Beyond the call – mothers, nurses, midwives and doctors

Our oldest son joined us for dinner on Sunday. He stayed around and watched one of our favorite shows “Call the Midwife.” He certainly got a lesson in births as they had several trying deliveries as the midwives mentored some new doctors. In one instance, the baby’s arm got stuck behind its back and was not coming out very easily, so seeing how the midwife handled it was cool.

We reminded him of the stories of the three births of him and his siblings. His birth was the easiest of the three, with one key note. His mother asked for an epidural too late and proceeded to have him sans pain reliever. So, he was the first of three deliveries without epidurals. His mother obviously has a high pain threshold. A funny story is my wife’s doctor told her the day before it would be another week, until she showed up at my office the next day after her water broke at lunch with a friend.

Our middle child had some challenges, but they were not uncommon to the nurse and doctor. Meconium is a fancy term for the baby’s first bowel movement. It is not uncommon for this to be released before delivery and cause aspiration issues. The nurse detected our son was having breathing issues with each contraction. They whisked my wife’s parents out and brought in a swat team. After delivery, the swat team cleaned out his passages and everything was fine. The doctor told the nurse under his breath “nice catch.”

Our daughter was born in a non-uncommon manner as well. She came out purple. The umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck and was causing breathing difficulties. The doctor went clip, clip with scissors and everything was fine. The doctor said it happens enough not to be rare.

Let me finish with two stories, one before birth and one after. A colleague of mine was in labor with twins and walking around the mall to move things along. In so doing, she was talking with a client on how to resolve a problem with various solutions. When they realized she was in labor, their favorable impression increased even more. That is beyond the call on client service.

The final story is about our neighbors who had triplets after a previous older child was born a few years earlier. The parents said, when one gets sick, they all get sick. They said they did assembly line feeding with the same spoon and three lined up high chairs. When I asked how they were doing, they said “we are numb.”

Kudos to mothers, nurses, midwives and doctors. Childbirth happens everyday, but we still should applaud the miracle it is. Tell me some of your stories.


9 thoughts on “Beyond the call – mothers, nurses, midwives and doctors

  1. Thank you for the nod to nurses. A lot of births are happening at home now , some in bathtubs. I think deliveries should happen at hospitals, things can go bad without notice. My son was born in at an Air Force base in Germany in a “shack “ of a hospital that had been condemned. Their idea of pain relief was an aspirin. Alls well that ends well though. I enjoyed your journey to fatherhood! Thank you Keith.

  2. Our first son was a “posterior presentation” and my wife had a very difficult time — and is lucky to be alive, as it happens. But the son was beautiful and still is!

    • Hugh, those are scary moments. Fortunately, the nurses and doctors see breech births enough to handle it when one arises. Thanks for sharing your family’s story. Keith

  3. My great aunt was a midwife during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. She brought into this world, almost every black child born into our little hamlet, during those years—including yours truly. No hospital, just the midwife, mum, grandma and me.

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