- When I was about to leave for the hospital I had a moment where I got very, very emotional about the support team we had in place to take care of Little G. The logistics surrounding the birth event were going to be potentially complex and without knowing what day or time I was going to go in labor just made it even more confusing. We don't have any family that lives closer than a 7.5 hour drive, so having a support system in place was key to my being able to relax when I eventually DID go into labor.
In those moments before we left for the hospital, as I was thinking about our support team, I became overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving. Some of the friends involved we've known for years, some we know more closely than others, some we only just met a year ago...but they are all such important parts of our lives and I am eternally grateful not only for their willingness to be heavily involved with the plans and logistics of getting Little G taken care of but for their friendship and support. See...I'm gonna cry again.
- I am so glad I downloaded a contractions timer app for my iPhone. I had downloaded it a few weeks prior when I had been having contractions about every 10 minutes. They were Braxton Hicks, but it was still interesting to see the patterns. Even now, looking back, it has been invaluable as a resource to see exactly what was going on at what point during the day. The app I downloaded was called Full Term and it was so simple to use. Just a button saying stop and start, plus the ability to erase the last contraction (if you got button happy) or erase the whole history (if you weren't sure if you were in labor and started the timer a week early or something foolish like that :). I also liked that it allowed me to see the intervals since the last contraction and the average over the hour. Tracking my contractions like that all day long was actually a great way to keep my mind focused. Lastly, I was able to download the whole thing into a spreadsheet to keep for my records. I highly recommend it.
- Working with our doula again was one of the best decisions we made. My husband likes to joke that he wished he had her job because she just shows up for a few minutes until someone has a baby and then she's done. But her job is so much more than that! First off, for most people, birth takes waaaaaaay longer than it did both times for us :). Secondly, even though my births were both fast, the level of support she offered along the way was invaluable.
Probably the biggest value to me, and the number one reason why I am so glad we hired her again, was the fact that while I was convulsing on the table after giving birth, she was there with me holding my hand, explaining what was going on and keeping me calm while my husband was with our new baby. Additionally, being able to call her during the day and get her opinion on things and listen to her advice was so helpful. She also was a huge support while we were in the car driving to the hospital...I was in transition through some of that drive and I just don't think I could have done it without her. Lastly, it was so great to be able to talk to her about my birth experience afterwards. Both births, she has made an appointment to visit with us a couple of weeks after we got home and her perspective has been amazingly helpful. I wouldn't have been able to pull together my birth stories without her additional information.
When I first got pregnant with Ladybug, my husband asked if I wanted to call our doula again and work with her. To be honest, I wasn't sure it was necessary but I told him if it made him more comfortable, than we should do it. Now that I have experienced birth as a newbie and as a veteran, both times with a doula at my side, I can say that it was totally worth it to have her there, I would work with her for any other pregnancies we may/may not have and I highly recommend to all expecting mothers to work hiring a doula into any birth plan and/or budget.
The original birth story
Some thoughts on my birthing experince
Some more thoughts on my birthing experience