When I decided to pursue being a doula, I knew that it would make my life less predictable. It has certainly done that. I've had several clients who gave birth a month before they were "due" and several go well past their due dates. One (that's right, one) lady has had her baby in the week of her estimated due date.
Lately, I've been waiting on a lady who I really did not expect to go past the estimated due date. Yet here we are, with her over a week past "due" and me heading six hours away for the Thanksgiving weekend/friends' wedding. With everyone else having birthed weeks before or after when their babies were expected, I shouldn't have been suprised by this one coming later than expected.
Enter the doula networking group. This is a time when I am grateful to be part of a group of women who attend births and work with pregnant women. I called a couple of the ladies from our group and, as much as I don't like the idea of not being the one there, I can know that there will be people available for her when I'm away.
When we talk to clients and other doulas about our group, part of what we tell them is that we back each other up. This is what that means. It means that when you, the doula, have a client who you swore would have had her baby already, but is still pregnant when you have commitments out of town, there are people who will be there for her when you can't.
Hopefully, right after I've fallen asleep tonight, my phone will ring. I'll head over to be with her, the baby will be born and I'll get back home before the rest of my family wakes up. Then I can sleep in the van while Tim drives us to Baltimore. That's what I would like to have happen. If not though, the Doula Connection has us covered.