Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dr Loveridge and the "Call of the Midwife"

I did my " on the district " obstetrics in this very place. We swore the midwife
in charge, "auntie Glad" was trained by Florence Nightingale. The TV series is
much sanitized, the real place was a dirty crime ridden cesspit. My first
delivery was an Italian lady on her fourth or fifth delivery, 6 floors up in a dirty
tenement in Brick Lane ( look it up). No electricity, they hadn't paid so it was
cut off. Rode there on a butcher's bicycle with the tools in the front pannier.
Well she tore, had to sew her up, given 2 four inch needles with string
attached. "just make two big stitches' sayeth the midwife. "what about local
anesthetic, I foolishly asked? She replied, " Don't worry about that young man
she won't feel a thing, I did this all through the blitz and I know what I'm
talking about".
Now, if you went afoul of the midwives, and we were all mortally afraid of
auntie Glad, who could probably founded the Empire all by herself, you had to
do your 12 deliveries to her satisfaction, or you had to repeat the rotation, a
fate worse than death. I believe it is a little different now.