I'm standing in the hospital room, quite literally falling asleep in an upright and locked position, in-between her contractions. It is 9:30 a.m. and we have been at this "laboring" thing together since I arrived at their house at 1 a.m. I'm wearing shoes that aren't nearly as comfortable as they should be for as ugly as they are. My lower back is aching. I haven't eaten in 14 hours. And I would kill a small water buffalo with my bare hands for a cup of coffee or a pillow.
"WHAT AM I DOING???" I ask myself. This is not fun. This is HARD. She is exhausted and in tears from intense back labor. She doesn't know what she wants anymore. Yesterday she knew what she wanted to do, tomorrow she will know what she wished she had done, but today, well, today she just wants it to be OVER.
And, frankly, so do I.
Finally, with the option of an epidural looming in front of us, we decide to give it one more valiant try ... and it works. My doula experience pays off and it all finally comes together as we get the baby turned and dilation then quickly moves from 6 to 9. Just an hour later she is holding her beautiful baby girl. She EARNED this moment. Her husband hugs me a long, sweet hug of thankfulness. Her mom wraps her arms around me and says, "You are my new best friend." Our sweet little baby mama looks up at me, her face glistening from sweat and tears, and says, "I feel like I owe you my life. THANK YOU. There is NO WAY I could have done this without you."
I'm still standing here in ugly shoes. My back is still aching. I would still kill a water buffalo for some caffeine. But I KNOW why I do this.