Monday, April 19, 2010

This and that, the update.

Dear blogfriends, please forgive the subheadings, there's a lot to tell.

MIDWIFERY
I made arrangements for me to back up at some planned homebirths early this year. That period has now ended and the score is: Homebirths occurred 3, homebirths attended by me 1.5.

Yeah I know....bummer eh? I was ready, willing and waiting, sleeping with the phone by me and knew they were on. The first I managed to see all the way through as you saw in my previous post. It was stripped back and simple and lovely. The second went into labour overdue by a couple of weeks. The primary midwife attended and was in communication with me, I was ready to leave at a moment's notice, the house was 40 mins from my place. She laboured quietly apparently and was well attended by family. There was radio silence for a while, then an "uuummmm, she went from nothing to pushing and 2 pushes later....ta-da!" So great for her, a first-timer, to birth so well, I'm thrilled for them all, really. But......

The third was a second baby and the first had been really quick. Less than an hour quick! So I was poised to possibly be the first one there as I live closer to her. I am still doing my regular job as well, and we have been trusting to the universe that it will all work out. Phut! The universe clearly didn't get my memo about a late/early split shift last week followed by eight days off which were coinciding with the due date. So when the phone rang at 5.10am I thought it was the alarm gone off early.......Then slammed upright when I blurrily saw that it was the first midwife calling! OOoh, decisions, decisions - she was really quick with the first one, I've got time for her to pop it out and still get to work on time. I committed and dashed out. I got there at 5.27 and she was labouring, but still smiling. Things hotted up, then quietened down, as they do, but my start time was approaching.....I called in that I would be late, and mentally made up my mind that I would stay for now, but that if the birth wasn't imminent at 7.30 I would slip away and the other midwife would call a different midwife to back up. And so it went. Bummer. The baby was born at 9.13am. It would have been too much of a stretch to be that late for work.

So the experience I have gained is of providing antenatal and postnatal care in the community, and also intrapartum care in the woman's own home. I have witnessed one homebirth (my second). It was good. I can see the learning curve before me should I choose to continue to work in this field. I need to gather a lot more equipment. I could easily become used to doing less with women, as they take a lot more responsibility for their own issues than women I usually see through the hospital setting. There is less 'routine' assessment and more reliance on behavioural changes in labour. Spontaneous and physiological, just the way it should be. All the usual assessments are there, just less VEs and when they were done (by the primary MW) they were at points when I would have done them to clarify issues as well.

There is no shortage of work out there. With upcoming changes to maternity service provision by the federal government there are many opportunities for midwives to set up in group practices with Medicare provider numbers and limited prescribing rights, as long as they are deemed 'eligible' (a nebulous description, yet to be fully defined but being worked on furiously) and hold professional indemnity insurance, which will not cover them to birth anywhere but in a hospital. This has recently been released for a cost of $7500 per annum full time cover. Stay tuned! I do plan to become eligible - in fact if I was doing my PD instead of blogging it would happen sooner.

I have also been continuing to work with a group planning the commencement of a midwifery group practice in our hospital, hopefully by mid-year. It has to be signed off by roughly 47,000 people including doctors but I think we're up to 35, 766 signatures and the work is all downhill from here! This would be groundbreaking in this state, and I have seen my name on the sample rosters so it may come true! Can't wait.

HEALTH
Twice this year I have had my life flash before my eyes and prepared for my imminent death.

I wish I was kidding.

What I have learned from this is that my husband really needs a cell phone. So the kids CAN in theory contact him when he is in Sydney for a conference and Mum has died of a stroke. As it was I managed to get an appointment with the GP and get a presciption for antihypertensives just before it blew out any blood vessels in my brain, but I suspect it was close. It was extremely unpleasant. I then developed an attractive rash from the meds and changed them a week later. They remain effective.

The second time was when I was woken by upper abdo pain and thought I was going to throw up. I decamped to the loo whereupon I had an 'episode' of tingling, profuse sweating, pins and needles in my face and arms and extreme lightheadedness and a sense of impending doom. Visions of Elvis abounded and I was convinced I was about to have a heart attack. This was in the very early hours of the morning after our daughter's 21st party, so waking a still inebriated husband was quite challenging, as I swooned on the toilet and resorted to banging the glass screen repeatedly while moaning. After a while I managed to croak out his name loud enough and he stumbled out to find me. An ambulance was called and I was whisked off. It turned out to be a vaso-vagal event (they think) as my heart was fine and my blood pressure was elevated but not catastrophic. Phew. I felt sheepish, but would have felt worse if I hadn't paid attention to it. I have seen someone have a fatal coronary and I felt how they looked....so I did the best I could to get help. It lasted about 10-15 minutes (I think) but it was really scary, and I'm grateful it was something benign.

I have discovered that I am not ready to die.

BIRTHDAYS
My son turned 24. He is a sweetie and good company. Please God, let him pass this last semester at uni. He has a girlfriend. There is much 'noise' coming from his bedroom. There is often another mouth to feed. It is OK.

My daughter turned 21. We had the party we planned except for the fact that the pizza oven was too wide to fit through the gate (or the gate was too narrow for the oven to pass). We were flexible about this and luckily had a wide driveway and a paved frontyard that could be rapidly put to use as the pizzeria. A Good Time was had by all, pizza was made, cooked and consumed with gusto if not in the same square metreage of yard. Tromping through the house was expected anyway. The back patio was gorgeous and people mixed and mingled at the tables we set up. We did two big photoboards for her which were fantastic to do. She received some lovely gifts. People continue to wish her well. This is good.

STORM DAMAGE
The skylight is fixed. A Man came from 50km away to do it. The SES had arrived a few days after the storm and covered and secured it with thick black plastic for which we were grateful. The car remains dented. This PITA is likely to continue to be so for a while as I am too busy to submit a claim.

TRAVELS
WE are taking a family holiday in June to Sydney and Uluru. It will be great! 3 nights in Sydney doing tyouristy things, then a 3 day camping safari around Uluru, The Olgas and King's Canyon. The family will then leave from Alice Springs while I stay there for a national conference. Its all good.

SILVER
Somehow it seems I will have been married for 25 years on May 5th. To the same man. Lucky, eh? Preparations abound for a celebratory dinner. Followed by our trip a few weeks later.

PHOTOS may follow for all the above, but right now I have to go to work. Which was evacuated a few nights ago due to a fire. I wasn't working, but it looked like a nightmare! I'll hear all about it today.

Its all go around here!

6 comments:

Frogdancer said...

My God! I'm glad you're not yet ready to die. That's a good thing to know about yourself...

Janet said...

Goodness!!! How scary and painful!

Fortunately it sounds like you are still well and truly planted in the land of the living!

Stomper Girl said...

Blimey Laura! Glad you made it through the near-deaths and the 21st! Now please take care of yourself!

InfoMidwife said...

Wow what a time you have had, missed opportunities but learned experiences.....health...life is in your hands...lesson...take care of self (like I can talk,,,not)...and wonderful family times...thats what life is about...but none of this can happen if you don't look after number 1.....yes I know practice what you preach.....lol xx

rhubarbwhine said...

What a lovely long newsy post, I feel like I am enmeshed in your life. I have to tell you, you look fantastic in your photo and look how long your hair has grown! YOu look quite radiant. x

em.s said...

wow. you have been busy :) make sure you're looking after yourself through all this! I am about to start reading another book on birthing. Will let you know how I go. I want a 'different' kind of preparation this time round :)