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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of getting my DONA certification and have attended one birth already that was amazing. I was set up to attend a second birth last month, but I got a call from the father ("The baby was born!") the day after the birth. From what he told me over the phone, her water broke on Saturday (no contractions), she started pitocin late that evening, got an epidural a little while later, and ended up with a C-section on Monday.<br><br>
I was so hurt by this experience. Not so much that they didn't want me at the birth, but that they didn't have enough consideration for me as a friend to call me and let me know that I didn't need to be on call that whole weekend.<br><br>
It's been over a month now and they still haven't called me. I feel like what they did was disrespectful. I recognize that labor is an intense experience, but I think they should have called. Throughout the 10 or so hours we spent together prenatally, I communicated to them how important it was that they not have unwanted guests during the birth, so I don't think they had fears that I'd just drive on over to the hospital and demand to be part of it.<br><br>
I'd love to get some honest feedback. In the future, should I explicitly specify with clients that should they decide they don't want me to attend, they should call me, even if labor's already begun?<br><br>
Thanks
 

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Were they friends of yours before the doula relationship started? Did they actively seek out your doula services, or was it seen as a way for you to get some experience? Was a contract drawn up?<br><br>
This is yet another reason why getting paid - even if it's small - is a good idea. It changes the relationship and the expectation - and shows that you are being hired for this service.<br><br>
I would call the mom and tell her how you feel. Find out where she was coming from. You may be surprised. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback, pamamidwife.<br><br>
Yes, we were friends before we began the doula relationship. But they definitely sought me out, and we did draw up a contract. I'm thinking that next time, to protect myself, I should add to the contract, "If at any time during the process you don't want me there, call me and let me know."<br><br>
I think you're definitely right about payment. Next time I'll ask for a small amount of $ (collecting in the first or second meeting).<br><br>
Guess I need to get it in gear and just call her. I've waited this long because I didn't want to bring any negativity into their experience with their newborn. But it's been over a month now, and I feel like if I wait too much longer, I won't do it.<br><br>
Do you think this is the kind of thing that should be done over the phone, or in person?
 

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Ah, I think it's best to set up a time to come and smooch and drool all over her baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Remember, that your feelings of being hurt may not have to do with their feelings of negativity toward you.<br><br>
Perhaps she thought that she would call you once the contractions started with the Pit, then held off calling because she had an epidural (many women think that the doula has little to offer if there's an epidural involved), then she got the c-section.<br><br>
I'll bet that she desires some closure with you. I'll bet that she might feel a bit uncomfortable with not calling you during her labor - and that could be why you haven't heard from her.<br><br>
Of course, I could be way off here, but I'm guessing that's how it went down.<br><br>
Release yourself from the negativity about *them* - and just accept the experience as a fabulous lesson in your path! It's easier to embrace the blessing in difficult situations than the negativity that has to do with our ego (and ego, by the way, is completely NORMAL and HEALTHY! of course we want to be accepted and loved!). Breathe deep.<br><br>
It sounds like you genuinely care for this woman. Your heart is already open - just sit with her and explain your feelings. You're on the right track!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your comments had a major impact on the way I was thinking about this, Pamamidwife. After reading and contemplating your post, I realized that although I was partially open to hearing their side of things, I mostly wanted to stick it to em.<br><br>
I called her a couple of days ago and she called me back today. She told me how she, her husband, and the baby were doing and we're going to schedule a time for me to come and "drool over their baby." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Now, I actually am interested in finding out how they felt, and what the experience was like for them. But at the same time, I'm not interested in maintaining a friendship with them. I'm pulling back a little bit, and it feels healthy. I'm not using my hurt and anger from this situation to make me feel powerful anymore.<br><br>
I'm looking forward to holding their baby and having a good conversation with them (although I'm going to make sure I begin that conversation by telling them how I felt about things....otherwise, I'm afraid I'll chicken out). Thanks again for your words, Pamamidwife. It meant a lot.
 
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