Saturday, January 19, 2008

my first birth...and no baby!

On Thursday night, around 10:30 pm, my midwife called the house. When I said "Hello?" she said "LEt's go!" and I was off!

***I just started apprenticing with her, and there was only one woman pregnant/due, 41 3/4 weeks with her 4th baby, so I have been awaiting this phonecall, hoping it wasnt on a night I work****

Out of my nice warm jammies and into the cold, cold night, I had so much adrenaline I was shaking so hard I thought I would break my teeth they were chattering so hard. and it was 16 degrees out and my minivan takes along time to warm up! So down the highway I flew, feeling like a real assistant--very nervous (does this family really want me there? Where do I look? What do I do? What if I sniffle/cough/sneeze and they think I am germy girl? Am I going the right way? DO I knock on the door or just try to slip in? Did they leave it unlocked? Will the mom be all naked, will my arrival disrupt her? Do I smile or act all solemn? Whoa there's my exit already! 25 miles felt like 5)

So I got there and just acted like myself. But quiet and respectful. I tapped lightly and the dad let me in and the mom was just a mom, hanging around and talking in a turtle neck and yoga pants...ok....this is gonna be a long night...(?) but the story goes that she has fast labors, and this was to be her 4th homebirth....she had a few contractions but just stopped and held onto the table and was real quiet for about 60 seconds or so and then would resume chatting...so it was definitely early labor.

Around 12:30 am my midwife examined her, spoke with her, and told her that she needed to get some sleep, and then we drove back to her house (near mine) to hang out and wait a bit. Our being there with the early-labor mom was determined to be not needed or beneficial at the time. So we hung out at midwife's house until 2:30 am until she told me to go home and get some sleep. I got home a little after 3am...told my husband the details...laid there in bed....sort of drifted off, 3:50am....BRRRRRRING!

It was the dad of the pregnant mom, calling me, "I think its time"---so much adrenaline I feel like I am going to be unable to drive. I shouldn't have fallen asleep, but I am pregnant and my kids were getting up in a few hours....so I got back in the minivan and drove back to her house. I got there at about 4:30am and she was in real labor. The pool for waterbirth was filling up, she was really loud and in her laborland, but I had to be back to my town by 6:30 so my husband could get to work at 7am! I whispered this to my midwife and she totally understood... I felt like this return visit was pointless and I felt sad to be missing out on an entire nights sleep AND a birth!

she labored and got into the water, and I actually got to do something helpful which was to help her husband scoop out buckets (soup-pots) of the water from her tub and dump them into the kitchen sink (it was filling with new hotter water but getting too close to the top of the pool!) she didn't seem bothered by us doing this, we were completely silent....

and then I had to leave! I was so bummed and felt like such a weirdo. I got home at 6:40 am and woke up Steve....

as it turns out she had a lovely big healthy baby at 6:30 am and I missed it. We don't have any moms due until me in June, so this one was just poorly prepared for as far as realisticness and childcare, etc.

Bummer. But I still felt cool, like this is something I really really like doing, even if I didnt do anything besides drive up and down the expressway all night.

7 comments:

Jen.b.in.az said...

Aw, bummer! What a strange 1st birth...but I suppose a good intro to the life of a midwife :) I'm nak or I'd say more...

Kelley said...

Well, you definitely tried. I look forward to hearing about it when you are able to be there for the full birth. Of course, I hope we get a blow-by-blow synopsis of your birth, too. :)

mb said...

how exciting for you...regardless! Good luck on this amazing journey to be with women in love and support as they birth life.

blessings
mb

CNH said...

Aw, I'm sorry! I missed my first birth, too. I was photographer and Dad didn't call me until transition. Too long when the birth center was 30 minutes (and a wrong turn) down the road. I got some great shots of after, but I was so bummed. I didn't get to attend another birth for almost 6 months!

kris said...

aww, i'm so sorry you missed it!! maybe something else will come up for the 2 of you sooner.

Judit said...

Oh, the excitement of going to a birth... sorry you missed the baby's entrance! The next one you CAN'T miss ;-)

Mid-life Midwife said...

that's too bad you missed it! finding childcare was such an issue while I apprenticed (and still is every now and then). People always ask: Doesn't being on-call stress you out?
Nope, not at all. However the stress of finding childcare at the drop of a hat will send me to an early grave though!
Hang in there, mama!