It occurs to us that it may be time to begin counting down at this point, but then panic threatens to engulf us. So we'll just stick with enjoying week 31 for now.
We can't wait to meet the baby. We want to hold the baby, love the baby, care for the baby....we also want to have something for him to wear, sleep in, etc. Oh, and a place to live would be a nice bonus.
We. Are. So. Far. Behind.
For comfort throughout this experience, we read the weekly pregnancy updates online. They offer many helpful suggestions for each stage of pregnancy. It's hard to beat hearing your baby described as the size of a turnip, or whatever coordinating vegetable they pick for the week. A turnip? Really? This week we were pleased to learn he has matured well beyond the turnip. He is apparently now "the size of a large cabbage." Who picks this imagery? Me and my little cabbage patch kid. We're so proud. I know these online writers are the pros, but between you and me, he feels much more like a watermelon.
And yet, their expertise extends beyond the produce scales. We are most affirmed when they let us know what we have going on in our daily lives. "This week you're busy with childbirth classes, deciding color schemes, and decorating your baby's nursery."
Have we met?
We only dream of such things. We aren't there. For a little insight into how far we are from that mythical ideal, here's a sneak peek at our current priority list:
1. Find a place to live
2. Figure out where the baby will be born
3. Find out what we need to buy to take care of said baby...
So here's how that's going...
1. Find a place to live.
Our goal is to be near family when the baby is born for at least 6 months to a year. (Maybe longer. We just aren't capable of thinking that far ahead.) We've basically picked a geographical center point between our parents and siblings in the heart of Texas. We also think we've found an apartment, though that's still being finalized (i.e. the move in date keeps changing on their end...). It's a small 600 sf apartment - but that's much bigger than the RV we thought we'd end up with so we're good. More on our relocating later.
2. Figure out where the baby will be born
This one's a little tricky. We're moving so will need to transfer care, which was expected along. It was never our greatest wish to get caught up in the hospital herding process, but that is where we've done thus far. We have not been fans of the hospital prenatal care experience.
There are a lot of things I could go into regarding that, but I'll settle for one point (since it's where we spend most of the time at each appointment). Waiting rooms. WHY are separate waiting rooms not required for maternity patients!?!? Why are we sitting with dozens of others who are there because they are ill - pregnancy isn't a disease or injury (though you'd forget at times in hospitals). Not all hospitals are like this but I'm so over the crowded, coughing waiting room experience we've had. Waiting in such an environment, trying not to get sick, for an average of 45 minutes to an hour to see my doctor for maybe 10 rushed, expensive minutes is hard to rationalize.
We're much more inclined to the birth center/midwife kind of experience, which is far more common in countries we traveled in so seems more normal to us than perhaps to many in this culture. Alas, birth centers are better to commit to from the beginning with the way costs work, so ironically, it's now a more expensive option transfer now.
That to say, we're still trying to figure out where to have the baby. I'm only mostly joking when I tell Geoff he can just deliver him at home. Relax. We won't do that. Probably...
3. Figure out what we need to buy to take care of said baby...
We are really, really out of our league with this one. What do we need for the baby?? How should we know? We're new at this. We have a couple of outfits and a handful of diapers. We're assured that won't last long. Or even one day. Sigh.
Therefore, we've called in a professional to help. In this case, my sister - mother of my 14-month old nephew and as such far more experienced and up to date on baby "things" than I may ever be. In this stroke of brilliance we begged her to do our registry for us. Geoff and I needed this baby registry done if for no other reason than to provide ourselves with a shopping list of what we actually needed. I briefly attempted shopping through the myriad of strollers, car seats, diapers, bottles, etc. and became so overwhelmed that I needed a sound machine and lullaby's to sleep that night. A few cute outfits and I can hang with the baby shopping crowd. Much more advanced than that, and my confidence vanishes faster than my budget. (What is a bumbo anyway?)
My sister on the other hand claims she enjoys the shopping and picking out of all these baby things. I'll take her word for it and remain eternally grateful for the insights and assistance. My minimalist self would be so unprepared otherwise.
We share many similar values (like cloth-diapering, etc.) and she knows our style preferences. She has graciously agreed to register us and has worked hard doing so. Amazon has never been so much fun - Geoff and I have learned so much just by perusing the list of things she's selected. "Oh, that's a good idea. Wouldn't have thought of that..." has become a common comment from Geoff and I. We are patting ourselves on the back for being so brilliant in asking her this favor as we peruse the things she's selected. We haven't even thought about changing so much as a pattern option.
So that's our top 3 update at present. There is of course a longer list of things on our to do list, but these top three are keeping us well occupied currently. Hopefully our move in date will be finalized this weekend and we will have a place to land next WEEK! I dream of unpacking. Such luxuries as clothes coming from a closet rather than a suitcase feel almost within reach. Ahhhh.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers that this little one continues to grow strong and healthy, and that we make wise decisions in preparation for his arrival. Thank you each and every one.