggle up the stairs.

Now my job changed from reassuring the patient, to reassuring the patient that, should it come to it, having a baby at home wasn't going to be a problem, especially because the kitchen was fairly clean*. I mean, a kitchen is much easier than the back of a car, at night, with no streetlights.

I really wanted to examine the patient to see how near the birth was – but I'm always a bit respectful that Muslim women don't particularly want me poking around in their nether regions. If the ambulance didn't arrive soon though, I'd have no choice.

The ambulance arrived.

Luckily one of the crew was female, and so I told them what was happening, and that the female crewmember might want to have a little look at what was happening before we tried moving her out of the labyrinth of a tower block we were in.

Us men left the room. Then we heard her say that the baby was 'crowning'. Birth was going to be a few minutes away.

I opened the maternity pack that I always bring with me on calls like this, and we laid the patient down on the kitchen floor. I phoned for a midwife, while the ambulance crew delivered the baby.

They made much less of a mess than I normally do.

A perfectly happy, healthy baby girl, a happy mother, a happy neighbour and an even happier aunt.

From waters breaking to delivery in under 45 minutes. Not too shabby.

The midwife was delivered by another ambulance (traveling on a flat tyre for the last part of the journey) and I left them to check out both the baby and mother, and to deal with the delivery of the placenta. I was no longer needed.

* Cleaner than my kitchen anyway.

18 thoughts on “Preggers”

  1. hurrah for happy healthy babies and mothers and aunties! Although I must say that I hope that if/when I get to the baby-having thing, I'm in a hospital with lots of specialist staff, drugs, equipment etc.

  2. I am with you 100% on that one!! While we're vaguely on the subject, apparantly the Scientology religion states that women who follow the religion must give birth SILENTLY and with NO pain relief. If the baby hears loud noise as it is born then it will be mentally scarred for life.Sod that, get me drugs!!! Give the baby ear muffs if you wish, but get me drugs!!!

  3. Woo! What a nice story. Just what I needed. Nice to hear you are sensitive enough to consider others' cultural needs. A lot of people wouldn't bother. Top Bloke.BTW, I said “Heroin overdose” in answer to the question… I think that probably says something about me. Depressed, would be about right. Hehe! Pessimist too!


  4. blimey, I'd come up with a million reasons why I'd delay poking about pregnent ladies nether regions.. GET ME A MIDWIFE.. NOW.I was once in the car park at work on my way home when I was attaked by a man bear hugging me, so as I broke away about to plonk this geeza he screams “my wifes having a baby” and sure enough in the car opposite a lady was indeed having a baby. so I called the switchboard on my mobile and at the “input the extention you require” dialed the internal emergency number. Cue Security with midwifes. Hurray for midwifes.

  5. I was about to EMail Reynolds with this but then he posted his tale.

    In some parts of the UK 'Ambulance' translates to 'Lifeboat'. As a Lifeboat fan I've seen several stations who spend a lot of time ferrying casualties from islands and isolated communities as well as ships and smaller vessels.

  6. These here comment verification codes are a bit spooky. I was thinking of adding a second comment on your previous post, suggesting all the places you listed were where you found a dead body / dying person. The comment verification letters were a shorthand version of “funeral”, so I decided against it.

  7. excellent post. and kudos for being aware of the lady's sensitivities, particularly in times of emergency.oreos

  8. It is good to read a happy story, especially when it comes to babies (cue the cooing).Tom you are a bit of a boy racer then are you? Are you restricted in speed when on blues and twos or do you just drive at a speed you consider safe for the conditions, I'd be interested in knowing.

    The Driving Instructor

  9. When on blue lights my speed is essentially unlimited (although I can still get nicked for 'dangerous driving'). My own safety, and the safety of the idiots who tend to step out in front of me tends to limit my speed though…Safety first – it'll be embarrassing to post pictures of my motor wrapped around a lamppost.

    If the call is for something that I think is actually serious, then I'll make a bit more of an effort to 'make progress'.

    I did work out my average speed on emergency calls once. I think it was 22mph.

    (In my own car I stick to the speed limit…)

  10. my dad was a firefighter (now medically retired and living in the Canary Islands) and either he or a colleague (I forget which) was charged with dangerous driving while on their way to a shout – the charge was brought by a member of the public and he took it all the way to court. It was thrown out.

  11. My grandad once delivered someone's baby in their home – however, he was a postman at the time. Fortunately he had first aid training and had also been some sort of medic in the war.Kirsty

  12. Erm… Well Mr Thayne isn't the best loved person in the ambulance service at the moment, so there is a general bit of merriment at his unfortunate (but thankfully no major injury) crash.Two jobs in the past 12 years or so…Wish my workload was like that…

    And I don't hold any sort of advanced driving certificate, just a firm belief that I'm fairly careful, and would rather reach a patient in 9 minutes rather than not at all.

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