My fifth client was a friend of mine and was suppose to be easy since we already had a relationship. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The night she called me and said she thought she was in labor, I was willing to go to her house even tough I didnt think she was in labor. I do a lot of judgement over the phone and more experianced doulas can tell immediately who is in labor and who is not just by speaking to the clients in between contractions. I had a feeling this was nothing but I wanted to go see for myself. When I arrive, I know she is in pain but I do not think they are contractions. I soon realize it is more of a constant pain and that it is coming from her pelvis and hip joints opening and separating. See this Eve is really built like a boy. She does not have "childbearing hips" as you might hear an old women say. After a couple hours, she really wants to go to the hospital. I am really at a loss on how to help her because this is really not labor pains. She needs some pain killers. I go to the hospital because I believe every birth is a learning experiance and I want to see where this is going to go.
They of course send her home. She is 1 cm. They tell her to take some Tylenol PM and get some sleep. I go home. Trip number 1 is done. She gets no sleep and is constant pain. for a whole day. The following morning, they are going to induce her with some cervadil. This doesn't do anything and they do it twice. Another 24hrs. She is stuck in bed...she is miserable. I go back to the hospital to give her some emotional support even though she is only 3 ct. She has the epidural but it s only effecting one side of her body. They give her staydol to help her sleep and I have never seen anyone stay wide awake on it, but Eve did. They move her to antipardum and I go home again and wait. Day three I go back, she progressed to 4. She is so devistrated that things are going so poorly. She doesn't understand why they have in no way offered a section. Women plan them all the time and for soeme reason, they are holding off on offering it to her. I am not sure why.
Finally the suggestion is made because nothing is happening. They tell her Adam will be with her and I leave. What happens from there is really disappointing. They cannot get her completely numb because of the placement of the epidural. They tell her they have to put her under. They do not let her see her husband or even listened to her concerns. All they tell Adam is he can't come in and will have to wait. When Eve comes too, she did not see her son for 5 hours. He came into the world alone and without either of his parents beign there and this disturbed Eve very much. They even bring down Psych because they decide she is too upset. This just added insult to injury. I later learn from a nurse friend of mine that the fact that she did not sleep from the Staydol may have been a red flag of a drug problem. I know for a fact she does not have a drug problem.
I wish the story ended better. Eve is in the hospital for a few days and she is sad and depressed and sore. Her son ends up being partially deaf but the sweetest thing. She recovers physical in a few weeks, but mentally takes longer. I assure her she did everything possible but she feels abused and deprived of the birth experiance she had hoped to have.
As a doula, this was a tough birth. She deserved better. Every women deserves better. There was nothing she or I could have done. That is the hardest thing to accept. Another lesson is learned for me.