From the category archives:

Week 22

We found a doula!

by Esther on Sat, Jan 9th, 2010

in Doctors, midwives, and doulas,Week 22

Walking through the doors of pregnancy and all of it’s unknown factors, Milton and I have had lots of questions and lots of aha moments to answer them.  At first, we weren’t even totally comfortable talking about a home birth.  At first glance, it didn’t seem like the safe option.  One book in the right direction and suddenly we found ourselves on the path of home birth research.  This has led to us meeting some pretty amazing people in the Seattle Midwifery community.  We feel very cosy at our monthly midwife appointments and like we can call their office with any questions or concerns that we have.

It was at Rainy City Midwifery that we were approached about possibly hiring a doula.  At first, it really didn’t feel necessary.  Between the 20 books we’ve already read, the 40 books we’re bound to read, the class we’re going to take with The Mother of all Doulas, and the 1,394 people we talk to who give us advice (unsolicited or otherwise), it seems like we could lasso in this whole laboring experience and take it to the moon, right?

Well.  Sort of.

The more we started to visualize our birthing experience, and the more we talked to the midwifes at Rainy City, the more we started to think that we should look for someone else to help us on our journey.  It’s not that we don’t trust ourselves.  It’s certainly not that I don’t trust my body.  It’s not that I don’t trust my midwifes to act in my favor and do everything they can to support and protect my family.  I have trust in all of these things!  It’s more that I am fairly certain that much of what my husband and I learn about pregnancy and labor will fly out the window without a good mediator who has a whole lot of experience with the process of saying hello to babies.  I could be in labor for 3 days, after all!  No matter how much my husband and I adore each other, he is going to need a break.  I am going to need a break.  We are going to need encouragement and knowledge to help us along so that fear doesn’t take over the experience of  bringing life.  There is potentially a long stretch of time between when labor begins and when my midwife arrives when I am going to need a woman who knows what she’s doing to help me out with crazy things that I have never really thought about… like calming to heck down when I feel as if I’m about to break in two, or like breast feeding after the labor is all said and done and the actual taking care of a newborn begins.

I met Cheryl Murfin while I was working at my salon.  I was tending to another lady when Cheryl marched right up to my chair and asked which one of us was pregnant.  Since both my client and I are pregnant, all we could do was laugh and say “Me!”  Turns out, Cheryl is a doula who had heard through salon scuttlebutt that I was a pregnant lady and decided to come around with her card.  I immediately took to her direct approach!  I love Seattle, but am not native to the Pacific NorthWest and am often a little turned off by the typical north-westerner’s politely standoffish way.  This woman came over and told me what she did in 20 words or less!  She was practically New York in my book.   I made a mental note to ask my midwife if she had any more information on this lady.  As it turns out, Lynn at Rainy City knew Cheryl very well.  Cheryl was the director of the Seattle Midwifery School and is very tied in to the community here.  I decided to call her for an appointment…

We met today and it all felt so comfortable!  I feel like she’s the other hand on deck we need for this delivery, which will make the total of people in the house during the birthing a whopping 6 (Milton, me, 1 midwife, 2 midwife students, and our doula)!  7 if you count our baby!  Practically a party for our small loft (if it doesn’t sell by the end of February, we’re staying right here, folks).  I can’t imagine that this baby will feel anything but love and support when he gets here.

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Alone on this internet?

by Esther on Mon, Jan 4th, 2010

in Week 22

What is with the ridiculous world of parent blogging?  Every time I turn to my computer to research questions I have on child rearing, I’m agitated to the point of f-bombs.

1) Why is everything in acronym form?  There are tons of reviews online for cloth diapers, but most of the reviewers refer to the cloth diapers they speak of through acronym.  How is a new mom-to-be to understand this special language?  And then there’s the baby boards!  WAHM, TTC, DH, FTM, DF. DB, SO, MIL, EDD, DD, AF, CS, DPO, BFP…. all of it means something, and we are left alone to figure out just what.  Can’t these people type?  I feel as if I’m reading a high school slam book.

2) Why does every baby product review just assume that they are talking to MOMS?  What about DADS?  Don’t dads change diapers?  Take their baby for walks in a stroller?  Wear their baby?  Feed their baby?  I’m pretty certain that my husband will do all of these things just as much as I do.  I can’t be the only down-with-equality-in-the-home woman on the whole internet.

3) Complain complain complain!  I’ve never heard so much complaining about husbands and boyfriends as I have on the baby boards.  Ladies: if he’s a jerk that you want to complain about all of the time, why are you procreating with him?  I can’t imagine how all of these babies are going to turn out after listening to all of that household kvetching.


EDIT: Cloth Diapering 101.  Finally, useful information.


A weird thought

by Milton on Mon, Jan 4th, 2010

in Psychological,Week 22

Today, I had this strange thought and it gave me shivers: our future son isn’t born yet!

Yeah, sort of obvious, but really. Can you imagine being not born yet? None of us remember it, and none of us will experience not being born yet again.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be born in May of this year? And then that process of slowly getting used to having arms, and legs, and eyes, and this weird sensation of hunger and this overwhelming struggle to control a big head without neck muscles? And.. the first realization that sleep happens, and that dreams happen, and that you have pee and poop.

It’s all so alien, and our future son has no idea what is in store for him. Hell, even I don’t know what’s in store for him and I’ve been here 33 years. How much have I really learned in those 33 years, and how much of it is really unknowable, or temporarily knowable and then eventually forgotten again?

This crazy process of being born, and growing up, and then watching others get born, it’s something that we’ve been experiencing over and over again for millions of years, and yet it still seems new to each of us. It makes me feel like a part of the universe in a weird way. Both alien and deeply familiar. Like something I forgot about a long time ago.

This baby is gonna be a trip, I can already tell.


Just in case you haven’t heard, our 20-week ultrasound went smoothly and our very friendly nurse played along with our request to have her write the gender in a card that we could open at our leisure (away from the sterile confines of the hospital).

We tried to play it cool the rest of the day, running errands, watching a movie (Avatar was great), and walking around.  Around 7pm we started getting fidgety, and I asked Esther if she had any new guesses for the gender.  She admitted to having a pretty confident guess about it, as she think she spied some balls in one of the ultrasound shots inadvertently.  I asked Esther if she wanted to swap her bet and go for a girl at 10/1 odds (so that she’d get 10 pizzas if it was a girl and I’d get one pizza if it was a boy) and she declined.  I sighed and admitted that I too thought I spied something on the screen.  (It was pretty funny at the time, and I think we were probably giggling a little.)

We decided to open the card while she sat on the pig in Pike Place Market.

Our suspicions were correct!  We are going to have a son!

And to prove I’m good for my word, here’s the pizza:

We spent the rest of dinner (and a good part of the last couple weeks) talking excitedly about what this means for us, and how much more tangible it all feels now. A son. A little man. Amazing.