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   Monday, October 17, 2005  

Things I learned over the weekend

1. I have the largest pregnant belly anyone has ever seen.

We went to the library around 11:00 to get library cards and check out a prepared childbirth video. The one we wanted had been checked out 20 minutes before we got there, so we got another one (filmed by the ACOG in 1985. See point 3 for information on this.) While Mr. W was at the reference desk asking about the status of the video we actually wanted, a video that was touted at Sidelines, I sat down near the new fiction to see what they might have. After selecting a Mary & Carol Higgins Clark novel (The Christmas Thief if anyone is interested about the heist of a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree; an entertaining and fast read that required no thought whatsoever which of course is exactly what I was in the mood for), I joined Mr. W at the reference desk where he promptly gave up the only chair for me. The librarian asked me when I was due and I said, "Technically January but I'm expected to deliver early." She then said, "Is there just one or are there more in there??" "Just the one boy." "Yes, yes, you're definitely going early. Good luck!"

After the library, we decided that we would stop for lunch at the Red Robin that had just opened up. Of course I wasn't willing to stand in a line, so we went to Pizzeria Uno across the parking lot. Before we got to the door, a hostess came running to open it for me. When being taken to our seat a very tiny waitress laden with an extremely heavy tray stopped to let us pass, saying to the hostess, "Please, go first. You've got a pregnant woman." Every single person we passed on the way to our table (near the back and very close to the bathroom) stopped eating to stare. There were several comments to small children about how 'that lady is having a baby soon.' The hostes insisted that I sit on the booth side of the table and not in the chair as the booth was better cushioned and if I wanted I could put my feet up that way. When our appetizer didn't come until after our soup and salads, the manager came over to apologize and said that he just felt terribly about the whole situation especially due to my condition and gave us the appetizers free of charge.

2. Our across the way neighbors are having their first baby in December. Their daughter is due one month to the day before the lowercase. I find it sad that this is the first time we have really spoken to them since Mr. W moved up here full time in March. In talking to them, they mentioned that the neighbors who had just moved out have their next baby due in March. They have a daughter who is nearing 4, another who just turned two and are now expecting the third. They finally decided that with the number of kids they will have a two bedroom apartment just doesn't cut it anymore.

3. If our reaction to this video is any indication of how we will handle childbirth, we are in serious trouble.

The video showed many couples (our favorite being a couple who looked like The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid's mom) laying on an egg shaped platform. They changed positions every five minutes while the narrator said things about focal points and breathing slowly. Internal focus, external focus, blah blah blah. While watching I kept saying, "HEY -- they're counting! Why are they counting! The old man talking didn't say to count! What are they counting? Is that guy just OCD? Are we supposed to know about counting?" Mr. W's response, "Aye, young Daniel-san."

The video showed nothing about how to do the techniques and failed to give any explanation of why they would be useful, if, you know, we knew what they were. Apparently we should already have known that before watching the damn tape. The librarian is supposed to call us when the other video gets in. Hopefully this one will be better. I did sign up for the November session of the prepared childbirth video at my hospital. I had just hoped the videos would give me a bit more of an idea of what to expect in case my lowercase comes before the end of the third week of November.

4. I could have this baby within 3-4 weeks!

Ok, so that isn't shocking to most of you, but it shocked the hell out of me when I realized it yesterday afternoon. Mr. W was doing laundry and it hit me. My son could be born around 30 weeks. If he is? I have nothing. I am woefully underprepared. The lowercase has no clothing. I realize that if he is born that soon he'll have a hospital stay during which time he will not need them, but still! He has no clothes! And shouldn't we be washing them with that special baby laundry stuff? He needs things! We have to finish the registry! NOW! And holy hell, he needs a pediatrician! We have to pick one! So, we did. I think. We checked out a couple of websites and found one that I think we'll like and it's about equidistant from all 3 of the suburbs we are looking to buy a house in. My job today is to call and make sure that they are taking new patients or that they'll be able to in either November, December or January, whenever the lowercase makes his entrance.

5. We want a sling, or a snugli, or, you know, one of those baby carrier things.

Mr. W and I liked a few of them. Only one problem. I am 5'0 with a short torso, narrow shoulders and generally small build. Mr. W is 6'4 with a long torso, extremely broad shoulders and very broad ribcage (in short, he's one HUGE man). I don't think there's a product on the market that's going to work for both of us. But I have no way of knowing this.

I need suggestions for one that will fit each of us. Buying two is so not a problem, but we want an idea as to which ones people like. Maybe you bought one kind but liked another better. Maybe one was hard to put on while dealing with a squirming baby. So, since my "up time" is so limited, that's your job. Give me your short list of ones that you have if you're small or if you have a very large husband. That way in the next week we can make a trip to Babies'r'Us and try some on to see if there's one that works for us.

   [ posted  @ 11:52 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (10) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Things I learned over the weekend":
The reason everyone thinks you're more pregnant than you are is 'cause you're petite. I am too and I was HUGE with Muffin Man. No place to go but out, as it were.
My husband and I both use the Baby Bjorn - which by the way we have two of and don't need either anymore... If you want them - they are yours. Just let me know.

I am so excited for you!
I just discovered your blog and I am rooting for the lowercase to stay in as long as possible!

As far as carriers go, I tried a couple with our munchkin. At first I was really reluctant to spend loads on it, but she's heavy and I'm glad in the end we did. We got the Baby Bjorn Active carrier. It's super easy to ajust so you can both wear it easily. It's really comfortable for both you and the baby. It has great lower back support (which few carriers have.)

Now that you are psyched to start your registry you can waste many hours doing what I used to do! Checking the Amazon reviews on baby products. It's amazing the wealth of information on there!
I'm so excited you've made the jump from "this might not happen" to "holy crap, this could happen in three weeks"! Hope that realization was a happy one for you.

I'm 21 weeks pregnant with my first, so I don't own any slings/carriers. However, I've used a bunch while babysitting, so here's my two cents.

The Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch is really nice for a newborn. It's comfortable to wear and you have a variety of positions you can hold baby in, including completely snuggled down in the sling, which the baby can breathe through easily. That last feature is especially nice when you have a baby in cold weather.

The type of sling with a lot of fabric and two rings on one end (made by a bunch of manufacturers) is nice because you can use it in lots of positions, including breastfeeding, but I find it less comfortable than the fleece one.

Baby Bjorn style carriers are the most comfortable for Mom and Dad; very supportive, and you have full range of motion in both arms. But there are fewer positions baby can be in (facing in or out, basically) and (I think?) you are supposed to limit your baby's time in them because they can stop the hips from developing properly if you use them too much.

Good luck, and happy shopping!
P.S. I'm very small (looking huge at five months, like you!). Have no idea about slings for large people!
P.S. Am very small, like you (looking hugely pregnant at 5 months!). Have absolutely no idea about what's comfortable on large people!
I'm so glad you've gotten to the point when you can think about slings and pediatricians and all kinds of stuff! Hooray!
So, some consumer thoughts (had to think a bit before posting these):

-You don't need to use special "baby" detergent. It's just a marketing ruse. Buy unscented, dye free ordinary detergent and you'll be fine. By the way, you can use WAY less than the package recommends and your clothes will still be clean. Another marketing scam.
-SAVE THE RECEIPTS for any carrier you get, and be prepared to try them several times. Some kids just hate certain carriers and there's no predicting. I am a sling fan myself (like Kate, from borrowed babies so far, so my experience is somewhat limited). You will probably want a minimum of two carriers (one for you, one for husband) but you may also want a variety of kinds. Slings are a bit scary at first but very versatile and good for newborns or preemies who aren't really ready to take on the world yet. They get to keep lying down and can be next to a parent as much as you both want. And you can nurse in a sling, not so with Bjorn-type carriers.

This page has a lot of information about and reviews of slings and front carriers:

Oh, and one other tip. If you don't already have it, order Baby Bargains from Amazon. It is really helpful in figuring out what baby products to get with TONS of reviews and helpful information about scams, etc.
Don't worry about the video. I took a whole "prepared childbirth" class and in the end, what helped the most was the nurses who guided me and my then husband through labor. Everything we needed to know, we could have learned during labor under the tutelage of experienced L&D nurses. That is just my experience.

About the baby carrier, I had a Snugly and by about the age of 6 weeks, my son was too heavy for me to carry him in the front. (I am petite like you are, or at least I was once.) So it turned out to be a waste of money. If you have friends who have various types of carriers, ask them if you can borrow them and carry their babies around for a while. That might give you a better sense of what works best for the two of you.

good luck!

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