Birthing Buddy

6 Nov

So, last week an amazing thing happened to me. I popped round to see my neighbour as I knew it was her due date and within minutes of arriving it was clear that she had gone into labour! Much back rubbing ensued and soothing words of encouragement as I calmly (pretending to be calm obvs) got out a pad and paper and stopwatch on the mobile and started timing the contractions: how far apart and how long and then frantically searching online to see how much time we had before the baby was likely to make an appearance. All of which was done with the appearance of serenity and professionalism, but inside I was terrified – my heart racing, dry mouth, clammy hands, as with each contraction she went deeper and deeper into that primal state, but I held her and rubbed her lower back and told her she was doing so brilliantly and tried to breathe with her whilst secretly making calculations as to how to deliver the baby: what do I need? where were the towels kept? the kettle? maybe I should persuade her upstairs as it might be better to do it all in her bedroom?

Just in the nick of time, her husband arrived but she was holding onto me and asking me to stay with her so I crawled into the back of the car with her and tried to whisper confidence into her ear as she breathed her way through each contraction and her hubby drove us to the hospital – fast. He dropped us off and went to find somewhere to park, and another massive contraction at reception was met with horrified looks by a couple of young kids (which reminded me of seeing my own mother in labour with my sister when I was 11) but we soon made it into the birthing suite. I was so excited and euphoric at this point, and would have loved more than anything to stay and help deliver the baby, but I had to go and pick up the twins so left once her husband found us and could take over!

I feel as though I missed out on one of the most amazing experiences of life, but also incredibly privileged to have been present to at least part of it. It sure as shit beat my own labour experience with the twins, and there was something incredibly special about sharing that time with a friend in need. It brought to the fore that whole sisterhood thing: the love and the empathy you automatically have for another person in agony, and how that in some small way, her fear and pain was made just a tiny bit better by the presence of another woman willing to sit with her through it.

The Grit Doctor says:

I salute you: midwives doulas and birthing partners. What an incredible job you do.

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4 Responses to “Birthing Buddy”

  1. girl in wellies November 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    What a legend! Well done you! I am hoping our neighbours will be as supportive and kind come February eeek! x

    Jo North

    Diversification Manager

    CE Holt & Partners

    01243 811976/07590 413 609

    follow my blog http://www.girlinwellies.wordpress.com

    tweet me @jonorth7

  2. caroline November 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can’t tell a story like that and forget to tell your readers the sex of the baby and finish off re labor experience for her and how she felt ect…..

    • gritdoctor November 7, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      that is her story to tell!!!! but a baby boy was delivered safely weighing 8lbs and mum and baby are back at home and doing well x ps I have been popping round daily to check on them and give the tiny wee thing a cuddle. he is making me quite broody..

      • jean November 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        That is lovely – it reminds me of the “olden” days when all the neighbours did things like that….my Mum was always neighbourly when people were ill, dying ( my gran used to “lay people out”) , needed help or support or just someone to chat to…, . tmes change and lives are now more busy busy busy… so always a delight to hear such a lovely story x

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