I was supposed to have my two-week doctor visit this week but there was a holiday so I have to wait. Holidays—whether it's Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day or anywhere in between—can be challenging, pregnant or not. My husband and I were ready with a plan of attack and had our stories down: For this holiday, we were going to celebrate alone. We wouldn't be going over to anyone's house and we wouldn't be inviting anyone over to ours. We weren't trying to be rude or antisocial—we just needed a little quiet time together before the big day. My advice is to plan ahead if you're going to be pregnant during a holiday. Seems like everyone will want to have you come over, but you'll just want to be at home!
Getting the House Ready for Baby!
After we got through the holiday, my husband and I did a major reorganization of our house. We received so many gifts for our baby, but now is the time to really get ready. Out came all the baby stuff we had stashed in the closets that needed assembly and items that needed a quick wash. During this cleaning and organizing, we discovered that some of the items we were planning on using weren't going to work. We had to do a little more shopping and spend some time ordering things online. Now I sit by the door waiting every day, hoping things won't be on back order or lost. I realized it would have been a lot smarter to check that the bedding I ordered matched, or the baby dresser fit in the room, sooner than four weeks before delivery day.
I know you don't need much right after the baby is born—I just wanted to have everything prepared. First, you need a place for your baby to sleep. We were set on using a co-sleeper and someone gave us one they weren't using anymore. I would have loved to use it, but our bedroom has an awkward layout—it didn't fit. I chose to go with a bassinet instead, and transition to a crib in a couple of months. We don't have a crib yet, and I had to order a bassinet at the last minute online. I have my fingers crossed waiting for it!
Second, a changing table area or changing pad is really important. From working in a preschool setting, changing tables and I are good friends. An uncovered pad might not look real pretty, but it is easy to clean and sanitize after changing. You can always toss down a disposable wipe/pad and then throw it away after you're done. I know you might laugh at this, but I went out to get my own stash of plastic gloves. You might not think you want them, but there will be a time when your baby has a blow-out and you only have two wipes left. Well, gloves could come in handy, especially on the go (put some in your diaper bag).
Third, you'll want bottles/pacifiers/formula and a breast pump. I'm planning on breastfeeding, but if it isn't going to happen, I'd like to have a backup. I went to the big mega store and loaded up. I also have been having the debate over whether to use a pacifier. In the end, I caved and grabbed a couple to add to my stash. Babies like pacifiers and they help to soothe and comfort. As long as you and your husband agree on using one, I say go for it. Later, when Baby is older, we'll deal with weaning the baby off the binkie.
Finally, there are some obvious needs for your baby—clothes and diapers. Where I live there's this whole cloth versus disposable drama, and many moms are pushing cloth. I'm going against the grain and using disposable. I'll try to find other ways to be as earth friendly as possible to try to balance my earth karma. But, what can you do? Whatever you and your partner decide is what's right for your baby. Don't feel guilty about it! Overall, it was a good week getting all the goodies out and looking at all the baby things.
Waist measurement: 44 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 174 pounds
Pregnancy symptoms: Weight gain! I'm gaining a pound a week! This is normal, and a lot of it is water weight. Don't forget to keep hydrated!
My pregnancy advice for the week: Babies don't need much at first. But it sure seems like a little baby requires a lot of big stuff. Make sure to clear out part of your closet!
Pregnancy "first" of the week: Still getting ready for baby and getting bigger every day!
Doctor's visit: Not this week—holiday. About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her 36th week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week 37