Friday, 13 October 2017

Oh Baby

Tomorrow I have an appointment for a "meet & greet" with a young couple who are considering enlisting my help for their upcoming VBAC. Vaginal Birth After Caesarean is regarded as a huge challenge, partly because women who have needed surgical assistance to birth in the past are often left with a sense of failure and really don't believe that they are capable of anything close to a natural birth and partly because doctors get so nervous about vbacs that they have a tendency to undermine any woman who has some self belief. They also do a lot of pre-emptive intervening which, more often than not, leads to a repeat caesarean.
I haven't searched the rate of successful vbac for every New South Wales hospital but the ones I have looked at seem to sit between 10 - 15% and the two vbacs I have been hired for in the past both ended in repeat caesareans.
Tomorrow's meeting holds a few critical questions: do I tell them the truth about their chances and potentially discourage them from the get go? maybe I should gloss over the statistics? will they ask about my history with vbac and if they do will they see it as a reflection of the system or of me? will the drive there be the best case scenario (a half hour) or worst case scenario? (an hour) will they hire me or will I be passed over for someone more trendy/ experienced/ better at sales/ more local?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


The little boy was separated from his family on the day his home caught fire. Maybe he was too young to remember how it happened or maybe he blocked a traumatic memory, nobody knows. First, it was him, his mum, dad, sister and two brothers and suddenly it was just him. He was taken to a boys home, which he remembered as a place where he was well treated. He went to the local school and to Sunday School, kindly church people would take him home for Sunday lunch. From here the story is sketchy. He stayed in the care of the church which had first taken him in, he moved from the first boys home to another and when he was no longer a ward of the state he moved to  church run accommodation for young men.
At some point he went into rehab and successfully became a recovering alcoholic. Soon after his recovery he met a woman who had also journeyed through rehab. There was a spark between the two, he proposed and she accepted. The minister who was to marry them said that either they were cheating on the survey or they were the most suitably matched couple he had ever met. Both in recovery, both with serious medical challenges, they had no money for a wedding but their church organised it all, from catering to flowers to music, everything was set and all they had to do was get there on the day.
The boy's wife became his fearsome protector and he became her encourager.
After a long time he tracked down his brothers and his dad. His dad was a stroke survivor and could no longer speak but he knew his son and was pleased to see him, tears rolled down the old man's face as he saw his sons reunited. The boy dared to hope that his brothers could explain what happened that day, the day of the fire. He thought they would tell him about their childhood without him, maybe they could explain how they had become separated, maybe they looked for him?
He invited them to his home, he asked his questions. They didn't answer. His wife thought they were playing statues. Single word answers were not enough. He sat on his bed and wept, she threw them out.
They loved each other and if life threatened to hurt, they had one another's back.
The boy died a few years ago. She still speaks of him in the present tense.

Monday, 2 October 2017


My daughter found this lorikeet on the road today, his left claw is not functioning and looks like the hand of a stroke victim. He also keeps falling forward. On the plus side, he has a good voice and a strong bite.
I have seen these birds fly into objects many times, I have also seen them rolling around on the ground in a distressed state and later die. They seem very susceptible to head injuries so it was no surprise when the wildlife rescue people said it sounds like concussion or neurological damage.
Seven hours from finding him there is no improvement so I'm thinking it's more serious than concussion. A rescue volunteer will pick him up in the morning. I hope he can be helped but if not, at least he won't be squished under a car or terrorised by a cat.

Update: Norman was picked up by a wildlife rescuer this morning. She was taking him to the vets, along with another just like him. She didn't make any comment about his future.