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Kaiser had me go in for another check-up this week- this time my standard 32 week prenatal appointment, even though I was only 31.5 weeks at the time of the appointment, and even though I had just been in last week. Anyways, I measured 29.5 cms, again at the very bottom of the range they consider acceptable. The midwife I saw was very kind and said that my baby was transverse (side-lying) which can make the measurement less, but she felt that if my measurement is 3 cms lower than my week at my next, 36 week appointment, then she would definitely say that I should get an ultrasound to rule out any dangers. So we wait to see with that. I will continue refraining from ab exercises and continuing my ab release moves from Dr. Jen.

So, we hired a doula. What happened? Why the change in decision? Well…it started with my husband finding out that our insurance would cover a much larger portion of our birth than we had expected. Our prior two births had cost us $6,500 out of pocket, but apparently we now have an upgraded plan which will leave us with a bill of only $1,500! “This is glorious news!” Was the first thing I thought when my husband told me; and my second thought was, “We can afford a doula now!” I thought twice before speaking that one out loud, to which he said, “I knew you’d say that.” I left it at that.

Fast forward a few weeks and he and I had another deep conversation about my concerns with birthing in the hospital, and then the small belly measurement thing came up. At that point, my husband had had a change of heart. He told me one night that a couple of his coworkers had shared that they had amazing experiences with doulas and his brother had said the same. He also felt that he didn’t want there to be any resentment towards him, should something not go as I wanted during the birth (i.e. interventions, etc). We talked about asking our parents to help pitch in towards the cost, rather than buying us a baby gift. In the end, he was a resounding yes to move forward! I couldn’t believe it!

And then my hesitation set in. This was still a costly endeavor and I wanted to make sure that it was money well spent. I knew exactly who I wanted to hire- it was more a question of, will we really need a doula? My births so far have been relatively easy and uncomplicated so it’s logical to assume that the third one will follow suit, but… but what if it doesn’t? If it doesn’t, and the need for interventions arises, I will regret not having a doula by my side. And so, that made up my mind to have a doula. And at the very least, we won’t “need” her but she’ll make our experience better.

Making our experience better to me looks like allowing us to dive deeper into the birth. Meaning, the doula will give us tools to be more present with each other. Previously, I just put my head down and labored alone, mostly because I didn’t know what Luc could actually do for me. But I imagine us being able to connect more throughout our experience. Also, Bee (our doula) can help guide me into more comfortable laboring and birthing positions. With both of my previous births, I birthed on my back. I knew birthing on my hands and knees was supposed to be better, but I just never made my way there. So these are the reasons I’m looking forward to having Bee.

Luc is still on a different page, but he’s willing to support mine. We’ve had a few conversations where he’s asked, “should my preferences for our birth matter?” To which I say “yes,” but then when he voices his concerns: feeling uncomfortable having a stranger present, then I wish he hadn’t. I soon realized that knowing his concerns just feels like weight on my shoulders, and I don’t want to be concerned about him and his comfort while I’m laboring. Bee said something similar to my thought. She said she has seen births where the woman gets distracted by trying to take care of her partner's needs, so it is important that he is comfortable also. Where I’m at right now with this is that I think it will all work out fine when the time comes. I think Luc will be fine and it will be less of an issue than he is imagining. And I think I will be able to be fully focused on me and the baby.

I chose Bee because I really like her energy and she came highly recommended. Bee feels like a very grounded person to me: calm, confident and open. She is a good listener, kind and honest. I really don’t know her very well- other than seeing her in our local monthly Birthworker meet-ups, but that’s what I’ve gathered about her. Also, my dear Dr. Jen highly recommends her. Bee is also trained in Dynamic Body Balancing, which is the physical work that Dr. Jen has been doing on me to allow my belly to release. This practice can also come in handy should a face a labor stall. Additionally, Bee does Body Balancing work on her clients in the few weeks leading up to birth, to prime the body for labor! All of this makes me so excited! I love that I have these amazing resources available to me.

We had our first meeting with Bee last week. Luc really liked her too. In this meeting, Bee went over what her services include: 3 prenatal visits, oncall for the entire birth and initial transfer to recovery room, and two postnatal visits. I was surprised to find out that she couldn’t check my dilation, but she said she can show me how to do it myself- this is helpful to determine when to transfer to the hospital. She also covered her contract. And went over concerns with Luc. She brought up the point that bringing a doula to the hospital actually adds someone to your team- someone you know- instead of all the strangers that are the hospital staff.

Ok, that’s all I have to write for now. Still working on letting this baby and belly grow and waiting for my next prenatal appointment, where the will automatically do an ultrasound to check baby’s position, at week 36.

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