Three months ago:
I stared at the floor. It was nasty dirty. My islander friends beside me all chit chatted about their labor stories from years ago in the local dialect. We were waiting to check 18 year old Astria into this third world hospital.
She was in early labor and her mom and aunties thought it would be best if she delivered this first baby here instead of at home in the bamboo hut that they shared. Afterall, they all had family members who had died in childbirth.
Astria sat up straight on the wooden bench and moaned as the pains returned every few minutes. Behind the curtain, we heard screams as babies entered this world head first, bum first and feet first. Then we heard the midwives, exhausted, responding with "shut up and have a baby" (in another language of course.)
The nurse came and got Astria and we had to leave. She was terrified, left alone in a strange and unkind environment. Hospital rules forbid anyone to stay with her while she has her baby. She looked at her mom longingly and then disappeared behind the curtain.
I believe a woman needs support in labor. I wanted to make a difference...