Thursday, April 06, 2006

Some good news!

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.


  1. My daughter didn't even slow down on nursing even when I was sure there wasn't any milk. She did eat a lot more food. That was the only indication that anything had changed.

    I payed $2,000 for my homebirth compared to about $8,000 for my hospital birth before it. It's amazing considering that you're just paying the attendants to stand by.

  2. I'm so happy for you! We were financially strapped during my last (my second) pregnancy. I knew I wanted a homebirth this time but mistakenly thought I'd have to have money up front to even see a midwife. In my eigth month of pregnancy, I finally called an independent midwife and discovered she was totally willing to wait 'till we got our tax return for payment -- and even said she'd wait even longer for payment if we ended up needing our tax return.

    I was afraid no midwife would want to start working with a mom so late in pregnancy, especially one who hadn't been to a doctor. She said the doctor issue was up to me, and it still wasn't too late for her to start with me.

    I learned that midwife/mother relationships are based on trust -- trust in women's bodies, wisdom, and hearts. If a woman trusts herself, her midwife can trust her.


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