July 22nd, 2003.  I started blogging.

While it was only three years ago, it feels that I have been blogging all my life – one of the side effects of having such a poor memory.

I did have a considered blogpost for today, it was about looking through old photographs of girls I’d had a crush on at school or at my swimming club and wondering where I might be today if I’d actually managed to go out with any of them.  I wondered how my life might have changed if I’d married and had children, its a near certainty that I wouldn’t be blogging, or indeed that I’d be in the ambulance service. 

However it was vaguely maudlin post and not very interesting to anyone but myself.

Then last night I had a job that seemed much more fitting…

The call was to a 28 year old female who had ‘Fallen down, unable to get up’.  So far, so dull – we drove to the house on blue lights as, for some reason, it was rated as a high priority job.  As an aside, one of my pet hates is that a little old lady who has fallen over and is stuck on the floor without any physical injury gets a very low priority, while a 20 year old with a cough is often a high priority.

So we arrive at the house, grab our bag full of equipment and make our way inside.  A man is standing outside hopping from foot to foot.  He’s saying something about ‘she’s had it’, and , ‘funny breathing’.  We fully expect to see a woman laying on the floor having a panic attack.

We climb the stairs into a room full of mattresses and clothes lying around the floor.  There are four females in the room.  Our patient, her sister, a next door neighbour…

…and a newborn baby girl, still attached to the mother by a glistening umbilical cord.

Time to switch into action mode.

I jogged back to the ambulance to get our childbirth delivery packs while my crewmate started to assess the patients, he is only a couple of months out of training school but handled himself really well.  He cut the cord and I looked after the baby while he took care of the woman.  My immediate impression was that everything had gone smoothly.  The mother had minimal bleeding and with a bit of rubbing on my part the baby soon ‘pinked up’ and didn’t seem to be in any sort of distress.

I spoke to our Control on the phone and they promised us a midwife.  In a case like this, what we normally do is get a midwife out to assess the mother and child and do the normal things that occur in the hospital, then if they are happy with both patients we can leave them at home.  Much nicer than taking them to the hospital when the dangerous part is already passed.

However, the midwife seemed to be taking a bit of a time to arrive.

Here is a rough time-line.

00:10 Baby born.

00:15 We arrive, experience mild panic.

00:16 Cord cut, everyone is happy.

00:20 Ask for midwife.

01:00 Ask where midwife is – Control tell us that there is difficulty in getting one.

01:30 Still waiting

02:00 Are informed that there is a midwife who will come out.  Midwife is waiting for taxi as there are no ambulances available to bring her to scene.

02:40 Midwife arrives, does various technical things.

03:00 We are clear from scene and are ready to do another job.


The mother was in occasional pain from needing to deliver the placenta and didn’t want to hold the baby.  The father was worried that he would drop the baby.  So it was up to me to cuddle the baby and keep it warm while awaiting the midwife.  So for three hours I was left holding the baby.

Thankfully the baby was very content, it didn’t cry at all.  As I was looking down at probably the fourth job where I have had to deal with a birth at home it occurred to me that the child was born just as my own ‘baby’ turned three years old.  It seems that the Universe sometimes has a sense of poetry.

Strange the things you think when you have nothing to do for a couple of hours.

I have an idea of why the call didn’t come down to us as a ‘birth at home’.  I imagine that the sister phoned for the ambulance, said something about the patient lying on the floor, which the calltaker then typed into the computer.  Then the sister told the calltaker that the baby was coming out and so the calltaker had to talk the sister through the fun and games of childbirth.  They were then so busy that while they bumped the priority of the call up for immediate dispatch, they forgot to type in that the woman was having her baby.

Perfectly understandable, and it’s nice to be surprised every so often.

13 thoughts on “Blogaversary”

  1. “What might have been” is certainly interesting.Yes, you could have been married at 20, divorced at 22, a grandfather by now…

    Though wouldn't you have to have been a totally dfferent person before you dared get close to the girls in the first place?

    I certainly appreciate the blogging version of you. But I guess I wish you personal happiness in your life, even if a serious relationship might stop the blogging. (Someone should be so lucky as to catch you.)

  2. Why would a family (I'm particularly thinking about the new dad and the new auntie) prefer the ambulance staff to cuddle their newborn?If you think your blog is a baby then perhaps you're lacking something in your life…

  3. Congratulations on both counts. I was just studying that particular topic (childbirth) yesterday. Since becoming an EMT, it often terrifies me what small details I'm supposed to remember for things I'll do so infrequently. With the LAS, you may get to deliver or witness delivery quite a few times in your career. As a rural EMT, the chances are slim (though it has happened for others on my service). I feel the constant need to restudy such things in the hope that should an opportunity come my way, I'll be able to swing smoothly into action. It also goes to show that you should always take everything dispatch tells you with a large grain of salt.

  4. Actually you'd be amazed at the amount of terror induced by a helpless wriggling bundle of new baby.

  5. and OMG my blog has been hijacked by Frank the central heating guy …… oh well he'll probably keep it up to date more than I did 🙁

  6. Should someone 'catch' me (like a bad disease), then theywill have to put up with (a) shift work, (b) my personality, and (c) blogging/writing.No relationship will stop me doing this.

  7. Yes – I appear to be lacking a poo-making machine that leads to sleepless nights…Where can I get one? They sound like so much fun!

    (Although this blog has given me the odd sleepless night when it hasn't been working properly).

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