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Things seem to happen very suddenly around Alfie. One moment he is content to sit in one spot like a miniature Buddha playing with things that come within range and occasionally toppling over onto a stack of cushion, the next he is putting his ridiculously long legs to use scurrying after his favourite toy.

Honestly, you want to check out the 0-60 on this kid!!

What astounds me most is how quick the transformation has been, and how woefully unprepared we are. It actually feels like a sudden loss (which in terms of peace and quiet I suppose it is) and I’m still rather in shock, especially after the chaos of last night.

There’s no easy way to say it, so I’m just going to come out with it – Alfie fell out of his cot. There, I said it, I am a bad mother.

The fault is entirely mine for not connecting speed crawling with a sudden desire to scale the north face of the Eiger. When I put Alfie down, I left the side of his cot down as I always do. Many hours passed and clearly our little boy decided that the dead of night was the perfect chance to perfect his crawling skills (yes Alfie, busted, now I know how you seem to magically acquire these skills overnight!!) and overestimated the ability of the cot to contain him.

Keith and I were woken by a twang, an almighty thump and a paint stripping WWWAAAAAAAAAROOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! emanating from the next door bedroom. We both cleared the bed in a headlong dash to see what doom had befallen our first born only to see the cot as we had left it, and no Alfie in sight.

Don’t ask me how he managed to do it, but our future MENSA candidate (snort) had somehow managed to end up under the cot, and was trying to crawl out, only to be blocked by the lower half of the cot side. In effect, he had managed to imprison himself and this was producing more grumbling than his original inglorious exit.

As soon as I picked him up, he gave vent to a lusty expression of woe and not having the heart to leave him in his bed (or actually the ability to reassemble the cot in our semi conscious state) we took him into bed with us. This act of kindness was mistranslated as an invitation to use his parents as a jungle gym which not even a cheeky bottle could sate.

He finally settled down and stopped kicking me in the back when his father rugby tackled him and held him in a bear hug until the Rescue Remedy kicked in and he dozed off.

I pity poor Keith, his life just got a WHOLE lot harder. I pity me too, because we’re about to go away for 7 days camping with the child, in a tent that we discovered yesterday has a totally rotten groundsheet, and guess what? It’s going to thunder. Oh yes.

In my spare time, I’ve also been thinking hard about legendary midwives and what that means. I started a topic on a forum I use and people were really quick to name their local heroes. It’s odd because that’s not really where I wanted to take this subject but maybe that was my mistake. Maybe it is the local heroes that I should be shouting about on here, rather than the ones that are already household names. I’m not sure.

One post really did stand out for me though, and it was this one:

“Well, I'd have to nominate Phyllis Winters of Montrose Birth Unit in Scotland.

She has assembled a fantastic team of midwives who respect the informed choice of parents. They have supported women (that I know of) who have not necessarily been low-risk, informing them of the risks etc but not just blanketly refusing if women fall out with standard policies. They run the best little Birth Unit in the land, also attending homebirths. I cannot rate them highly enough, and it's all down to Phyllis really.

Montrose also runs a Student Study Day each year which is very well regarded.

I feel very blessed and honoured to have such midwives on my 'doorstep' who have welcomed and encouraged me, supporting me in my role as a Doula.

These are the midwives every women deserves. But worryingly, they feel a little under threat of closure again, more so the sister unit in Arbroath.

http://www.birthinangus.org.uk/

We CANNOT allow the choice of birthing in these units to be taken away from women, some of whom come from far afield to birth there.

K”

So first of all, Phyllis, should you ever run into this blog, I hope you know how much you mean to the ladies you serve, because clearly you are getting something seriously right here.

Secondly, what is it with this country and destroying the beacons of good practice?!?

It feels like yesterday I was on the Birth March to support the Albany Midwives and yet I keep hearing more and more tales of services like theirs being closed down.

Government of Britain, you cannot continue to preach about choice for women, and quality of service and then take a hatchet to the very services that live those virtues!!

If you want to save money, there are plenty of places you can do it. Hell, I’ll even stop whinging about losing £750 in tax credits this year if you’ll use that saving to keep funding vital facilities like this one open.

Considering how much I can whinge, I call that value for money!

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