I think I have figured out the main lesson I was supposed to learn about the Twilight Zone birth. I can not be motivated by money when I take a birth. Every time I am it winds up being a not so pleasant experience. I can think of two other times that this has happened. This one was the worst.
My biggest reason for becoming a doula is wanting to care for and support birthing women. Most of the time, when I take a client, getting paid for my services is important, but money is really a secondary thing. This time the order was reversed.
I got the call requesting my help and my first thought was "I'm available and this is unexpected money, so why not?". As a matter of fact, that thought played a role in my deciding to discounted my fee by almost 50%. I knew they were calling at the last minute, had limited funds and had already been turned down by another doula. Of course I wanted to help them but I also saw it as an opportunity to make a quick buck.
I hate admitting that my primary motivation when agreeing to be their doula wasn't a strong desire to help. Of course, I don't feel that my misguided motive is the reason why the experience was as unfavorable as it was. I do think though, that it played a huge part in why I didn't pick up on all the red flags that surrounded the situation.
Even though I can look back and see the things I could have, and probably should have, done differently, not having my priorities in order is the biggest.