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.
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.