I recognized the need and the chance to be able to really help other woman via pre-natal courses, but first had to undertake the year long course, with a community based organization known as Parents Centres Australia, which may have been similar to the (National Childbirth Trust) NCT in the UK.
We were asked to attend a minimum of three births in our first year and wherever I went I handed my phone number to midwives to pass onto pregnant women who required help and support for their upcoming births and by the end of the first year I had already been to over a dozen births!
It was a fantastic experience for me, many midwives tucked me under their wing and taught me countless important and wonderful things about birth.
Obstetricians befriended me and allowed me access for education in the operating theaters, showing and explaining many amazing concepts to me… things I could never have gained from textbooks.
I was “blessed” as a trainee that many doors opened for me and I was enabled by many midwives to attend births and then once qualified as a childbirth educator many couples referred my way.
An extra-ordinary caesarean I attended once was done at 32 weeks as the twins were actually in the one sac.
The concern, the doctor explained to us was that as the babies grew they would entangle their two cords and possibility cut off the blood flow to one of the babies leading to a bad outcome.
I had never come across this before and the mother, who had been through my course with a previous pregnancy with a resulting wonderful water-birth, had asked me to come along to support her, so I brought my camera at her request and photographed the babies, the very large placenta and the two umbilical cords which were in fact very tangled.
The doctor said to me I would probably never see this again in my life as it only occurs in 1 in 50,000 twins and that the next step along were conjoined twins, of course even rarer.
I gave him a spare set of the photos to use when he lectured medical students, as a thank you gift for enabling me to attend.
You see we had the opposition of the (Operating Theater) OT manager who would only allow one support person with the mother, so quietly the doctor organized me; capped and gowned, to creep in behind him closely so she might not notice… but she did and carried on a treat, however I sat quietly and waited for the storm to blow over, next thing she disappeared and I was able to hop up off my chair quickly and take some great shots.
The mum of the twins is Swedish with beautiful skin and her two daughters grew into the most gorgeous healthy babies in a very short time. A very blessed family.