Day 5 – Paperwork, Preparations and a Pool


“Please” I woke up saying “please let’s have a relaxed day of no restaurants, lunches, trips out, family visits, discussions or debates”. I am exhausted with the loveliness of it all. The best thing is I slept quite well so I am feeling much better than the horrible way I felt yesterday.


It appears that IMUK and my lovely sister midwife Jacqui have the uncanny knack of asking me to prepare a newsletter for IMUK just as I am about to go on holiday, or in this case, abroad to work, where the internet is not perfect and picking up the phone to discuss things is impossible. So, yet again, an email arrived with my instructions for the newsletter the night before I came away. I have been trying my best to get it done within my very busy schedule of educating my hosts while they socially overwhelm and pamper me. So anyway, last night I suggested we have a restful at home day today so I can finish the IMUK newsletter and get up to date with emails and communication with family.


Following my typical breakfast served on a tray at around 11am (jet lag still keeps me awake till around 2am and asleep until 10.30) I started on my newsletter and emails. Good progress was being made and I could finally see the wood for the trees when Sofia says “Mum is coming over with a friend to meet you Virginia and bringing coffee and muffins.” Oh my sweet tubby tummy! More food. I was, however, on this occasion the best I could be, and declined the lovely blueberry muffins.



Sofia was adopted so is nothing like her mum, Muna who is a wonderful mixture of east meets west; large, blonde and pink, but wears Pakistani clothes and covers her head. A Dutch woman by birth, she has open eyes to the problems of and in Pakistan, but is also a loyal protector of her adopted country. She constantly points out things of beauty amongst a lot of ugliness. The odd façade, or old historic building amongst a jungle of concrete and filth. She is Muslim, but a fierce supporter of women’s’ rights. Outspoken, a woman not unlike myself who appears not to worry about the odd buck of convention. She has a deep understanding of World politics in relation to Islamic state and its origins (the CIA have a lot to answer for about the current situation and the rise of terrorism, although I didn’t need Muna to tell me that!). So the next couple of hours is spent in yet another girly chat on the sofa talking about birth, politics and funny life stories.



Muffins cleared and guests departed I once again was back into furious typing on my laptop, when I received a couple of emails from Muna. She is looking into how to obtain some Entonox because she tells me you can get anything here! She wanted to know the mix, as the gas company make it to order. BOC UK has a great web site and I was able to confirm it is a 50/50 mix of O2 and nitrous oxide, and so we await to see what the ever resourceful Muna can come up with. I have bought with me everything else you could want to have for a safe home birth, but somehow I don’t think customs or security would have been happy with gas cylinders on the aircraft. Sofia, like many confident women, may not need any pain management but having it available is sometimes crutch enough.


Almost by magic, Sofia’s birth pool arrived, having been blown up by the outdoors staff… although birth pool is a far stretch of the imagination. Rather, it is a deep child’s paddling pool, but as Sofia is a tiny woman, (we were discussing nicknames last night and I suggested pocket rocket for Sofia) it is just about OK for her to labour and birth in. I gave instructions about how it should be cleaned and the maids got to work.




Sofia informed me after our little interaction with the pool that she wanted to go to the park with her little Ebo. I declined her invite to accompany her and instead sat and had a lovely lunch/tea (it was now 5pm) while watching an episode of Game of Thrones on my laptop…..Bliss! I am coming into the series late in its life but I have to admit defeat concerning the iconic series. My son Matthew and partner Sean have long since told me it is an excellent programme, and I have to concede they were right because after years of saying “Game of Thrones? fantasy? Phwer! Load of rubbish, I’m not interested in watching that” I am hooked, it is really addictive and I love it!


And so as the day comes to a close, I wonder if tonight will be the night that labour starts and another woman in my care will begin her journey of birth and a new life will begin….