It was late when my head finally hit the pillow-I had been busy visiting new mums and babies on the Saturday shift and had been on call the previous night. Knowing that we had a couple of home-births due any day I had been restless the previous night, but woke on Saturday morning with no call-out.
As I got ready for bed on the Saturday I took a look out of the window and caught my breath at the beautiful still cloudless night and the huge full moon hanging there. Somehow I just knew tonight would be homebirth night. And sure enough, just as I switched the light off ready for some sleep my work phone pinged.
My feelings were mixed, I was tired and could really have done with some sleep, but the tiredness was mixed with excitement-this was going to be my first homebirth in 20 years! I was ready.
Driving to the woman's home had a dreamlike quality, the streets were empty, the air was crisp and that big yellow moon looked like it was following me.
As I got out of my car at the house, loading myself up with equipment and weighing scales a black cat trotted over to me and meowed loudly as it followed me to the front door, almost as if it knew...
As I walked through the front door I immediately knew that this baby would arrive soon, and knowing that my colleague was coming from a distance away and probably wouldn't make it in time, I found myself going into automatic midwife mode. Checking baby was fine, asking grandma-to-be to put towels in the tumble-dryer to warm, directing questions to dad. The atmosphere in the room was calm and expectant, I knew that this woman had been practising hypnobirthing techniques throughout pregnancy.
Three involuntary pushes and a baby boy was thrust into the pool water-a true fetal ejection reflex which I rarely saw as a hospital-based midwife, but in this oxytocin-rich environment felt totally natural.
Three hours later as I saw mum sink into her own bed, baby at the breast the whole night seemed to me like a perfect dream. Memories of fairy lights, gentle music, low moaning and tears of happiness were in my mind as I walked out into the cold night, the full moon shining and a black cat accompanying me to my car-almost as if it knew...