“I’m looking for a midwife, can you help?”
Suzanne was 40 weeks into her 3rd pregnancy when she called me looking for a midwife using those exact words
There was concern in her voice, she was worried that she hadn’t seen a health professional for a number of weeks and had lots of questions.
We agreed to meet the next day at her home to answer her questions and to ensure that she and the baby were well. But, she rang back later to cancel as she thought that her labour had started and no longer needed a visit. The relationship between a midwife and a woman is a very special one. It’s amazing how close you become in such a short space of time, even after a 10-minute phone call. I didn’t want to intrude on her birthing journey, so I just sent her a quick text later to make sure she was ok. All was well and she would let me know when the baby arrived.
Call me nosey or conscientious, but with no news overnight, I wanted to know that Suzanne and her baby were ok. Suzanne was soon back on the phone. Her birthing journey had stopped and she was now a little more concerned, questioning why the labour had stopped and wanted to know if anything was wrong? The tone in her voice was enough for me to jump into the car and head over to her place. An hour later a concerned, heavily pregnant lady and a bouncy blonde Labrador welcomed me. I’m not sure who was more pleased to see me!
Over the next 90 minutes, I listened to her worries, managed to answer all her questions, checked she was clinically well and confirmed that her baby was also well. The relief was evident on her face and I saw her body physically relax – job done!
The rest of the family joined us and I helped the children listen to their baby’s heartbeat. We said our good byes and 48 hours later, her daughter was born by the fabulous hospital team at Royal Berks.
No one can say how or why labour stops and starts, but it’s certainly not unusual. Perhaps Suzanne needed her questions and concerns to be answered before allowing her body to relax and the oxytocin to flow.
Whether intentional or not, people can assume that an “experienced” mum like Suzanne will sail through her latest pregnancy. Been there, got the t-shirt! But when you think about it, why should that be the case?
I’ve certainly met women who already have kids that do have very uneventful pregnancies. No word of a lie, I had one woman whose first words as she arrived at the delivery suite was to tell me that she had her Sunday roast in the oven and wanted to be back in time to serve it up to her family – and she did!
But equally, every woman is unique and pregnancy is an individual experience for the woman and her family. As a midwife, you need time to listen to the woman, consider each situation and adapt your care to suit. There is no right or wrong way to behave during pregnancy and prior experience guarantees very little. Suzanne just needed a little help and reassurance at a key moment and who has the right to judge whether she should need that or not?
“ I approached Emma as I was in desperate need for advice and help. Because I was expecting my third child my local midwife didn’t see me as often and as thoroughly as I would have liked. When I was overdue I really needed a professional to talk to and help me. I called Emma and she was able to come out and see me the following day. Although I cancelled the appointment (thinking I was in labour) she kept in touch and enquired how I was. A day later when I was still pregnant Emma visited me and talked me through all the options I had and medically assessed me and reassured me that everything was ok. Emma was very professional and helpful, I highly recommend her services…thank you”