This morning all the women were discharged from the ward.
No, seriously, all of them.
OK, so there were two hang-ons whose babies were under 2k, in the extension ward. But the not-anyone-there-ness of it all in the main ward was pretty astonishing.
By the end of the shift, we'd placed two women and their babies on opposite ends of the ward. One caught by another midwife, one by myself three minutes later. Another birth I managed beginning to end, although I did make a consult call for some decels (the mind-boggling answer I got was to break her water...wtf...). Out came a very white looking baby. And by this I do not mean distressed or hypoxic, I mean white; the midwives were looking to see if this woman was married to a white man and even went so far as to ask her the race of the father. I'd gotten so used to dark little black-haired heads that it was quite a surprise to see light-brown-almost-blonde hair and pale skin coming into view. This mom had a history of a prior stillbirth, and in a moment of "something looks wrong here" panic I slapped on the fetal monitor again, to find the heartbeat steady at 140 just as it had been mere minutes previous. I contemplated cutting a cord on the perineum for the first time, as the baby got tied up with a tight nuchal cord and the typical somersault maneuver wasn't working, as there simply wasn't enough slack, and we got a tad-bit stuck at the armpit level. Some breath-holding and cord-stretching and baby-twisting, and everything came out fine. I was of course alone for the ordeal, or the midwives would have been appalled that I didn't just cut the cord (which would have taken at least as long as what I did...).
A teary phone-call with my family this evening. I am ready to go home.
5 weeks ago