33 Week Update

I decided to place my bet on when Baby will arrive today; and I've settled on 40 weeks and 1 day, which would make my birth date guess August 4th. There's no particular theory behind this, it's just a bit of fun, but we'll have to wait and see, I'm also guessing Baby's weight at 9lbs exactly - watch this space!
 
Being 32 weeks pregnant has given me my first glimpse of being heavily pregnant in the Summer heat. We had a hot weekend here, and with my body temperature already elevated, plus the extra weight to heave around, I did expect to be pretty uncomfortable. So far, so good though, I spent yesterday sitting out in the sunshine with Seb, Boyfriend and Boyfriend's Mum and youngest son, whilst they all tackled Boyfriend's jungle of a garden. I put myself on refreshments-duty and read a book in between fetching cups of tea for the workers, and whilst I moved in to the shade a couple of times to cool down, for the most part I was pretty happy. We'll see what I'm saying at 39 weeks in the middle of July!
 
 
 
On Thursday, we had our first meeting with our doula, Marika, of Divine Doulas. For the most part, this was an introductory meeting to make sure all three of us (Seb, Boyfriend and I) are happy and comfortable having Marika on our team, and also, for her to meet and get her head around us. Having a doula to help prepare for Baby's birth, support us all through his/her arrival, and postnatally (particularly with feeding) has been very important to me from an early stage, but I was concerned that it would be a service financially unavailable to us. We are, after all, trying to bring this child in to the world on a severely limited budget.
 
If you're in the same boat however, there is help available, Doula UK offer an access fund to any low income family (including working families on a smaller salary as well as those entitled to benefits). If you're not eligible for the access fund for any reason, then it's worth looking in to whether there are mentored doulas working in your area. A mentored doula has undergone her initial training, and is now a practicing doula, but works under a mentor for one year, to hone her skills. At the end of this year, she becomes a registered doula with Doula UK. Marika is a mentored doula, so she's already received Doula UK's training, and now meets with her mentor regularly to anonymously discuss her clients and the help she is providing them. Marika's mentor, funnily enough, is Rebecca Schiller who runs the Homebirth Support Group that Boyfriend and I attended last week, so as Rebecca herself is somewhat involved in our pregnancy journey anyway, the ends are all quite neat in this arrangement! Because mentored doulas do not have the full registration with Doula UK, and are also keen to gain as much experience as possible in their mentored year, their fees are often far more flexible and significantly lower than the £500-£1500 ish that you can often expect to pay.
 
The meeting was fantastic anyway, all of us really warmed to Marika and got on well with her, and her colleague Bryoni who will be our "back up doula" for any "just in case" scenario. We touched very briefly on how we see our ideal birth experience, our plans to hire a pool, our choice to have a homebirth if possible, and we also discussed the concerns that the hospital have about Baby's size. Our next appointment is booked for next week, the same day as our appointment with the consultant to discuss our options in birthing a "larger baby". This will be a good de-brief from the consultant session and we'll also be putting together our written birth plan together, which is kind of exciting. I've already starting drafting out the main points.
 
Marika has also leant me an impressive selection of books on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and prenatal yoga, so added to my existing stash, I'm building up quite the library! If anybody has any book suggestions, please throw them my way (the suggestions that is, not the books!)
 
Now here's hoping Week 33 passes as pleasantly. I have an appointment with my midwife on Friday to catch up and check on Baby's progress, so that's the pregnancy related focus of this week!
 
 

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