|Midwives, doulas and finding the positives
||[Aug. 10th, 2010|10:49 pm]
We're coming up to 17 weeks now, and I'm finding myself beginning to think ahead to the day I give birth again. The last week has seen some big shifts in my thoughts and feelings, in good ways, helped along by a couple of very good birth professionals.
Firstly, we met with our potential doula last week. I already knew her from local doula circles but P had only met her very briefly and although I knew she was my preferred doula by a long way I needed P to feel she was going to be a good fit too. I didn't know how it would go. I've got a lot more experience than she does, though we've always seemed to meet as peers rather than with me taking on any kind of mentor role (as has often happened with other new doulas on the scene) and we approach birth and doulaing in similar ways. I wasn't sure how easily I'd flip into 'expectant mother' from 'fellow doula' but whether it was her conversational skills, my own evolution into the former again or just chance, I did so very much. We talked about our daughter's birth and realised some things about it that hadn't ocurred to us before that we can now take as learning experiences for this one. I also dug up a lot of fears that I have been carrying about giving birth under the NHS, some of which was quite hard to admit, and I felt like I'd been put through the wringer a bit by the end. However, it was very good to get it out and already I'm finding I have ideas about how I can move on from them and find faith and confidence that this will also be a good birth, despite the different care providers. It will take time, but I still have half a pregnancy to go and I'm confident I'll get there, especially now that we have a good doula to hold our hands. P was very happy with her, so she's booked.
Then yesterday I had my next midwife appointment. We went to the midwife led unit for it and it happened to be with a midwife I attended a birth with last year. I liked her then and liked her more after we had half an hour with her this time. She was extremely positive about our home birth plans, answered all my questions (though I kept some of the tricky ones back for later) and told me that I'd be getting two more opportunities to meet with the midwives than I'd thought. I still may not meet all of them, but there are 14 on the team and I should get through the majority of them before the birth so at least I'll probably have a familiar face walk through the door when the big day comes. I'd already started to feel a bit more positive about birthing on the NHS after our doula session but this meeting helped a lot. If she happens to be the midwife we get when I do give birth I will be very happy.
It's also occurred to me that I've got a client who is giving birth under the same team in November so that will give me yet another chance to meet a few more of them. It's only just dawned on me that that's going to happen. An added bonus for me. :)
Oh, and it's worth adding that both the baby and I are perfectly healthy and happy. I'm measuring two weeks ahead already despite having only gained 4lbs (yey - I'd gained 14 by this point last time), so I might just be growing a monster child but that doesn't bother me. I thoroughly enjoyed pushing out a nearly 9lb baby last time and I did it with relative ease for a first timer, so I know my body will handle that part well enough. We heard the heart beat and it sounded rather steam train-like at around 125 beats a minute. That's another marker pointing in the direction of a boy as far as the old wives are concerned, but given we won't find out until this baby is in our arms we won't know how accurate that prediction is until then.