I am a doula in training. I’m working to find births to attend in order to submit for my certification process. It requires that I get the mother’s permission to submit the information to DONA. It requires signatures and a confidentiality contract. It requires that I attend the birth.
I had a doula client. We did a couple pre-natal meetings and I attended her water-birth class with her. I spent time texting her, emailing information, and being support as she approached her due date, made her due date, and then passed her due date,
I did a lot of research. She wanted a VBAC, which is a vaginal birth after a caesarean. She was 100% invested in a natural, drug-free birth. I made sure I researched even more so I could provide the best information possible. I checked out positions for water-birth, how to move along a stalled labor…you name it and I probably Googled it or thumbed through the indexes of my collection of books.
She called me, excited, one morning. She had been having contractions on and off for days. They were steady. They were picking up. Things were looking bright! We stayed in communication the rest of the morning. I let my husband know today could be the day and alerted my MIL who had volunteered to be the monkey wrangler, er, baby sitter. We were playing it by ear, but there was a definite excitement in the air.
She decided to go walking in hopes of speeding things up, per her midwife’s suggestion. She asked me to come with her. I did. I think we must have walked miles! Contractions got harder, more frequent, and she could no longer talk or walk through them. It was around midnight when we headed towards the hospital. She got sent home because she wasn’t dilated enough to be admitted. It was disheartening. I felt bad for her and began wracking my brain. I felt like it must have been my fault. What could I have done differently? Was I doomed to be a failure?!
I began wondering if the baby was in an odd position. I trolled Spinningbabies.com, checking out movements and positions to help just in case. I looked at doula message boards and talked to my mentor. Sent her some info and went back to the waiting game. We stayed in contact, but nothing was changing. She still was having contractions. She was still uncomfortable and ready to evict the baby, but she was determined to do this on his time. She declined being induced. She tired all those “this will put you into labor” wives tales. She prayed, talked to the baby, and messaged me convinced she was going to be pregnant forever.
I did what I could. I reminded her that she was amazing. She was a rock star who was kicking ass and taking names. She could do this. She was doing this. Soon she would be holding and loving on Turtle Baby. Then, Friday came.
to be continued…