(I couldn’t help myself.)
As I mentioned before, it’s been nicer to go into this pregnancy with a more relaxed and trusting mindset. As I think it’s expected with first-time moms, during my pregnancy with Liv, I couldn’t read fast enough. I happily swam in pregnancy books, could easily tell you which fruit or vegetable size she was at the time, and was immersed in our Bradley Method classes, which we really enjoyed. This time, I’m going to refresh a bit of the information, but am happy I *studied* so much last time that a majority of the information has remained with me.
There are a couple of things that I’m starting to worry/focus on now, and here are the major two:
1) Figuring out a plan for someone to stay with Liv, depending on whether I go into labor during the day or in the middle of the night. We have a fairly quick drive to the hospital, but I’ve heard second babies can arrive faster, so I have vivid mental images of delivering on the side of the freeway, which is slightly alarming. Also, it makes me sad that she won’t be able to come with us to the hospital right away, even though I know it wouldn’t be enjoyable at all for her. I’m hoping that as soon as the baby arrives a friend or babysitter can bring her to the hospital so our family can be together.
2) Finding a doula. When we moved to San Diego, as with any big move, I instantly began to research doctors, dentists, preschools, etc. Out of curiosity, I googled for doulas and midwives, long before we were pregnant or started trying. There are a LOT of doulas here in San Diego, and none of my friends here have used one (word of mouth is usually the way to go for recommendations like this). Thankfully, Whitney put me into contact with a group of mamas here in San Diego, and they gave a few highly-recommended doula options. I’m meeting with one next week! Since I’ve never had to interview a doula before (ours in Tucson was a friend of a friend, and happened to be observing our Bradley class towards the end of her midwifery training, so it worked out perfectly), I thought it would be helpful to put together some questions beforehand, or simply chat with her about some things that are important to us:
-Supporting my goals of another another medication-free birth, but obviously the health of mama and baby are the #1 concern. I want to try to let things progress on their own, but at the end of the day, do what you need to do to get baby here safely.
-Preventing episiotomy (I didn’t have one last time and would like to avoid it)
-After-care for baby: reminding doctors that we’d like the baby to stay in our room if possible for testing and her first bath, and nixing the eye drops
-Placenta encapsulation. Our doula did this for us last time, and it would be awesome if this one is able to do this for us, since she’ll be there for the birth.
-Postpartum visits. Last time, I was in this weird postpartum cloud and had problems with breastfeeding. Many doulas offer support after the baby is born to check on the family and help with breastfeeding. I’m taking all the help I can get.
-Going by the general vibe. I’m a huge believer that I’ll know right away if it’s a good fit.
I would love to hear your experience with having kids and not living near family. How did you arrange for help with your other kiddo and bringing them to the hospital to meet their new sibling?
Did you have a doula or something similar??