Fair warning: This is one of those lame pregnancy updates that doesn’t include a photo. Thus far, I’ve always managed to get some photos of me and Scott and the kids near the end of each pregnancy, but as far as I’m concerned the bigger the belly for those pictures, the better. So they are probably a few weeks away. :)
Not counting miscarriage, this is my fourth pregnancy and I’ve been reflecting lately on what is new this time around, and the many things that aren’t.
New! I’m packing a hospital bag! With our first baby, we were ushered straight from a regular doctor’s appointment to the hospital to deliver. So all I really had was my husband and my wallet. That worked out just fine. The next two births we did a little bit of grabbing stuff as we headed out the door, and that worked out fine as well. Maybe I’m low maintenance? Maybe it’s a product of having short deliveries? I guess I’ve sort of always rolled my eyes a bit at the lengthy lists of essentials you find on every pregnancy website. Change for the vending machine in case the cafeteria is closed and the change machine is broken! A plastic garbage bag in case your water breaks in the car on the way to the hospital! Your own nightgown and towels and toilet paper in case those provided by the hospital are not comfortable enough… and… and…
In my experience, as long as my baby is born healthy, the rest is gravy. I haven’t bought any maternity clothes this pregnancy, nor have I had to shore up our supply of baby gear so I guess I was just planning to coast into delivery. But this past weekend I realized all our baby stuff is still packed up since our move (two years ago!) and I might actually want something to dress this new Bean in. And hey, perhaps the listers are right and I will enjoy fuzzy socks, gum and an a spare hair tie. And, I’ll let you know how the Depends suggestion works out for me. (No I won’t.)
Old News: Compression stockings in the summer. I am in loooove my thigh-high open-toed compression stockings this time around. They are so much better than I had with previous pregnancies and they help with restless legs and my energy levels a lot, in addition to keeping the varicose veins away. But I look like a loon if I wear them (plus the necessary socks to protect them) with shorts or capris. So when it’s hot in the summer time, I’m cookin’ in my long pants and layers. I’m not missing the heat of Columbus a bit, that’s for sure.
Old News: Naming a baby is tricky. Scott and I finally talked about boy names for the first time on the night I went into labor with Daniel. I’d love to have a front runner for both a girl and a boy long before we get to that point this time, but it’s not looking likely.
New! I have a really and truly excited older sibling on hand. Mackenzie (7) is old enough to fully understand the changes that will take place in about a month, and she is over the moon excited. Not a day has gone by that she hasn’t wanted to talk to me about the baby, feel the baby move, or snuggle up to my belly. She prays for this baby and was so patient with all the ups and downs of morning sickness because she knows the discomfort of pregnancy is for a great cause. It’s fun to have another player on Team Baby because I’m anticipating a tougher adjustment for the younger two kiddos.
Old News: Nerves. I’ve been reading birth stories (including the ones I wrote myself) lately and trying to remember what it’s like to bring a baby into the world. And once the baby arrives? Wowza. I recently re-watched the video of us trying to dress Mackenzie for the first time and I realized I feel like I’m back at the beginning of the learning curve. I haven’t had a newborn in three years and I don’t remember what it’s like
Mostly though, I’m overwhelmed with that feeling of knowing my life will change forever soon, but the simultaneous inability to anticipate for and plan out all the details ahead of time. I’m a planner at heart and until I meet my baby, I really don’t know what I’m in for. (That much, it seems, I do remember.)
Old News: A pre-baby todo list. I’ve made a list of things I’d like to accomplish before this baby makes his or her appearance, which will hopefully take my mind off of the Due Date Countdown.
Here it is, mainly for my own journaling and accountability purposes. The plan is to update it at 36, 38, and 40 weeks. See how I’m not counting on this baby coming early? That’s a win for the list already. ;)
To Do Before the Bean Baby Comes!
– Walk 60 miles. I want to be fitter for labor and recovery. Pushing a double stroller around our hilly neighborhood will definitely help.
– Finish Duolingo Spanish. I have about 30 lessons left, and if I’m shooting for the stars, I’d like for my “tree” to be all gold! The kids all love to do this with me and I can do it while putting my feet up on the couch so it’s a win all around.
– Pack my hospital bag. This is harder than it sounds because it involves digging into all the packed away baby stuff AND buying Depends at the store. *Gulp*
– Finish my “speedy photo catchup” blog posts (and use these to bring our current blog book up-to-date. I’m currently two years behind!)
– Buy a chair to nurse this baby in.
– Update my blog cookbook. It’s way overdue and I have a pile of great recipes we use all the time to add.
– Dentist trips for everyone. Actually not everyone. I think I’ve decided that kids with no adult teeth yet are probably good with just a checkup every now and then so Caitlyn is off the hook this time around.
Annual doctor checkups for all three kids – I crossed this one off my list when I realized I could just buddy them up with newborn checkups in the coming months. Our doctor will see two kids per appointment. Sweet!
– Ask a friend to be on call to watch my kids when we head to the hospital. Another tough one for me this time around. Since we moved to Salem, nobody has really imposed on me so I feel a little funny about asking for help. During medical school and residency, it was commonplace for the wives to ask and give real sacrifices of time and sleep and sanity for each other.
– Finish the kids’ summer reading programs. We absolutely love participating in the challenge over at Exodus Books but I upped the ante this summer: Caitlyn had to read a book to me before putting it on her list, and Mackenzie had to narrate each book before putting it on her list. Those were two skills I really wanted them to work on, both in their willingness to do it and their capacity to do it well. We’ve seen big improvements thus far but it means the final week of the challenge has them each scrambling to jump through my hoops to finish the 35 quality books needed to claim their gift certificates. Phew!
– Rotate all the kids’ clothes for fall. This is not a chore I want to tackle while recovering from giving birth.
– Buy pictures for Scott’s office. His walls are still blank after two years. Yikes.
– Stock up on a few great ebooks to read while nursing. Suggestions? I love reading something worthwhile in the wee hours of the night when I’m up anyway with a baby. My iPhone saves me.
– Cut Daniel’s hair. I’m not very good at it yet, so I procrastinate, but I’m determined to figure it out.
– Inventory our freezers. I’ve been experimenting a bit with freezing extra meals lately but I actually have no clue what we have on hand now. When you don’t eat like most people, very few of the “freezer cooking” tips and recipes apply but I’ve been making some headway on figuring out what works for us.
– Master a new Suzuki piano piece. I just started Book 3 and the difficulty level jumped quite a bit!
– Play musical beds. We have three bedrooms, two beds, a crib, a pack and play, two couches, and an air mattress and I’m not at all sure who will end up sleeping where when this baby arrives. I prefer sleeping in the same room with the baby. Scott doesn’t sleep at all if he’s in the same room with the baby. The girls are currently sharing a bed but don’t love it so one invariably ends up on the floor. We’ll have guests for the first month or so (hooray!) and Daniel is still sleeping in the crib. Hmm.
– Get another 3-4 weeks of homeschooling under our belts. We’re in week 5 of our school year right now and we plan to take every 7th week off this year, plus some more time off for newborn craziness. I don’t want to wind things down too early though, because our school schedule is a sanity-saver for me! Too many unstructured days in a row and everybody is worse off. Also, I know I’ll feel more free to throw light days in as needed if we’ve already had rich learning experiences this year.
– Enjoy the fun stuff already on the calendar. Scott is running the massive Hood to Coast relay this weekend, we have tickets for Free Museum Day, plans to spend Labor Day weekend with great friends in Bend, and tickets to the State Fair.
– Update my labor music playlist. I never did use this during Daniel’s birth since I wasn’t even checked in when I was dilated to a 9, but surely it will come in handy this time around. I’m trying to mentally prepare for a longer labor at any rate and Norah Jones should help.
That ought to keep me busy, yes?