When you are a new doula, you know it is only a matter of time before you come across your first long pregnancy. As a business we have to operate in the way that is most efficient, and for most of us that means blocking out a 4 week block [38-42 weeks] per client and only being on-call for one client at once. We all know that clients can go into labour outside of that time, but that is when they are most likely to labour. Of all the births I’ve supported, only a handful have been before 38 weeks, and almost all of those births have been planned early inductions.
It’s a bright and crisp Tuesday afternoon. I’ve found my seat and stashed my suitcase. I’ve committed the rookie mistakes of forgetting both a nail file for the snick in my thumb nail and my yarn scissors (how?!), and while I’ve managed to fix both of those things thanks to other passengers who have clearly got their shit together more than I have, crocheting is no longer holding any appeal.
Even eating my lunch and browsing Facebook and Instagram only takes twenty minutes and I still have over two hours of train journey left to fill.
I pull out one of the four (!!) books I brought with me. This one has been on my To Read list since I bought it eighteen months ago when a client asked if I had it on my shelf.
At this point in the series it is important to discuss what consent is, and critically, what it is not. This section carries a * SENSITIVE CONTENT WARNING * because some of the things discussed here can be upsetting if you have experienced them or something like them.
When you're having a long pregnancy, it can seem like everyone is treating you like you're broken. It can make you feel like something is wrong, like your baby is at risk. Are they at risk? Should you be induced? What are the alternatives?
Here in the UK, there is a rarely questioned expectation that if a pregnancy is long, it will end in an induction. We are much more accepting of short pregnancies, generally speaking, than we are of long ones.
"I was told: 'They don’t let you go past 40 weeks.'"