Lambing time...

My husband and I are back from a spur-of-the-moment trip to the UK (he's still a romantic about wedding anniversaries after 26 years!), to hike, see the new lambs, stand on cliff edges, and drive the one-track roads in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. I saw twin lambs feeding, bouncing their mother up in the air with their forceful suckling.

We also cheered as our son's band won the Grade 2 band competition at the World Pipe Band Championships.

This was our first trip without the kids in 23 years. 

Now that we're home, the phone calls have been coming in thick and fast with updates on all the most recent babies. I'm going through the emails and calls from women due 7 or 8 months from now. I've been fielding questions about pooping, breastfeeding, throwing up, whether grunting is normal, how to introduce solids, parenting 2 year olds, toilet training.

My clients call up years after they have left toddler life behind. I say "I am always yours," and I really am.

The busy Fall baby season approaches. Truly lambing time...

On the necessity of overseas travel

You'll notice, if you've read enough of my blog, that we generally take off to Europe each year. Since I mainly work solo, I am on call 24/7 for most of the year.  Even when I'm not attending births, I'm doing prenatal and postpartum visits, tea visits, and fielding calls/text/emails from clients old and new.  Even if I have a week without births, I am still on call (I promise to be in town for each client's 38-42 week window), so I can't take off on an impromptu getaway. 

So, what's my solution? I book off a 6 week block, most summers, turn my iPhone to Airplane Mode, and hide overseas with my husband (and maybe some family). It's the perfect way to recharge my batteries. Most clients hold on to their questions until I return. Some clients do send me a few non-urgent emails, but they are content to wait a few days for a response. It's all about finding balance. I try to go totally off the grid, but as a solo doula, my work can't really stop 100%.  

So, where do we go?  Scotland, England, France, Italy, Spain are the main go-to's. Most of my family still lives in the north of England (Cheshire, Derbyshire, Manchester).  My husband's family come from the north of Scotland (Berneray and the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, as well as Laggan in the Highlands.)  We love hiking, cycling, genealogy, history, windswept moors, searching for hidden castles and standing stones. We don't go to many different places on each trip - we take it slow.

This year, it was Scotland.  Within 48 hours of arriving home, two new babies had already arrived. They were waiting for me to come home!

One bonnie boy made a dramatic entrance. I had a phone call - "Something came out of me!"  She had just gone to the bathroom, her water had broken on the toilet, and one of her baby's legs had slipped out! So, after a fast ambulance ride (I arrived at her home in Ladner at the same time as the paramedics), her baby was safely born at BC Women's hospital. It was a spontaneous vaginal footling breech - with less than 2 hours of labour from start to finish.  She hadn't even known that her baby was breech. What a night!

Then another boy arrived less than 12 hours later - almost 9 pounds of him. Another speedy delivery. I think I can now change from Greenwich Mean Time to Pacific Time.

The August 2005 trip to Scotland was the best yet! My son's band won the Juvenile World Pipe Band Championship title, Best Drum Corps, and Best Bass. Our Alex, as lead drummer, went up before 40,000 people to accept the trophy for best drum corps. What an amazing day!

And the views of Stirling from the iron age fort on top of the Dumyat in the Ochil Hills, the sheep, the castles, the ferns and heather...they will be missed.  Until next time.