True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 1450. I have become a midwife

Day 1450. I have become a midwife

A few minutes after 10 pm. the telephone rang. A Mrs. M. called and said she was having contractions every three minutes and Ági was asleep. I could not identify her by her name. Slowly I realised that she wanted me to find out if she was really in labour. I could not tell this from the sound of her voice. I asked her about nausea, appetite and rupture. She said there had been a change in intensity an hour and a half earlier. I realised that she was unable to speak during contractions and she sent her husband, Ádám, to tell me their address. Meanwhile she shouted from the background that she was having a rupture.

Fortunately I was ready to go. This is very rare with me. I left three minutes later. We should let Ági sleep. I could have done with the siren; I even felt it howl above me but unfortunately no one else noticed it. On the way I started to feel that I would not get anywhere without a stethoscope or gloves, so I had to phone Ági. She said she had another five minutes of her life-saving sleep left, then she would come immediately. It sounds impossible but I was in P. in half an hour.

Ádám came to the gate to meet me. The woman was lying in a T-shirt in the room. She was making all sorts of noises. I went to see her. I could smell sweat. (Supposedly that is a sign of the stage of expulsion). I am known as somebody who cannot smell, but now I could. Her bottom was covered in goose bumps. The moment she saw me she felt irresistibly that she had to push. I tried to convince myself that I was mistaken. These are no goose bumps; her skin is like that. I could not help thinking that I was not mistaken. I got into the middle of the stage of expulsion.

I tried to make use of the 20-30-second breaks to wash my hands, to change, to take the anamnesis and to prepare. I asked Ádám to bring warm water for the compress, and at the same time, I asked him for a pan to protect the perineum. Fortunately, they had prepared everything they had to buy. I massaged her back a bit, she enjoyed that but she threw down the compress. She had a few more contractions then she suddenly got to the middle of the room and holding on to Ádám she knelt down and started to push with all her strength. All the beautifully prepared things remained where they were next to the bed. I reached out for a sheet and pushed it underneath her. I looked at the nicely forming anus. I had no time to take out the oil for massaging the perineum.

I had no idea what her name was, and did not know how to address her.

I managed to pull the pan for protecting the perineum and the cotton wool nearer. I could see a palm-sized part of the head. I stroked the perineum round and it became beautifully thin. And as the head was slowly coming out, I supported the perineum with my hands. Meanwhile she stood up. I felt the baby’s neck, I felt the tense perineum and I felt it was unbroken. My thick book on midwifery was of no help for me. I was thinking about the nice account of a doula who was once left alone with a woman in labour. She said the only thing to do in the stage of expulsion was to wipe the baby’s face when it had come out. And I did so. Ádám, who was standing opposite us, asked if the baby was coming and I nodded. In the break the baby’s head started to go purple, but it did not last long, and then it turned and I felt the shoulder coming. I lost my contact with the perineum as I was concentrating to make sure that the baby would not slip out of my hands. At first I thought it was very small. It had a beautiful colour. I spread a nappy on it and put it on the edge of the bed. It was gasping, then it started to wail, and it looked even more beautiful. She sat down on the bed. We wanted to put the baby on her, because there seemed no better place for the baby, as the umbilical cord was still full of life and very short, but she did not want to take the baby to herself. She said her belly was aching. She was bleeding a bit. Ádám and I cuddled the baby. The more I looked at it, the less small I found it.

So, I have become a midwife, after all.

Then Ági arrived with the stethoscope and the gloves. We cut the cord and the two older children came in from the other room. Ági called the woman Kati. What a relief! This was out at last!

Kati could not make herself deal with the baby. She asked us what it was like. Thirty-five minutes after the baby, the placenta was born. Kati felt much better and she asked for the baby and started to breastfeed it. Ági stitched up the broken perineum. Then we started to write down the events and tidied up. It was a fantastic feeling that Kati, who had hardly shown any emotions up to this point, embraced me. And she thanked me. And I was the one they loved, not Ági. Well, they loved her too, because she was with me. And when we were saying goodbye, one of the older children asked me when I would come to see them again. Now I became part of this wonderful affection that I had always wanted to be part of.

Ági remained an outsider this time, maybe that was why she started to get dressed soon. But I realised that she was happy for me. When we left, she told me mischievously that she was not in a hurry at all.

In the car on the way home, I was unable to shout as loudly as I wanted to because I was too hoarse. But I shouted towards everyone who came my way that, whatever they experienced that night, was nothing compared to my experience.

K. Á.

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

This post is also available in: Hungarian