I promised you a post that will make you laugh this week. These are the 10 funniest things I can recall happening in labour that I look back on fondly and usually taught me a lot too.
1. Got Caught By A Much More Sensible Midwife Doing My 'I Caught A Baby' Dance
*cough* I was a highly respected member of that team.
I was in a weird position listening in. Apologised to the woman and it really helped with rapport. She thought it was hysterical and I'm there saying 'we all have a body and sometimes they make funny sounds. Sorry!'
3. Got Force Fed Curry (separate incident to (2.) )
There was absolutely no option not to be fed curry during this birth. Female family and mother in law insisted. It was Peshwari naandatory.
This was in New Zealand. I thought the woman had got really active with contractions and was thrashing the bed around! But no, it was a 6.5 magnitude earthquake and the whole building was moving. Normal Birth few hours after, perhaps it helped a little?
5. Was There When A Teenager Bit Her Partner
Repeatedly in fact, during contractions. He must have been black and blue afterwards (she didn’t break the skin but they were still hard bites) but though we offered to give her something else to bite on, they both refused. Maybe he felt it was helpful like he was looking after and protecting her a la Mark Harris? Or even liked it a little bit? Who knows.
6. Was Too Persuasive
I asked a woman from Pakistan if she’d like a bath to help with the pain. Language barrier fun ensued. So I showed her the bath and pointed at it as I thought that would communicate better? At which point she stepped fully clothed into an empty bath, looking at me as if to say ‘now what?’
It's astounding really how much power we can have over clients if we don’t think carefully.
7. Got Kicked In The Head
This woman had no idea at all. She was on a mat, reclined and supported by a beanbag and there was no-one else in the birth room, as she didn't have a birth partner. Mid-contraction she moved heftily and kicked her foot and caught my head as I was kneeling nearby writing my notes. I was reeling and seeing stars but luckily I pulled myself back from the brink of passing out with a few minutes before the baby was born!
8. With The CTG On..
The husband was looking at the CTG print out and asked ‘and where’s the bit where it says how many cm dilated she is and when the baby’s going to be born?’
Yeah…they haven’t invented that setting yet.
This was a bizarre one and had me in awe of what women can do. A Mum came in with her second baby on board, and had previously had a caesarean. She was about 3cm, but it was decided she was going to have an early epidural – fair enough.
While we were getting the room ready, she got onto her hands and knees (that should have been my warning really) and went very very quiet. She had a sheet over her bottom half. I came in with blood pressure cuff and it must have been less than 5 minutes from when her arriving – and there was the slightest of bulges under the sheet that made me ask if I could have a look.
The baby's head was fully out. I never would've believed it if I hadn't have been there.
This woman came in a beautiful dress and fully done up with fake eyelashes and curled hair. Amazing, she made it through the wedding and came in about 7cm from what I remember. Brought a new meaning to that Ina May Gaskin quote 'if a woman doesn't look like a goddess in labour, someone's not treating her right!'
I hope you enjoyed these moments as much as I did. The moral of the story here is be ready for anything and to apologise at a moment's notice. And that intrapartum care is all about what the woman wants!
Now I'd love to hear from you.
Leave me a comment telling me what the funniest thing that has happened to you when looking after a client, friend or family member in labour - or do you have any funny moments from your own labour to share?
Looking forward to posting for you next week, sending you all my best for this week,