Posts Tagged ‘Planning for the Future’
Something’s changed. I can’t quite put my finger on, but things just feel different. The past couple of days my energy level is completely off, but I can’t sleep. Baby is heavy and low, and I can’t help but waddle a bit. I feel a tightening in my abdomen, especially at night, but I’m not sure if it means anything. Maybe it’s my body getting ready for labor, maybe it’s just Zippy getting so big.
This weekend we started packing our hospital bag. And by packing, I mean piling up things that are going to go into our hospital bag. We decided to go with two small ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bags, rather than one big bag, just so it’s easier to find things. We had previously discussed the idea of an extended stay bag that stays in the trunk of the car, just in case I needed a caesarean section, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point. Zippy is already in a good position, and likely to be on the slightly small side so the doctor has no concerns of her not fitting.
When it comes to clothes, I am 100% comfort over style – especially in a situation like labor and delivery. I’m also one of those people who likes to hoard things and keep everything in perfect condition. (Seriously, I was the kid who would ask for play dough for Christmas and then not play with it for fear of mixing the colors and turning them all brown. Or ask for the bejewalar and not want to use up the rhinestones.) Labor and recovery is notoriously messy. So I was on a hunt to find the most comfortable, old and worn out clothes in my closet that I could. That way I wouldn’t feel like I was ruining my “good” clothes.
* Fuzzy socks & regular cotton socks – I predict I will only be wearing the fuzzy socks, but if I start to feel too warm I may switch.
* Slippers – Can’t walk around the hospital in socks, even those with non-slip skids, it’s a liability issue. I doubt I’ll want to put shoes back on.
* Two PJ options for the recovery – Well, two tops and one PJ bottoms. I’ve never nursed before, so I’m not sure what will make things more comfortable. I was deciding between a nursing bra and regular PJs, or a nursing tank top, so I figured I would bring both. The second option doesn’t take up much additional space.
* Robe and front zipping sweater – The robe is pretty light weight, so I decided to throw in a sweater since I get cold easily.
* Hair ties
* Chapstick – not sure if I’ll use it, but it doesn’t take up much space.
* Receiving blankets for Zippy – I grabbed two, one warm one and one thin one.
* A going home ‘outfit’ for Zippy – I just picked one of her onsies, and a sweater in case the hospital is cold.
I’m not too worried about a going-home outfit for me. All my nursing clothes are also maternity clothes, and I don’t want to pack away any of them yet. I also strongly suspect I will prefer to just wear my PJs home. I know we will take pictures in the hospital & going home, but my PJ options are pretty generic, solid colors which will work fine. I may add clothes to the bag as we get closer to the due date, space permitting.
* Cold Hard Coinage aka Vending Machine Money – We got him a roll of quarters and roll of dimes to use in the vending machines. We checked out the vending machines at the hospital during our tour, they have a great selection of snacks, even including healthy options! Of course, they also have coffee and soda machines.
* Snacks – Speaking of snacks, we thought we’d pick up a few. Even though the vending machines are well stocked and the cafeteria has a lot of great food, having a few on hand for Domingo so he doesn’t have to leave seems like a good idea. We packed a few protein bars, trail mix and peanut butter crackers.
* Altoids – Our hospital tour guide recommended this one. Women in labor can be sensitive to smells, but Dad needs to eat. A good breadth mint is a must in her book. We’re also packing hard candy & gum for after labor.
* Slippers – We’ll be there for at least 24 hours, I’m sure he doesn’t want to wear sneakers the whole time.
* PJs – Just one set of PJs for him, since he doesn’t have to worry about nursing.
* Disposable shaver
We will probably also pack a change of clothes for Domingo, at least a clean shirt or two. He can wear the same jeans he did when he arrived. It seems silly to pack clothes he may want to wear now given that we could be 5 and a half weeks away from meeting Zippy. And, again, it’s not like we’re going anywhere nice after the hospital – just straight home!
* Camera Bag! – I know, big surprise with this one!
* Important Paperwork – We prefilled out our hospital admittance paperwork, hospital parking pass, and birth plan. (Our hospital has a multi-choice birth plan form, so our birth plan is not very exciting or detailed, which is fine by me. My plan is to have a Baby, however the situation dictates.) We purchased a document sleeve to put the papers in, and are keeping it on top of the hospital bags.
* Scrapbooking Paper In the document sleeve I also added a few pieces of scrapbooking paper. I’m told you can ask the nurse to take a foot print for you when they get one for the birth certificate. I figure it never hurts to ask!
We also created a weekend, since labor could be any time.
* Refill Lily’s long term food and water dish
* Double check stash of non perishable food and supplies for when we return home
* Double check all batteries (cell phones & camera) are fully charged.
It feels like we’re bringing a ton of stuff to the hospital. Then again, I’ve seen hospital check lists that include up to four sets of clothes for Baby (2 in Newborn size, 2 in 0-3 months), and three sets for mom and dad! As first time parents, it’s hard to predict what we will want to have with us. How much clothes do you need for 24-48 hours?! Here’s hoping we figure it out before Zippy makes her appearance!
Domingo: It’s our last three day weekend before the baby comes, do you want to do something fun?
Sarah (excited): Let’s organize the filing cabinet!
Okay, so my definition of “fun” may not be the conventional one.
I finished my paper at about 2:45 am (due at 3:00 am!) Saturday morning. Actually, it wasn’t done, done. I wasn’t able to do as much during the past couple of weeks as I would have liked, so I had more ideas I never got a chance to try. It’s just something I have to accept, I guess. My energy level just isn’t the same as other graduate students.
Even though it was a late night, I still got up early Saturday morning (thanks Zippy!). I was so tired I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. Sunday wasn’t much better. I was able to sleep a bit more Saturday night, but didn’t feel like going out until the end of the day Sunday. Then I was only able to shop for a couple of hours before heading home for an early bedtime.
Still, despite feeling a bit like zombie, we did manage to accomplish a fair amount. On Sunday night we went clothes shopping. We only had a couple onesies for Zippy, and needed more. Babies R Us was having a 50% off select brands, so it’s perfect timing. Every book I read said not to overload on newborn clothes, usually sized for 5-8 lbs, or 0-3 months, usually 8-11 lbs. Some babies are born at 10+ lbs, and skip those sizes. In fact, the two most recent babies in my circle of friends were both over 9 lbs!
While we’re not expecting a big baby, anything is possible. I bought a couple packages of newborn size onesies, so we now have 18 in total. Even with 2 or 3 changes a day, that should last us a week before running out of clean clothes. (I’m sure it’s optimistic/naïve to think we could go a full week without running a load of laundry since babies aren’t notoriously known for being clean!) The packs came with a lot of butterflies, hearts and flowers patterns, which aren’t really my style. But they are decent and I don’t want to spend too much time or money fixating on a size she may never wear. There were a couple of really adorable onesies that were my style, so I got those in 0-3 months and 3-6 months sizes. I’d hate for zippy to only be able to wear them once or twice before outgrowing them. I also figure keeping a couple on hand for growth spurts will be useful.
I have cut the tags off and will wash nine of the newborn onesies. I plan on keeping the receipt for the other nine (a five pack and a four pack), just in case. If Zippy is close to the size cutoff, I’ll try and make do with the first nine and return the last. If Zippy is too big for them right away, the washed onesies will go straight to charity. If she’s on the small side and I need more, I can always head back to the store!
While we were out, we also got burp clothes. Or rather cloth diaper tri-fold inserts to use as burp clothes. They’re kind of boring (plain white) but everyone online and my mom swears by them. After I opened the package I could see why, they’re large and super thick. I don’t have to worry about excess spittle seeping through! I’d go for functionality over appearance any day. The question in my mind now is “how many to get?”.
We also needed wipes and diapers. This one was harder for me, only because I like to buy in bulk to save. But we don’t know how big she’ll be, what will fit her, or what her skin sensitivity will be. I went with a three pack of wipes (to last two to three weeks) and a small pack of newborn diapers from three different brands. That way we can try the different brands, and go with the one that fits her best. I’m hoping to go the first two weeks without needing to go to the store for anything – clothes, wipes, diapers, etc. When we know what works for us, we’ll stock up!
Monday morning we made a couple of freezer meals (meat sauce for spaghetti, and chili). We’ve been freezing the spaghetti sauce in single servings throughout the pregnancy, since it’s been one of the things I’ve been able to consistently eat well, and with zippy sometimes compressing my stomach, it’s hard to predict when I’m hungry enough for a meal. I love the flexibility that single servings brings. It’s just as easy to thaw two as it is to thaw one! Our plan is to spend an hour or two each weekend before Zippy comes making more freezer meals. We’ll also stock up on frozen fish, chicken and vegetables.
Oh, and we also organized the filing cabinet! Good times.
My parents visit this week has kicked my butt into high gear because I was embarrassed by the state of our house, and because they were coming explicitly to help. Extra hands make for light work.
In the past three days we:
Called a Hauler. We needed to get rid of all the old, broken down furniture, including the stuff that had piled up in order to make more space for the baby. I’ve been dreading it, especially once I hit seven months pregnant and my mobility and energy were greatly reduced. Domingo and my dad were able to gather up everything that needed to go, so all I had to do was call around and find a good company and schedule a time for them to come out.
Purchased a Car Seat. I kept going back and forth on which one I wanted. I was pretty settled on a brand since Baby Bargains recommended it, but there are so many different choices – Snugride 35 or the Snugride 30? And they come in so many different colors and quality of fabric. But with only !!6!! weeks left until my due date, we had to make a decision. We ended up with the 30. From what I’ve read online, we’re much more likely to out grow it height wise than weight wise anyway, and since both Domingo and I are short, I’m hopeful it will last for a full year. It’s slightly lighter, which will make it nicer for lugging around, and ended up being $30 cheaper than the 35 before coupon.
Purchased a Breast Pump. Despite the Medela Pump in Style recommendations I have been getting from seemingly everyone, I was leaning towards the Ameda Purely Yours since Baby Bargins said the two brands were comparable, and the Purely Yours was much cheaper online than the Pump in Style. That is, until I noticed Babies R Us had a 15% off coupon, and reduced the Pump In Style’s price by $30 online! With coupon, the final price ended up being $229 – about $10 cheaper than the current best Ameda price I could find. I’ve been watching the prices of both pumps for quite a while, and $229 is about as low as I could hope for. Since we will need a pump soon, I decided to purchase now, rather than wait for a possibly better deal.
Picked out a crib. Kind of. The crib has become more of a necessity now that I’m starting to question the safety of sleeping in the rock n’ play. (The warning label says not to leave the baby in it unattended, and isn’t night time sleeping considered unattended?) I want to have the option to use the crib, if I change my mind about the rock n’ play. We went around to Babies R’ Us, BuyBuyBaby, and Target. Babies R’ Us and BuyBuyBaby had really heavy cribs that were big and bulky. They’re great if you like that really heavy look and feel, but I didn’t really want that. Target had cribs I liked and in my price range, but nothing in stock. I hate paying shipping for something that was supposed to be in stock, so I was pretty grumpy. Then it occurred to me that Amazon might have have a few that qualify for free shipping, and sure enough they do! I picked out four that I liked and added them to the registry. We’re about 10 days away from our registry completion discount code, so I will wait until then and get which ever one is in stock and ready to be shipped.
So what’s left? In terms of expensive items, there’s the crib (obviously), stroller, swing and Ergo. The Ergo and swing I think are low priority. I plan to use the rock n’ play initially instead of the swing, and possibly the Moby instead of the ergo for the first couple of months. I’ve read the newborn insert for the Ergo can be very hot, and it’s already predicted to be one of the hottest summers on record for our area, so we’ll stick with a lighter carrier for the first couple of months.
But that’s it. We’ll need diapers, wipes and clothes. We have no diapers! We do have seven newborn onsies, but I’d like to get a couple sleepers. Everything else is optional, or not needed right away. Boy does it feel good to have some major things crossed off our list!
We had one of our last pregnancy classes today: Newborn Care. I had previously watched a lot of video’s on youtube and been reading my baby care books, but it’s nice to practice in front of an instructor whom you can ask questions as well. She also had some good tips she shared which I hadn’t heard before.
Good Advice We Learned:
Our health care provider (and others) feels rectal temperatures are more precise for infants. I’ve read that before, but I’m still very nervous about the idea of using a rectal thermometer on a squirmy baby. I don’t want to risk hurting her! The instructor suggested using a regular thermometer for under the arm. If it appears like baby has a fever (or is close to having a fever), you can follow up with a rectal temperature for a more accurate temperature reading. That way you’re only taking it when it’s necessary.
She also suggested always assuming you’re baby has mastered more milestones than you are aware of. Just because baby has yet to roll over, doesn’t mean today won’t be the day. After all, he or she will eventually reach the milestone, and there’s a first time for everything. You wouldn’t want to learn baby can roll over when he/she falls off the changing table!
Our Current Thinking:
We’ve been thinking of employing a zone-defense strategy when zippy comes. Since Domingo doesn’t have the necessary equipment to nurse, and zippy will need to eat every 2 to 3 hours initially, I’ll have to be the one to be up with her. I jokingly told Domingo if it’s my responsibility to feed Zippy, it’s his responsibility to feed me. I’m going to do my best to ensure Domingo gets some sleep when there’s no reason for us both to be up, and he’ll take over most of the chores and errands while I’m a feeding/napping zombie.
Of course, once zippy is here, our strategy may go completely out the window. I know it’s worked for some of my friends and not others. One thing the newborn care class stressed – it’s on the job learning. Every baby is different, so we need to be flexible and adapt to whatever Zippy throws at is.
It’s time for a new game plan to get ready for zippy. Now that I’m in my 8th month of pregnancy, my energy and mobility are both greatly diminished. So the new game plan is to focus on the nursery first. We set a goal to have it finished before we get to 37 weeks/full term. I also want to have purchased all the new born essentials we need (including a car seat, we can’t leave the hospital without one!) by then as well. Everything else will move to the nice to have done list. The office is set up well enough for Domingo to work in there, but we will need to organize it a bit better. It would be great to have freezer meals done, but there’s always take out if we need it.
Yesterday we had the nursing chair delivered, which meant moving the old queen sized mattress out of the way to make room. Domingo did most of the heavy lifting, but I did help! I still like the chair, but I’m not loving it as much as last week. It’s not broken in, so to speak, so it’s a little stiffer than the one in the store. I’m sure it’ll soften up over time! I would put the odds at 3-to-1 that Domingo will find me asleep in it when he comes home from work tomorrow.
We followed that up with another trip to the store, where I used coupons to get an Avent Soothie Pacifier for only 79 cents. Next it was off to another store to pick up the new baby gate.
While out shopping also picked out a convertible car seat for Domingo’s car, though we won’t be buying it until the end of my maternity leave. We opted to go with a second car seat over the second base for the infant car seat. My car is a little bigger, newer, and more comfortable, so the plan is to use my car for family outings and for going to and from the hospital. I’ll also be in charge of day care drop-offs and pick-ups. We aren’t planning on using Domingo’s car at all, except that I could be 2 hours away, and could be cut off in the event of an earthquake. Domingo needs the ability to pick Zippy up in an emergency.
A second base for the infant car seat would be half the cost of this convertible car seat we picked out. If we went with the second base, we would still be left needing a second car seat when she out grows the infant seat, anyway. Sure, a convertible car seat is less convenient than an infant car seat, but since she’ll rarely be in Domingo’s car, that doesn’t matter. We’ll also bring the second car seat to check for air travel, which can be notoriously rough on car seats.
Saturday was super productive. As a result, I’m just dead on my feet today. I was only up for a couple hours, before declaring it nap time. The most productive thing I’ve done today is this blog post.
Well, actually I _wish_ it was early nesting. I’ve actually been low energy lately, so it’s a lot of forcing myself off the couch. We’re making lists of things that need to happen before baby comes. Wow are there a lot of things that need to get done! We have 18 weeks left, give or take, and I’m starting to freak out a little.
First and foremost we need to make room for baby. Despite my best efforts, I’m still not great with clutter. I have _so much clothes_. We’re converting the guest room into a nursery, but that means figuring out what to do with everything currently being stored there. Over the past year the guest room has become a sort of office annex, with all the extra books, software, music CDs etc. We’ve already dealt with the music CDs by giving away the ones we no longer listen to. The books are harder, since most are still relevant reference materials that we use. I still have my text books from college, which I’m kind of attached to. Then there’s the furniture. I don’t even want to think about how to address that yet.
In terms of safety, half our smoke alarms are missing batteries. Woops. There’s also a new law in California to require carbon monoxide detectors for homes with attached garages as of July 1st. When we had structural work done to our house shortly after moving in, the city inspected the fire alarms (even though they were nowhere near the work.) If we have to do work again, or sell the home some day, a carbon monoxide detector will be needed for our home to be up to ‘code’. If we need to get one anyway, we might as well get one now to protect our growing family.
Then there’s the repair work. Our home’s previous owner was a bit of a DIYer, only he/she wasn’t very good. She screwed the toilet roll holder directly into the drywall, without reinforcements, so of course it’s loose and falling off. She also installed a makeshift window seat, that’s similarly loose and wobbly. Every time the cat jumps on it, I think it’s going to fall down. Not something we want when zippy starts cruising!
Lastly I want to do a deep clean. I know we’ll be doing only surface cleaning once the baby comes (vacuuming, whipping of surfaces, etc). I want to do one of those really deep cleanings you do before showing your house to be sold, getting into every nook and cranny. I’m also including minor fixes and repairs. That way, a few weeks (months?) of light cleaning won’t be so bad.
So much still to do, so little time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about who zippy will be when he/she grows up. Zippy seems to have so much personality already, mooning the technician at our last ultrasound and I can feel zippy bouncing away. I’ve been thinking I’ve been feeling movement for a while, but there’s no mistaken it now. What once felt like a bubble popping a few weeks ago now feels like hard object pushing out.
I know one thing about zippy, zippy will never be the ‘cool’ kid. From the ultrasound it looks like zippy has inherited mom and dad’s dance skills, which is to say, lack of dance skills. It looks like zippy was trying to do the monkey by putting one arm up and the other down.
If lack of dance skills wasn’t enough to solidify zippy’s lack of coolness, Domingo and I are already planning fun weekend science projects and museum trips for when Zippy’s a little older. Boy or girl, Zippy will be playing with hexbugs and legos (when he/she is old enough of course!). I really want to make learning fun as possible early on, and I think the best way to do that is play activities that help build important skills like creativity and logic, like doing puzzles with mom and dad. We’re hoping to strongly encourage math and science when zippy starts school.
It’s hard not to picture Zippy as being a computer scientist one day, since that’s what both Mom and Dad are. Of course, kids don’t always follow in the parents footsteps, and given Zippy’s ultrasounds it seems clear that zippy has a stubborn streak. I think zippy will have no problem letting his/her will be known. Domingo predicts zippy will be one of those babies that prefers not to be swaddled, given how active he/she is. I am skeptical. Zippy has a lot of room now, but as we get further along zippy will be more used to confined places. Either that, or I’m going to end up some amazingly bruised insides.
I’ve also been wondering what zippy will look like. We have similar complexions and darker hair (though it was lighter for both of us as kids), so that seems like a given. I have light eyes (green with a blue recessive trait), and my husband has dark eyes with the light eye recessive gene, so zippy has a 50/50 shot of dark or light eyes. Even though we both have straight hair, we both have family members with very curly hair, so I think there’s a possibility of curls in Zippy’s future. I did try a couple of those simulators that take your photo and your partner’s photo and predict what baby will look like. They were all pretty horrifying. Domingo’s baby pictures are pretty cute, so I will just have to hope zippy takes after him.