Obstetrics – part b)
In the afternoon I was assigned to a midwife dealing with a 19 year old girl who was in labour with their second child.
She had her younger sister there and best friend also. Whilst the patient was screaming the place down and keeping the makers of Entenox (laughing gas) in business her two companions were deep in concentration, texting.
With each contraction the patient would burst into tears and in a thick London accent cry, “Am I going to die??!!” She would then inhale ridiculous amounts of Entenox for a few seconds and place herself in a drunken stupor.
“Of course you’re not going to die” we’d reply.
“Are you sure Barry? I’m not going to die?” (inhale exhale inhale exhale).
“You’ll be fine my dear. And its Binder by the way, not Barry”
“Sorry” (inhale exhale inhale exhale)
“That’s ok” I lied.
The midwife did an internal examination. 6cm dilated, so according to her, not ready to deliver yet.
Over the next forty five minutes the same thing would be repeated over and over; the patient would refer to me as Barry, scream lots, and frantically ask if she was going to die.
Eventually, her painful screams were getting too much and the midwife said she’d get her some Pethadine (strong analgesic). She lay the patient on her side and left the room. Within thirty seconds of leaving the patient lifted one of her legs and started screaming again.
“BARRRRRY!!!!!” (inhale exhale inhale exhale).
“AM I GOING T-”
At that point her friends became hysterical –
“She’s bleeding!!!” they screamed pointing at her vagina.
I glanced down and saw the top of the baby’s head starting to protude.
“Oh.” I raised my eyebrows, “you’re crowning . . . . let me get some gloves”
I’ve delivered a few babies already and thankfully I knew the basics of what to do. However, I didn’t feel prepared for this one and underneath I was beside myself with panic! I stepped forward and supported the head as it started to “pop out” of the patient’s vagina.
“Could-one-of-you-please-go-outside-and-see-if-you-could-find-the-midwife-for-me-thanks-very-much” The patients sister ran out of the room and could be heard shouting down the corridor. She ran back in and told me she couldn’t find anyone.
“BARRRRRRRYYYYY!!!!!!!!” (inhale exhale inhale exhale).
“AM I GOING T-”
“NO!” I looked up at her, “I’m afraid not my dear. Not this time. It looks like you’re having your baby instead. Hope that’s ok”
The head appeared to get stuck half way and looked like it was turning blue. Now I really WAS filling my pants. Motioning to the Emergency button above the patients head I spoke to her friend.
“Can you just flip that nice red button there for me thank you very much” She pulled it just as the rest of the head popped out.
“BARRRRYYYYYY!!!!” (inhale exhale inhale exhale).
“Binder – Ok, now just breath normally for me”
As she did so the rest of the baby flopped out into my hands and just then, the cavalry arrived. Like in the film “Leon” when Gary Oldman shouts “EVERYONE!”, the Emergency button brings – everyone! Doctors, midwives, surgeons, nurses, students – all piled in to the room to help deal with a potential disaster.
My external bravery mechanism gave in at that point and I broke down into a gibbering wreck.
“Thank god you’re here!!!” I sobbed thrusting the crying baby into their hands.
This was emitted louder than expected and it was probably heard by all present. However, under the circumstances I believe no one took any notice and I’m sure it was lost in the heat of the moment.
The doctors and surgeons looked me up and down with disdain whilst the midwives took over. I smiled weakly waving my ID and eventually they left leaving the midwives to deal with things.
I slumped down at the back of the room and sighed deeply. The sounds of baby cries and elated female voices filling the air. Eventually the patient sat up and with their first sober voice said;
“Thanks Barry, for all your help”
“Binder . . . Is it a boy or girl?” In all the commotion I’d completely failed to see what had come out.
“Have you thought of a name?”
“Barry’s a nice name . . . I think Barry will be good. What you reckon?”
I hesitated . . .
” . . . that’s lovely. Congratulations”