One of my favorite stories that I like to tell is from the first time I was a backup doula for another doula who was away when her client went into labor. I had briefly met with the client and her husband for about a half hour, during their second prenatal meeting. So, needless to say, I didn’t know them very well.
Well, lo and behold, she went into labor when her doula was away and I got called in to help her. When I arrived at their home, all three of us seemed to know just what we needed to do. Mama wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, so we did that. She was close to active labor when we got in the car to go to the hospital, so I was in the back of the station wagon with her doing the double hip squeeze as that really seemed to help her.
Once we got to the hospital, the staff was very good about letting us just do our thing without too many interruptions. This poor mama had back labor the whole time, even though her baby did not seem to be in the posterior position. She worked really hard and she achieved the natural birth that she wanted.
Once her baby was safe and sound in her arms, she looked up at me and gave me the most radiant, beaming, smile I have ever seen from a client! I will never forgot her expression for as long as I am doing this work.
That smile makes every thing I do so worthwhile!
And the coolest part of this was that we really didn’t need to know each other well, we just needed to do our job!