At 11w4d, it’s probably too early to plan for either, but that’s just who I am. Plus, I figure after all I’ve been through, I deserve to start thinking like an ordinary pregnant woman, not a doom-and-gloom infertile who can’t quite believe this is real or that it will last. So, I’m throwing caution to the wind and putting the cart before the horse.
I can’t remember when and how I first heard about doulas, but it was just in the last 3 years or so. (If you don’t know what one is, click on over to this website. Basically, a doula provides labor support, but it’s so much more than that.) When I first started searching for doulas in my area, I was greatly disappointed. I found a few, but the closest one was hundreds of miles away. I started asking my Facebook groups for advice, and it turns out, one of them is a recently trained doula! She advised me to email DONA International about doulas-in-training in my area, which turned up 3 solid leads, one of whom informed me that she knows of 7 more who recently received certification. Ten may not seem like a lot, but it’s a treasure trove compared to the zero I started out with.
So far, I haven’t met with anyone, but I made my first appointment to visit with a doula who also has midwife training. My biggest fear is whether my hospital will welcome a doula. I know it’s my choice, but the medical staff can make things difficult for us if they see her as an obstacle. I can’t very well change hospitals. There are only two in my city; the other is religious, which is not cool with me. And I’m not comfortable giving birth in my apartment (besides, there aren’t any practicing midwives here who would deliver at home). So, in addition to interviewing doulas, I need to have a conversation with my OB and probably with someone from labor and delivery (?) to make sure they are aware of the situation and to gauge their receptivity.
As for baby showers (yes, the plural was intentional), it’s not so much me who is jumping the gun, but my sisters and in-laws. Okay, I’m guilty to a degree, but only insofar as batting around general ideas. Like how I would like it to be coed, without all the cheesy games and 3 hour present opening session. I floated the idea by my sisters, who think it’s a great idea (they are already making more detailed plans). I’m not sure everyone will think it’s so great, as people are accustomed to the traditional women-only shower, where you ooh and aah over every last gift and discuss baby vomit and diarrhea. I want something less showery and more … I don’t know, just less showery. And I want presents. I’m not going to lie. I’ve paid into the baby shower pool many, many times, and I firmly believe its my turn for a nice return on my investment. That may sound greedy, but I don’t care. We spent all our money making this baby.