The telephone rings in the middle of the night. I answer, thinking that it might be a client. It was; she was a new mother who was at the breaking point. I listened as she poured out her troubles in between sobs: she had picked a fight with her husband, the baby was screaming, but she could produce no milk, she hadn't showered in a week, she couldn't remember the last time that she ate, and her mother-in-law was "too busy" to help her.
I told her to drink some mother's milk tea, go wash her face, sit down and hold the baby calmly. I waited on the phone while she did this. Eventually, the baby calmed down and that took some of the edge off. She calmed down enough to agree to try to sleep. I told her I would be over to her house in the morning by 10A.
In the morning, I showed up to her house with care plan in hand. One, she needed to hire Dana's Housekeeping. Next, she needed to follow up with her midwife at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose. After that, I would pick up her prenatal prescription from Senter Pharmacy(she had neglected to take her prenatal postpartum). Then, a call would be put into Stephanie, one of the local La Leche League counselors in San Jose, to get both her and the baby connected to other mothers. Lastly, I said that I would contact my good friend Maureen of Birth, Babies and Beyond to see if she could tag team this client with me, ensuring that she was able to get the proper rest, nourishment and bonding time that was sorely missing from her life.
Also, I asked her permission and received it to give her the number to the Almaden Institute, so that she and her husband could get some help before a real rift ensued. She was so grateful: I held her baby while she drank tea, and ate breakfast for the first time in a week! While I was there, she took a shower, washed her hair, picked up in the living room, threw laundry into the machine, and fell asleep, exhausted, on the sofa.
This is what I do; this is how I help women every day-and I love it, San Jose!