Week 17 – on call at last

Week 17 – on call at last

This week I have been focusing on my role as a birth doula. My new (first birth for both of us) client (another S) has a due date around the middle of September. We are both on a learning curve. Before we met this week I spent a long time working through how I will talk to her and other clients about the different stages of labour and the options that may occur at different points. When it came to it the conversation went all over the place raising lots of questions that I had not previously considered. I could answer some of these; others I had to research. At our second meeting I demonstrated of how we might manage labour pain at different stage and potential positions for delivering the baby. Very glad I did this – helped us to get to know each other and understand our respective physical limitations and boundaries.

We also agreed to jointly go on a tour of the maternity unit where S is due to have her baby. The experience was a reminder of how thinly spread NHS resources are, but also how many lovely people work there. When I rang up to check details for the tour I was told it was cancelled as the unit was too busy and had too few staff. In the end we decided to go any way – if only to work out parking and where S needs to go when she is in labour. But despite clearly being very stretched, and despite the fact we were rather pushing our luck being there at all, all the staff we saw were willing to give S time and to answer our questions – and we were able to see both the delivery and postnatal areas. To the relief of both of us. So now we wait. This is my first week on call since I started my new life and I will be until the baby is born.