Sometimes midwives have pet patients. We have a large, busy birth center with a team of midwives, midwife assistants and students. Although one benefit of midwifery is supposedly more one on one attention, we do advise all of the clients to get to know all of our midwives. None of the midwives try not to promise any mom that she will definitely be at her birth, because she may have been on the night before with another mom. However, sometimes a midwife forms a special connection with a client, and tries to be at her birth no matter what.
Often it is a relative, or a close friend. My closest friend is moving down here soon, and is in her second trimester. She will be my pet patient, and I will try to be at every appointment from her initial visit to her birth and through her post partum checks.
Sometimes it is just a client who forms a close relationship during her pregnancy. This was one of those clients. Even though midwife C wasn't scheduled to be on that night, she stayed with her pet client, who was a first time mom.
This Pet Mom and her boyfriend didn't look like they would be friends with C outside of the clinic. Both of them had dark brown skin and long, delicate dreadlocks. The dad is a musician. He canceled a gig that evening, and his guitarist was sitting in the waiting room. They were funky and hip. C is older, a grandma several times over, with silver hair and pale wrinkled skin. She is anything but funky and hip, with her office full of Precious Moments figurines.
Pet mom had a beautiful labor, and had a waterbirth. Her boyfriend joked with us between contractions. He said he was going to let their boy make up his own mind if he wanted to dread his hair.
Once the baby was delivered, the mom, dad, and new baby moved to the nearby bed. C chided the dad that he had to marry the mom now. I held my breath, wondering how the couple would respond. He said "C'mon, that horse has been dead at least four minutes now." Pet Mom was just beaming, and didn't seem to notice. She was just grinning and saying "That was great!" before her placenta was even out.
I saw the Polaroid on the wall the next day of the family on their way home. Pet mom was wearing a Wonder Woman T shirt. Wonder Woman indeed! The wall is full of superheroes.