[Baby Advice] Approaching B-Day

Random Observation/Comment #586: *Queue the music* “It’s the final countdown!” ba-dada-da ba-da-dada-dum…


We (are starting to) finally feel ready for any upcoming delivery scenarios. The blog writing has declined a bit because we want to use the time to relax and get more sleep, but I think this final one should give a broad overview of the last trimester stretch.

Prepping the Apartment

Making Space

We did a full “minimalist living” cleaning with an organizer in order to provide more storage space for clothes, baby accessories, toys, and everything else. (See “Nesting”) There were some major furniture changes which included couches and gliders for microfiber everything for easier clean up and less cat hair.

Spaces are now designated based on baby needs:

  • Sleeping – crib and rocking chair
  • Pooping / Changing station – tied down the changing top and installed space for storing diapers, lotion, and accessories
  • Bathing – Bathroom additions were mostly a bathtub and some storage.
  • Playing – Area on the floor and a few book shelves
  • Eating – Kitchen space for baby bottles, pump, and easier-to-cook meals for us
  • Traveling – Stroller with necessary accessories

After the baby shower, we received a lot of gifts we registered for (mostly because they were cute), but most of them we likely don’t need in the next 6 months. To make sure we keep track of our active space vs storage, we did the following to organize:

  • The Big Sort — You know we’re geeks so there’s a spreadsheet that logged what we had. This helped us identify what we needed. We now have system in place for where things are stored.
  • We now have a TON of baby clothes and blankets. After sorting, we washed all our clothes up to 6m.  Newborn (NB), 0-3m, 3-6m are placed for easier access; bigger clothes are in storage.
  • Outside of clothes, we tried to limit only bringing in the baby gear that we expect to need in the first 3 months. For example, teething toys are stored at grandparent’s house (thank you!)
  • There is a lot of non-cute stuff you will also need for baby. We were able to put together a list based on resources from our pediatrician, postpartum doula, and class instructors.

Prepping for B-Day

Once the apartment and baby stuff was all organized, the last piece is the birthing process and general set of expectations/scenarios. The truth is that anything can happen and nothing will go as planned, so we’re realistic in making sure we have prepped and informed about options:

  • Educational courses – We’re so glad we took these! Three classes that deserve their own blogposts but they covered infant CPR & safety, childbirth education, and newborn & infant care by Mary Eikeseth. We highly recommend her!
  • Packed bags for labor and delivery – Mommy stuff is all in a suitcase with a list of stuff to take that might be in daily use (e.g. birthing ball, nursing bras, snacks/drinks, etc). There’s tons of lists out there of what you should pack, but we’re just cognizant that the hospital has a lot of stuff already and we will likely have time to get the baby stuff.
  • Daddy bags packed – Clemens, forever a boy scout, actually carries his extra set of clothes, entertainment stuff, and material with him at all times for work. Labor can happen at any moment and he feels better having it on him. Vinessa, already carrying a lot, is keeping her bag at home.
  • “On Call” setup – it’s true that it’s sometimes hard to get a hold of each other while we’re at work. Clemens set up special notifications from emails and calls from Vinessa. We’ve done a few test runs so he can respond within 1-2 minutes.
  • Order of Operations – We’ve written up a series of steps and numbers to call when it’s showtime. These include calling the doctor (make sure to add these numbers to your Favorites) and sending out a blast text message to the right family members. We both felt much more confident after walking through this and different edge case scenarios (i.e. What if Clemens is at work during rush hour? What if Vinessa is not at home?)

Other Ducks in a Row

  • Setting Family Expectations – It’s good to set these expectations and keep people updated on our preferences for visits. Also make sure they are aware of important details like visiting hours and parking.
  • Hencat – We wrote instructions for taking care of our furry baby. We also checked with our vet for tips to how to deal to acclimate to the new baby.
  • Work and Insurance
    • The conversation with HR typically occurs much earlier on, however, there are usually forms and final details that can only happen when it’s 30 days before your due date. Allow about a week for your OB/GYN to complete any forms for work.
    • Give time to also make sure your coverage plan is in place. Vinessa will be on leave longer so this required much more effort on her part. Fortunately, Vinessa’s Women’s Network at work put together an helpful guide for navigating many details. One great tip: Make sure you have a plan for when you’re back. The Fifth Trimester has been useful for prepping for being a working mom.
    • Your HR should also be able to instruct you about what you need to do after baby arrives. Agree with your partner about how baby should be covered.
    • Check if you are covered for a breast pump and order one if you are.
  • Pediatrician – You need to provide a pediatrician’s name at the hospital. They will be on your list of people to call while you’re on your way to the hospital. While there may be a separate pediatrician at the hospital, expect to have your 1st visit at your pediatrician’s office within the first week of bringing your baby home. Great advice from another parent: visit as many potential doctors as you can!
  • Help for Baby — We found an amazing Postpartum Doula (post to come)
  • Freezer Meals! — This is more prep for after birth
  • Date Nights – Especially because it’s a good idea to eat smaller meals after 36 weeks, we did quite a few splurges with some fancy dinners and brunch

~See Lemons Kinda Sorta Ready and Vnessa with an Eye for Birth