Eve was the first client who hired me by recommendation which was exciting. She was also the shortest time I had ever spent with a client since she hired me only two days before her birth when she was already 1 centimeter dilated. This was also going to be my first experience with an OB instead of a midwife and I was curious to see if I would notice a difference in treatment.
She called me with some contractions during the day but went away after a while. Later that night while I was in a HypnoBirthing class, she texted me with some times of contractions that seemed really close together. I suggested she call her OB who told her to come in so I meet them at the hospital.
When I arrived, at 10:00 she was already 4cm and set up in a room. I tried to jump right in but she wanted me to just give her space. The pain was intense but she became introverted and played her IPod. She didn’t want me to do anything for her. In our prenatal meeting, she had told me that she tends to introvert but I guess I thought it would be different in labor. She had the staydol and was already dozing off between contractions. They were intense and she just kind of kept her eyes closed and kept to herself. I tried to approach and make more contact and she continued to ask for space. I literally sat in the chair at the end of the bed. My role was to be a witness instead of physical or emotional support and it was a hard lesson to learn. I just made sure that any time she opened her eyes, I was there. I was the constant presence.
After sleep, she was 8 and she wanted an epidural for the pain. I was required to leave the room for the administering of that. When I returned, they broke her water and there was meconium and there was fetal distress. There was a huge urgency in the room to get this baby delivered. Eve and Adam appeared calm and very trusting of whatever they were told. There really were no questions asked at all. They had her push so hard and fast that her labia actually tore in half which was really shocking to me. The baby girl was born 5.6 and perfectly healthy.
It turns out, that the placenta was only half attached to the wall which they explained for her small size since they told her they thought the baby would be about 8 lbs. I don’t know if with the epidural, she realized the extent of the damage that was done during her birth. I found the lack of questioning of anything happening to be disconcerting but in the end, they were happy with their birth experience and that is really all my job is.
Sometimes, the more information I learn about birth makes me surprised how people are ok with just doing whatever they are told with their birth and their bodies. Those people need doulas too. I know there are some doulas how will not work in hospitals or with OBs but I think that is wrong because my job is to support a woman during birth and the birth she wants. It is not to make them have the birth that I think they should have or that I think is best for them. As for having my first OB experiance, I did find it to be very medicalized but I think that also could have been the way this birth played out. I will have to see what happens with the next OB.