Friday, August 17, 2012

Goals Before Baby: Checking In

I've been itching to get back to this list to see where we're at in baby preparation land. Let's take a look, shall we?

- Research how to and write a birth plan
Close, but not quite there yet. Next Centering class we'll talk about birth plans. I think I have most everything figured out. Just need to write it down!

- Make a labor plan—Who to call, where to go and when

Still need to decide on and make a list of who to contact once I'm in active labor. Otherwise, we know where to go during and after hospital hours and when to call our doula (right away) and midwives (once contractions are 4 minutes apart and lasting for 1 minute for 1 hour, or if my water breaks). This doesn't mean we go into the hospital at this time though. We just need to check in.

- Research what to expect and prepare for right before, during, and after labor (the weird/gross stuff)
We've gone over the phases of labor in Centering and birth class, and I've also found great information in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I'm starting to get a grasp on what to expect postpartum. I've been trying to read up as much as I can on blogs. The comment threads are usually the most helpful part—such great advice! I've found a ton of great tips from this and this post/comment thread. I will post about my postpartum preparations in a few weeks.

- Find a kick-butt doula
Done and done! We've got our retainer fee paid, paperwork submitted, and first prenatal appointment with her under our belt. We have one more prenatal visit scheduled next month to go over our birth plan and talk about the final details.

- Meet with our financial advisor to come up with a new budget (we won't do this until we have more clarity on what our income will look like this fall)
Now that Arthur's got a permanent job and we know I will be a SAHM, I have it on my immediate to-do list to set up a meeting with our financial advisor. Our monthly income with decrease by about 25% with this change, but we haven't been living on a very strict budget (still tithing regularly though) and have been stashing away quite a bit every month, so we're not too worried about making it work. We will also be paying off a big chunk of our student loans and selling our second car, which will help with monthly cash flow.

- Choose a cord clamping method 
There are lots of options these days on how to deal with the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord. After learning our options and discussing it with our midwives, we've decided to let the cord stop pulsing before cutting. To us this makes the most sense to allow the final rush of blood to make it to the baby. The midwife we talked to about this said that with our midwifery's order of doing things, the cord is often done pulsing by the time they even get to cutting it. We plan to include this in our birth plan though, just to be sure it happens.

- Cloth wipes. Make them? Buy them? 
- Best cloth wipe solution (just water?) 
Planning to buy them (on our registry). I've heard that it's way easier to use cloth wipes with cloth diapers since you tend to roll everything together after a diaper change. If you use disposables, you then have to sort through everything later, but with cloth you can pop everything into the wash at once. I've also researched almost every disposable wipe (chemical-free and not) and can't find one with rave reviews. Also, it seems that even the chemical-free ones aren't as pure as they might claim. Cloth wipes with homemade water/soap solution seems like the clear answer to me.

- Figure out what to use for wipes before we start cloth diapering
We will use Seventh Generation Free & Clear wipes and diapers until we start cloth. Based off EWG's Cosmetic Database, these had the best "pure" rating. They also have decent reviews on Amazon.

- Become a master of cloth diapers
Signed both of us up for a cloth diapering class through Parent Trust in late September. We're hoping this will teach Papa K and I everything we need to know and also give us confidence to start cloth diapering earlier.

- Prep cloth diapers
Hope to learn how in CD class.

- Learn how to clean the cloth diapers 
Hope to learn how in CD class. I also need to figure out the best detergent. I would like to find one that we can use for all our clothes.

- Find best cloth diaper safe diaper cream
Coconut oil! We plan to use this for lotion also. Cheap and natural.

- Elimination Communication! 
Our CD class description says we'll touch on EC. Can't wait!

- Choose which baby body products we will use
Coconut oil for dry skin. I did a ton of research on baby soaps and was feeling confident in just using lavender Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap, but I bought some to try it out on my skin and find it too drying and kind of irritating in various places, especially my face. Still on the hunt...

- Post birth: skin-to-skin contact—how long? eye ointment? vitamin k shot? 
We will go over these topics at the next Centering class, but I briefly talked to our last midwife and learned that we are allowed to delay the eye ointment during skin-to-skin time. We plan to have two hours of skin-to-skin time with breastfeeding immediately post-birth and delaying most of the newborn routines until after this bonding period.

- Placenta delivery options and what to do with it after
Full post coming soon.

- Questions to ask a midwife: Will baby stay in the room with me at all times? Can cleaning/APGAR happen during skin contact time? How/when will we go over my birth plan?
Baby will stay in the room with us in the bed, unless I am sleeping, then she will be in the bassinet next to my bed. We are requesting to have her wiped down lightly after she is placed on my skin, but the vernix left to soak in. We will discuss birth plans next Centering class. Once the birth plan is complete, it's scanned into the system digitally, but we are still encouraged to bring a copy for the nurse(s).

- Research methods for not tearing
- Learn more about episiotomies
We will be including in our birth plan that we do not want me to have an episiotomy. Through research and discussion, it is clear that tearing naturally is the better option. Factors such as longer healing times, potentially tearing the incision further, and increased pain that can inhibit mama-baby bonding are enough to make me stay away.

- Find a pediatrician
On the hunt. I got a couple new recommendations from Centering this week that I still need to look into.

- Line up postpartum help (meals, cleaning)
Nothing yet. Although my books all encourage me to not worry about cleaning during the first two weeks. I will probably task Papa K with picking up the kitchen a few times a week and maybe giving the bathroom a wash during that time.

- Prepare a freezer full of healthy "body healing" meals
Planning to do this during my 2+ weeks "off" between my last day at work and before Baby comes...barring she doesn't come early! This is all I plan to do for those couple weeks.

- Make a hospital bag packing list—should include snacks for postpartum
I'm really excited to do this! I've started researching a bit, but haven't started a list yet. Very soon. My goal is to have the bag packed by 36 weeks.

- Crib bumpers. Probably not, but do I need breathable ones?
No crib bumpers. I don't really love the look of bumpers and they increase the risk of SIDS (source). I would rather deal with a frustrated baby with a stuck arm than worry about potential suffocation.

- Familiarize myself with what will happen if I need an emergency c-section
I learned the difference between an unplanned c-section and emergency c-section. With unplanned, it will most likely happen if labor has stalled for a long period of time. I will be given a Spinal and be awake for the procedure. Only one support person is allowed in (which is apparently not common—many hospitals don't allow anyone in), but we might be able to sweet talk our doula in with us depending on the anesthesiologist. Arthur will be responsible for the immediate bonding in this scenario. He will talk to Baby and stay close to her. This is why we would hope to have our doula who would be my support post-delivery. In the case of an emergency c-section, the baby would be in distress and need to get out immediately. I would be given a local anesthetic and put completely out.

- Read Hypnobirthing
Still hoping to skim this book. A few couples in Centering are doing Hypnobirthing class and passing along some of the good info.

- Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
GREAT book! I learned so much. Just passed it along to a friend to read.

- Paint nursery
Done! Part of me wishes the color was a shade darker, but nothing I'm too upset about. Greys are really hard to get perfect. Nonetheless, the room is fresh and soothing.

- Finish nursery
I still need to find art for the walls, cover some pillows with new fabric, and organize the closet. I've been itching to get back into finishing up the nursery and might have had a panic the other night about getting it all done...

- Plan a "Babymoon"
On hold for now. But we do hope to get away to somewhere local for Labor Day.

- Have a postpartum exercise plan and potentially sign up at a gym this fall
We are going to look at two local gyms this weekend. Arthur's company has deals with many of the Seattle area gyms, so we just need to find the best option for us. Must have a pool!

- Labor playlist

- Labor verses

- Pre-register at the hospital so we don't have to fill out paperwork during labor
Apparently we're already registered with the hospital, but we will need to sign something when we arrive.

- Choose a rocker 
Done. Ikea Poang Rocker - Birch frame with Granan white cushion.

- Find a nursery dresser
Done. Ikea Nyvoll 6-drawer dresser in light gray/white.

- Start baby registry 
- Finish baby registry 
Using to sync our Amazon, Target, REI and Land of Nod registries. I don't love the interface, but I haven't found anything that compares.

- Sign up for birth classes
Done. Great Starts birth class series through Parent Trust. So far we both give it a 6/10, not great, not bad.

- Find 100% cotton cloth washcloths
Ikea. Although I need another pack since I've used half of them for craft projects and sopping up paint.

- Circumcision or not (if LB is a boy)?
N/A ;)

Need to catch up?

Pregnancy Posts:

Weekly Updates:


  1. Post baby exercise: look to see if you have a local Stroller Strides class. I've been doing one for the past couple months, and it's been fun working up a sweat and meeting other moms.

    1. Oh, great idea!! I will definitely look into that.

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