Sorry this is so long. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your input.
You are not abandoning her if you have offered to go with her to the hospital and have offered her other options for care. To me, it sounds like not attending the birth at home is a good move if you have concerns about safety. Just document everything.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
I totally understand where you are coming from. Your concerns are valid, and you are not abandoning her. It sounds like you are actually thinking about everyone's safety. Who knows what would happen if her partner is abusive and gets stressed for some reason? Birth can be stressful for partners even when things are going well. At least in a hospital you help eliminate the posibilty of violence occuring while she is laboring, not just to you but to her as well.
Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...
If I am stepping on toes here, I apologize. Is there any chance that the hospital can be alerted or child services upon the birth?? That is quite concerning. That innocent baby is next.
you have to trust your gut when it tells you something is "off". would you have felt comfortable being in the intimate space of birth with this couple? all signs point to no. it is really hard to risk someone out, even harder when you don't feel safe. so yes, I think you did the right thing.
I am not a birth professional, but I did escape an abusive partner. I think you did the right thing. Not to say that I know what is going on with her, but from my own experience and also from learning about absue in the aftermath of leaving, she may feel like she has no options and she may be afraid to leave her partner, especially with a newborn which will make her more dependent in a number of ways. If there is anyway you and others can be supportive of her during the postpartum period that may be a time that she is particularly vulnerable, especially with the stress of a new baby and a partner who likely has a difficult temper. Also, having a newborn can be isolating, and that in general makes the grip of the abuser stronger.
I agree with PP! I think what she really needs is support through the post partum period. Abuse or not- any first time mom would be scared to take care of a newborn alone. Does she have family besides her partner locally? With all of the emotions a new mother is feeling after birth, a partner who is not being supportive, or abusive ,and who can just walk out at any moment; I would be very worried about the well being of mom and baby. Good luck! I hope that everything gets easier on you and mom!
Doula mom to Leo [7.11.10] and fiance to Jake.