Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not My Birth

I was lucky enough not to go "overdue" with any of my babies. They were born on their due date, 7 days ahead and 3 days ahead. I have never experienced the frustration of being "late".

My client is now, officially, past-term. She was due on the 22nd, and it's now the 24th. She's being monitored twice weekly, OB appointments every Tuesday, and the pressure is on. She's tired, discouraged and uncomfortable. It doesn't help that being a VBAC has labeled her high-risk. That high-risk status will shatter anyone's confidence. The c-section she was trying so hard to avoid is whispering her name, and she's wavering.

What to do? Medical induction is out because of the extra risks it carries on the c-section scar. Natural inductions - nipple stimulation, sex, orgasm, walking, raspberry leaf tea (not an induction, only a uterine toner) have been encouraged. At 10 months pregnant, none of these are especially appealing...for the mother. I mention different herbal remedies, but caution her not to take them without talking to her doctor or Naturopath. Just because something is "all-natural", doesn't make it "all-safe". Now, we wait. Now, more than ever, I encourage. I think she is tiring of me saying it won't be long.

In the end, it will be her decision. Being a doula to a VBAC client, which is very personal for me, carries a risk to my emotions. As I watch her and accompany her in this journey, I often think of my own cesarean, and my own VBACs. It's tempting to interrupt with "I remember my birth...", "Well, I did this..." and so on. It's easy to let it become too personal, and too much about me. It's not, though. This is her journey, her hurdle, her achievement. I have to be careful not to rob her of this birth in order to make myself feel better.

If she chooses the cesarean, I need to help her make this cesarean the best section ever. I can not mourn that. I can not push or suggest or lead her into making a decision that may not be in her best interest or against her own values and desires. This is not about me.

In the end, I must remember that her values must become my values. I must adapt to her world, and support the decisions she makes. That's my job.

No comments: