Friday, 9 October 2015

Durban Doula's Pregnancy Diary - Week 14

What another one?

No, not another baby, another blog post... I know I said I was going to do one every month, but there is just too much to write, so I'll try one every two weeks and see how it goes.

Our first appointment

So I saw our midwife, Arlen, this week - and I honestly can say I'm so glad I chose this model of care. Our initial appointment was just under an hour long, we talked about the pregnancy so far, how I had recovered from the last birth, what plans were for this birth and various other bits about birthiness in general. We checked all the vitals - peestick, weight, blood pressure and belly - and heard a little heartbeat too. It was great. It felt like home. 

I also got my home birth shopping list, and contract and prices for various birthing options, and like last time, the amount I'm paying for a home birth is still less than the co-payment I would have to make for a gynae in private practice on an average hospital plan that pays 150% of medical aid rates - as many gynaes charge over 300% of medical aid rates. I can understand why, given all the insurance that needs to be paid, but that's a topic for another time. Medical aids or hospital plans on the other hand, only pay 25-35% of the cost of a home birth - R2500-R4000 of R8000-R12000, even though I'd be saving them over 30k... Patriarchal prejudiced misogynistic mumble mumble mutter mutter...

And, as much as I have reservations about the safety of non-medically required ultrasound scans, (see last diary here), I admit I am a little excited for the one we are have in about 6 weeks' time. I think we'll take the girls (4 & 6) along with us, as they seem to be more excited about this baby than anyone!

Having said that, everyone seems so excited about this baby, which is so lovely for a third child! I'm enjoying being pregnant, because I know this will probably be the last time, so even getting past the nausea was bittersweet, as crazy as that sounds!

Obligatory Fresh Produce Comparison 

You thought I had forgotten about the obligatory pregnancy diary fresh produce comparison! Porridge brain has not set in quite so severely as that...

Well, baby is now about 8cm long (crown to rump) - about the size of a lemon.
He/she is growing hair, can make facial expressions, suck his or her thumb, and can even pee. Yes, baby pees in the amniotic fluid, it gets absorbed by my body and gets processed by my kidneys so I can pee it out 53 1/2 times a day. At least it's easier than nappy changes!

Irritable Uterus and the Doula Pregnancy Protocol

Peesticks, irritable uteri and
getting rid of baby pee -
Toilets are an integral part of pregnancy
Wikimedia Commons

I am currently on call for possibly my last two clients before my own baby arrives, unless I get some clients for November and December. (Any takers? Last chance! Only taking one per month!)

I'm not sure what the protocol is on doulas and maternity leave, but I feel that January is a good time for me to stop, as I'll be entering my third trimester and may not have the energy for the physical demands of doula work - staying up all night, massaging for sometimes hours on end - it can get quite demanding, and by then I think my belly may be getting a bit large to be getting in anyone's space!

I have also experienced 'irritable uterus' with my last two pregnancies - yes, that is a thing!
I can already feel reasonably strong Braxton-Hicks contractions - tightening of the uterus without downward pressure, considered to be toning up for the real thing - as I did with my first two. I haven't ever had problems with prematurity, but it was uncomfortable having strong, and sometimes even painful contractions caused by over exertion, dehydration, a full bladder, an empty bladder, touching my belly,or sometimes seemingly caused by nothing at all. 

Plant Nanny - Available on Apple,
Android and Windows devices
I'm being more diligent with making sure I get enough magnesium and drinking enough water this time around, and I'm hoping that will help, but I thinking booking clients for my third trimester would still be unwise, for me and for them!

By the by, I'm using a little app called Plant Nanny to help me remember to drink water, and it seems to be working!

After the birth I think I'll need to take about a year's break from taking on doula clients, perhaps more depending on the personality of this little sproglet. I may still be able to do some volunteer work as that usually involves a set period of time, primarily in daylight hours. Again, this is one of those bittersweet things, letting go of something I love so much for a season, but that's just what it is, a season. Ideally I'd love to be a private midwife one day, so it makes sense to have my own children sooner rather than later.

As much as I will miss doula work, I am so looking forward to newborn snuggles! I went to help a friend with breastfeeding her newborn this last week, and those teeny tiny fingers and toes always undo me!

Other birthy things I'm thinking of right now... 

  • Trying to think of how to fit three car seats in our Daihatsu Sirion
  • Sorting out the girls' playroom and unpacking all of the boxes of oddments from when we moved so it's not stressing me out when baby comes
  • Getting some newborn sized cloth nappies - a luxury I didn't have with my first two - I just started them off on regular cloth nappies and they spent their first few weeks with butternut shaped bums!
  • Realizing how many safety gates we will need for our new house (at least 3!)
One last funny thing... Even as a doula and a third time mom who had great natural births with the first two, I do still have moments of consternation centered on the question, 'This baby is coming out where?'

So I pull a doula move on myself every now and then: Women all over the world do this all the time. Our bodies are designed to give birth, and so on.

I won't be quite so glib in my encouragement in future

After seeing how much I just wrote, I think once every two weeks might be doable - not as much pressure as a weekly diary, and not as much marathon reading as a monthly one - what do you think?

If you do want to get notifications of blog posts and pregnancy diary entries in your email, please subscribe by entering your email address in the box on the right, or follow me on Twitter on @DurbanDoula

And if you have any questions about how this Durban Doula does pregnancy, ask away below and I'll address them in future posts. 

Find Week 16's diary here and week 12 here.

No comments:

Post a Comment