Friday, October 24, 2014

30 Things To Do Before Baby

I've reached that point in my pregnancy where I've realized, "Holy shit, we're having a baby."

You would think that I would have reached this point, I don't know, before I was 8 months pregnant? But something about only being 5 weeks from being "full-term" (aka, baby can show up whenever!) and 8 weeks from my due date has me in a sudden tizzy.

The fact that we've been out of town since the middle of September doesn't help, as we have not had an opportunity to get much done for baby. I mean, let's be real: If the kid showed up tomorrow, we would be OK. We might not have the 200 items we registered for, but all you hear is how a newborn baby just needs love...and we've got that!

To ease my anxieties, I've compiled a list of to-do's to get done before Baby Farrell makes his debut in anywhere from 5 to 9 weeks. Some are small, some are big, some are probably unnecessary, but hey - it's my list. Go make your own.

(And yes, I included some items that we have already completed because PROGRESS, people!)

Anything else I should add to my list?
  1. Paint guest bedroom. My hubby completed this one for me and once, when I was bored, I even went ahead and painted the master bedroom, too!
  2. Clean out guest bedroom closet. Another task I completed during a long weekend while going insane wondering if my husband was alive on Mt. Rainier.
  3. Move bed, dresser and crap out of guest bedroom and into a storage unit. We're taking care of this this weekend!
  4. Rent storage unit. Completed last week. Side note: storage units aren't cheap. Anyone want to house our guest bedroom furniture until we move next year? 
  5. Design and organize nursery. Words can't express how excited I am to get started on this. During my pregnancy, I've been buying things that I *think* will fit our space and what I have in mind, but I won't know until we get the stuff that's in this room out, and we get our nursery furniture in. Just got a call that it will be here next week, and I AM SO EXCITED!
  6. Choose and order glider. The one and only time I've made my hubby go to BuyBuyBaby was to help me choose a glider. I gave him three to pick from, he chose in less than a minute and that was that. Why do I make things so hard? (His words, not mine.) It won't be here until next month sometime.
  7. Call insurance company to get breast pump. I think technically, I"m waiting for them to call me. I have let them know what kind I want and when I'm due, and word on the street is they will contact me when I'm closer to needing it.
  8. Purchase remaining items from registry. We have another baby shower next weekend, and a baby brunch in mid-November. After that, I plan to fully utilize our registry discounts and get any major items we still lack. Annnd I'll probably go nuts on clothes, cuz I have yet to do that.
  9. Choose and book a newborn photographer. Chosen today, as a matter of fact! We are going with AG Gallery. I spoke with her for a long time this week and loved her and her approach, not to mention her affordable prices and beautiful photos! 
  10. Sign up for childbirth and childcare classes. We'll take two childbirth classes, starting at the beginning of November and then we have one newborn care class the week after that. 
  11. Figure out childcare for post-maternity leave. We know we're joining a nanny share, but unfortunately can't find a nanny until I'm actually on leave, since many women are looking for a job now, not in March. Slightly stressed not having this figured out, but not much I can do at this point.
  12. Plan babymoon! We even went on our babymoon! Read all about it.
  13. Choose name for baby. Someday I will write a post about choosing a name for your child. It is not easy! But, ours is chosen and no, I'm not sharing until he's here.
  14. Tour Labor & Delivery unit at hospital. I can cross this off when we complete our childbirth classes!
  15. Pack hospital bags. 
  16. Pick a birth announcement. I want to do this before he comes so that it's one less thing for me to do AFTER he arrives. If I choose one, I can design it and all I have to do is choose a photo and update with his birth details. Done and done!
  17. Choose a pediatrician. We chose our pediatrician based on our OB's recommendation. He is someone in our practice and is highly recommended. He's even the author of a well-known baby book! The only thing that might come into play later is that he's downtown, which in Chicago, means like 20-30 minutes away. So we may look for someone closer to home.
  18. Get car seat installation checked by local fire department. I didn't know this was a thing that had to be done until a friend told me last week. The car seat is installed, but I know it's done right, so I am more than happy to have someone else do it for me!
  19. Purchase a baby book. You know, so that I can put all my good intentions of carefully hallmarking our son's life to use.
  20. Purchase additional life insurance. Did anyone else do this when they had a baby? I've heard it's not a bad idea, in case someone loses their job (and coincidentally, their life insurance) and you have more control over how much your policy is. All these things to consider now that there's someone else depending on you.
  21. Contact insurance company to determine out-of-pocket costs. I know we're covered for a lot of our maternity care, but I also know we'll have to pay some money. The question is, how much?
  22. Register car seat and stroller. It's recommended to do this so the company knows where to contact you in case of a recall.
  23. Get 3D/4D Ultraound. We don't have any more sonograms (unless something is wrong) during our pregnancy, so we are doing this at an outside vendor. We are going on Sunday and can't wait to see how much our little boy has grown!
  24. Finalize maternity-leave plan. To keep everyone at work sane while I'm gone. :)
  25. Save money! This will likely never be crossed off the list, but we have a number that we'd like to have saved before baby gets here. I think we'll get there!
  26. Cook and freeze meals. Another lofty goal, but I've heard it's a good idea to do this so that you have food when baby comes. Maybe some weekend in November when I'm super preggo and miserable, I'll jump on Pinterest and find some good recipes.
  27. Create "baby's here!" contact list (phone and mail). Don't want to forget anyone when we're heading to the hospital, nor when we send our birth announcements!
  28. Find/create storage solutions for baby, mom and dad. Tie this back to the whole nursery thing. I need to find somewhere to store all of the clothing in the dresser that's in the guest bedroom, as well as somewhere to put the current items "stored" under the bed. And, I need to determine what we want to shlep off to the storage unit while we're at it....
  29. Buy winter coat for pre- and post-baby. I really don't want to spend any more money on maternity clothes, but figure I will need a coat for winter that covers my bump, and that I can wear after baby in that "in between" stage. Anyone know where I can get a good deal? $50 or less would be ideal...
  30. Figure out how to take care of newborn baby. Cuz honestly...what the hell are we doing?
That leaves 21 things left to do. Off to work!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 31 || Bumpdate

Baby's size: A pineapple. He should be around 17-18 inches and weighing more than 3 lbs! I wonder how much taller he'll get? Here's hoping he gets his dad's tall genes!

Baby's progress: His skin is starting to smooth out and he's getting all those wrinkles in his continually-developing brain. All five of his senses are working now, and he's pretty close to his birth length, but will continue to pack on the pounds! He continues to be super active as he grows and space diminishes! 

Weight gain: 35 lbs so far. 

Sleep: This just became a problem this week. Why? I can't get comfortable and once I do, I inevitably have to go to the bathroom. This repeats at least 4-5 times through the night. Other times, I'm up with anxiety. Last night? Woke up with blood pouring out of my nose. The joys!

Movement: So much movement! Kid seriously never sleeps in there...or so it seems. He's doing a lot of rolling and relocating these days! It's so strange and amazing to see my entire stomach ripple, or feel an entire foot through my skin. I do love it though!

Best moment this week: We had our second baby shower over the weekend, hosted by my dear girlfriends, Ashley, Kate and Sara. Ashley flew all the way in from CA to host. It was an intimate gathering of my favorite ladies here in the city and I loved every second. Details to come in a post soon! I also put together our car seat and stroller. Shit's gettin' real!

Looking forward to: Our nursery furniture should be getting delivered any time this week! Can't wait to get to serious work on the nursery and start nesting/preparing for baby! I also have some purchases coming my way from Etsy and Land of Nod, which I'm super excited about!

Symptoms: It feels like I live on the toilet, I have to pee so often. Carpal tunnel is still out the wazoo. It's normal for me to just not feel my pinky and ring finger on my left hand. Swelling is starting to ramp up and then there's the sleeping issue. Other than that...can't complain. (Really though, I'm trying not to complain. It's only going to get worse.)

Food cravings: I needed to have peanut butter and jelly a few times this week. Super weird..and delicious.

Workouts: Not last week. This week, I've been going on long walks with Addy and I'm going to the real gym today!

What I miss: Feeling smart. Pregnancy brain is real, folks, and I hate feeling like I don't have my shit in order. I also miss working out if you can believe it. Like REALLY working out, working up a sweat, getting my heart rate up, etc. And feeling like I can breathe is a long lost memory, too...

Things that suck: I'm a little sick of having to heave and ho myself up from anywhere...sitting, laying, even going to the bathroom. Getting up is such an effort. 

Things that don't suck: Being spoiled. I seriously love baby showers. It's incredible how many people already love our little baby and he's not even here yet. I am continually humbled by everyone's generosity!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6 Times When Being Sober Sucks

When you're pregnant, you quickly learn that the world does not, in fact, revolve around your pregnancy. While you're stone-cold sober for those 40 weeks, the people around you will continue to get married, host parties, go to happy hour or sit at home on Friday with a bottle of red. Rude, right?

The first few times when you're out socially as a preggo, people will apologize for drinking in front of you. You'll insist that if you can't drink, someone should--all the while, your mouth will water looking at said person's cocktail. Such revere for your sobriety will soon end. Before you or they know it, your friends, family, husband (pretty much anyone but you) is getting hammered on the regular while you sip water, soda, non-alcoholic beer or some variation of a mocktail that would undoubtedly taste better with vodka.

Honestly though, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean your social life needs to be put on hold. I've made it a point to be very active throughout my pregnancy and not isolate myself from friends just because I can't get drunk with them. In fact, if you find that you can't go out and do things as a sober person and enjoy yourself, you may want to re-evaluate some things in your life.

I will say that I am among the group of pregnant women who does indulge in an occasional glass of wine. You can judge me if you want, but as long as my doctor and husband are OK with it, so am I. That said, oftentimes I think about having a glass of wine and realize, it's REALLY hard (for me anyway) to just have one glass. Not to mention that if I do pour myself a glass, I have to measure it because I tend to have a heavy hand. When I saw what a "real" glass of wine looks like at 4-5 oz, my first thought was, "What's the point?"

I digress.

Another pregnant epiphany is realizing how many, MANY social circumstances and events in life involve alcohol. As in, pretty much everything.

That being said, some of said events are more tolerable than others as a sober person - at least in my opinion. I thought it would be a fun, perhaps helpful experiment, to help other preggos decide whether certain things are insufferable or tolerable when you're not drinking.

So, at the risk of sounding like a lush (which I am), here, ranked from 1 to 6, with 6 being the most insufferable, are times when being sober sucks.

1. Concerts
I've been to five concerts while pregnant: Seeing the cast of Nashville; Tegan & Sara; Carrie Underwood; Ed Sheeran and Lollapalloza.
At Carrie Underwood
All happened at different stages of my pregnancy and all were very different "vibes" and with different groups of friends. I think all of these things make a difference when considering how tolerable it is. Generally speaking, you don't have to be drunk to enjoy a concert. Except Lolla. Be drunk for that. Or high. Something.

2. Football/Tailgating
Fall and football are two of my favorite things. College football Saturdays, Sunday Funday - you name it, I like it. I also really like day drinking, and football/tailgating go hand-in-hand with that. In fact, once I got over not being able to drink in the early days of pregnancy, it was smooth sailing.

Watching the Hawks

Until one recent fall day. The weather was beautiful, nice enough to sit on the patio. Football season had just started and bars around the city were packed to the brim with people. Never have I ever in my pregnancy wanted a drink more.

3. Boating/Lake Time
Depending on who you are and what you like, this one may or may not be hard. If you're me, my happy place is on a dock or boat, sun shining, drink in hand.

And it's just not the same when that drink doesn't have alcohol.

4. Bachelorette parties
I was invited to a bachelorette party in Vegas while I was pregnant. I couldn't go due to other obligations, but if I could have, I wouldn't have. There is no way Vegas could be fun without the option of getting drunk.

I've been to one bachelorette party in the city, where I opted out of most of the day (bar crawling) and joined the group for dinner only, so it was fine. I also hosted a bachelorette party for my little sister back in Iowa City. The whole day was focused on alcohol. I found people insanely annoying in the early part of the evening, but as the day progressed, I got less annoyed. Because people watching. And blackmail.

5. Weddings
This is a tough one. I've attended three weddings while pregnant, and have a fourth one coming up in a few weeks. Again, I think the fun factor here/ability to enjoy yourself sober depends on who is hosting the wedding and the guests you are spending the evening with. As I have told each bride, if someone has sober fun at your wedding, it was a good party.

Obviously, I have fun friends. As such, I've had a great time at every wedding I've attended this year. I don't expect the fourth to be any different. There are bonuses to being sober at a wedding:Weddings usually mean good food and dessert, which as every pregnant woman knows, is our saving grace. Personally, when I'm boozing it up, sometimes I forget to eat and I NEVER get the cake. Also, people watching becomes SUPER FUN at weddings as everyone around you gets inebriated, and it's fun to be able to tell people what actually happened last night when they can't remember the next day.

The worst thing about sober wedding-going is the dancing. I am a terrible dancer and when drunk, don't care. I am the epitome of "Dance like no one's watching." Sober, I am VERY aware of my dancing skills, but I have made it out to the dance floor at each wedding nonetheless. The good part is that everyone else is drunk and so they don't notice you suck at dancing anyway!

6. Vacations
Like every other circumstance, whether or not you need to drink depends on your destination. But, here's the thing. Vacations are made for relaxing and for many people, relaxing means having a drink. The way my husband and I vacation, we don't focus on drinks, but we do have them quite frequently. We might take a break from walking and get a drink. We might go out for dinner and drinks. We might have a Heinekin while waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower.
Point are best served with cocktails.

Got other events I missed or opinions on the above? Let's hear them!