Wow. 28 days to go. There is so much going on right now in my life, it's hard to keep track of everything. I've set myself the task of finishing making our coffee table and Nameless Baby's Christmas stocking by the time our au pair arrives on October 22, mostly because I need clean out the room where she'll stay and the patio outside, where my projects are set up. So I've been working on both those things pretty regularly, and it's going slower than I hoped. I also need a plumber to fix the faucet in the guest bath, and to find a better house cleaner and SOON.
In the meantime, I just met with the doula I liked, and her mentor, and I really liked them both and I'm excited about how this will work out. They'll come for hopefully 2 prenatal visits to help me learn some labor techniques, support me during the birth, and come for 2 postpartum visits as well. I'm so happy to have the support.
In addition - and I'm so excited about this! - I found out our local university is doing a study on probiotics and breastfeeding. The main reason I'm excited about this is that participating requires that the baby be exclusively breastfed for 3 months, and in return, the university provides 4 visits from a lactation consultant, once before the baby is born, and 3 times after the baby is born. I can't begin to say how great this study is, and I hope I am eligible to participate. It will provide both the motivation to exclusively breastfeed as well as the support to do so, not only free but completely set up ahead of time. While I'm at a point now where I recognize the value of paying for a lactation consultant, the hassle of finding them and making appointments is still a barrier, especially with all I have going on.
So, if I do both the doulas and the university study, I will have three prenatal visits and 5 postpartum visits, all aimed at helping me and my baby. It feels a bit like the village I was yearning for when I gave birth to the twins, but never managed to get in place. I feel so much better prepared this time around. And even if I don't qualify for the study for some reason, it's giving me the motivation to get some lactation consultants lined up anyway. I also plan to go to the local new mothers' group, where I used to go with my twins. Between all this, the au pair, and my in-laws visiting a few weeks after my due date, I expect to have a lot of support and help, and I am so hopeful to be able to spend time relaxing and really enjoying the new baby.
Speaking of which ... he may have a name. We're still not 100% sure, but I'm giving it a lot of thought and it's settling in and growing on me. So we'll see. I won't announce it here until after he's born, but hey! That's not too long to wait now!
One thing the doula did say is that without having gone into labor on my own last time, in her experience most women in that situation tend to not follow the normal pattern of second-time mothers, and still tend to deliver on the later side. She said I could probably expect, and should plan, to go at least to my due date. We'll see, but it is good, in my opinion, to not have my hopes up for an early birth and then feel like I'm just waiting and waiting. It also takes some of the pressure off to have everything ready WAY ahead of time. I think I need to not go overboard and still keep on track for planning, so the basic necessities are ready anyway. In any case, I need a lot ready by the time our au pair comes in just over two weeks, so I do have a deadline anyway.
And speaking of which - time to sand my table top and hopefully get start with drilling holes. I'll try to post a picture of my table when it's done, so look for that in the coming few weeks.