Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surreal social media trip and a confirmed doula

Funny how timing works out with things and worlds come together. I had an appointment with my Chinese Medicine doctor the other day and she asked who would be in the delivery room with us. I told her just us, a midwife, and that we were trying to find a doula, but couldn't afford an "experienced" one. Turns out one of the Registered Massage Therapists in her office just finished doula training and is looking for a few couples to work with for free to finish her qualifications.

Ideally, it would be great to have someone more experienced, but we just couldn't justify the cost. We met with potential doula yesterday after work and we instantly clicked with her. She's awesome. She's young and extremely passionate. I did really like the fact that she is an RMT who specializes in pregnancy massage and fertility - I'm sure having an RMT in the room during labour would be an added plus. She's also gay, which doesn't really change anything, but I like that she understands the additional complexities of our situation.

My main question for her was how her role would work when I really, really want Devon to be my primary birth partner. She explained that she's mostly there to be my voice and that if I want, she would coach Dev to do things that might help me through certain times in the labour. I appreciate that. She's never been to a birth. Does that bother me? Not really... we all have to start somewhere. It also can't hurt to have an extra pair of hands in the room. If I were spending money, I'm not sure I would invest in someone nobody can't vouch for, but I like the fact that we are giving her this opportunity, as she is with us. We're pretty excited.

25 weeks today, and not a ton of change, though I almost passed out at work today. I'd eaten lots and drank lots and was just standing and it was pretty sudden onset. A colleague sat me down and fed me sugar. The extreme dizziness subsided eventually (not quickly!), but I was light-headed for most of the afternoon. I see my midwife tomorrow, so I'll bring it up.

Another semi-scary symptom (warning, TMI) is that two or three times over the last month, I've suddenly had a sensation where I've peed my pants. My underwear gets soaking wet and I know it's not pee (it's clear and odourless) and it's not regular discharge. I've heard about amniotic fluid leaking like this and maybe should have called the midwife, but it's so sporadic that I'll just bring it up tomorrow too.

Something weird happened this week, and I'd love to hear from others about similar experiences. I was on our sperm bank's Facebook page just to check it out and started clicking through photos that clients have posted of their children. It amazes me that people can post so many pics - which include personal information - with comments thanking donor #9346 or whatever.

Here I am clicking through the pics and I come across a picture of a mom thanking a donor and I'm suddenly staring at BoomBoom's half sister. You could definitely see some of the donor's features in her... oddly enough, the one characteristic that I'm not super keen on... and I was fascinated. She was a lot darker in colouring than I expected (eyes, hair and skin), and her mom was very blond and light-skinned. Our donor has reached his maximum number of offspring and has retired, so god knows how many are out there. I followed the link to the mom's profile and totally Facebook stalked the family.

It's a surreal experience, and one that I realize I haven't really figured out how to deal with before. Part of me wants to join the donor sibling registry, but part of me wants to keep my family just that - my little family that's mine and mine only, you know? We did choose a donor who is willing to be known eventually, and I have no problems with BoomBoom finding him later in life, but I still don't know what I'd like to do about half siblings.

Is this part of the process that would be helpful for our future daughter? We plan to tell her from very early on that she has two moms and a donor and explain what a donor is, but I have no idea what to do about bringing sisters and brothers into the mix. I know some of you are in contact with half siblings and some of you have chosen not to be, but I don't even know where I want to stand on the issue! Would love to hear some advice from others who have already dealt with something similar.


  1. I think the doula experience is a terrific one and your doula to be sounds wonderful to me. She will be perfect and you will start her on a wonderful career. And she will be there for you and Devon for all of your first journeys.

  2. so great to hear about your doula match!
    after reading your post, i then searched the donor sibling registry, which i had done when our daughter wasn't born yet, and there used to be no one there. now there is a baby boy who was born the following year. then i checked the bank's fb page, and found babies w their donor number, no matches there. i am also totally unsure of where i stand with this myself, and i feel like i have no idea where my wife stands either. i think we were able to avoid/ignore a serious conversation about this in the past bc there weren't any half siblings listed to even think about, and we were so busy trying to get me knocked up. im doing too much thinking for it not even being 8:30am.
    hope you're feeling good, other than yesterday's dizzy spell. a tip from your diabetic friend... always have some fast acting sugar around ie juice, straight sugar, soda, etc, just for stuff like that. def talk to your dr abt it though. if it continues you might want to buy a little blood glucose meter at your local pharmacy.the store brand ones are usually only about $20ish here.

  3. Wow, I hadn't thought about the siblings thing. If it was me, I'd want to know if I had brothers and sisters out there, but I know some people who aren't interested at all. My best friend and her sister were adopted (different birth parents). Her sister always wanted to know who her birth parents were, and my friend had no interest whatsoever. I guess it just depends on Boom-Boom's preferences. Maybe this would be a good coming-of-age discussion when the time comes? I'm not sure how the donor thing might affect it... sorry I don't have any good input here but I know you guys will do the right thing for your family!

  4. I know there's at least one other family out there who used our same donor. I've stalked their FB pages as well (one isn't locked down) just to see pictures of the kids (a set of twins). But we both don't feel comfortable opening Pandora's box any further. It'll be something we discuss with Curly in the future, but it hasn't come up yet and I'm willing to hold off as long as possible. To me, a biological connection isn't worth very much, and family is what you make it. Just my opinion. I understand other viewpoints, but I'm just not comfortable with it.

  5. We were unaware of sibling registry until our Counselling appointment with the fertility clinic. (Not preggers yet though.) We did buy an open donor, and we are all for sibling registry, but all of the point you just brought up are something to think about. We haven't discussed about telling our future child about the potential siblings, and how. Hmm. It is a point to ponder.

    Thank you

  6. that's awesome about the doula! the doula we hired was still working towards her certification, and she was still awesome to have at the birth.

    as for the "sibling" thing (quotes because i'm not totally comfortable calling kids conceived by the same donor siblings), we have decided not to make contact. of course i'm interested in seeing what they look like etc, but that is totally *my* curiosity that would be satisfied within minutes of seeing pics. but in the grander scheme of things, im not ready to have those other families in our lives. it feels like a decision our kids should make when/if they are ready, not one we make for them now.

  7. Hooray for a doula!

    Now you have my interest piqued regarding other kids from the same donor. We agreed a while ago that we would not participate in registries, etc., and while I want to know (what the other kids look like, etc.), I kind of don't want to know if that makes sense. I also don't particularly feel any connection between K and others from the same donor and don't necessarily care to... but if K does one day, we'll take it from there.