These are my birth slippers.
What I wear on my feet when attending a homebirth.
They’re mostly for my comfort and to be as discreet as I can when I’m pottering around someone’s home while they’re in Labour.
However, there was a particular incident some years ago that prompted my need to wear ‘something’ on my feet.
I’d been called to assist at a homebirth as it appeared that the mother was approaching transition and the birth would soon be imminent.
As per usual I kicked off my shoes to be bare foot on entering the home and found the birth team in the tiny lounge and the mother labouring in the birth pool.
I settled into the corner of the couch away from the mothers gaze so as not to make her feel observed by my presence and waited for the midwifes cues for me to assist if the need arose.
Some while later it was evident that the baby was having difficulty negotiating it’s exit due to a deflexed head and the midwife made the call to transfer in to the back up hospital for further assistance. This was my cue to assist the mother out of the bath and into some clothes for the ride to the hospital whilst the midwife called ahead to the back up obstetrician to expect their arrival.
As the mother exited the pool a hard bearing down surge hit her and forced her into a squat alongside the birth pool. We hastily helped her to dress and into the car and off they went.
I offered to stay behind to tidy up the lounge and dismantle the birth pool so that the soon to be parents would have one less thing to worry about on their return…
And then it happened…
As I approached the pool on the same side that the mother had had that hard surge when climbing out of the pool, I trod into a ‘poo pebble’ which was surrounded by a puddle of now cold water on the plastic sheet on the floor!
(If I close my eyes I can still hear the squishing sound it made)
There was not nearly enough wet wipes in my bag that day to get rid of the sensation…
But, I survived… And hence the need to slippers at births!