Thank you all so much for the amazing reassurances you offered since I wrote about Monday’s ultrasound. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me to read story after story of folks who had the echogenic focus or gestational diabetes or just a big baby where all turned out just fine. I had no plans for this blog when I began it, but I could not have anticipated that it could be as powerful tool as it has been on so many of the darkest days of this journey. Monday was certainly not among those, but the wisdom of the collective mind (or whatever you call it) was nonetheless greatly appreciated. On the most practical of levels, two friends suggested that I purchase my own glucose monitoring kit, which I picked up at CVS last night for $9.99. My fasting blood sugar this morning was only 74, which is very well within the normal range. So if this baby is big, it’s not due to GD. A simple solution that brought me a lot of peace of mind.
That worked so well that I want to pick your collective brains again. It’s time, whether I am ready or not (and I’m not, really), to start thinking about preparing to deliver this baby. I know, I know. Some of you are thinking that I’m nuts—it’s still 20 weeks away, right? But I know from my experience delivering Hudson that preparation means everything if I want to do this without drugs. And I definitely want to do it without drugs again. I’m obviously starting from a good place this time, since I at least know that I CAN do it. But I still need to prepare.
I’ve been chewing on this and chewing on this for so long now that it’s really to the point that I just need to figure out what I want to do and start making plans. Childbirth classes of all kinds start to fill up at this point (yes, even this far out) and doulas get booked. But I just don’t know what I should do.
With Hudson, we took a Lamaze class about three months before the due date (which was pretty early, but the later classes would have barely finished in time) and ended up using our instructor as our doula. This go round, I’m struggling with a few things. First, I just don’t think that I can sit through an entire multi-week childbirth class (Lamaze or Bradley or otherwise) with mostly first-time parents who have never been through labor before, let alone raising and then losing a child. I’m also not sure that I really NEED a full childbirth class—there are a lot of things I don’t need to cover again (once you’ve been through it once, there are certain things that you never forget).
And finally, as much as I liked our doula (and I really did like her and there’s no way I would have made it through a drug-free delivery without her), the idea of using her again to have a second baby in the same hospital where we had Hudson, but where Hudson will never come to visit and take the obligatory family pictures, is just too much. As if we’d just hit fast-forward and started all over again the exact same way but with a different baby. I just can’t imagine it. Ever since the first moment that we knew Hudson was not going to survive, whenever I imagined delivering another baby, all I could see was crying, crying, crying, the whole way through. And that very well may happen, which will be OK. But I need a doula who can help me through what I know is going to be a gut-wrenching experience but who is not herself (through no fault of her own) a source of painful (albeit beautiful and treasured) memories.
So what do you think? Try to pursue a birthing class? Do something else? And DC-area folks, do you have suggestions for a doula that might be just right for this situation (although I realize most doulas would be up to this job)?
I am, as ever, grateful for everyone who reads here, and for all the love and support you’ve continued to offer for so many months now. Thank you.