And the other side…

After my last post I thought it important to balance out the negativity I felt when writing it with a positive part of my job. The last post was written just after I finished that shift and I was emotionally raw, it was one of those pieces that I write but don’t usually post – then I thought, why not, my world is not always warm and fluffy! I was under no illusions when I joined up, I didn’t expect to be a hero – I just wanted to help where I could.  I’ve always wanted to do it, ever since I can remember and now I am, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. There really is no other job like it, every day is completely different and you never know when you may actually save a life. But as with any job it’s frustrating sometimes, and I know it’s the same for a lot of other people – whatever their job. But I do know why I do it, it’s because I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do, and you never know when something good will happen…

This particular job turned out beautifully and got me ever so excited! As I think I’ve mentioned I have a nice “proper” crewmate at the moment, he’s just moved to our area so it makes a nice change that I’m the one who knows how to get to addresses! We got called to a job while I was driving at some silly time of the morning when most people are still asleep. It was on one of the main roads in our area and I knew exactly how to get to it, no problem we were there in 4 minutes. We were going to a lady in labour with contractions 1 minute apart! If they really were 1 minute apart we wouldn’t be going anywhere until the baby was delivered.

We arrived and did a quick assessment, she was indeed in the last stage of labour but her contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart, my crewmate asked me to radio for a midwife and second crew (If we deliver at home we try and have 2 ambulances there because if it goes wrong you potentially have 2 patients) The Mum to be knew what that meant and yelled at us “You have to get me to hospital – I can’t have it here!!!” After a quick discussion that concluded with me saying confidently I could be at the maternity unit in 3 minutes we decided there was time to get her there.

As we boarded the ambulance her contractions were down to about 2 minutes apart, by the time we arrived at hospital (2 minutes 56 seconds later) they were one minute apart (this baby didn’t want to hang around!) As I was pushing her to the maternity unit the Mum-to-be asked me when she would have an epidural, I explained that it was too late for that as she was only minutes away from delivering the baby. We arrived at the maternity unit and gave the worlds fastest hand over – “38 weeks pregnant, contractions 1 minute apart” and got a room for her, as we were about to transfer her over to the comfortable bed she grabbed my hand and said, “I need to push  -it’s coming…” I had a quick assess and baby was indeed coming – I warned the midwives, “you may wanna put some gloves on ladies” and about 2 minutes later a baby girl arrived in the world while Mum was still on our bed!

 When I asked them what they were going to call her they said they hadn’t decided, I mentioned that the ambulance lady’s name was Laura and the Dad seemed to like it a lot… Could well be that there’s a little girl somewhere is east London with a really cool name!

See this is why I got excited and had to tell you, my job can also be pretty great. A nice family with a nice new baby who were pleased to see me – no punching, kicking, spitting, stabbing etc… And it’s why I wouldn’t change my job for the world.


~ by Laura on March 11, 2007.

4 Responses to “And the other side…”

  1. First time I’ve read this. Found it via Tom’s blog.
    I enjoyed the last 2 posts thanks, good balance and both interesting.

  2. This job will ask you to do amazing things that other people will never, ever do. That’s a priviledge. That’s your job. Your story highlights exactly how lucky we are to do a job that allows us these insights into other people’s lives.

    And for all those reading this, we are not special people: we have training and equipment, but without these things we would be just bystanders, like any other member of the public who steps forward to help in an emergency. In lots of ways, those members of the public who step forward are far braver than we are, and they show that you don’t have to have some special quality to do this work, you just have to be trained.

  3. JH, I agree totally and have heaps of respect for the stranger with basic first aid (or none at all) who takes the time to help a fellow human when they need it. As you said – this is what we’re trained to do…

  4. Couldn’t let this go by….
    From the other side of your ‘other side’, my little girl was delivered by a paramedic on a sunday afternoon about 18 months ago. He and his crew mates (yes I had two ambulances too) did a fantastic job and they hold a very special place in my heart. I was incredibly grateful for their time and patience in what turned out to be a bit of a shift over-run for them. I did get to say thank you to my unintentional ‘midwife’ at a later date and he commented that it was his best delivery yet (although I suspect he says that to all the girls!). Its great to know that you guys get a buzz out of it too. Thank you!

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