- Made two trips to Buy Buy Baby, acquired all the necessities we still lacked, made exchanges, and cashed in copious coupons to get about $550 worth of stuff for $150.
- Washed, folded and stored all newborn and 0-3 month clothing, crib sheets and mattress pads, swaddlers, burp clothes, blankets, and baby towels.
- Assembled an additional over-the-toilet storage unit for the bathroom, winnowed our toiletries and medicine cabinet down to the essentials, neatly rearranged the under-sink cabinet with stackable boxes, installed a new towel rack on the door, and cleared every bit of clutter off the bathroom floor.
- Rearranged the coat closet to fit our umbrella stroller and reorganized the crap on the shelves into neat boxes and bins.
- Purged and reorganized the utility closet, getting rid of inessentials, consolidating items into hanging under-shelf baskets, and moving items from kitchen cabinets to the pantry.
- Purged items from the kitchen cabinets, clearing up two full cabinets for baby things (currently storing all the bottle sampler sets we got at our shower).
- Catalogued all of the loose internet-print-out and magazine-rip-out recipes that were on top of the refrigerator into a big binder.
- Catalogued all my Playbills from 20+ years of theater going into binders and put them away.
- Had a cleaning service deep-clean the entire apartment.
- Interviewed pediatricians and figured out which practice we prefer.
- Installed the car seat and had it inspected.
- Chopped, bagged, and froze half our CSA veggies for winter cooking.
- Prepared and froze several casseroles, a tupperware of tomato soup, and a bag of chocolate chip cookies for after Smudgie comes.
- Picked up the bulky baby things we're borrowing (like a swing and bouncy chair that we weren't planning to buy b/c of space issues) from my SIL and BIL.
- Finished assembling all furniture for Smudgie's room.
- Dropped off the art for Smudgie's room at the framers.
- Packed hospital and diaper bags, excepting toiletries and items (like cell phone and keys) we need on a daily basis.
- Got flu shots.
And now that my parents arrive back on the East Coast today for the next several months, I actually feel kinda ready for the baby to come. Somehow I had myself convinced that I needed to accomplish literally everything listed up above before I could bring a baby home. And somehow I did. So despite the fear or anxiety I still have about giving birth and caring for a child, in a deep part of myself I finally feel like this home is as ready as it'll ever be to welcome a little baby.
Which naturally means that my 38-week appointment yesterday did not give me the news I hoped for.
To preface, I got the best news of all at my biophysical profile: Smudgie looks great, shows good activity, I have lots of fluid, and baby is very happy in there. Perfect. I love hearing that word (especially when Smudgie decides to fall asleep and not kick me at all on the way to the appointment and then takes forever to wake up and show his or her stuff to the ultrasound tech. I swear, this baby loves to mess with us).
But when I got upstairs to meet with the doctor, I learned that he had to leave early for a family emergency and I'd be seeing one of the practice's midwives. I don't have any objection to seeing a midwife, but she won't be potentially delivering Smudgie, and I'd been looking forward to reconnecting with one of the two most likely doctors to be on-call when I go into labor.
Then I had my first internal exam. And after two weeks of increasing cramping, diarrhea, nausea, baby-dropping pressure, and cervical pain, I'm a fingertip dilated. I had convinced myself it would be more, so I was disappointed, I admit, even though I know that you can be many cm dilated for weeks or completely closed and go into labor the next day. I've thought the whole pregnancy that if I made it to full term I would go overdue and I still think that's true.
I'm happy to be here and I still like being pregnant-- I like having this special connection to Smudgie that no one else does. I also am enjoying spending time alone with LG and trying to make every day special for the two of us. So I'm not in a hurry for the pregnancy to end, by any means, and I'm not ready to talk induction or will be for a very long time.
But I'm also feeling finally ready to meet this little boy or girl and have that moment I've dreamed of for years: holding my child for the first time. It's so close I can almost feel the baby's weight in my arms, but also (I know) still so scarily far away.
It's been over 2.5 years since we started trying to have a baby. We've waited all this time to meet him or her. I know I can wait a little longer.
(The Smudgie and Nursery Pages have both been updated. The nursery is close to done but not completely-- we're still waiting for all the art from the framers, which should be ready in another week or two, and we're holding off on a few items like the curtains and hamper until Smudgie is born and we can choose either pink or navy for them. I'll post better pictures after the whole room is complete. And FYI: the mobile that's just barely visible over the crib is the Flensted bunny mobile, a shower gift and I love it).