It rained

But El has still not had her baby. She has been to the hospital for a check-up and it got her quite gingered up. “I’ll see if we’ll let you go home” was said to her. No, you don’t say that to a grown woman (who has done her research, knows her facts and in real life has a job with a high level of responsibility and who – shall we go there? Fuckit, why not? – is paid more, when working,* than the midwife who is trying to patronise her – who simply happens to be pregnant. With a commendable tolerance, she didn’t rise, but did say that she would prefer not to have daily monitoring. She’s having another check-up on Tuesday. I haven’t spoken to her today, but we’ve exchanged emails and she has thanked me for not fussing over her.

I do this complicated rota, you know? Three months at a time. Columns for two readers, sidesman, musician and coffee-maker, and a further column for additional notes, such as the rare weekends when I’m away (so someone else needs to bring keys). Some people only come to one service a month, some to any but one (not necessarily the same one) and some not in the school holidays. I ask for notice of inconvenient Sundays, so that I don’t make other people look for swaps, though people will always fill in. It’s all very good-natured. But it’s not effortless. So it was slightly disappointing when the second reader and the coffee maker forgot. The former didn’t arrive, the latter didn’t bring milk. There was an emergency packet of biscuits, I am not a careless sort of Z.

It was pouring with rain so, since I’d walked (cycling with an umbrella is a non-starter, really), someone gave me a lift home for the milk and the same kind someone read the lesson. It’s mildly frustrating that the one who forgot to come is a helpful chap who always offers but often doesn’t turn up. When I asked for extra sidesmen, my heart sank when he offered and, indeed, he doesn’t arrive early, so all the work is already done, half of it by me, and chats cheerily after the service so doesn’t help clear away. There are reasons why it’s impossible to say anything, but he’ll protest if I don’t put him on the list. I have to put it together in the next few days. I sigh.

But first, I’ll have dinner. It is entirely veggie. Blue Witch would approve.

*She was the highest earner in the family, before she went on maternity leave.

28 comments on “It rained

  1. ephelba

    I’m so glad to hear she knows her stuff. All the time I hear stories about how births didn’t go as well as the Mom would have liked, and it was often because the Mom didn’t know enough to make informed choices. The choices are there to make, but the Drs and Midwives don’t always tell you that. Good for her!

  2. Z

    They only give one side of the story and they are covering their own backs and taking no risks, which is why there are so many unnecessary interventions. But she’s had enough, poor girl! All she wants is for her baby to get going and be born.

  3. Blue Witch

    The medical profession is hugely and unnecessarily patronising to everyone, period. Which is why, if I’d ever [s]been daft enough[s] decided to have children, I’d have paid an independent midwife of my choice to ensure I wasn’t put in that position.

    I’ll bet they try to insist on inducing her if its not put in an appearance by Tuesday.

    Now, let’s see how many old wives remedies we can come up with for getting babies to put in appearances… curries, chilies, hot baths, gentle massage of bumps… erm, spells?

  4. martina

    Mom’s labor started when she was mowing the lawn. She said she felt very restless and just wanted to get the delivery over with and have the baby (me). Maybe Weeza can do some yard work 🙂

  5. Dave

    If you think your list is complicated, try drawing up a Methodist preaching plan, 3 months in advance, for services for say 20 churches, with preachers who only offer a few odd Sundays each, where the combinations and permutations are almost endless, and everyone will be unhappy in the end about something.

    I will no longer have to do that, I am glad to say.

  6. Z

    I don’t think it will come to that. I think I may have something to tell you later today.

    Simon, a sidesman is the person who gets everything ready for the church service and then gives you your hymn book etc as you go in. And thank you, I went to bed very early but woke up every few minutes all night.

    LZM, it’s not possible to say anything in this instance. And of course, everyone is a volunteer and it’s all done with good will and kindness. There is someone else scheduled and she is reliable, but she won’t touch the microphone system, for example, and she can’t reach to put up the hymn numbers, so she needs help. Dave, fortunately the Rector has a secretary for that rota and it’s nothing to do with me. Mine is quite tricky enough. We’re lucky to have numerous willing helpers, but it’s still a complicated do, as I don’t want to put the same few people down week after week, just because they are reliable, and I can’t leave someone out just because he or she sometimes forgets!

  7. Anonymous

    Midwives SHOULD be paid more than brats who think they know it all. Babies die. So do mothers. If something went wrong, God forbid, your daughter would be absolutely relying on the midwife’s judgement, experience and skills.

    Some respect please.

  8. Z

    But how about showing some respect yourself and giving your name? No link if you’d rather not, but while I respect anyone’s right to say what they want to and I’m not a person to mind being disagreed with, it’s hard to take anyone seriously who speaks rudely, evidently means to give offence and doesn’t address the point I made.

    El did not argue with the midwife, but did ask for her wishes to be taken into account. There is no reason to believe that her health would change between Sunday and Tuesday, so no need for her to go to the hospital on Monday unless she had cause for concern.

    The thing is, the day on which to induce is governed by blanket policy that changes from year to year on no clinical evidence that I can see at all (NICE recommends 14 days, the hospital in question wavers between 10 and 14 and doesn’t explain why). Of course one listens to medical advice and generally follows it – I do and I would certainly not expect my daughter to do anything stupid that would jeopardise the health of herself or her baby. But that was not my or her point.

    And indeed, El’s salary is not the point either. I wouldn’t think much of a nurse who spoke differently to me depending on whether I was articulate and intelligent or not – let alone wealthy. That’s what the consultants do. I’ve seen and experienced it. However, I think that one should not be patronised, and that a decision should be taken on health grounds, not for convenience or as a matter of policy. Obviously, if her blood pressure had shot up, for example, she would not have waited 10 days over but had an induction much sooner. But it hasn’t.

  9. Dave

    I have given you a reason to ring me, over at my place. You can wait until after 6 (when you get free calls) and ring my land-line, if you like. I might forget to answer the mobile, after all.

  10. Dandelion

    If I can add my two pen’orth to Anonymous’s comment, I don’t think one does “absolutely rely” on the midwife if something goes wrong. Otherwise, why do we have Obstetricians? You know, actual doctors, anaesthetists, surgeons, and all the rest of it. Why do we have them? Because midwives aren’t qualified to perform an emergency c-section, for eg. There’s nothing worse than people who are too big for their boots, that’s what I say.

    Also, on a philosophical point, I wouldn’t to rely at all on a midwife who calls other people’s children “brats”. I can’t respect that at all, I’m afraid.

  11. Dandelion

    I wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

    But while Anonymous may think she’s hiding behind a good name, she’s nevertheless very obviously female, very obviously a midwife with a chip on her shoulder, and very obviously not very bright if she thinks dissing you is a good idea…

  12. The Boy

    Midwives are generally a wonderful thing, but like in any profession, they get used to the authority and get tetchy when its questioned. With all three children we had issues with conflicting or confusing advice. Having an Aunt who was a surgical obstetrician on the end of a phone helped usually. Glad El kept her cool head.

  13. Z

    El is very polite and tactful, but was a bit startled to be talked down to. If Anon met her, she (if Anon is a woman) wouldn’t call her a bra, she doesn’t think she knows it all and Anon doesn’t know whether her job was worth more pay than a midwife’s or not. I can see where she’s coming from though – some people can be very dogmatic and argumentative, though I don’t think many people take it to the extreme of putting their baby in jeopardy.

    I really don’t mind criticism, Dandelion, or being challenged. It’s fair enough, if I give my point of view, to listen to the other side too and answer politely.

  14. Z

    brat. Anon didn’t call anyone a bra. That’s quite funny.

    Actually, last week El found herself in the situation of knowing more about a particular matter than the midwife did. The midwife checked later and phoned back to say El had been right. It was to do with being Rhesus negative, which El is, so it was quite understandable that she had done her homework. No offence was taken, but if El hadn’t known her stuff, she might have been worried by what was erroneously said.

  15. luckyzmom

    I always try to be as informed as possible about things that are important to me. And I have found that their are professionals who appreciate that and ones like anon who seem to feel it is necessary to defend their territory.

  16. Dandelion

    Maybe so, z, but I don’t like for you or your bra to be insulted like that. Which is quite different, to my mind, from a fair and reasonable criticism. Then again, I am not as gracious as you 🙂

  17. Z

    No, fair enough, it was a valid point. I don’t agree, certainly in this instance, but that doesn’t mean that Anon shouldn’t make it. Challenge me by all means and if you out-argue me, I’ll say so. And if the argument peters out because we both have strong ideas but choose not to quarrel, that’s fine too. And if I finally say something so dogmatic that everyone is left speechless, then just stop reading (er, please none of you, I like you too much).

  18. Blue Witch

    I think I know who anonymous is. If I’m correct, she is a midwife, with a bit of ‘a mental health problem’ (IMHO of cpourse, but I think I am qualified to judge…).

    I had a few run-ins with her attitude over at mine a while back. She hasn’t been seen around for a while.

    Never mind, hope all is going/has gone well.


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