19 weeks. It’s been 19 weeks. Already. I’m almost halfway through. Um. Wow. I’ve had 15 weeks to adjust to this life change…it’s been a long 15 weeks, and yet it hasn’t. Paradoxical, I know. I’m surprised by it. And glad.
My 19th week has seen the arrival of a definite belly. Baby Howell is making his/her presence known. Also, my appetite has finally come roaring back. I would have eaten cardboard today, if I’d had enough ketchup. I’ve had a relatively normal-sized appetite for the last few weeks, and was actually starting to get worried that I didn’t want to tear a path to the local Dunkin Donuts. Apparently, I needn’t have worried. My cravings for pineapple, grits, dark chocolate, water, cottage cheese, almonds, cheese, and burritos (not in any combination) are nice and strong. I am a danger to the local grocery store- as I should be. Done and done.
I’ve also felt Baby H start kicking up some more. S/he’s the size of an apple (or an onion, depending on the guide you consult); after this, I’ll think of fetuses every time I’m in the produce section of Publix. While I can feel Baby H kicking, my husband can’t yet. I think he’s really looking forward to the point where he can feel our baby. I am to. But I’m also very much looking forward to dinner, so I think my priorities are a bit more…short-term focused.
Sometime very early on in my pregnancy, I decided that I felt very strongly having a doula. For those of you who don’t know what a doula is, the all-powerful Wikipedia defines it thusly:
A Doula  provides non-medical support to women and families during labour, childbirth and the postpartum period.
Non-medical support- as in, the job of a doula is to be there for the laboring mom-to-be, guide her through breathing, suggest different positions and pain-management strategies, etc. It’s also a doula’s job to make sure that the soon-to-be-parents aren’t stuck trying to remember everything they learned in lamaze class by themselves. Labor is a tense time (so I’m told) and the doctors are otherwise focused, so the doula will focus on the experience for the new parents and help them navigate the whole chaotic, over-medicalized mess.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the medical aspect of it. I’m against resorting to medications first, and against any attempts to bulldoze me through the process. I’m against being taken advantage of while at a trying moment of life by a doctor for whom labor is routine and just wants me to not ask questions and do whatever s/he tells me to. I want minimal medical interventions, and I want someone who is trained in childbirth pain-management techniques who isn’t going to immediately reach for the Pitocin (a drug to speed up labor). I’d like for Baby Howell to avoid starting life stoned.
So, with these things in mind, I am searching around Atlanta for some trained doulas. Recently, I went to a Meet-n-Greet that was sponsored by Lumina Birth here in Atlanta and met a roomful of potential doulas. I’ve found a few to interview, and I feel better already. They were kind, knew their stuff, and had a lot of good advice.
The Meet-n-Greet too place in a chiropractic center in Decatur that apparently does prenatal chiropractic work. I’d never heard of it and didn’t even know it was possible. Based on the testimonials, it might be another thing I need to consider. Maybe.
In the meantime, Doula Search 2012 (it’s like Star Search, but without a mic) enters into Phase 2- Interviews. I’ll update you on what comes out of it.
Just eleven days until the Gender Sonogram! I’m not saying I have a paper-chain to count the days in my office. I’m not saying I have a list over a page long of potential boys and girls names. I’m just going to say that I’m fully prepared- and leave it at that.