…is a virtue. Been hearing that for years, and I’m quite certain I’ve said it a few times myself.
I have a doula client, one that I took pro bono, with whom I have a really good rapport. We (she, her husband, and I) met, we’ve had 2 pre-birth appointments, and she was due this past weekend. From the first, I stressed that, as their doula, I’m there to help throughout labor and delivery with whatever they need–even if it’s just a calm presence in the room from which they can both draw strength and confidence. We talked about how, as soon as she thought she was having contractions, she would call me, no matter what time of day or night, and I would come as soon as she wanted me.
This morning around 8:45am, I got a text from the husband saying that they’re at the hospital, she’s in labor, and they’ll let me know when they need me. She was doing well, apparently, and they were fine as they were.
I texted again a little bit before 2pm as I hadn’t heard anything, and didn’t hear back right away. I figured that meant something was happening, and I was right: I got an answer saying that she’d gotten the epidural (“thank God”) and is currently sleeping. He’s ordering lunch. He knows how to get hold of me.
They didn’t call me, they don’t want me yet… So much for that rapport.
As a doula, I am an extremely empathetic, yet eminently practical, woman. I am perfectly aware that when a woman–especially a first-time mother–goes through her pregnancy, she really can’t predict a lot of what’s going to happen. She doesn’t know what she’s going to need from moment to moment, which is why women need a lot of support around this event. I’ve had my training, I’m doing my studying, I’m talking to mothers and doulas and dads, and I can’t wait to do this for a living for real.
Being the empathic yet practical woman I am, educated in the ways of childbirth and the idea that the best way to keep a laboring woman comfortable is to do whatever she needs, I can completely understand that adding me to the equation at any point may actually be a stress to her. That is the last thing anyone wants.
But I’m still disappointed. I was really looking forward to being a part of the birth, and the formation of a new family. Next to being there for whatever the mom needs, that’s my favorite part.
And…since they haven’t said they need me yet, I have to go to work. *sigh*
This counts for five minutes of writing today, I think. Go, me! 😉