Thursday, August 19, 2010

Everest Base Camp

I have had one hell of a week. In a good way.

I had a job interview on Monday with a publicly funded homebirth program, one that has led the way for their model of care, one that has been replicated across the country. It has always been my goal to work for them, when I had enough experience. I was encouraged to apply. I applied with my fingers crossed. I thought 'well, if I get an interview I'll be pleased, and I might be a chance, but I will be hysterical if I truly get it'.

I got the job.

Yep. You read it right.

I got the job, my dream job.

And now the climb, the steep learning curve really begins.

I am skipping with happiness.

I wrote my resignation letter, and handed it in person to all my managers. Then I howled on and off about leaving all my lovely workmates that I have shared so much with. Each day since, I have broken the news to a new set of people. Its very exciting.

And then, yesterday to top it off, and just when I was lamenting that I would not catch another baby at my hospital, one of my women on the ward went into precipitate labour while I was at tea. I returned to hear her distressed behind her curtain in the shared 4-bed room. She nearly clawed my arm off and it was clear she was nearly ready to push. Which was a bit of a shame ... because only 2 hours before she had signed for a repeat CS, especially if she laboured. I notified the coordinator that we needed to move, like NOW, and returned to her with a pair of gloves, just in case. She was in the throes of another contraction. She clung to the coordinator, who talked her through it, then she allowed me to examine her - wa-hey! Fully dilated and a breech close to the world. Seemed a shame to waste a perfectly good CS on a baby who had plans for exit via an alternate route.

We ran with her on the bed to LBS and shanghaied a passing consultant as we skidded around a corner. I found the first empty room and we pushed the bed through the curtain, pulled a warm baby blanket bundle out and threw it on the heater. Then I changed gloves and returned to the woman still on her ward bed and peeked under the sheet - and there was a breech on view. She crawled across onto the birthing bed. I waved my ward coordinator goodbye, and volunteered to stay as the only other midwife around was having her first day at work. The LBS coordinator assembled a team of paediatricians and spare hands, and I urged her to ignore everyone else and focus on me, which she managed really well, and I spoke quietly and encouraged her to go for it, and praised her to the eyeballs. The consultant stood next to me, and talked me through the birth, giving a small hand here and there. And so . . . . I caught my second VBAC breech baby! All pretty textbook. This one was close to term so the maneuvres were harder than last time, but it all went smoothly. I would have preferred a hands off approach, but in that setting it was never gonna happen, and honestly it was an excellent result.

I was utterly thrilled! The woman was shocked but delighted. I handed over to the afternoon staff and tottered back to the ward to pick up the threads of my day, after a very adventurous 90 minutes away! The staff were all agog, it was the talk of the hospital that a midwife had done this birth! The young doctors were high-fiving me, and were delighted to have seen a vaginal breech birth. My manager came back from lunch and told the tale, only to find out it had happened to one of her ward patients with one of her midwives! She then got the full story straight from the horse's mouth.

I saw the woman again today and she is glowing, just radiant that her body worked and that she could give birth vaginally, and that she could be up and about and so well, rather than recovering from surgery. Baby was in nursery for a day or so, but he is nearly ready to come up to the ward! 2.35kg nearly 36 weeker. We congratulated each other on our cleverness, and had a big hug. She is such a darling, and was so brave during her 'amazing experience'. My sixty-ninth baby. Her second. Unforgettable.

I'll miss this place, but I'm looking forward to exploring the big world outside and I know that whatever the setting....I love being a midwife.


Linda said...

Congratulations on the new job and the breech birth!! What an exciting week or two. I look forward to hearing more through your blog (which I just love!)
Lurking Linda

mtnchild said...

Great going Laura Jane!!! I'm very happy you got your dream job and look forward to hearing things as they progress.

What a terrific job you did on the breech birth. Talk about going out with a bang!! Glad Mom & Baby are doing great.


Lesley said...

Wow! Can't wait to see you (I'm painting at Maggie's today, Friday, in case you're at home for five minutes).
So very very thrilled and excited for you. Though I TOLD YOU you'd get it! Who wouldn't jump to have you on the team?
I've missed your birth stories and this one's a corker!

Fairlie said...

Wow! Congratulations both on snagging the dream job and getting that mum and bub through the breech birth. Legendary!

Stomper Girl said...

Wow, the VBAC breech story was fantastic. Well done you all. And big, big congratulations on the dream job. Great news and I hope it is everything you hope for xx

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for you getting that job with the community midwives!!!! When I get to have another child (wont be for a while yet) I'll ask for you :)

What a brilliant breech birth! You must be so stoked with it. Midwifery really is the best job ever :)

persiflage said...

Congratulations on both job and birth - so exciting, and both wonderful achievements.

victoria said...

Woo hoo! Big congratulations! New adventures!!!

em.s said...

congrats on the job and even bigger congrats on catching that breech baby! what an experience for you as a midwife. I have tingles!

I am only two weeks away from due date and have been feeling lots of tightening over the last few weeks. That tightening now has some cramping associated with it, but still comes and goes way too irregularly. Fingers crossed it won't be long before we meet our little bundle xx

Debby said...

A job well done! And more awaits! There is nothing more exciting that living a purpose-filled life, barreling on towards the next big adventure. I'm very happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new job! And what a great story of the breech birth!

InfoMidwife said...

Congrats my friend.... you will be fantastic.... a wonderful new journey for are well and truely ready.

Jennifer said...

I am thoroughly delighted for you both in landing your dream job (but of course!), and for finishing up at the current one with such aplomb. The universe is fortunate to have you in it!

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I missed this post. Sorry. Adding my congratulations to the fold. xxx