Thursday, 18 April 2019


Earlier this week I met with a client who will birth in the next two or three weeks. A quiet kind of woman, she didn't have a lot to say and as I sat, trying to feel connected as we sipped on coffee, I wondered if I was building a good enough rapport to be effective in the intensity of birth....

I started to reflect on the births I have previously attended at the same hospital. One was quick and uncomplicated until there was an emergency situation right at the end. Skilled midwives resolved it quickly as I stood by the dad and reassured him. I have some regrets over that birth (not because of the emergency) and I don't think that client got my best but not every situation will be a triumph so I can only hope I was adequate.

After a birth, I always find it strange to leave. Clients are focused on their babies so I exit with a minimum of fuss which seems at odds with the intensity of what we have experienced together. Sometimes I get all maternal and kiss them on the forehead. My other client at this hospital was a highly trained, strong, confident naval officer and there was nothing ambiguous about our farewell.
Babe was born into water so after getting out of the tub and dry my client expressed her wish for me to distract her while she was stitched up and then I could go. I will never forget her bounding out of bed and wrapping herself in a fluffy robe before giving me a warm hug goodbye.

One client birthing between Christmas and New Year arrived at hospital with a panettone (Italian Christmas loaf) sitting on top of her bags. It seemed an odd thing to bring but made sense when they gave it to me as a thank you.

Some clients are internally focused and some need lots of reassurance. Some almost climb the walls and some barely move. One had a whole gaggle of  friends offering support, the best of them was a man who was not the father of the baby. Beautiful to watch, he was compassionate and attentive even in his own utter exhaustion.

Recalling my meeting earlier this week, I realise that my client had warm eyes and made a single unguarded comment about wearing borrowed clothes. These are my only hints that she does indeed, feel safe with me. I suspect I'll never fully understand the privilege of being invited into her most sacred moment. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

The Gym

My physiotherapist, Dave, is sporty, whip smart, tall , attractive....and young enough to be my son.
Last week he told me he wanted me to start a new exercise "Oh, yes?" says I.
Hip thrusts, he says.
Uh huh. Right.
So, there I was, lying on a table, lifting my butt skyward while Dave counts.
I finished ten and told him it was hurting my back.

The answer to that was to adjust the angle of my pelvis and since i'd done the first ten incorrectly, I had to do another ten. Lift a little, angle pelvis, ask Dave about pelvic angle (!!!!!!) lift more. Listen to Dave count. It was all a little surreal.

And then...

Dave says something about exercise and

in all innocence

(I swear)

 and mentally comparing hip thrusts to the leg press, I say i'm a fan of exercising lying down.

Do you think I can ever go back??

Thursday, 11 April 2019


I'm not blogging so much as I used to because I'm working more. Also there is less competition for the remote so I watch tv a fair bit more than I did. My daughter has been buying some good books and I have been borrowing them ( I regard myself as a reader although I actually stopped reading much a couple of decades ago. My ex didn't like me reading and I was silly enough to care...)
 Mary Kills People, The Let Down and Working Moms have been binge watched. Readers Digest & Clementine Ford have been read (while wearing new glasses) and Michelle Obama's autobiography will be next (when I can wrestle it from my daughter)
I read your new posts on my phone when I wake up in the morning and I comment when I can get hold of a lap top. I go out for coffee every time I'm asked and because autumn has finally arrived I can sleep with under a blanket or two, which makes me happy.
At my seniors group yesterday, one of the ladies was getting loud and distracting (all the characters are in my group) so, like a kindergarten teacher, I stopped everything and asked everyone to take 16 seconds to breathe: 4 seconds in, hold for 4, out for 4 and hold again. By some miracle it worked and  we all managed to rein in the festivities  madness. 
After seniors group I stopped at an unfamiliar garage to get petrol. There was driveway service! and yes, just so you know you saw that, there was driveway service. I don't think I have seen anybody offer that in Sydney in all of my living memory (which is getting longer than I would like to think about)

So, there you have it. My life, April 2019.