Sidenote: Has anyone else checked out the pregnancy checklist on The N.est? Is it just me or do they want things done super early? I'm a do-ahead kind of girl, but some of their suggestions seem a little over the top. Install the car seat and have it inspected this week? Pack my hospital bag? And my "overdue" tasks? Buy any items still needed for baby and cook/freeze meals for after delivery. Um, I still have every reason to believe I have 4-6 weeks left, right?
I wasn't quite as unproductive as I'm making myself sound. I did some laundry, including my first two loads of baby bedding and clothing. I wrote a handful of thank you notes for some gifts we've received. I researched newborn photographers and attorneys that handle same-sex family protections and I'm ready to pitch some options to M tomorrow night. I installed my new photoshop software (a Christmas present from M) and played around with some possible birth announcement layouts. I made a bottom-line-we-need-these-things-or-we'll-be-in-big-trouble shopping list for a field trip to the cloth diaper store in the next week or so. I called the pediatrician's office to schedule a consultation but they were off for a snow day of their own. I can't claim it was a full day's work, but it could have been worse. For dinner, I experimented with the "healthy" mac n' cheese recipe in this month's Real Sim.ple - I can't recommend it. In fact, I'm about to head in to the kitchen in search of a replacement. I'm bummed because it looked and sounded so good!
My parents are coming into town for a few days next week for a last pre-baby visit. I'm taking some precious vacation hours from work so I can hang out with them and run some errands. M's mom will be in town a couple of weeks later. I'm really grateful for the extra hands headed our way during these last few weeks. My parents will be out again for the birth and will stay a few weeks (in another house across town) to help out. We're having a tough time figuring out when they should come. If only this baby could let me know when it will arrive! I don't need a precise hour, but a date would be really helpful. :-)
The challenges of being far away from family are well-defined on our radar these days. We're in the process of planning an extended West Coast visit during my maternity leave so the baby can meet the biological and chosen family it has spread all the way from San Diego to Seattle. M doesn't have much paid leave so it's tough to plan something like this. If she comes along, we're limited as to how long we can stay. If she doesn't, the baby and I could stay as long as we need to in order to hit all the important stops, but we'll be away from her during a time new moms and babies shouldn't be apart. It's looking like we won't be able to cram it all into one visit, which sucks because we already have four weddings on our calendar for next year - all out of town and all before the baby will be 8 months old - and the holidays, at least one of which we'll surely need to travel for. We're going to be a well-oiled machine when it comes to air travel when it's all behind us. But back to the trip in question... the most important stops to hit on our first visit are probably the baby's two living great-grandparents. Both are over 90 and it's hard to say how many opportunities we have left for their paths to cross. Others may have to wait for visit #2, or drive a bit to see us, if we get close enough to their part of the world.
For me, this stage of pregnancy seems to be characterized by lots of mixed feelings. I feel alternately desperate to meet this new little person ASAP and panicked about how little time we have left before he or she arrives; alternately revved up to DO THIS little labor thing already and massively intimidated about the task ahead; alternately in awe of the miraculous transformation my body has made and totally fed up with the aches, the pains and the lousy sleep. On the flip side, I'm wholly and unconditionally in love with the kicks and punches and rolls I feel constantly. I will miss those sensations so much when this little one is on the outside.
Speaking of movements, I had a little scare on Monday when the baby slowed waaaay down. He or she was still well within the "10 kicks per 2 hours" standard, but as I suggested before, that was a major decrease for us. I had a prenatal massage that afternoon, then went to hyp.nobirthing class and practiced a bunch of techniques. In hindsight, I think the baby was just super-relaxed! I was freaked out that the massage might have released a bunch of toxins and made the baby sick, but by Tuesday morning, we were back to normal before I even had a chance to call the doctor.
We attended a breastfeeding class this weekend. We were the only same-sex couple there, of course. One excrutiating segment aside (involving the passing around of a nursing bra and the anticipated but still cringe-producing, juvenile comments from the male partners), it was better than I expected. I felt pretty knowledgeable going in but still left armed with a few good tips I'd never heard before and a bunch of local resources I can call for help when I'm ready to pull my hair out.
Still no word on the ultrasound. I called the doctor's office when I hadn't heard anything at the end of last week and they told me it would take at least a week just to schedule the appointment! They have to fax over my insurance information and the genetics lab has to get the service pre-approved then fax something back to my OB for further processing, or some three-ring circus like that. Darn insurance hurdles. My next regular appointment is on Monday so hopefully they'll have something to tell me by then. As M said the other night, they can just check the baby on its way out at this rate!
Well, I have certainly rambled on long enough. I'll let you get back to your evening. As for me, I'm headed back to the kitchen to scrounge up round 2 of dinner. To those of you in snowy places, keep warm!