Friday, July 28, 2006

Walk The Plank

AAgggghhhhhh!!! I am sooo frustrated this today! My client rang yesterday, after her appt with her OB. Everything is doing well, she is 2cm and softening, so her body is beginning this process naturally and nicely.

She isn't due until next weekend. However, she then tells me that her OB is booking her in for an INDUCTION on the Monday after she is due !!!!!!!!!! So, in my calmest voice I ask her why. Apparantly her doc is off on holiday on the Thursday - so THAT makes sense!!!!!! and also she needs to make sure there is a bed for her!!!!! Seriously, so if she went into labour naturally there WOULDN'T be a bed for her??? The thing is, that this isn't a one off either. My last client was induced. Her platelets had been low for a few weeks and her doc decided to induce her ON her due date "because of her platelet count". I laughed with R and said cynically that it was really cos he was probably going on holiday, because if her condition was THAT bad, they would have induced her when they first had a low count as the count hadn't deteriorated any more since then! ^&*(*&^ me, whilst she is pushing, he is telling us about his trip planned to Vt. in two days time! Seriously, he was lucky I was holding her leg, cos I would have socked him one!

This current client can't have an epidural because she has no coccyx and the anesthetist has said he won't perform one on her. Which is great in the grand scheme of things, but if they are going to pump her full of pitocin and induce her to ensure the doc gets her fee and goes off on holiday on time, she probably is going to end up having a c-section - there is certainly a MUCH higher chance.

The reason I am so frustrated is that MY hands are tied. I can't tell her what to do. I have informed her of her options and told her the pros and cons of it all, but the rest is down to her. I can't be seen to coerce her or influence her decision. I just have to sit on the side lines and watch it all unfold. I don't know what to do right now.

I am a doula to help women achieve the birth outcomes they desire. To ensure their needs are met and that they lower their chances of c-sections and epidurals etc. But I really feel I am fighting the system. I am so limited in what I can do, other than support my clients in their (bad?) choices with an open heart, when all the time inside I am screaming at their OB to give them time to go naturally or let them get up and move...........

I was talking with a dear friend yesterday about the same things. She has returned recently from the DONA (Doulas of North America)conference in Co. She is feeling the same. Perhaps our problems are, as doulas, we are not doing ENOUGH, or perhaps we are going down the wrong route. Perhaps we shouldn't BE doulas if we want to make a difference or be heard, perhaps we should be midwives? Or, even OB's. I so wish I knew what to do. That said, as a midwife in CT, my hands would be just as tied. I want to serve these women and help them discover that birth is amazing, it is hard, it is painful, but it is empowering and fantastic but they need to stand up and speak and be heard. Even when you are asked to be a doula for a client who appears to be taking responsiblity for her birth and is desperate for a natural birth, she is so easily pushed down by her OB when they press the right buttons or use the right (or not so right) language.

Any comments or thoughts are gratefully received it will save me finding another brick wall to bang my head on - which believe me, over here is actually pretty hard to find !!!!!

I am going to be speaking at our local organic store in a few weeks time - probably to an empty room lol!! but it might be a start.

Well, to other things - T is at a barbecue today and W has gone to camp dressed as a Pirate!! Tomorrow I think we might try to go somewhere. Friends of ours have mentioned Thimble Island, which is a boat ride out to an island in the Sound that used to be a pirate hideaway, mind you not sure I can cope with much more of W jumping out on my yelling "agrrrgh, walk the plank" - although today, I would quite happily oblige!!!!!

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