Meeting with our Doula

After going to the Doula Meet & Greet through our hospital a month or so back, we had done a little digging only to find out that the Doula, Rachel, we met – who was part of the Doula co-op – also offered Doula services independently. So, yesterday we met her to have a chat and see if she was the right fit for our birth.

And honestly, it went perfectly. She is a totally smart lady with perfectly hippy ways… the exact personality and influence we want for our experience.

I also have to mention that we have received a lot of comments like, “isn’t Mark supposed to be your birthing coach?” And so on… but, it must be mentioned that even just working towards the process of selecting a doula and following her movie/book suggestions to date have made me feel like Mark and I are more of a team in this. He is really taking the time to understand what I will be experiencing (he’s even watched some live births), what our baby will be going through, and how – together with our doula – we can have the best birthing experience possible. If anything, the doula is helping Mark to be more of a birthing coach and support than I think he could have imagined without her.

Anyway, here are some of the questions/responses from our meeting:

  1. What happens if I go into labor during a time that you just can’t make it? (This was a concern because through the co-op you just get whoever is on call, but with an individual, you’re just counting on one person.) She ensured us that she does have a couple back-ups, but is confident it won’t be an issue.
  2. When I’m laboring at the house, can you check how dilated I am? How will you know when it’s time to go to the hospital? No medical procedures will be performed. She will observe physical labor signs and will base everything on my comfort level, distance from the hospital, time of day, etc.
  3. Your closest birthing class is over an hour away from us. Are there other options? Yes. I can offer the 8 (or 16 – I can’t remember) week class to you in (2) 4-hour sessions at your house for the same price. This will include lessons on breastfeeding as well.
  4. What are your thoughts on the different birthing positions? While the mother is in “transition” or pushing, I don’t let her stay in one position for over 20 minutes. By staying active (aka: changing positions), you’re promoting movement within your body, which can really speed up the process.
  5. Can you be in water after your water breaks? Yes!
  6. We want minimal-to-no intervention. How do we make this happen? It’s very important to make a birth plan. This will help guide the hospital staff in providing you the labor that you want. I will also put a sign on the door to remind the nurses and staff to refer to your birth plan, keep voices low and respect the peace. Also, there are ways to prepare your body through your diet. For instance, at 34 weeks, you should double your probiotics and increase your garlic consumption. This will help to fight the Strep B virus and prevent you from having to be put on antibiotics. Also, at 36 weeks, you’ll want to really increase your vitamin C intake with 1-2 Emergen-C packets per day.
  7. Do you have sample birth plans? My favorite is from Earth Mama Angel Baby. Here’s a link!
  8. Have you noticed delivery timing patters for new moms? Yes, the most common delivery is at 41 weeks and 1 day. (I hope not… means I might have my baby at my friend’s wedding! SHIT!)
  9. What does the birthing doula service include? A 36-week home visit to do some paper work, get me acquainted with your house and where you keep things so that the day of your delivery, I don’t have to ask where things are and can just move about, supporting you both. Then, of course, the birth. I will be there while you’re laboring at home and through your birth. And I will return for a postpartum visit three days after delivery. At this time, you’ll be at home and I can help with lactation consulting, etc.
  10. How much does it cost? $500
  11. How much is the birthing class? $250
  12. What are your thoughts on placenta encapsulation? I think it’s great and actually work with a woman who is really good. She can encapsulate the placenta for less than $200.  Consuming the placenta helps to stop postpartum bleeding, prevent depression, help your milk come in and in general help you bounce back quicker. (We will explore this more in a separate post.)

Other Resources

Pregnancy Meal Plan

Here’s a daily meal plan for optimal pregnancy health.

  • 4 servings: Milk/Dairy
  • 2 servings: Egg
  • 8 servings: Protein (SO much…)
  • 2 servings: Green Vegetable
  • 5 servings: Whole Grains
  • 2 servings: Vitamin C Source
  • 3 servings: Fats & Oils
  • 1 serving: Vitamin A Source
  • Can’t get enough SEA SALT
  • Lots of water

Below is a guide for what 1 serving of each of these looks like…

What does a serving look like?

What does a serving look like?

And here’s a worksheet to track your progress…

Pregnancy Diet Worksheet

Pregnancy Diet Worksheet


Nothing new to report! Tomorrow we’re 6 months! HOLY SMOKES!

Think skinny thoughts…

For the past 8 or so months, I have been celebrating my slimmed down, wedding body. It was about 3 years (50 diets and endless workouts) in the making, but I had successfully dropped all of my early-mid 20’s, binge-drinking and after-bar-eating weight and gotten back to a size I didn’t think I’d see again. I was even to the point where I felt comfortable eating lunch in nothing but my bikini (oh how I miss my honeymoon). That was a dream of mine. Yes, it’s a strange one, but I have always aspired to feel comfortable hunched over a cheeseburger in my bikini. Whatever… everyone has to have goals.

Anyway, my point is not to praise my wedding-bod, but to wish it good luck for a relatively slender future.

I’ve spoken to many mommas who claim to have lost weight in their first trimester. I am barely half-way through mine and I swear to you, I’m feeling thicker. Two weeks ago, I went to Banana Republic and tried on this super cute, simple black dress for my dreaded 10-year reunion this weekend. The dress looked great. I decided to order it online last week and it arrived last night. I excitedly tried it on and… needless to say, I will NOT be wearing that cute little dress. I literally looked pregnant.

That might be a weird statement because I am pregnant… but not as pregnant as I looked. Woof.

BUT, just for fun, I puffed out my buddah belly in front of the mirror again and decided that the dress would be ADORABLE if I were 6 months pregnant and not trying to keep my early pregnancy a secret from my graduating class.

I ended up deciding to wear a black dress that I already have. Win-Win… It’s slimming where it needs to be and will allow me to shove my face with some delicious food at the reunion without giving away my secret AND my husband will be quite pleased with the fact that I’m not buying more clothing.

As for my growing belly, I am going to be working hard to manage my portions. That’s really my issue. I love healthy food… I just love a lot of it.

Tonight, we’re actually having my cousin, Amy, over for dinner… I’m making white sauce chicken pizza and garlic sauce pizza, cheesy garlic bread and a Caesar salad. The girl has dietary restrictions, so we had to make a meal with no: meat, tomatoes, spicy, beans, peppers, and acidic food. So, tonight won’t be the model for my healthy eating, but it will be delicious. We can’t be perfect every day, right?

Healthy eating ends at lunch and will resume tomorrow… we’re having my Milly’s AMAZING Soy-Glazed Salmon with Brussels Sprouts Rice.



I slept through the night all the way until my husband’s alarm went off at 6 am! That’s 7 hours all the way through. I’m pretty happy about that. In terms of morning sickness, my worst times are definitely in the morning through maybe 1 pm or so and then later in the evening. In the mornings, I’m pretty queasy. Breakfast is becoming a thing of the past, although, I’m still able to choke down my morning “shake”… which is more like juice.

It includes:

Leaves of 4 pieces of Kale (stems removed)

1 cup frozen Strawberries

1/2 cup fresh Parsley

1 Banana

1 cup Juice and/or Water

1 teaspoon Ground Flaxseed

(recipe is for 2 servings, apx: 100 calories per serving)

It’s delicious. My husband and I both love it.


After the smoothie, I’m pretty spent on food. At least until lunch. In terms of the evenings, the nausea returns and comes accompanied by a whopping headache and severe exhaustion. Last night, I may have fallen asleep mid-conversation. It was crazy. I was up, folding laundry and putting everything away when all of a sudden it hit me. As I got closer to making it through my pre-bed routine, I became even more exhausted until I collapsed in bed. I think even my face was tired.

Anyway, I’d love to continue, but I have to pee.

Actually, one more important note before sign-off… I couldn’t be happier! I have a good feeling about this little sesame seed and am feeling very grateful. The cramping seems to be gone and the other side-effects as well. I’m feeling fat, healthy and happy!