I was at a birth recently where I was with the couple for 25.5 hours straight. But I was actually up for more like 48 hours....I got an initial labor call from her the night before, was up waiting for the "I'm ready" call but then her labor petered out and picked up again the next night after I'd slept for about 2 hours. She needed constant support from both me and her husband the whole time she was in labor. I took two maybe 15 minute breaks to eat. I managed, but by the end I really felt like I didn't have as much to give as I would have liked. I was just so tired, physically and emotionally- very difficult birth in so many ways.
SO...it got me thinking how I might handle this next time. I was thinking I might build something into my contract that if the labor lasts more than 12 hours, I may opt to bring in my backup to cover for me. I'd leave it open-ended so that the couple and I could make some decisions together if/when the time comes, but I'd just put the idea in there that this is a possibility. I figure if I'd been with her for 12 hours and she was at 8 or 9, no problem, I'd just stay. But (as was true here) if she was at 4 after 12 hours of intense support from me (counterpressure for every contraction etc.), I might have the backup come for 2 or 3 hours so I could sleep. That way the mom gets continuous support, she still gets me there for the really tough part at the very end, and my energy is conserved.
Thoughts? How have y'all handled this situation? A first for me.