Last week was very busy. So, my wife Robyn and I decided to relax and see a movie on Sunday afternoon. We decided to see ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’.

In case a patient went into labour, I didn’t book the tickets until 10.00am on Sunday. I had to do an online booking to secure appropriate seats. I must have an aisle seat as I may be getting a phone call from the hospital during the movie and I will have to leave the cinema to answer the call. I always leave my phone on ‘silent’ when at the cinema.

We left to go to church at 10.30 am. While in the car on the way to church I had a phone call from the hospital to say a patient was there. She was only contacting 1 in every 10 minutes and was not in established labour. It was her second pregnancy and she was 2 days overdue. As she was not in established labour she was able to go home. It could have been uterine irritability rather than a prelude to the onset of labour. I heard nothing more. As we had purchased the cinema tickets, the patient had not returned to the hospital and I had suitable seats for a quick exit if needed we decided to go to the cinema as planned.

At 4.30 pm we drove into the shopping centre car park. My phone rang. The patient had returned and was now in established labour. Her cervix was 6 to 7 cm dilated. I said to my wife we should go home. So, without even stopping the car we drove out of the shopping centre car park and went home to await the next call to attend the hospital for her delivery.

Shortly after I returned home I was called to attend the hospital. She had made quick progress and had a normal vaginal delivery of a healthy baby girl. Her progress was so quick that I arrived just after the baby delivered.

I said to my wife if there is no one in labour on Monday afternoon why don’t we try again to go to the cinema on Monday evening? So as there was no one in labour at about 1.00pm on the Monday I booked an aisle and adjacent seat for the 6.45pm session of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’.

About 20 minutes into the movie I had a call from the Birth Unit. The call was from a midwife to tell me a patient who was 31 weeks has attended as she was feeling unwell. The baby was ok, and she was well enough to go home. She was advised to see her GP the next day. I returned to my seat next to my wife to enjoy the rest of the movie, uninterrupted.

My life is very busy and totally unpredictable. Thankfully I have a wonderful and understanding wife, to whom I have been married for many years. We married when I was a medical student. She has supported me through the many years of my life’s unpredictability.

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