The other day I ran in to an aquaintance I have known since I've moved to Seattle. She actually lives a block away from me now, so once every few weeks or so we see each other out walking our dogs or something. The last time I saw her she told me she was studying to be a midwife, in addition to becoming a naturopath. She had attended many, many homebirths as an apprentice under a local midwife, as well. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the time and still hadn't decided on my prenatal care or where I was going to birth the baby, so we just made some sort of baby small talk. Okay, so fast forward to the other and I run in to her again. She asks me how I'm feeling, blah blah blah and out of the blue asks me if I would like her to be at my birth, totally free of charge. At first I was like "sure! it would be great to use you as a back-up!" but now the more I'm thinking I am going to ask her to be the doula, the only doula, at the birth. I can't see how I could go wrong with a girl I know and trust, who is a midwifery student who has attended homebirths and who lives a block away. I'm going to call her and talk to her a little more about it and see if she wants to do that. The one thing that's been hard with planning this birth is how expensive it all is. The doula, at least $500 for a professional, the birth tub is $250, the hypnobirthing classes are $300 or $400. plus we have an 80% co-pay just for the birth. I mean, geez, we are poor, poor people and if I can get a great doula for free, I need to jump all over that!
I also decided to contact La Leche League about my issues with pregnancy and breastfeeding. I found a local woman's email address and sent her a note asking for suggestions and she sent back a really nice email. It probably seems dumb, but it really helped me deal with things. I learned that there really isn't anything a mama can do to change the volume or composition of her milk while she is pregnant and breastfeeding. This was nice to hear because I was freaking out thinking I would need to do all these things to change my diet or take (possibly risky) supplements to deal with it. Also, it sounds like it really is up to your child. If they're going to wean, they're going to wean. They may actually wean temporarily and then start nursing again once your regular milk comes back after the birth. I just need to relax, offer nursies to Iris occasionally if she's not asking, and get comfortable with the idea that from now on, things are going to be different. I also am realizing that she doesn't seem to be terribly affected by the changes. Actually, she doesn't seem to be affected AT ALL. Isn't it interesting how some mamas are so averse to BFing that they never even try it and some mamas are just absolutely heartbroken when their toddler isn't interested anymore?
I certainly can't beat myself up about it if she does wean, that's just how it's going to be for us. Paxye also told me that only about 25% of children will wean when their mamas are pregnant, so at least we have good odds.