Preparing for Baby... an Update!

So it's Friday afternoon, and after a long week I sat down to look at my to-do list. I'm 28 weeks along now! My belly is looking more like a soccer ball with every passing day. Apparently baby Mo is 2.5 lbs, and I can definitely feel him kicking and squirming like crazy sometimes. Woah, baby!
We're slowing checking things off the list, but just adding more things to do as time passes. Here's where we were last time I updated. The new updates are in italics!
Find an OB we're comfortable with: This is done! We feel great about our doctor and the clinic in general. For those of you who are TC locals, we're seeing Dr. Danz at the Grand Traverse Women's Clinic. Now we're starting to rotate around the other doctors, because she may not be on call the day baby decides to make his debut. Everyone is really nice and helpful so far!

Research and Hire a Doula: Okay this is strange because all of the Doulas in Traverse City are also PREGNANT and not accepting clients. One of the downfalls to living in the middle of nowhere... So needless to say we most likely won't be having a doula. Decided finally not to hire a doula, because of this issue. However, I am going to take a natural childbirth class with Jonelle, the doula in town! It's six weeks long, starting next week. The only bummer thing is that Isaiah won't be able to attend, because he works on Tuesday evenings. We're going to cover so much material! I'm excited.

Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: We checked this out from the library and are reading it together most nights before bed. I love reading this one slowing and thoroughly- she has great advice and information. Highly recommend. Finished!

Read A Nursing Mother's Companion: Have heard rave reviews from moms about the importance of this book to prepare you for nursing. I hope to breastfeed and pump for 1 year so this is important to me! Waiting for a copy to come to the library.

Read Bringing up Bebe: Another one with stellar reviews. Should be fun, too!

Read Happiest Baby on the Block: So excited about this! My aunt Cristin had a baby in September and highly recommended. She's going to send that one in the mail this week.

Choose a stroller: We did it! It's not purchased yet, but we decided on the Bumbleride Indie in the color ocean. It has an infant car seat adapter for the car seat we want and should last through toddler hood. The stroller arrived! It's perfect and I can't wait to use it. We ordered it through Sweet Pea downtown TC.

Choose a car seat: Also done! We chose a Chicco brand for it's safety ratings and compatibility with the Bumble. It's also small enough to fit in our little Toyota Corolla, but still holds baby up to 30 pounds. We still need to purchase this too. Carseat came in too! We got a navy color to match the stroller.

Research Baby Carriers: This was really fun for me. I stopped into Sweet Pea (a local baby store) and the nice lady there helped me try a few carriers and choose the best ones for me. We decided on the Moby Wrap for infancy and the Ergo Organic as he grows. Still need to purchase the Ergo.

Choose & Attend a birthing class: The local hospital where I'll be delivering has childbirth classes that I'm sure we'll take as labor gets closer. I also want to take a more specialized class that focuses on natural labor and childbirth but the options locally are very limited. Registered! I'm actually taking an embarrassing amount of classes. My first is a baby care essentials class at Munson. Then I'm taking that 6 week natural childbirth class through the local doula starting next week. Isaiah and I are also taking the childbirth class at the hospital where we're delivering, and finally a breastfeeding education class at the hospital. Whew! Also looking to take an infant CPR class.

Choose a theme and colors for the nursery: Done! We're going with a white/cream/tan/brown theme with pops of forest green for a "Swedish cabin" feel. I know I sound extremely dorky here but this means we can shop at ikea and purchase lots of sheepskin rugs.

Purchase nursery furniture: Getting there! We were gifted a beautiful white crib and have already cleaned out the room and set that up. Still need to get a dresser/changing table, a rocking chair and closet organization elements. Rugs too! :) It's coming along! We rearranged some furniture so now the crib is in place and we have a big shelving unit in there. My in-laws are gifting us a rocker and bringing it up in a few weeks. yay!

Build a registry: Need to get on this. However, I don't know what exactly I want yet! There's a lot to decide on- what pack n' play, highchair, and even bottles and sheets. We don't want a lot of unnecessary stuff so we're trying to be intentional in this area. We are so thankful for our family and friends who want to bless us with gifts! I did it! We registered at Target and Sweet Pea, and it wasn't nearly as tough as I imagined. :)

Attend pre-natal yoga: Crossing this off because I've signed up for a 13 week session and I'm headed into my third class this Monday. Hoping to make friends with some of the other girls in class. Yoga has been so great for me. I've missed a few classes because it's been a busy month, but I'm looking forward to my class in the future. It makes Monday's bearable! Margaret has been so vital in making sure I'm comfortable, and even just helping me breath. Sounds crazy, but I feel my air supply is so limited.

Arrange to get my placenta encapsulated: Don't judge me- if you've never heard of the benefits I encourage you to research it! I know who will be doing this but haven't made my down-payment. Just sent another e-mail today to get this process in motion. I talked to my doctor and she said it won't be a problem to have my placenta released. I'm glad I'll have Jonelle there to do it for me!

Schedule a time for maternity photos: Not sure who I will have take these. I definitely want some photos because we are so lazy about taking our own at home. I'm sure my mother in law who is a photographer will want to take some but I'll hire someone else too. :) Taking photos at the end of April! I'm sure I'll be monstrous by then, but we're going to do them the same day as my shower. Can't wait!

Decided if I want my birth experience to be photographed: Up in the air on this! I don't want Isaiah to have the pressure of taking photos during everything, but I'm not sure if I'll feel comfortable having another person around. Need to think about this. Here's what I've decided. I don't want a photographer there for the whole thing, but I am going to have my friend and photographer come to the hospital right after he's born, to do some photos of my first time nursing and hospital photos. I think this was a good compromise!

Write a will: Freaked out by this, but also I'm feeling like we don't need to do it because we have no real assets. I'm sure we will anyway though. Isaiah found a guide at Munson that we will follow. We're going to be pretty casual about this and not hire anyone to help.

Figure out what to do about a life insurance policy: So lost on this. We both have life insurance separately, mine through work and Isaiah's through his grandparents. Need to mesh these and add baby somehow. Oh man. No progress whatsoever.

Diapering... so many options!: I've decided to go with the Honest Company, for their stellar products, decent pricing and convenience factor. Read more about the company here! Still feeling good about this! I'm leaning towards cloth diapering once he's a little older.

Research Cord Blood Donation: I'm a big advocate of donating blood and we know that we aren't going to pay to have his own cord blood banked. We figured this would be a good way to go! We know we will use Michigan Blood but haven't set the process in motion. Done! Sent in my paperwork and just waiting for the final supplies to come in the mail.

Childcare: This is the big one. I know I'll have three months leave from work, but I haven't decided what to do after, what Isaiah's schedule will look like, how I will work part-time and what that will mean for childcare. Prayers, please! Yikes! This needs to start now. Now that I know what my work will look like (praises!) I can be more decisive about what type of care will work. Planning to start interviewing next month.

Find a Pediatrician: Planning to ask our OB for suggestions. We asked our OB and she basically had no suggestions. We might search for a family doctor instead, because Isaiah and I don't have primary doctors either.

Write our Birth Plan: We already know the basics of what we want, just need to write it down and go over it with our OB. We have lots of questions to ask her! Hoping to do this as part of our natural childbirth class!

Plan a Babymoon!: This will be something real simple because of our budget, but I'm hoping we can make it to Chicago this spring for a quick weekend away. We'll see!

Learn More about stuff: Will baby stay with us in the room at all times? Can I nurse and have skin to skin contact immediately during cleaning/ APGAR? When and who will go over our birth plan with us? Research what to expect and prepare for right before, during, and after labor (the icky stuff), Emergency cesarean, episiotomy, what if? What do all of the shots and vaccines do to baby? What happens if I panic and want an epidural? What can I expect? Lots to learn still!

Write out a hospital bag packing list: Okay I know I'm a person who has it on a list to make another list. DEAL WITH IT!

Prepare a freezer full of "body healing" meals: This won't happen for quite some time but if you have suggestions I'm all ears! :)

Create a Postpartum Exercise Plan: I am hugely prepared for a big break for about six weeks. Once I'm feeling up to it I want to exercise again, and do it with purpose! :)

Figure out what we can control in the Labor Room: I hate florescent lights with a passion. Just ask my husband. I get panicky and I just hate them. I would love to be able to control the lighting in our room and have music that soothes and calms me. I also wish to bring some flowers and maybe another element that will remind me of home, even in a hospital setting. Aromatherapy is also super important to me. I hate that hospital smell! I'll be sure to pack my own lotions and products.

Choose a Diaper Bag: Clueless on this one! Since I don't know how big I'll want it or any features that are really necessary, I'm planning on going on recommendations and style. I always like the look of Kate Spade's designs but they are pretty darn pricey! I really love this one! But I still have to purchase it.
Pick a Name: Oh boy... this is HARD. We're not even to the point where we're narrowing it down. We just don't like anything for our own son! Hopefully this will come soon. Even when we figure it out, we won't be sharing until he is born. ;) We have one! Or rather, we each have one. Once he's born the final choice will be determined... and all I'm saying is that Isaiah isn't going to be the one going through hours of labor & delivery. ;)
Okay, so we're doing pretty well! Here are a few more things I want to add to the list.
Choose a baby monitor: I'm pretty sure I want to go with the Angel Sounds Video monitor, but it's so pricey! We'll see what happens. I'm really attracted to the movement sensor because I'm a freak about things like that.
Attend my baby showers: I'll have two in April and I'm so looking forward to them. What a fun excuse to spend time with my co-workers and friends. I'm also helping plan these so that'll be a big part of the rest of this month.
Find & Attend an infant CPR Class: This one should go without explanation. I get scared just thinking about it, but if there were an emergency I want to be prepared!
Think about labor details: Who should I contact? What snacks do we want to have? (obviously the important stuff ;))
Buy a robe for after delivery: I've heard that a delivery gown is sort of unnecessary because of, you know, the blood and stuff. So I'm instead choosing to spoil myself with this Plum Pretty Sugar robe that I've been wanting. It'll be great for photos in the hospital and comfortable for nursing. Yay!
Figure out how to be a swaddling master: There are so many types of swaddles out there, I don't know where to begin!
Get everything done by 36 weeks!: This is an ambitious goal, but it's necessary. May is going to be an unbelievable busy month with weddings and flowers like woah. I would love if the nursery was finished, the bags packed and the carseat in the car by May 10th I'd be so happy!
There's a lot to do when you're expecting a new person to join your family. I can't wait to meet you, little Mo!