A Very Special Delivery

Some of you may be aware that my Mum is a retired midwife from the old school of nursing much as portrayed in many “Carry On” films. My earliest memories of her is going off for work in a blue dress uniform with frilly arm cuffs, larger than life navy blue superhero cape with the red bands crisscrossed across her chest to keep it in place and the handkerchief part of her white cap floating behind her.

Over the years she has been called upon by friends and family alike to change dressings, recommend medications for a variety of symptoms and tend to an array of ailments. She is still able to detect a pregnancy in its early stages often long before the expectant mother not to mention the many times when some stranger has whipped out a rash for more formal identification upon discovering her occupation.

Earlier in the year a young single mum rented out one of the houses in our street along with her five-year old son. As the months passed it became apparent that she was pregnant and in the last couple of weeks Hobo, our black rescue cat, had taken to sleeping outside her front door. Not an uncommon occurrence for the big fella, as with many animals he has this uncanny ability to be the first to notify us of an impending arrival.

So it was no surprise that a loud knocking on the door notified us that our neighbour had gone into premature labour and owing to the recent storms and flooding, the ambulance was unable to get through to the village. With the organisational ability that a Regimental Sergeant Major would have been proud of, my mother surveyed the scene and realised that the increasing regularity of the girl’s labour pains meant we would be unable to get her upstairs before the baby was delivered. This was going to be no mean feat as my mother herself had just had recent knee surgery but irrespective of the environment, one thing was sure; this baby was on his way. “Fetch your father” the Sergeant Major barked at me.

My father was no fan of the practicalities of childbirth preferring instead to travel behind the ambulance in his car whilst my mother had been transported to the hospital in the advanced stages of labour when my sister and I were born. He blanched when I gave him the news but was rather relieved when he realised he was just being called upon to assist me in changing the light bulbs to provide a well-lit lounge whilst my mother made our neighbour as comfortable as she could on the lounge floor.

By this time Hobo had strolled in, as any open door is an invitation as far as he’s concerned, looking at us all as if to say “don’t say I didn’t warn you”.

As Dad and I kept the little boy distracted in the kitchen leaving the Matron to tend to his mother his little brother screamed his way into the world. As it was Xmas Eve the timely arrival of this little baby had not gone unnoticed and we realised how lucky we were to be part of our own nativity story. Whilst there were no wise men bearing gifts, the news of the delivery had spread fast and the couple that owned the local village shop arrived with supplies for the baby. An elderly lady who made blankets for the Syrian refugees brought one for our new arrival and even Sid & Ernie (the dynamic duo) had borrowed a tractor to drive through the floods to transport the local practise doctor who had arrived somewhat late to the party but announced that my Mum had done a sterling job.

Whilst this wasn’t the holy birth, it was a tiny miracle nevertheless as are all births and one which had brought many of us together on a stormy Christmas Eve in a little Devon village.

So I want to take this opportunity thank all the Emergency Services who are never truly off duty regardless of the time of year and to whom many of us owe a huge debt of thanks.

Nurse June

Nurse June

34 thoughts on “A Very Special Delivery

  1. Dallas!!! A miracle! On Christmas Eve! I have never met anyone else that has had all of the adventures that you have had. You life is a best selling movie! Your whole family has an extraordinary talent to be well, “EXTRAORDINARY!” Happy New Year! Hugs and more hugs coming across the ocean. 🙂


  2. Helping in the birth of another human being is probably the closest we can get to the mystery of life. For most of us can’t remember that awesome entrance into this world that we have all experienced. Best regards to your mother. I’ve never seen the TV show, but the profession is one that I especially admire.


  3. Dallas, my friend. Yet another one of your lovely heartwarming stories. Your Mom sounds to be a rock! I think living abroad one learns in time to really appreciate a normal, rural life -the community spirit is thriving. Will see the New Year in quietly in bed, leg up in the air, ie on a pile of pillows, watching a nice film and enjoying a bottle of wine, but tomorrow – it’s another day. Wishing you lots of happiness, Dallas and good health -hope your Dad is getting better. Lots of hugs, Carina 🙂


    • Isn’t that the best kind of New Year’s Eve – just about to crack open a bottle of red wine myself. Dad’s recovery is taking some time but he’s never felt a moment’s pity for himself so I reckon if he can stand than so can I


  4. Dallas, what a heartwarming story. Your Mum is a very special lady (and it obviously rubbed off on you). 🙂
    We wanted to stop by to wish you a very Happy New Year. We have so enjoyed getting to know you this year and look forward to more of your wonderful stories. 🙂 ~ Terri & James


    • Dear Both, I have loved your pictures as well as whilst I haven’t travelled very far this year I always feel that I do when I shuffle through all yours so thank you for sharing them with us. PS I subscribe to the Bette Davis school of nursing so I don’t think that’s a skill I inherited from my Mum at all!


    • Fortunately she doesn’t wear her pants over her tights (pantyhose) as we would probably be thrown out of the supermarket. But I have to admit that the old girl did good and is a terrific nurse. Happy New Year to you & yours too!


  5. What a wonderful story and how lucky for the little boy that your mom lives next-door! Have a great 2014 and may your adventures be plenty and keep us entertained 😉


  6. Two of my sisters had two of their three (each) children at home delivered by mid-wifes, wonderful women! Your mother certainly earned her superhero cape.

    What a fabulous story and you got to be there (even if only to change the bulbs and make tea). thank you for sharing this lovely story, you always have the best ones.

    Happy new year.


  7. What a lovely story CT!

    I recall living in the English countryside how much people depending on neighbors and local emergency volunteers – since, even in good weather, it was a long time before anyone arrived from the closest hospital. Your neighbor is very fortunate to have someone as caring and talented as your Mum nearby!

    Wishing you a great New Year. I hope to spend a bit more time in the blog world this year 🙂


  8. Remind me to have your mother on speed dial should I ever decide to get pregnant haha! How fortunate your neighbor knew to come to your house first and that the whole neighborhood pitched in to welcome the new baby. What a lovely Christmas story.

    My aunt who was due on Christmas went into labor at our house on Christmas Eve in the middle of dinner. However it was the early stages and she made it to the hospital with plenty of time to spare and didn’t give birth until the afternoon of Christmas Day. So we all trooped off to the hospital to see our new cousin/niece. A very special Christmas indeed, though 13 years later I think my cousin is realizing having your birthday on Christmas isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


  9. Thanks for the tip about the TV series … never heard of – have to find downloads.
    You really know how to tell a story – a wonderful story, so heart griping – and I can see that tractor driving away through the flooding. And what a wonderful job your mum had. Thanks for this sunshine and feel good story. You should publish all your stories … and call the book “Stories from a little Devon Village” … I would buy it.


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