Doula Oblongata??

Week 16

I had to wait until at least 15 weeks 2 days before I could go back in for my second blood draw.  Due to work and my schedule, I didn't actually make it back in until 16 weeks.  Luckily, it was quick and didn't take too much time.  Just more waiting.

Again, the waiting game.  A friend of mine recently had a baby and she hired a doula.  What's a doula?  Good question.  You'll have to excuse me, I'm going to go a little hippie on you.  I had never heard of doulas until Jenn told me about her experience.  Doulas are women similar to midwives, who assist pregnant women with labor and delivery, but unlike midwives, they can't actually deliver a baby.  The ones I've met are all about empowering and educating women so they can have the birth experience they want.

I decided to hire a doula for a few reasons.  1) I have no experience with childbirth.  Duh.  2) The whole labor and delivery thing is a little scary and to have a calming person with experience would be much appreciated.  3) I wanted an impartial 3rd party to be my advocate in the hospital since I have had poor experiences with pushy medical personnel (read: bitchy nurses)  4) there is no guarantee that my OB will be delivering and I want a familiar face beside John.

I found a great doula website for KC and started emailing a few different doulas.  After meeting and interviewing a few, I hired Catherine, who has so far been fantastic.  One of the reasons I chose her was she is also a certified prenatal yoga instructor. 

Most doulas have different packages of services and costs, but a typical package is 2 pre-natal visits and answering questions via email and phone including assist with putting together a birth plan.  At 38 weeks, she is on-call for that client meaning if I call, she'll drop everything to answer.  She will come to out house when I go into labor and my plan is to labor at home as long as possible.  She'll then go with us to the hospital, stay through delivery and stay for a few more hours.  She'll also do 2 post-natal home visits, one at 2-3 days and 2 weeks.  During labor, she'll help with relaxation, pain management, and help explain what is going on and what other options may be available.  She'll run interference with overbearing family, help with breastfeeding, and help coach the dad to do and say the right things.  All this for $500.  Sold.

In addition, Catherine does one-on-one yoga packages for her clients and she's also certified in Thai massage.  And she's pretty awesome.  I feel better already.

I was a little hesitant to see what John was going to say about all of this.  He's a little more reserved, but he is totally on board with anything I want to do to make the childbirth experience better for me.  Smart man.  He has also wisely ceded control over the thermostat and insists I make all restaurant decisions until November.  Very smart man. 

There is a whole lot for us both to learn and I've started reading and researching all of my different options.  I didn't realize how much I didn't know. Right now, I'm leaning towards natural childbirth, although I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  Classes, daycare, hospital pre-registration, and the list goes on.  Time to start getting organized.

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