2am. Yes, it is always 2am. Midwife receives phone call from mom in labor. After brief conversation, midwife asks mom to meet her at birth center to check things out - hoping that mom understands instructions from half-asleep-midwife. Stumbles in dark trying to find clean scrubs. Remembers to dump the last of the dog food in a dish for her grateful puppy. Brushes teeth with coffee from microwave. Grabs phone and keys and heads out the door.
Midwife is used to driving while mostly asleep and could probably make entire trek to birth center with eyes closed if the stop lights operated in her favor. Traffic is light. Krispy Kreme is open. . .hmmmmm, no, better not. Takes swig of semi-warm coffee.
Midwife remembers alarm code (whew!) and enters the dark building. The birth center is quite nice at 2am, so quiet and homey. After turning on a few lights, Midwife remembers she forgot to bring anything to eat and rummages through the kitchen looking for co-worker leftovers. That leftover Guthrie's salad is a top candidate, but she settles on some peanut butter and a few crackers. And warms another cup of coffee.
Midwife is awakened from short nap on kitchen table by the ringing of the door bell. She meets the cutest couple EVER carrying 3 suitcases, 4 pillows, a diaper bag, and a carseat for their approximately 6-24 hour stay. New parents never travel light, you know. Their excitement is overflowing. They are ready to meet their baby! Midwife is instantly recharged.
After a quick check, it is determined that this is the lucky day! Parents call and text all 47 family members to share this exciting development. Midwife fills out paperwork and helps parents get settled into their birth room of choice. Midwife is still in awe of the process of birth. She knows that every birth is as unique as the parents who are a part of it. She has enjoyed these many months of creating a relationship with this mom and her family. She is grateful to be a part of this very special day in their lives.
Midwife spends next several hours hanging out with the lucky couple, checking on the baby and the progress of mom's labor, talking about books and movies, and practicing comfort techniques and positions for contractions. From time to time, she steps out to eat a snack (Midwife discovered some candy from last year's Walk for Healthy Babies hidden in a closet - yippee!) and return a few phone calls. And most importantly, check her Facebook status updates. The sun is starting to come up and she peeks at it through a window in the birth room.
Mom's labor is progressing and Midwife suggests that she get into the birth tub. Dad decides to put on his swim shorts and join her. As they relax in the tub, Midwife practices sitting on the birth ball. It is also a handy-dandy 'portable chair' and she's gotten quite good at using it without falling into the tub. She looks down at her shoes and is happy that they match. Her socks do not.
It is way past lunch and Midwife has only eaten a few peanut butter crackers and cherry Laffy Taffy. The caffeine effect is wearing off. Midwife gets lucky and finds a can of soup hidden in the kitchen. She makes a mental note to replace it next time she goes to the store. Oh, and get more dog food. And laundry detergent. She pops the soup into the microwave.
Just as the soup is hot enough to eat, Mom calls out to Midwife. She is ready to start pushing. Midwife leaves her pilfered can of soup and uses her cell phone to call the nurse to come in to the birth center.
Mom and Dad are even more excited as family members arrive to witness their baby's grand entrance. Midwife helps them all find a place to sit or stand and explains how things will progress. Things are really speeding up now and Midwife has hit her second wind (or third or fourth, she's lost count) and is ready for the delivery. The nurse arrives and gives the midwife a chance for a quick bathroom visit. It is easy to forget those things when you're busy!!
After a short time, the baby's head begins to emerge. Midwife is ready to catch this baby! Her arms, up to her elbows and sometimes shoulders, are deep in the tub (and she very happy to know that there are extra scrubs to change into after.) With one final push, the baby enters the world! Midwife lifts the baby to his mother's chest and checks him over. Perfect! And sits back on her birth ball to enjoy the moment. This is what its all about, afterall. Healthy mom, healthy baby, new and happy family!
Midwife looks down and realizes she will definitely need those new scrubs. But hey, what is that in her front pocket.? It is her dripping wet cell phone. Oops.
After posing for at least 24 pictures with her latest adorable catch (cutest baby EVER), Midwife spends 20 minutes with hair dryer trying desperately to save doomed cell phone. After researching new replacement cell phones on the internet, she uses birth center phone to call kind friend to take puppy for walk and clean-up after 16 hours being trapped inside. Makes mental note to buy friend dinner. Expensive dinner.
Midwife looks through assortment of scrubs in utility closet. Only finds small purple tops and XXXL orange bottoms. Oh well. At least they are dry. Makes yet another mental note to keep spare scrubs in car.
Very excited new family orders pizza for dinner and generously offers some to ravenously hungry midwife. Four slices later, Midwife is satisfied.
After returning 18 phone messages and completing a couple hours of charting, Midwife is ready to go home. She stops in to say goodbye to baby and parents and receives hugs and thanks from family and friends. She proudly signs birth certificate (loves that part) and takes a few more pictures before leaving.
Midwife drives away half-asleep in the dark, a familiar feeling. She stops and picks up her brand new cell phone (third one this year) and drives by two grocery stores. Was she supposed to get something at the. . .naaaaa. Her puppy is very excited to see her and has brought gifts - a chewed up sock that matches one of the socks she is wearing and an empty food bag. Oops.
After feeding puppy leftover Chinese for dinner, Midwife slides into the covers of her bed and just before sleep wins, she smiles. Through the exhaustion, she has one feeling. The life of a midwife. . .yep, it's all worth it.
And then at 2am, her brand new cell phone rings.
Meet the fearless (sleep deprived and usually hungry) midwives of the
Lisa Ross Birth & Women's Center
Lisa Ross Birth & Women's Center
|Lisa Blount, CNM|
|Addie Graham, CNM|
|Linda Cole, CNM|
|Heather Walker, CNM|
|Laura Muir, CNM|