Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We now resume normal programming.

Well, Don is back and suddenly all seems right with the world.

It started on Sunday, waiting for his plane to arrive. I'd planned a bit of craft, a project to make Patty a new backpack. He's a pretty individual guy, and his old army surplus store canvas backpack had completely bitten the dust, so I had been planning a new customised one for him - a Janeydoll special (my etsy day I'll pull my finger out and release some stuff for public purchase).

I had thrifted various pieces of denim of all colours, including a very unusual pair of pants that were pieced from 6 different fabrics in denims and corduroys.
I measured the old bag and made a plan, I reused buckles from the old bag, but replaced straps with thrifted canvas belts. Not matched, but blending with the whole. The body was from some denim I had bought to make some pants for Patty 7 years ago, still languishing washed but uncut in the cupboard.
I reinforced and triple-stitched everything. I included back pockets, front pockets, side pockets and internal pockets, snaps and a drawstring cord. It was gorgeous. It took me 5 hours to make it!!!!!
I photographed it with a deal of pride (new camera). I put it aside waiting for him to come over and fall in love....and he said.."Woah! Unusual colours Mum!"
Gulp. "Hmm" he said....."Do you have any more of the checked black denim from the back? I like the stripe but its a bit too much. How about we have a stripe of/some of the pieced panel, but a large inserted piece of the plainer black check?"

This was the least invasive and un-picking alteration that could be made, so I agreed readily. Ten minutes later it was reborn.... and he was RIGHT! I still love it and it looks a bit less crafty-girly- my-Mum-made-me-a-bag-y. See? He would only let me take a quick photo this time.
All this while waiting for my husband's flight, which was diverted from Singapore to Jakarta due to an electrical fault. He finally arrived at 8.30pm, 5 hours late. But its sooooo good to have him home.

I went to work on Monday and GOT A BABY!!!!!!! A first time Mum who was being induced but who progressed really quickly. It was great to see. I had looked after one of her sisters about 9 months ago and caught her baby, and she too laboured very quickly. She was a bit scared to push, but I told her that "yep, this bit is scary, but if it feels scary you're doing it perfectly". So she just did the irresistible and pushed. He crowned slowly and there was only a small internal tear (which is up to God, not me). We were all very excited to welcome baby Xavier, born drug-free after less than an hour of established labour, all 3kg of him. A few stitches, minimal blood loss, never left his Mum's arms while she was being stitched up, pink and gorgeous and alert, gazing at his mum and she at him. Her parents were present for the birth and were very proud of her. I tell ya, those girls in that family birth beautifully. I was so chuffed to catch a baby, I was skipping around LBS high-fiving everyone, they all thought I was a complete loony! I was laughing with delight about whining without a birth and finally I had managed another one!

And not just one! The next day I was working in the assessment area, when a woman attended in earlyn labour after her waters had broken. She had had her last baby IN the assessment area after delaying coming to hospital. So this time she came earlier. There weren't enough staff around on LBS to attend her so I was sent with her...and was delighted to have another spontaneous birth two and a half hours later. She was an African woman, nearly fully veiled, who was delightful and spoke good English. I just encouraged her to walk around and listened in to baby every 20 mins or so. Things hotted up, and I had asked her to let me know when she felt like pushing, so when she did I examined her again and could feel a head of hair quite close to the world and no cervix left. After a few pushes there was no head on view, so I got her up and out of bed to walk a few steps and then she felt notable descent. Not wanting to birth while standing she got back onto the bed and this time there was head on view. She proceeded to gently push the head out followed by a plump little body and her new daughter was born, with much delight in the room. Again, a few internal stitches, but this time for her no episiotomy or major tear of her previously circumcised genitals (done by her grandmother when she was a small girl). She scoffed at the idea of sending her daughters back to Sudan for similar treatment..."they're not doing it nearly so much now, those old women! Its much better to leave them as Allah made them!"

Amen to that. She was an absolute delight to care for and her daughter weighed 4370g (9lbs 10-ish ozs). Woo-hoo! She fed lustily as soon as she could, to our delight. And every time 'aunty Laura' moved her so her Mum could eat lunch or to check her over she would protest loudly! The baby's real aunty in attendance and another friend were also great fun, and we were amused to discover that I would ask questions in English, just as they had been discussing the identical topic in Arabic. Women's business hey?

I had called a second midwife to be present for the birth as a witness, and an experienced clinical midwife arrived with a student midwife on her first day. It was her first witnessed birth, and I'm really pleased she saw that one, as it was well controlled and quite lovely, the woman was great and knew exactly what she was doing, and wasn't too loud or scary. Also it was the first birth I've had in ages where a doctor hasn't even entered the room. Not for any reason. Just midwives, doing their thing. Now I think of it, so was the birth part the day before. Just me and another midwife. Aah, that's better, normal birth IS possible on a good day. Once again I left skipping.

Speaking of what Allah makes...look at this morning's dawn....Don called me out to see it and we cuddled out on the back patio as these few minutes crossed the sky. Rosy and gorgeous hey?
Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Its going to be 37 degrees today.
Then with a minute or so the blue sky was breaking through.

I don't think the cat (here bathed in rosy dawn glory) will spend too much longer on the neighbour's roof!
Have a great day. Stay cool.

PS Remember the woman I told you about last week, who I slow-danced with and she went on to birth with the night shift? She thanked me by name in a birth notice in the paper!!! I'm thrilled to bits - my first!


widget said...

I am so good that things have sorted themselves out. You sound calmer in your writing. Fantastic about babies and bag.

Jennifer said...

Didn't I tell you that you'd always have a place in the birth stories of the women you encounter? How lovely that she reached out to include you so officially. And how nice you were to remake the bag as directed!

Lisa W. said...

fantastic bag! i want! mmmm....nice births...and wonderful recognition of your value! ahhh! and your sky day i'll travel to see the sky from your vantage point....such different color and clarity from the rarified arctic sky! glad your man is back and all's right again with the dh travels too...i can totally sympathize..and celebrate! have a great week!

Alby Mangroves said...

I'm slowly making my way through your past posts... I wish you were my midwife! Maybe if you were, I wouldn't have had to have the emergency CS.. Cheers, Magda