Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘snow’ Category

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 53 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 172 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was April 7th with 144 views. The most popular post that day was Birth before the arrival of a midwife.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for midwife blog, valerie gommon, skinny women and pregnancy, albany midwives suspended, and placentophagy research.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Birth before the arrival of a midwife May 2009


“Super skinny pregnancies” March 2009


Independent Midwifery and snow Part II January 2010


Eating the placenta (placentophagy)? October 2009


Freebirthing / Unassisted birth May 2009

Well, the snow continues, but so does work … I did cancel a non-urgent appointment that was an hour’s drive away, but other than that it is business as usual.

I admit that it is daft to go out unnecessarily, the roads have been dreadful at times and I have been mighty glad to get home some days, but most days the roads are fine if you exercise caution and drive slowly.

On Saturday night I was just going to bed when I received a call from a concerned father-to-be.  His wife was in early labour and they planned a homebirth.  When he called to request a midwife to attend he was told that homebirths were cancelled due to the weather conditions and that they should make their way into hospital. 

The man was distressed that they might need to change their plans and angry that the NHS was letting them down.  Okay, so there was a little snow on the ground, but the main roads were clear and he felt that it was an excuse.

Fortunately a friend suggested he give me a call and I was able to go out to them.  I got there without difficulty, and was able to spend the night with them.

I appreciate that we have to consider the safety of the health professionals – but we also have to consider the safety of the mother and baby – a baby born unexpectedly en route to a hospital would not be good in present conditions!

I am happy to say that I went to see the couple yesterday and mother and baby are doing fine.  I came away clutching a bottle of champagne, so I think they were pleased with me!

As an Independent Midwife I have clients within quite a wide geographic area, and it isn’t unusual to have a client who lives up to an hour from my home.  If the client has had several children and previous quick labours I occasionally sleep over at their house when they may be in early labour to ensure that I can get to them in time.  However, although my last client usually had long labours and I was thinking that I’d have plenty of time to get there, but when I saw the snow expected I decided that I should go and camp out with her just in case I couldn’t get to her.  I drove over (in blizzard conditions) and felt very relieved that I had as I wouldn’t have relished the journey in the middle of the night.  In the event, her baby didn’t arrive that night, but she laboured the following afternoon and her baby was born in her sitting room at around 9pm.  It was a fabulous birth, in the pool surrounded by her husband, mother and two children who watched in awe.  We all tucked up in bed afterwards, very content and secure.

The following morning after breakfast I was able to perform a postnatal examination on both mother and baby and had the opportunity to discuss the nights events with my client and her children before setting off to go home.

Fortunately my next clients are much more local to home, but I confess to waking several times in the night recently to look out and check how much snow has fallen – after all a midwife can’t stop working just because there is a little (or a lot) of snow!

Well I should be going to visit clients, but may have to cancel again as it is snowing pretty hard.  Fortunately I don’t have any clients whose babies are imminently due.

Yesterday I saw that Bedford hospital were appealing for any local staff to go in as many staff had been unable to get to the hospital.  I know that Milton Keynes was in a similar position, indeed a relative had an operation cancelled for this reason.

There was a great story in yesterdays Independent newspaper, Peter Cartwright, a radiographer from Ashford in Kent walked 18 miles to get to work at Guy’s Hospital in Central London on Monday – now that is dedication (or madness) for you!