Doula problem- UPDATE AGAIN POST 22 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-09-2008, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Mamas,

So I just got a call from my DH who just received a long voice mail from our doula. Apparently she has received a concert opportunity in D.C. (I'm guessing for her to play because she is a singer-song writer) that she just can't pass up and is leaving town tomorrow for a week.

I'm 41 weeks, she is quite aware of how far along I am.

To be honest, I am really surprised, I did not expect this from her at all. She does not seem like a flakey person. I am not super upset about it but I do not think it is a professional or nice thing to do to a first time Mama!

On the other hand, she is a doula in training. Our birth was going to be her first birth as a doula (she has had 2 children of her own but this is the first birth of someone else she is attending). She is attending our birth for free, this was agree upon up front before we even met in person. So, I feel like maybe I shouldn't be that let down. Although I was planning on giving her a monetary gift as a thank you but she had no way of knowing that.

I just don't know how to react, you know? I mean, I can't force her to not go but also I kind of feel like, if she is willing to "drop" me like this, maybe she is not what I thought she is and I don't really want her at my birth, KWIM? In the VM she left for DH she said she is calling a bunch of people looking for a back-up. That is nice but I don't know if I want some person I have never met before...

I'm not a basket case or anything like that but DH says I need to call her back and I just really don't know what to say.

Any advice is appreciated.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Wow. That just seems REALLY unethical and unprofessional to me. If she told you she would be there, then her first obligation is to be there.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Jenna,
As a person who has been an on call babysitter for midwives for years, and doula for my buddies, I can say that my feeling about being involved in birth is that it is a very serious thing. Plans get screwed up ALL THE Time for midwives and doulas. It's part of what you accept for your life when you take on that role. I would suggest that this person is new to the field, and perhaps does not understand what kind of commitment it means to take on. If it were me, I would let her know exactly what you expressed in your post, and leave it at that. Sorry that's happening to you.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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She's looking for some one to take her place at the concert, right?

What a flake! TOTALLY unprofessional...perhaps you could point out that she needs to choose whether she wants to be a singer-songwriter or a doula?
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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As a doula myself (I can't help lurking and watching you all have your babies) that is EXTREMELY unprofessional. I would report her to her certifying agency. I couldn't imagine up and leaving a client like that. I hope you can find someone else you feel comfortable with.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Materfamilias View Post
Wow. That just seems REALLY unethical and unprofessional to me. If she told you she would be there, then her first obligation is to be there.
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I can say that my feeling about being involved in birth is that it is a very serious thing. Plans get screwed up ALL THE Time for midwives and doulas. It's part of what you accept for your life when you take on that role.
:

Wife to my wonderful man, mommy to DS 02/2005, DD 12/2006, DS 07/2008, Matthew 10/4/2009, 2 and Due 11/2010!!
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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If she plans to be a doula sheshould be aware of the commitment this is and the sometime sacrafice too. her 1st obligation is to you. money or no money period. paying her does not make your birth experience more valuable. those were the terms from the beginning. she should be honored that you were having her as part of your birth experience.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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yeah, i gotta say, that's not cool. weather she's certified and asking a fee or not, that's just not right to drop you without even having a backup yet. i don't think she should back out either way, but like i said, to do it without even lining someone else up first seems just over the top. but like you said, better now than just not showing up while you're in labor or something.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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I feel like she should AT LEAST hook you up with another doula in training!!! : Can you talk to her "supervisor" or whoever it is that's doing her accreditation? Ask for another doula ASAP. And, I think I'd probably ask to write something to be put in her file about your experience with her - "great, until she bailed on me!"

Totally not nice to do this to a first time mama OR any mama for that matter! Grrrrr.


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Old 07-09-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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(crashing from above DDC)
I would give her some serious talking to (esp. as a doula myself). That is not only unprofessional, but NOT OK. NO ONE should ever leave a mama without previous (as in when interviewed/contacted) notice of plans - she CAN pass up this event and she should. Did you sign any contract at all? Sooner she realizes the "awww, wish I could, but I can't" of being a doula, the better. Is she thinking she could do this to a paying customer or that b/c she's training it's not a big deal??

That is soooooooo bad!!! I'd be SO exceedingly angry! She needs to know she should be staying, wow. I wish I could help you, that's terrible.

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Old 07-10-2008, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses and support.

I did call "our" doula tonight. I decided before I made the call that I wanted to keep things positive FOR MY SAKE. I am the type of person that can really get worked up about stuff like this and that is not what I need right now.

So when I called her, I just let her know I had gotten her VM and that I understood her situation. She kept apologizing and I would say "Yes, I'm sorry too." I tried to keep an even but gentle tone. I made sure not to say "It's okay" or use any type of permissive language.

She did find another doula who is experienced that would be able to attend our birth. I am going to be meeting with her tomorrow, hopefully we are a good fit.

Just for the record, ITA that this is unprofessional and just plain wrong but I have decided that I don't want to waste my energy on it. What is done is done. I won't be wasting my time tracking down her superior and writing letters. I would hope she would think better of asking me for a reference but if she does I will open up the doors of brutal honesty and let her know that she let me down.

So anyway, that's the dealio....

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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hopefully you'll like your new doula... so sorry this is happening to you

Latina Mama of 3 and Wife of a great man since 1997
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:07 AM
 
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good job for taking care of yourself!
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses and support.

I did call "our" doula tonight. I decided before I made the call that I wanted to keep things positive FOR MY SAKE. I am the type of person that can really get worked up about stuff like this and that is not what I need right now.

So when I called her, I just let her know I had gotten her VM and that I understood her situation. She kept apologizing and I would say "Yes, I'm sorry too." I tried to keep an even but gentle tone. I made sure not to say "It's okay" or use any type of permissive language.

She did find another doula who is experienced that would be able to attend our birth. I am going to be meeting with her tomorrow, hopefully we are a good fit.

Just for the record, ITA that this is unprofessional and just plain wrong but I have decided that I don't want to waste my energy on it. What is done is done. I won't be wasting my time tracking down her superior and writing letters. I would hope she would think better of asking me for a reference but if she does I will open up the doors of brutal honesty and let her know that she let me down.

So anyway, that's the dealio....
Jenna, good for you for not letting this "trigger" you. I think you did exactly the right thing. When you look back on it, it will be clear that her presence was not right for your birth and you'll be glad you did not waste precious energy on it.

mama to Allison 8-18-08 and Ethan 1-24-11  heartbeat.gif

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Old 07-10-2008, 10:48 AM
 
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I really believe that the universe works in mysterious ways. I would try to believe that, for some reason, the other doula wasn't a good fit for you and you "need" the new one. Maybe she will be amazing and even better than your first choice! And it sounds like you did a great job of handling it--way to keep your energy positive for yourself and your babe!!
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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Good job, mama- it sounds like you handled that crummy situation really well.
I hope you new doula is a wonderful match for you!!

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Gandhi
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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I bet you'll like the new doula even better! And, I bet you'll get a really experienced doula for free this way.

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Originally Posted by JennaW View Post
Just for the record, ITA that this is unprofessional and just plain wrong but I have decided that I don't want to waste my energy on it. What is done is done. I won't be wasting my time tracking down her superior and writing letters. I would hope she would think better of asking me for a reference but if she does I will open up the doors of brutal honesty and let her know that she let me down.
You are just SO wise.

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Old 07-10-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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this is absolutely the time for picking battles carefully and preserving energy. kudos for taking the high road!
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Sounds to me like she needs to decide what career she wants to pursue. If she is a singer songwriter then perhaps this was a "can't pass up" opportunity and she wasn't meant to be your doula then? (I;m not excusing her behaviour - it was EXTREMELY unprofessional), but hopefully this new person can commit the way a doula is supposed to. Good luck!

Jenn (36), wife to DH for 13 years, DD1(13) , DD2(10) and DS(4)

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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good for you jenna!
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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Good job, Jenna! You handled the situation very well. I'm proud of you for keeping your cool and handling things in the manner that you did. I really hope this new doula will be the perfect fit for you! Good luck!

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Old 07-10-2008, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, this new doula is AMAZING! I feel like we totally lucked out. She is very experienced and has attended births of all types from natural to c-section. She is an RN but absolutely 100% about all natural birth.

She was just wonderful to talk to. Our other doula was very "hippie" like and sweet. This woman is kind and gentle but also sooo knowledgeable.

So basically I feel like I lucked out, this woman is so wonderful. I knew she was great when she said, "Okay so you want to labor at home as long as possible?" then she looks at DH and says "How do you feel about your ability to help deliver at home if the baby starts to come?" DH says "I feel I would be able to be helpful and handle that." she says "Okay great, I am trained in newborn reccesitation so we shouldn't have any problems." :

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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That's so awesome! yay for blessings in disguise!!!

Blissed out mama to 3 beautiful boys love.gif LIFE IS GOOD! thumb.gif

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Old 07-10-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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So, this new doula is AMAZING! I feel like we totally lucked out. She is very experienced and has attended births of all types from natural to c-section. She is an RN but absolutely 100% about all natural birth.

She was just wonderful to talk to. Our other doula was very "hippie" like and sweet. This woman is kind and gentle but also sooo knowledgeable.

So basically I feel like I lucked out, this woman is so wonderful. I knew she was great when she said, "Okay so you want to labor at home as long as possible?" then she looks at DH and says "How do you feel about your ability to help deliver at home if the baby starts to come?" DH says "I feel I would be able to be helpful and handle that." she says "Okay great, I am trained in newborn reccesitation so we shouldn't have any problems." :

That is wonderful, wonderful news Jenna!!! I'm so glad you found her and got this blessing in disguise

Tenk ~ happily married with lots of kids

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Old 07-10-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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Jenna,
How wonderful that things worked out even better than your original plans. Here's to a blissful birth for you when the time comes!

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Gandhi
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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Yay!!!
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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Jenna
ITA with not letting this disturb you now. But I do think you would be doing a lot of future mamas a BIG favor by doing what you need to do to make sure this person does not get her doula certification.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Fantastic outcome. I wish you the best possible birth!!
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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This is excellent! It is always a blessing when something "good" gets snatched away only to be replaced by something great!

Congratulations!

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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