Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Wake of the 32-Week Bomb

This is what happens when your Mama takes you to Easter Egg hunt with out an Easter basket.

Almost 35 weeks. This feels like two weeks until Monkey for us. TWO WEEKS!

There is no way to know whether Monkey will be a 37 weeker like her big brother, but it's certainly possible. And if it's possible then we should be ready for it, don't you think?

Since the "OH SH*&T this baby is actually coming!"bomb that exploded in the center of this family (and the house actually) at around 32 weeks, we've snapped right into shape. Here's what we've put in motion since then:

  • We hired a doula (although we're currently going back and forth about whether we want or need this assistance*).
  • We prepared a birth plan.
  • We decided who our "Yikes the grandparents can't get in town fast enough" Yogi back-up will be.
  • We've read helpful books - thanks to many of you for great suggestions! (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Simpkin's The Birth Partner and Tracy Hogg's Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers - more on this later)
  • We've added an entire bedroom and painted it a color that no one actually liked once it had been put on the walls.  Oh well. Can't win them all.
  • We've bought a comfy chair for that bedroom.
  • We've got a lovely, old-fashioned (but comfortable) looking cradle set up in our room.
  • We brought all of the newborn clothes and supplies down from the attic and stocked Monkey's closet.
  • We've developed a Yogi Meets Monkey plan that feels right for everyone.
  • We've done a MAJOR Spring cleaning/purge/Goodwill and Habitat donations. Nothing like a nesting pregnant woman with more than a few OCD tendencies to whip your house right into shape.
Monkey, we're ready to meet you!!!!

* I'd like to write about this in more detail, but the short version is that we hired a doula during the explosion when I was feeling entirely ill-prepared for the birth. I was concerned that I hadn't really prepared myself (informationally or emotionally) to be a solid birth partner in light of what I thought was going to be another c-section and I desperately wanted back-up. Now that I've done my thing and worked it out in my head I am eager for this labor to get going. I'm feeling prepared (as much as you can really be) and even excited about the experience. I'm not sure where a doula fits in as we are both entirely comfortable with and confident about our OB (she delivered Yogi) and I'm feeling confident. If we decide not to use her we need to tell her ASAP (of course), so we've got to make this decision. Anyone have thoughts?


I've been thinking about Yogi a lot today... wondered if he has a baby to play with... and as an aid to "Mama is putting a diaper on Monkey. Can you put a diaper on your baby?" "Mommy is feeding Monkey. Can you feed your baby?" Just a thought...

Glad to hear you're feeling more prepared.

I'll be interested to read about your "Yogi meets Monkey" plan as we'll be going through a similar process with children similar ages in eight months!

We didn't use a doula either time. Honey was an amazing birth partner. I totally think you can do it

Wow, I'm amazed at all you've accomplished!
For what it's worth, we were really glad we hired a doula. It made a huge difference to my partner (the non-pregnant one) to know that she could step out to go to the bathroom or catch her breath or get a bite to eat without leaving me alone. Ours also took some pictures during the birth. I wasn't sure I was going to want those photos, but am now so glad that we have them.

Wish Blogger had threaded comments. :(

TessTrue - I like that idea! He doesn't have a baby exactly, but he does have his Ugly Dolls. He could certainly help with them.

Allison - CONGRATULATIONS! I've gotten so behind with my blog reading and had no idea that you guys were expecting. How exciting! I'll definitely share more about the plan and the aftermath. ;)

Jessie - I was feeling really good about what you said and then I remembered.... your wife actually IS a coach, isn't she?! I know she's not a birth coach, but she's probably got some skills.

PajamaMommas - I hear so many good things about doulas, that it's hard to say "never mind". I'd also never thought about the photography potential..... I like it.

Oh, I'm excited! I'm just so excited for you all!

What color ARE the walls?

(For what it's worth on the doula front, our doula was just as helpful for me as she was for J. She gave me strength at some really vulnerable moments, allowing me to continue to support J. And she stepped back and was a silent presence whenever neither of us needed more active support. If money isn't an issue, I'm not sure you can go wrong having her there. If you don't rely on her directly, she can just hold good thoughts for you in that space. She can advocate for you or your wife if advocacy becomes necessary. And if things go differently than expected, she can make all the difference. Of course, we didn't have a doula when E came, and it was horrible to not have that support. Also, B would have come via c-section if Jessica hadn't been with us. AND I'm married to a doula-in-training. So I get that all of this is influenced by subject position.)

We did not have a doula, but we were under the care of midwives, Strawberry and I both studied and trained in preparation for the birth, and my mother (also a nurse, though not in OB) was also present. Once we got to the birth center, and later at the hospital this team was perfect for our needs. My mother was a good emotional support as well as an informed medical opinion. Strawberry was an amazing coach and gave me all the emotional and physical support I could ever need. The midwife pretty much left us alone except for checking in on progress occasionally and then advising and advocating as things got more complicated. I do not think a doula would have made much of a difference, although in hindsight, there are a few things I wish someone had advised me to do at home during the early hours of labor (take an antinausea pill, try and sleep) that would have made things easier.

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