Saturday, March 7, 2009

"And then we drove at 90 mph..."

Client A lives pretty far away and we drove fast. Leigh asked me to call 911 to let them know that we were on our way to a homebirth and driving really fast, and please tell the cops not to pull us over. They didn't. I don't even think we saw any cops. And her car didn't blow a tire, despite some really awful sounds coming from the wheels when we driving.

I assisted Leigh in examining the placenta. She showed me the two arteries and one vein in the cord, and where it was attached to the placenta, and which side came out first, and the two parts of the amniotic sac. The placenta was actually more gross than I realized (placenta in general, not this particular client's placenta). It was really bloody and lumpy and squishy, like a Halloween trick where you put your hand into something gooey and someone tells you it's a bunch of ferret eyeballs or something like that.

The baby was perfect and adorable. I turned into a pile of mush when I held the baby, "Awwww wook at the wittle bitty baby waby you're such a cute baby aren't you!" Normally I attend hospital births, and when I get to hold the baby I'm always accutely aware that I'm IN A HOSPITAL. It's very generic and cold and sterile, and the baby always has a diaper on, and a hospital bracelet, and one of those security tags. But a homebirth is so much more intimate; I really felt like I was seeing a family welcoming its newest member.

I filled out a lot of paperwork. Damn, but there is a lot of paperwork. I'd say that's the only advantage a hospital has over a homebirth; someone else fills out all the paperwork. It was a bunch of paperwork. Mother's record, baby's record, birth certificate, postpartum evaluations for mom and baby.

I was really excited that I got to take blood from the placenta and examine it so closely, and also learn how to bake the meaty parts so that they can be ground and encapsulated.

Today we went back for a postpartum visit. I also did most of the newborn exam, which was very cool. Mostly measuring and checking skin and reflexes. The baby looks great, and mom does too except she is tired. We reminded her several times not to do anything except nurse and rest; no cooking or cleaning or taking care of anyone but the new baby. She has a lot of family around, so I think she will be fine.


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