I thought it would be fun tell a story about an adventure I recently went on. Privacy is very sacred to me so I may have changed some specific details but they don’t change the story.
A few weeks ago I was hired by a family who live a small hike from the city. I love to drive so I as super excited to explore the countryside of my gorgeous state, especially since I’ll get the opportunity to see the fall foliage. I had a general idea where they lived, but I’d never been to the town or the even smaller town they actually live in.
Google Maps said it would take me about an hour and a half to get to their house. I like to be conservative with time for a first meeting so I usually add about 30 minutes of travel time. If that means I need to hang out in a random parking lot for a few minutes, that’s ok. I just don’t want to be super late due to traffic or anything like that.
I left my house 2 hours prior to our meeting. I was armed with my paperwork, the books and DVDs they were borrowing, my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, and of course my phone. About 10 minutes after I get out of town, the sky got really, really dark. Then the rain starts. We are talking sheets and sheets of rain. So much rain, in fact, that all the cars and trucks came to a screeching halt on the highway because we could barely see the lights in front of us. I literally drove 20 mph down a highway that is usually 70 mph (or more if you live on the edge!)
The whole time I was creeping along, all I could think about was missing my exit. I couldn’t see the signs and I was in the left lane because I was too scared to move over when the rain started coming down. Once I got my barrings and the rain let up a bit, I started to imagine what it must be like to be a midwife out in the country. Driving in the heavy rain or snow, or whatever weather condition. You can’t just not show up to meet a baby when a family is counting on you. Plus, babies tend to come with the weather is crazy. That could be my life in a few years.
I get off at my first exit onto a state highway. My phone (the map) said I was supposed to turn off on a certain road but I couldn’t find it. So I just went straight eventually my phone would give me another route. Yeah, then cell service cut out! GO figure. Going straight was actually the more direct route so it was a happy coincidence.
I was supposed to make a turn onto Main Street. Guess what… no Main Street. I turned around twice and yep… none. So I took a chance and turned down the street where the town hall is. In the 30 seconds of cell service I got, it learned I was on the right path. I drove for forever and a day. I saw cows and corn; houses and fields. It was really quite nice.
I was constantly on the look out for their road. This resulted in a lot of angry people passing me but oh well. I barely see a street sign that *might* be theirs. But the name is a little different. So I drive past and keep looking. Then I realized I’ve left the county. Oooops! I knew i’d gone, too far. When I was turning around I had to resist the urge to collect the presumably stray dog (more about that later.) I head back and decide to take the road I thought it might be.
I should probably mention I was driving a Prius. The road was gravel and up hill. Remember the massive amounts of rain? Yeah I was pretty nervous. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck and have to tell my clients what happened. Mental note: if this is their road, I need to bring the SUV next time.
I didn’t see their house. Not wanting to make a complete fool of myself by calling while driving down a loud gravel road, I headed back to the main road and waved my white flag. I gave them a phone call, luckily for me I had a few bars of service in the spot I was. Turns out, someone must have stolen their street sign a while back. I’d passed it their road a few times in my search, too. I’m glad I allowed that extra 30 minutes. I arrived at their house on time.
While it was an adventure, I’m so glad I get to support this amazing family. It was worth every moment. I think we will make a great team. I’m so thankful they’ve invited me on their journey to meet the new member of their family. I’m excited about future drives because there is so much beautiful scenery I’ll get to see. It was late at night when I was driving back. I drove the entire way with my windows open, breathing the fresh air. When I got home, I wrote very specific driving instructions in case one of my backups need to go for a visit.
Back to the dog: I grew up in the middle of no where and dogs ran loose. That’s just the way things are done. So I’m sure this dog, which looked healthy, did have a home. Could you imagine your doula from the big city showing up with a dog in her car that she picked up on the side of the road? Better yet, having to tell her you know who the dog belongs to? I do think if I ever become the classic country midwife like I’d like to bed I’d probably want to bring my dog with me to all my visits. Why not, right?