Tuesday, February 26, 2013

36 / 37 weeks

36 weeks text again

37 weeks


These last few weeks have flown by! I'm now seeing the Midwife every week in anticipation of this little dude's impending arrival. Overall, I'm still feeling good - though he has definitely dropped his little head into my pelvis thus making walking much more uncomfortable. I've got the waddle-walk down.

Two weekends ago I had a family baby shower which was so fun! It was great to see both sides of our family - Hubby's and mine together. It meant so much to me that Hubby's sister and our adorable niece Stella flew in from Denver, people traveled from Michigan for the day, and one of my oldest friends traveled from St. Louis.

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This past week my co-workers threw a baby shower for me which was fun - we got even more stuff: adorable clothes, swaddles, and an itty bitty bathtub to name a few items. It's still so overwhelming to me how generous people are when there's a baby on the way. This little dude has more clothes than I do. Now, if I can just get all the clothes washed and put away, we'll be set.

I've scheduled my last prenatal massage for this week, and am looking forward to some pampering for my tired muscles!



Monday, February 04, 2013

Preparing for Little Dude

little dude

Since being catapulted into the world of all things "baby", I've learned that options abound on all things within the baby gear world. Who knew there were so many options - beyond color schemes and patterns. It's a bit overwhelming.

There were a few things I knew before I discovered I was pregnant:

  • I wanted to exclusively breastfeed

  • I wanted to cloth diaper

  • I wanted a high quality stroller that would survive in the City {since we don't have a car, it would need to be especially durable}

  • I wanted a quality baby carrier

  • I wanted a low-intervention, natural childbirth if possible

Beyond that, I had pretty much no idea. Enter hours of research {here}.

Though our preferences may change, these are the items that we're planning on using for our little dude:

What: Breastpump -- Medela Pump In Style Advanced
Why: Since I'll be returning to work full time and want to exclusively breast feed, I need to have a high-quality pump to utilize during my work days. I'll also need to start building up a stash of frozen breast milk during my maternity leave. After taking our breast feeding class, and reading tons of reviews the Medela Pump In Style Advanced does seem to be the best option for me.

What: Cloth Diapers -- BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Flips, Thirsties, Bumkins
Why: After spending {what felt like} hundreds of hours reading and watching video reviews about cloth diapers, we decided to start with a few of the various brands and types of diapers to figure out what works best for us. So we're starting with a combination of pre-folds & covers, all-in-ones, and pocket diapers. We also have a few itty bitty newborn ones to use for those first weeks.

What: Stroller -- Bugaboo Cameleon
Why: I knew I wanted a stroller with a bassinet, and one that would be able to maneuver and handle the madness of city streets and sidewalks. Hubby and I went to one of the baby superstores to test out strollers prior to pulling the trigger on this big ticket item. Hubby liked the Bugaboo Cameleon the best, and we both really loved the design. We {I} watched video reviews and obsessively checked Craigslist for a gently used model -- which is hard to come by since many of them are used and abused. In the end, we bought a new one via a hefty discount over the Thanksgiving holiday.

What: Baby Carrier -- Ergo
Why: I love the Ergo, and have used it on several occasions with my friends' kids. It's easy to use and offers great back support. We also wanted one that Hubby and I could both use. It was an easy choice.

What: Childbirth Education -- Mother Me, Inc., Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Birthing from Within, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Doula
Why: Childbirth education for Hubby and I was a must. Even though Hubby is in nursing school and recently completed his labor & delivery rotation, it was still very important for us to have this education together. Throughout my pregnancy, I have been reading various books, watching films, and talking with friends about their birth experiences. When it came time to sign up for childbirth education classes, I'm really glad that we chose Mother Me, Inc. I posted a review on Yelp, with a summary of our experience. One of my favorite things about this class was the perspective of the instructor, Rita. Very middle-of-the-road for those of us planning a hospital birth but wanting to have very few interventions, if any. If you've watched The Business of Being Born, it's clear that there is a spectrum of childbirth philosophy including the idea ranging from highly-medicalized hospital births to no intervention home births. We fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum -- and I say "we" because Hubby will be an active participant in this birthing process! After reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Birthing from Within, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, attending the Mother Me, Inc. class, and meeting with our doula, I feel pretty confident in our plan for a low-intervention hospital birth. Note: all this to say -- if little dude needs assistance getting outta my uterus, you'd better believe that I will consent to birth via cesarean, and an epidural if necessary.

What: Maternity Leave -- 12 weeks of maternity leave {I realize this isn't a baby item, but it's part of our preparation}
Why: Since this is our first {and possibly only baby... you never know!}, I wanted to take time off work to be with this little dude as much as possible during the first weeks and months after his birth. In order to do this, Hubby and I set up a new budget plan to include saving enough money to cover my time off during leave. Since I switched jobs, and am ineligible for FMLA to cover our insurance expenses, this meant that we would need to save up enough money to cover my salary, insurance, and expenses during the extra 6 weeks that I will be off "unpaid". One thing I do appreciate: my Hubby is fully supportive of my choice to take this extra time off, and has been incredibly flexible in cutting costs to make this work for us.

Who knew there were so many decisions to be made before giving birth? I can only imagine the amount of commentary that exists for parenting. Oy!