Doulas and painting and salsa, oh my…

We met with a potential doula today. I am still not 100% sold on the idea of a doula simply because it is another expense added to an already expensive process. However, I was absolutely amazed at how comfortable I felt with her. Some people are just so naturally warm and open that I can’t help but feel at ease with them. I am a little bit jealous because I know that I am seen as an aloof, colder person, and it definitely takes me quite some time to warm up to people. This distance is something that I create, and I know that it makes many people feel uncomfortable around me. I have just never figured out how to break through that distance. I think the “average” person is somewhat less detached than I am, and then there are these warm, glowing superstars that are absolutely attractive to others. People just gravitate towards them. Even I feel comfortable around them, which says a lot. Anyways, this woman was definitely one of these warmer ladies. She put me at ease almost immediately, and gave us some great comfort and tips for additionally resources even if we decide not to go with her services. All in all, over just a cup of coffee I would say I feel about 5% more comfortable with the hospital process of birth and my choice of birth center (pretty much the only birth center in Varna that is willing to work with doulas). So yeah, not 100% sure we will hire a doula, but definitely considering it more seriously as the date approaches.

And approaching it is…

I honestly have no clue what my official due date is. I change it based on my mood. I know it is sometime in February, towards the beginning-middle. However, before getting pregnant my body was so unpredictable (I thought I was pregnant two times before I was actually pregnant due to wildly late periods) that now I don’t really trust standard calculations for when I conceived or my due date. My midwife is planning for the week following the fourth of February… sometime. Anyways, due dates are such an estimate anyways, and it can really be anywhere from week 37-42… which would be two weeks from now up to almost two months. Not a lot of reassurance about actual timing there, but it makes me realize that maybe we should be preparing now, instead of planning to have that time all the way until week 40 to get ready.

At the moment we are switching rooms with my in-laws. Their house has two bedrooms. In the back of the house is the “children’s room,” where Nikola and I are staying at the moment. At the front of the house is a larger room with one wall filled with large windows that faces out over the garden and we will be moving into that room later this week, so that there will be room for the crib and the baby can have more natural light. First, however, comes the task of painting the room, which is never as simple as it seems like it should be. Currently we have moved all of the in-law’s furniture into the living room, and things are a little cramped/chaotic. Plus, I haven’t quite figured out what we are moving into the room with us and what we will put in storage. Will I have time and inspiration to paint? Do I still need the dual monitor setup I am currently working with? How much knitting and sewing will I realistically do? Because we know that we will be looking for our own place in the spring it becomes a little tedious to figure out what to pack and what to move now so that we don’t have tons of useless stuff cluttering our lives. One of my friends told me that she was able to do a lot more than she had thought she would. Many others tell me they are able to do less. Part of me can imagine myself laying in bed all day, cuddling with the new baby, occasionally taking walks (have to finish the mei tei I am crocheting) and not doing much more for the first few weeks/months. But maybe I will go stir crazy.

Then there are pediatricians to talk to, Bulgarian healthcare for newborns to figure out, my own healthcare (and American taxes) to figure out, thinking about eventually getting a job, running again, biking again, hiking and camping, and generally life after pregnancy. It all seems so exciting! 🙂 And figuring out how to include a baby in all of the fun things Nikola and I like to do is going to be… challenging, in a good way.

But… here it comes, the final push… the last month (or so) ready or not. 

2 thoughts on “Doulas and painting and salsa, oh my…

  1. Get a doula! Especially if you want to have a drug-free labor and delivery! I was one who had a "to-do" list during maternity leave. Yeah, that remained pretty much untouched. Every baby is different, but walks with her was pretty much all I was able to do. Babies also take a lot of time for things like being fussy.

    Also, don't short-change your own recovery. Physically, psychologically, and mentally giving birth and becoming a mom is a trip. That is another thing that doulas are great at helping with.

  2. Hmm- yeah, that recovery thing… it shocks me, but apparently the average hospital stay for a natural child birth in Bulgaria is 4-5 days. It seems obsessively long for me, but my mother-in-law ensures me that I will appreciate having help for the baby during those critical days of recovery- and having lactation consultants on hand… then my potential doula says that she would visit me at my home 1-2 times in the next coming weeks to help process the labor mentally… AND the pediatrician does a house call the within the first three days of the baby being home. It is almost like they are obsessed with a strong recovery here. (I am not sure how it is in the US, but I believe there is a lot less in-home and at-hospital support offered?)

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