Yesterday I called up the doula who is mentoring me, B, that I have been hoping to shadow at some births to see how her clients due around Christmas were doing. This turned out to be both a disappointing and fruitful discussion.
Disappointing, because she told me that her Dec 21 mom had gone into labor early (like I had hoped!) but had labored alone all night before going to the hospital. I was only going to be allowed to shadow B when she helped the mom labor at home before they went to the hospital, but since B didn't even go to the house, I didn't either :( She had talked to her on the phone all night on and off, and then when her water broke and the contractions were coming on strong with a lot of bloody show they decided to meet at the hospital. B thought the woman must for sure be at least 7 cm dilated or more, but when they checked her she was only 1 cm! But she was full effaced, and that was why she had a lot of mucus. So she was going to suggest that she go home, or go for a walk, but the woman decided to have some Stadol so they stayed. The stadol didn't really take away her pain, just sorta made her drunk, and at one point she was apparently seeing three of B. As it turns out, she managed to go from 1 cm to fully dilated in about 4 hours and then start pushing! Which was a surprise, because even the doctor had said she probably wouldn't have the baby until the evening. So, in short, I missed it all.
The possible good news is her mom due on the 24th wants to have her baby early. This is because her previous babies were large and the doctor told her this one would be too. I'm not sure why everyone is so afraid of big babies... I was over 8lbs, my bro was 9lbs, and I've heard of plenty of moms giving birth just fine to "big" babies. Shouldn't a baby stay inside you full term? Anyway, the mom wants to be as naturally induced as possible, and doesn't want pitocin. So she is having her doctor strip her membranes*, which is supposed to help labor start within 24-48 hours. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she goes into labor pretty soon so I can attend it before we head out of town for the holidays! Although B told me that the client has had really short labors in the past and it may be over quickly... a bad thing in case I miss another one, a good thing if I get to go and then leave for vacation right after!
*I had to ask what this was. It is not the same as breaking the bag of waters (amniotic sac). It is done by inserting a finger between the membrane that goes around the amniotic sac and the wall of the uterus to loosen the membranes from the wall. Sometimes this stimulation of the uterine wall can help to start labor. Its not really induction, just stimulation of labor.
I also expressed my concerns about how hard it has been to find clients for my certification births. I was hoping to get some through her or through the DC/Baltimore area yahoo groups I joined. Unfortunately, a mom interested in a low cost doula I emailed also was emailed by several other training doulas and I was shut out :( I asked B if I should make flyers and drive around town putting them up (kind of intimidating). She said I can also email local doulas/midwives/childbirth educators and ask them to give my info out to any moms looking for a low cost doula in training.
So here's the fruitful part - I've gotten several really positive responses already! And I'm starting to look into ordering business cards and making a website (which is a lot more complicated than I thought). The point I'm still stuck on is a clever name... that isn't already taken. I really liked EmpoweredBirth.com, but its being used :( But, I'll be able to really throw myself into this once my application to graduate school is completely submitted - hopefully in the next week!
EDIT: sigghhhh... The first call I got this morning was from B and I was so excited that this was THE CALL! But when I picked up she said she was on her way to meet the mom.... at the hospital! siiggghhh. The other day the mom was already dilated 3-4ish centimeters even though she wasn't in true labor (you can be in pre-labor FOREVER before you're really in even early labor) and thats why she was hoping the membrane stripping would work. Turns out, she went to her doctor appointment this morning and they were like whoa, your bag of waters is bulging and you're 5-6 cm dilated and you have high blood pressure, you should go to the hospital. And when she called B to tell her she was already having to breathe through some hard contractions. So B is rushing to the hospital hoping she doesn't miss it! I'm soooo disappointed! The woman lived about 5 min away from me it would have been perfect. :(