I wasn't planning to take any clients this summer, because of the impending move, but when I got offered this one through The Doula Connection (a volunteer doula service for financially challenged women) my gut said to take her. And am I ever glad I did.
First of all , all of my clients up until now have been at one hospital in the city, and this client was at a different hospital. I REALLY like their model of care. No 4 hour nursing shifts in L&D. And despite the fact that it was a teaching hospital, and the students were a little annoying, they went to great pains to keep men out of my client's room. In fact the ONLY male besides family who was ever in her room was the Attending for the floor, and he was only there to supervise the actual delivery, he never touched her. (she is not American, and has a cultural thing about strange men)
In any case, this poor lady went through her whole labor with an urge to push. Baby was OP, and she stalled out at 5cm for nearly 8 hours, even after AROM. Once they hung the pit, my mind went to the "here we go again" place, I was certain that we were headed for a c-section, but lo and behold, in three hours she went from 5 to 10 and pushing. Only one dose of pain meds, too.
From this labor I learned that you have to have faith. Not just in God, but in birth. This mom and her husband spent most of her labor praying. They never lost their faith, even at the darkest times, even when she was tempted to give up, and to show for it that have a beautiful little princess, born just before midnight.
So I have my final birth, and In goes the paperwork for my DONA certification.