Every year when the shops fill with Slade, calendars count down in chocolate to an absence of cereal on the morning of the 25th December and male faces fill with desperation at present buying, my mind slips back to my kitchen, about a decade ago.
It’s an unremarkable kitchen, but had in it a large plastic birthing pool.
This symbolises to me the clash of evidence (‘water births are safe for low risk pregnancies’), patient choice (‘i want a home birth’) and paediatric medical experience (‘EVERY WATER BIRTH IS A NIGHTMARE THEY ALL DO REALLY BADLY AND THE FLOOR IS SLIPPY’).
The upshot was, at 7.30 am, the filling of the aforesaid bath on 25th December, the birth of a perfectly healthy and un-drowned baby at 11.30am (ish) and a Christmas lunch of bacon butties with two very relieved midwives, a weeping Grannie and a perfectly peaceful Mother resting on an inco-sheet covered couch by a decorated tree.
Merry Christmas everyone, and may you follow the evidence that suits your patients and place all your prejudices to one side.