Newborn Essentials

I remember when I was pregnant, R and I got into an argument with my parents around how we didn’t want to buy that much baby stuff. Their side of the argument, “babies need a lot of stuff!!!!” I still disagree. This is a list of what we found to be the only essential items:

– a place for the baby to sleep. I would highly, highly recommend a baby box. We used the “SnuggleNest.” A box means you can have the baby fall asleep anywhere while still having the baby feel like it’s in a familiar place. Plus, later on you can put the box inside the crib and the adjustment goes super well.

– silicone bottles. We used comotomo brand which I liked a lot because the silicone and the wide mouth meant you don’t need a bottle brush to wash them out.

– diapers. Goes without saying.

– warm clothes. Babies run cold, or at least our baby did. It was not unusual for her to sleep in an inside onesie, a wool sweater vest (handknit by grandma), footed PJs, and a hat.

– blankets to swaddle with. We used regular receiving blankets and didn’t buy swaddlers.

– a baby bathtub. Our kiddo legit cried every time we bathed her, which we did every day! But in a few weeks, she started associating bath time with bed time which is still the case. The one time in her entire life we skipped the bath, she would. not. go. to. sleep.

– a white noise machine, though we used our phones for the first few months.

– burp cloths. Get more than you think you need. Once you are out, time to do laundry!

– a mode of transportation for the baby (wrap, car seat, etc.). This one is highly variable based on your situation. We did a mix of wraps (the ktan), car seat in car (the maxi cosi mico 30…insane name for a car seat if you ask me), and car seat attachment with stroller).

– and for mom: massages, post-partum pies (and really unlimited food), and at least a night bottle of formula administered by someone else so she can get some sleep).

 

Pregnancy: Week 39

I definitely wake up every morning now thinking if today is the day. Weirdly, I have felt better in recent weeks than I did during the really hard 35-37 week period. Not sure why that is. Even though I’m down to the final stretch, I have no intuitive sense of when it will happen. My midwife the other day was like, “Could be in 10 minutes! But it could be in 3 weeks.” The pelvic pain has definitely ramped up, but other than that a lot of my symptoms (like the sciatica have been relieved). I’m also feeling a little pre-nostalgic around not being pregnant anymore…so in some ways I’m so excited (and anxious) to meet the baby, but in another way, I’m already looking back on this time with my B.O.M.B. (baby of my belly) and how sweet it was, and how much I feel like I already know and love the baby after months and months of watching it grow and move and develop. Definitely a period of gentleness on myself and also a continuing letting go of control and realizing that time moves forward regardless of my personal choice.

Monthly Review: January

Here is my monthly review for January. If you want to read December’s, check it out here.

Meta-note: I am actually thinking about stopping weekly updates and monthly reviews. I’ve done them for over a year and they fit a certain sort of linear structure that I’m not sure will fit nicely into my life in the next few months. My January review is here, but definitely considering leaving some flexibility in the next few months for what forms of blogging are working for me.

1) What went well this month?

  • Enforcing boundaries. So, I often think our cultural narrative around enforcing boundaries is a bit played out, but in January I basically did not GAF re anything someone else wanted me to do. Unlike my usual self, I bailed on all sorts of plans and I…didn’t feel bad about it at all. I took the time and space and energy that I needed for myself.
  • Coffee shops. I’ve been working from home a lot but have developed a nice routine related to the coffee shop. I go to one about a twenty-minute walk from my apartment, and do some work there for a few hours, and walk home. It’s become very relaxing.
  • Working through a book I’ve been loving on how to work less. Related to the topic on my mind at the moment, I’ve been really enjoying the exercises in this book and what I’ve been learning.

2) What didn’t go well this month?

  • I sort of want to say pregnancy, but it doesn’t feel fair. Pregnancy has been hard this month for sure but it’s not not “going well.” It’s going as it should.

3) What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • Feeling at ease around baby prep. This was eh. I don’t know that it’s really an achievable goal to feel “ready.” But I do think we are done with buying stuff, which is nice.
  • More single-tasking. This has been okay…it often goes hand-in-hand with coffee shop activity. I have been taking to turning my phone onto airplane mode when I want to do focused work which helps a lot, but definitely not something I’m excelling at.
  • Nourishment. This continues to be my guiding star, and likely will continue to be for the future.

4) What am I working towards?

  • Day-to-day and moment-to-moment presence. The next month will probably be beyond anything I can imagine. I want to give myself the space to experience it as it comes, rather than needing to understand or digest or judge what’s happening.

Pregnancy: Week 38

Week 38!!!!! That is probably a sufficient and accurate enough entry for this week. I was chatting with a dear friend last night who was like what’s going on with you besides pregnancy and I was like…it’s all pregnancy. That’s all I’ve got going on. Work wise, I’m feeling good and the end is definitely in sight. If I can get to Wed, I’ll have had my last essential meeting and then a week after that, will be off for a good, long while. It’s so strange to be in a spot where I am finishing work. Physically, I’m actually feeling sort of better. Weeks 36-37 felt brutal, but I have some energy again and am sleeping pretty consistently. Scaling down my life to a few walks a day and mostly working from home has been really nice.

R is also in a job interview process, so fingers crossed for that…there’s a tiny chance the transition could leave him with some more time to take off in the early months, which would be fabulous. But even if not, I think we’ll be okay because he’ll be doing 3-day work weeks for a while. I am feeling very grateful for our situations and also generally disgusted with American policies towards new parents.

We’ve been talking to the baby a lot when we’re home from work. Sort of these insane conversations like, “In two weeks you’ll be here! A week is like a measure of time. Time is…the speed at which light moves?” And the baby has been moving insanely. Ze can really whack a punch now because I think the capacity of my uterus is pretty maxed out. See you soon, little baby!

Pregnancy: Week 37

Life now is basically one long primal scream inside my head. I am increasingly nervous to have a baby! But also increasingly physically uncomfortable being pregnant! I feel like I just want to hatch the baby via egg and then take a month off from all life and then continue on. Weekly appointments are really getting me down…I feel like I am just waiting to give birth. I did schedule an induction acupuncture appointment for two days and one day before my due date but also feel scared to do that. I’m just 60/40 right now on all things, all the time.

Pregnancy: Week 36

Someone this week asked me if I had my baby yet, while looking right at me…the wonders of the world never cease. Pregnancy continues a slow path upwards towards kicking my butt. I guess it’s true what they say that the last month of pregnancy is what prepares you mentally for birth. I’m sort of looking forward to that and dreading four more weeks (or even six more weeks!) of increasingly being pregnant. I also developed some sciatic pain in the last week which is a real PITA. Sleeping has also been increasingly hard between endless peeing and a random early morning insomnia I tend to get. Also, I snore like an old man.

Mentally, I’m feeling really good. I feel like we’ve gotten all the essential errands done. I’ve organized a meetup with three other pregnant friends in our neighborhood which I’m really excited about, and really just thankful that I have a community of friends and family who are excited for me and for the baby.

Pregnancy: Week 35

A fine week. Not that much to report either way. I am feeling less anxious about the end of pregnancy and about labor because I figure it’ll just happen how it happens. Actually, I’m sort of excited for labor itself — what an event! Very thankful for leave. Without that, I’m sure I’d be a total basket case. Physically I feel fine, just like a slower version of my usual self but I’ve been pretty good at being realistic with my limits. I feel like I’m just biding my time until labor.

Oh, here was a hilarious thing that happened. I was on a confernece call at work and someone was like, “wow, 35 weeks! the baby could come whenever” and a junior person on the call got totally freaked out and was like “what do you mean?!? what do you mean it can come whenever? like in the office??”