Monday, January 29, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Mama # 2 had her baby yesterday! This has been a week of new births in this small area of CT by all accounts. So on getting back on Friday night, I was called away again on Sunday evening. My client's water had broken and they were all set on staying home (I was rooting for this choice to be made) however, within 10 mins they had rung again to say that there was some blood in the water and they were nervous, would I meet them at the hospital?

Nights when I am called away always fill me with such mixed feelings. Of course there is the initial excitement of a new baby, a new labour and birth and new opportunities to help a mother achieve a great birth experience, then intrepidation, for their health and then for staying on the right side of interventions etc etc, then also, that real niggling, sarcastic feeling that I can never get rid of these days of " how long before the epidural, how long before they wave the white flag at me and tell me they no longer want to stick to their original ideals"? I know, I know, I was the same with my first, so were many of my friends, it was then we discovered there was so much more to the birth experience than watching it from the outside. We became so much more aware of how to work with the contractions and embrace them really deep (in a literal sense too!) rather than fighting it because it hurt.

Anyway........this birth I remembered to pack my Yoga mat - yuhuh, not to actually practise!! but because most times I end up sleeping on the grimy hospital floor while the parents try to get rest. i cannot sleep in a chair, I have to be flat and after the birth in September where I slept on a cold tile floor and woke up freezing and in shock, I decided that my yoga mat would be anotehr prop I would add to my bag of goodies!

However, this birth has left me more troubled than most. These clients were already under more stress than many of my clients, their child was conceived with IVF, they had been told that she may have androplaysia dwarfism and the mom had not had an easy pregnancy, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of P-E and prematurity.
When their daughter was born, she didn't appear to be out of proportion in anyway. She appeared healthy, muscle tone and colour all good and great Apgars. But to me, her protruding tongue and almondy looking eyes were suggesting she may have Down Syndrome. This was not noticed or said by the paediatrician, so I hope to god I am totally wrong and she was just small and these were regular features. I keep looking at the photos I took, in many, her tongue is out, not just a little, but a long pointed protrusion. I am sure (and I really really hope) I am wrong. i said nothing and intend to say nothing to the parents. it isn't my place, I am no expert suffice to say that my instinct is bugging me. I sincerely hope I never mention this again.

Well, time to hit the sack. My eyes are so heavy that my head keeps toppling backwards, if the boys were awake they would call me a bobble head!


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