Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birth To-Do List

On Saturday, Matt and I hit the one-month mark until the official due date of our baby. I've never been one to buy into the idea of a "due date" because most babies don't arrive on said date, but that's what's making me nervous. It would be perfectly normal and healthy for him to come in two weeks. Two weeks!

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that I need/want to get done before he arrives. Some of the things on the list are absolute necessities (like get all the supplies we need for our home birth and pick a darn name). Other things will make the transition easier (like prepare as much of the birth announcement as possible).

I imagine some of my overwhelmed feelings stem from the enormity of the impending transition. Our lives will never be the same again. I've cried a little to mourn the passing of our life together as we know it.

I have to remember, too, that I knew this month would be hard with so much time devoted to our childbirthing classes. It's been exacerbated by the sheer clutter around our house. Our dining room table (which is basically the center of our home and our life) is crowded with boxes and baby paraphernalia and car registration forms and bills. Matt and I finally got around to clearing it off, and it has made a huge difference. I wish I weren't so sensitive to my surroundings, but I am! Just decluttering and cleaning a space helps my stress level a lot.

I'm trying not to let myself carry too much stress. It's not good for anyone involved, especially not the baby. I'm looking forward to hopefully checking a lot off my list this weekend. I want to get the "must do" items completed, so I can focus on grounding myself and preparing myself for the birth.

Here's my current to-do list (a mix of needs and wants):
  • Create a packet for visitors who want to help us (it's not helpful if you have to answer a gazillion questions as they are trying to help)
  • Schedule and attend an infant CPR class
  • Get car seat installed
  • Finalize birth announcement
  • Make comfrey tea compresses
  • Go on a massive shopping trip for all the birth supplies we need
  • Write birthday cards for the next couple months
  • Bring our living Christmas tree to school to be planted
  • Create a "room service" plan for after the birth (including a list of places that deliver)
  • Type up directions to our house
  • Finalize our transport plan and post it
  • Create a cheat sheet for birthing positions and reminders about drinking, eating, and urinating
  • Visit the back-up ob/gyn
  • Meet with the pediatrician for a new mom consultation
  • Finish the crafts on my craft plan
  • Get my car emissions tested
  • Update our scrapbook
  • Get the baby's scrapbook ready
  • Go in for one more ultrasound
  • Read more about birth
  • Pick a name
  • Buy everything off our registry that we didn't receive as gifts but still need
  • Send thank you cards
  • Finish bathroom changing station
  • Schedule blog posts for my maternity leave
  • Create new Life Binder
  • Learn how to use Moby and Ergo and practice swaddling
  • Install the infant adapter on our BOB Revolution stroller
  • Review notes about how to take care of an infant
  • Watch Laugh and Learn about infant care
  • Schedule lactation consultant
  • Visit the chiropractor
  • Make e-mail list for baby announcements
  • Set up auto-reply for e-mail
  • Make sheets for co-sleeper
  • Finish family mission statement
  • Return a duplicate gift we got off our registry
  • Return the baby's rug to Home Depot, since we found it for $100 less on Overstock
  • Make a book for Coconut about the story of his birth (well, get it started)
  • Attend a La Leche League meeting
  • Sync iPhone

I actually feel better seeing the list here rather than in my notebook. I accidentally mixed my "Before the Birth" list with my "To Buy" list in my notebook, so it looks more overwhelming than it actually is. I'm feeling optimistic that I can get a lot of this done this weekend and then go into more of a meditative and relaxing mode in the days leading up to the birth.

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Michele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele said...

Sara, that list is too long (in my humble opinion.) What can your friends and family take off the list for you? Returning things, taking your car for an emissions check, surely some others.... Add to the list date nights that will be hard to take after the baby is born. But keep in mind too that once you are comfortable going to public places with Coconut you'll have several months where he will likely be a delightful companion to reastaurants, museums, and places that won't be so toddler friendly. That eased the transtion for us from our "old life" when Jillian was born. Its an amazing journey. I can't wait to hear that your little one is here.

Andie said...

Dear Sara,

I love your blogs and read them daily. You inspire me! I totally agree with Michele above. If I lived anywhere near Houston, I would love to take a few things off of your list. I am so happy for Coconut that you and Matt will be his parents.


Nicole said...

Just a thought - have you considered seeing a family doc for your little one? Granted, I'm biased since I'm going into family medicine, but it seems like a physician that can take care of your whole family and continue to care for your children even when they pass the 18 year mark would fit in really well with your values! We get plenty of training and experience with kids, and unless your kiddo needs specialist attention, we are just as competent as pediatricians! And have that lovely holistic approach to care :) Just a thought! Good luck with everything :)

Sharpiegirl said...

Do the baby stuff on your list and either dump the rest or deligate it. Your baby could be here sooner than 2 weeks to a month. You could go into labor TOMORROW so you need to get that stuff done first.
I'm not trying to freak you out but I've seen a lot of first babies show up early.

Sherry said...

good luck with everything!

and yay pregnant pictures!! you look very cute : )

Anonymous said...

"A packet for visitors who want to help us"? You mean during the birth itself? Speaking as someone who gave birth (without pain medication), a lot of people will only ruin your calm and concentration. Limit the guest list to people who have given birth themselves and know you well.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Rachel: The packet is for people helping in the first few weeks after the birth. The only people who will be present at the birth are the midwife, her labor assistant, our doula, our dog, and us.

Carrie said...

I'm with Sharpiegirl. I am stressed out reading your list here in my office, so I cannot imagine trying to actually DO it. Take 10 minutes to prioritize it, and allow yourself to let the bottom 10+ things go. Birth supplies, car seat installation, appointments with doc should all be way up at the top, for example. Car emissions, return duplicate registry item, etc. = not important and can be done as a "get out of the house" activity with a 3 week old or delegated to someone else.

Heather said...

Don't kill yourself trying to decide on a name beforehand. We thought we knew what we were going to name our second, but her face didn't fit the name at all. I'd say have the baby name books on hand for after the birth. Took us two days to name our second and third.

Kelsey said...

I know what you mean, sometimes just listing everything out and having it in one place is a relief! I'm sure picking a name is hard!

Kelsey said...

Also, I love the photo. The first word that pops into my head is "strength".

Anonymous said...

Wow - I am an infrequent follower (due to my schedule, not your lack of interesting content, to be sure ;) and can't believe how your pregnancy has flown by! I followed your wedding preparations so closely and am so excited for you and Matt to enter this new parenting phase of your lives together. So all that just to say best of luck and I can't wait to hear all about this transition to motherhood!

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