We've been some busy bees here at Wetus Central. Not only are we setting up registries (more on that in a separate post) & emptying our current home office that will soon be a nursery, but we are interviewing doulas.
This is a person (99% of the time a woman) who assists you in childbirth. She is sort of a labor and birth expert who can be with the woman & her significant other throughout the entire process. She does not actually deliver the baby or give medical advice but has many strategies for working through labor, providing comfort and has extensive knowledge on what happens during the childbirth process. Good doulas get certified and attend a requisite number of births before they strike out on their own. Seattle is quite a hot bed for doulas and they have a very established network here. Their commitment to the process of birthing and their support for the couples they work with is exceptional. Having had a wedding coordinator, I liken doulas to "birthing coordinators".
I would like as many options available to us as possible in childbirth. We will be delivering in a hospital and because we're in that setting, I know there will be a tendency to push us toward more intervention. But if we are low risk at the outset, I would like very much to try to have a natural experience in the best equipped location. The doula is also a resource for Ken as it can be pretty intimidating and fatiguing to support a laboring wife. So this lady will be as much for me as it is for him. We're going to inteview about 4 different ladies and see which one meshes with our personalities and philosophy best.
All that said, we were told by the doctor at the last ultrasound that at 18 weeks I am showing complete (but not central) placenta previa. This means that right now the blood-rich placenta is covering the opening of my cervix. That's problematic for a number of reasons including the possibility of bleeding during pregnancy, pre-term delivery and an automatic c-section if it doesn't move. However we are only halfway through the pregnancy and the lower part of the uterus has yet to expand to its full capacity. This means that the placenta could "move up" and recede from the cervical opening. This would eliminate the concerns and put a natural childbirth back on the table. But we won't know if that will happen for a few more weeks so until then I am banned from any major straining/lifting or rigorous activities. (Oh twist my arm) My doc said not to do things like jumping jacks. But when was the last time I did that--high school gym? Anyway, I'm trying to stay mellow about all this and just enjoy the growing quantity and intensity of Wetus kicks I get throughout the day.