Yesterday, I left work feeling cranky and ready to battle anyone who came in my way. I ate a quick dinner of leftover Tofu Curry with the hubs and we ran out to make it to our 6pm Doula Meet & Greet. I think I spent the entire car ride bitching about… well, everything. Anyway, we arrived at the Meet & Greet and I was feeling a little skeptical. The room was filled with a bunch of doula characters. Going around the room, there was a seemingly quiet and timid woman in her mid- to late- 30’s; a woman with short hair, harsh eyebrows, and giant hoop earrings; a couple younger more “normal” looking women who turned out to be doulas-in-training; a woman who I later referred to as “Big Rachel” due to her tall stature and big hair… she has 6 kids ranging from 4-22; then Michelle, the woman who started to co-op organization… she has 9 kids ranging from 4-26; “the knitter,” a woman who literally was knitting something throughout the entire meet & greet… this irritated me at first, but she was actually quite nice; some younger woman who’s due with her first baby in July and was rudely not showing even a little bit; this hippy lady with short pigtail braids and a perma-smile on her face; a pretty normal looking doula/nurse who just joined the group; and “Genevieve” who reminded me of Jessa from the show, “Girls.” Total free-spirit, but very sweet and knowledgeable. The Doula group is called Mothering the Mother, Inc.
Anyway, these women started talking and answering questions and with every comment made, my skepticism disappeared and Mark and I were loving all of them more and more. Here are the details…
Money & What it Includes:
- Let’s start with the money, because no matter how free-spirited a concept, it’s always about the bottom line, right? The whole thing costs $550.
- So, for $550 you get an in-person meeting to determine and discuss your birth-plan, talk about goals, have any questions answered, get hooked up with additional resources, etc. Then, throughout your pregnancy, you stay in contact with the doula group. After each doctor’s appointment, you’re supposed to call/email/text and provide an update on what the doctor said, any concerns you have, etc, at which point the doulas can help answer any questions, etc. And finally, as soon as you start laboring, you call the doula group and you are assigned a doula (whichever doula character happens to be on call that day). The doula will come to your house if you’d like and help you work through your contractions and help you to stay comfortably at home as long as possible before transitioning to the hospital. They will then stay with you through your labor and delivery and for about 1-2 hours post-delivery. The doula will come back and see you for a 6-week visit to talk about the birth (and fill in any details you may have forgotten, answer any questions, etc), see the baby, help with breastfeeding, and answer any questions.
- Oh! You also get a free labor support class included.
Mothering the Mother’s Current Stats:
- 19% Induction rate (compared to 23% in 2009 – I can’t find a more recent number, but from 1990 to 2009 it went from 7% to 23%)
- 9% Analgesics (I can’t find a rate to compare this to?)
- 20% Epidurals (I’ve found numbers ranging from 50-75%)
- 0% Episiotomies (Compared to 30-35% in 2005 – WOOF!)
- 16% C-Sections (Compared to 32.9% in 2009)
“Big Rachel’s” Labor Prep Book/Movie Recommendations:
- The Business of Being Born
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- The Birth Partner by: Penny Simkin (for the husband to read)
- Big Rachel’s birthing class website: www.betterbirthingservices.com
So, with all that said, Mark and I have decided to hire the doulas. We are really excited about it. It feels like a way for us to be more prepared and feel way more comfortable going into and during our birthing experience. Also worth noting, my crabiness was totally gone after our Meet & Greet. We were both super excited and energized. It was great!
The happiness continued later in the evening. Mark had a ton of work to get done last night, so I went to bed alone. As I do most nights, I laid in bed, poking my tummy or as I like to call it, “I played with the baby.” This time, instead of poking, releasing and waiting for the baby to kick in that spot, I pressed two fingers on my belly and just sat there. THEN… it happened! I felt a serious push back from inside my belly. My stomach was rumbling a little, so I wasn’t sure if I was really feeling our sweet baby kicking from the outside, so I tried it again. AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN! It was such a strong kick it was just crazy and amazing!! I called for Marky to come into the bedroom. I pushed his fingers into a spot on my lower tum and we waited. After a few seconds, he said, “I think I feel it” to which I informed him that he would know when he felt it and that he was probably just feeling one of our hearts beating. So after about 30 or so seconds it happened! Our little baby, future soccer player, gave dad’s fingers a good push. We both gasped and ugh. I can’t even explain how exciting and fun and amazing it was. Feeling the baby from the inside is awesome, but feeling my body between the baby and my husband’s hand was just incredible.
I’m surprised I was able to sleep after that excitement, but exhaustion took over and I was knocked out. I woke up to a dream of Mark and I announcing to our families that we were having a girl. I’m guessing this was a response to one of Mark’s comments last night. After the baby kicked, he said, “Now I really think it’s a girl because that seems like such a ‘you’ thing to do… like the baby’s pushing and saying, ‘get off my bubble’!”
Anyway, the baby played with us again in the morning, which was exciting on its own because today, I am officially 20 weeks pregnant… HALF WAY through this crazy, amazing, exciting, miraculous process. Can’t wait to see you in 140 days, Baby!
Daddy finally got to feel the sweet baby and I could not be any happier or more excited. Love you, sweet baby!