This morning I went with the doula I am shadowing, B, to visit a client's home for the first time. B came and picked me up since she was 25 minutes from me, and the woman's home was 35 minutes further from me. B had agreed to be this woman's doula pro bono because the woman was going through a hard time financially, and B is a really big doula advocate in general and thought it was important that she have a doula. They had communicated several times by e-mail so B already had her background and medical history and situation known. We'll call the pregnant woman Marie.
Marie is pregnant with twins and already has a 3 year old girl. The twins will be delivered by C-section. This is frequently, though not always, the case with twins because they must both be in the right positioning to be safely delivered vaginally. Also, they're almost always pre-term because come on, there's just not enough room in there to bring both babies to their full gestational size! Marie's tummy was huge and really quite wide and she is very uncomfortable. She had a C-section with her first child so she knows basically what to expect, but she didnt have an ideal situation in the hospital because they gave her baby a lot of vaccinations and procedures that she did NOT want done and did end up causing complications. Also, she didn't see her baby for several hours and they gave her a bottle which made breastfeeding difficult and frustrating.
Her current doctor has been pushing a lot of unnecessary tests and shots on her that she is a bit unhappy with, but she's having her husband stay with the twins from the minute they are born so they can make sure they don't have any needles near them.
Today's visit was an opportunity to meet face to face before the birth and let the woman know how her C-section procedure with twins is going to go. B was very knowledgeable, as she had witnessed cesareans and twin births before, and had gone to this particular hospital many many times and knew the doctors and the rooms and everything. I mostly sat back and listened both to what B told Marie and how Marie described her experience. It was an opportunity for them both to ask questions of each other about how it was all going to go. It was very laid back and informative.
I can't attend the birth because of the hospital's flu season visitor policy, but I may go to her postpartum visit (as long as I'm not away for Thanksgiving). Also, there is a Jewish woman in the next town over who is due in December who has said to B that it is all right if I am there for her home labor. Again, I won't be able to go to the hospital and see the actual pushing part, but its still pretty good!
Does anyone know why an Orthodox Jewish man may not even look at his wife without her clothes on while she is in childbirth? I understand why no touching, but why no seeing either?