Earlier this week, two of the nine couples in our prenatal class had their babies, each about a week early. Knowing that just over a week prior, we were all sitting in class together with our big bellies, and now suddenly there are two babies, makes everything suddenly seem very, very real — and very imminent! And although we learned in class that most first babies are born an average of five days late, meaning that a whole lot of them show up even later than that, the first two babies from our class have certainly defied those odds.
Our baby will technically be considered full-term in less than two weeks, and could arrive any time after that. Realistically, he could even be born as early as now — lots of babies are born within the “slightly premature” 34 to 37 week timeframe — and that thought makes me somewhat anxious because, quite frankly, we are simply not organized yet.
Although we have been slowly and steadily making our way down the “to do” list, we have dozens of things remaining to be figured out, accomplished and/or bought before he shows up.
We need to prepare a stockpile of freezer-friendly Paleo meals (chilli, stews, soups, etc.) to have on hand for those exhausting early weeks. Otherwise we’ll just end up eating crappy take-out and feeling awful. For me especially, food and moods are inextricably linked, and I know that my best chance of effectively coping with hormonal swings and sleep deprivation lies with a proper diet. We’ve started as of this evening, with J cooking six pounds of ground beef and a bunch of vegetables into a mild, breastfeeding-friendly chilli. Tomorrow, we’re making lamb stew.
The baby’s room is currently empty (a huge improvement over last weekend, when it was still filled with office furniture, books and a guest bed), but the painter hasn’t started painting, even though we’d talked to him more than a month ago and asked for it to be finished by this weekend. He says he will be able to have it done by the end of the coming week, and I really hope he can make good on that promise.
We are still waiting for the back-ordered car seat and adaptor to arrive. Our stroller is only compatible with three seats, one of which we ruled out because it seemed cheaply made and the other because it was ridiculously expensive, leaving us with only one option — which was of course out of stock. The store is unable to tell us exactly when they expect it, and we absolutely need to have it as soon as possible, because it must be properly installed and inspected before the hospital will let us bring the baby home.
All the baby stuff we’ve bought thus far is sitting in a big pile in our bedroom. We haven’t purchased the dresser because we’ve nowhere to put it until the room is painted, and consequently, I haven’t washed all of the clothes, blankets, towels and washcloths because I can’t properly organize and store them without the dresser.
My hospital bag is not packed; nor is the baby’s. We do have most of what we need for the baby’s bag, save for a few toiletry items (oh, and that darn car seat), but I don’t even have a bathrobe, slippers or lounge clothes for myself, and I refuse to walk around the hospital bare-assed in one of those horrible gowns! 🙂
And at this point, both J and I are getting tired of the constant outlay of ridiculous amounts of cash for seemingly mundane items. Slap the word baby on anything and suddenly it costs four times as much as it ought to. A toothbrush costs $3.00; a baby toothbrush costs $12.00. A certain popular teething toy (or as J so amusingly referred to it as, “a rubber chew toy”) costs $22.00. I have tried to be as frugal as possible — avoiding potentially frivolous items (like bouncer seats, baby gyms and the like), researching prices online, sourcing items secondhand from Craigslist and Value Village, or ordering from the U.S., where prices are much lower — but even so, I cannot believe how much we’ve had to spend thus far. And there will be a few major expenses yet to come, such as the purchase of our cloth diaper system.
All that said, we have made progress. Things are starting to come together, and as long as the baby gives us even two more weeks, we should be just fine.