September. WOW. What a month. Babies are pouring through the gates of vaginas like middle-aged women at the door opening of a Barry Manilow concert.
Nine months ago we had Christmas and New Year. You all drank a bit too much sherry, and instead of sitting down to watch the Queen’s Speech, decided that it was the perfect moment for some bearback riding. You total bastards.
You are total bastards for two reasons. A) I’m jealous. I usually work at Christmas, so no fiddling with festive baubles for me. B) YOU ARE ALL GIVING BIRTH IN THE SAME SHITTING WEEK.
I turned up on labour ward last night to see a board heaving with labouring women. And then I ran around. All night. Without stopping. I lost count of the number of cannulas I inserted (or failed to insert – heartfelt thanks goes to my friend, A, the anaesthetist here for saving my bacon on a number of occasions). Every time I opened a speculum, there was a bulging membrane, and a woman breathing heavily and clutching the (increasingly pale) hand of her fella.
Fat women, thin women, women in early labour, women past their due dates… it was like baby Niagara Falls – and they just kept on coming.
Soon we had no room for them on Labour Ward. We opened up both theatres and the reg ran between the two, hauling babies out with c-sections and forceps. I was able to have my first pee at about 6am, and I looked down at my blood bespattered and sweat-soaked scrubs in horror.
Downstairs women were giving birth in the antenatal ward, with two midwives, running around like crazy, wild eyed with exhaustion and fear.
But what can we do? We’re the only hospital in the area. We can’t close our doors. We have to take you in. All the midwives on call were ordered in. The ones already there weren’t allowed to leave. People were pulling 22 hour shifts and grey with seeping adrenalin.
It was crazy. It was dangerous. And in about 3 hours it’s all going to start again.
So please. Next time you think you want to get jiggy at Christmas, or fancy a new year fumble, I beg of you, think twice. And wear a shitting condom.