Before reaching 24 weeks, I wasn’t willing to deal with anything birth- or baby-related*. So despite the suggestion of my book or app, writing a birth plan was out of the question – even though I had found out to my own, and particularly to my twins’s disadvantage, that birth can happen before that milestone. But then again, whatever was in the birth plan usually isn’t particularly relevant in such situations.
When I was pregnant with the twins I really wanted to try a vaginal delivery. Not sure why this seemed so important… Well, I did have that. Turns out this wasn’t the important part after all.
Now my top priority is to get Strawberry Baby here alive and well. One might think this doesn’t take a “birth plan”, and perhaps it doesn’t. While many people may be able to plan a pregnancy, birth is another story. After feeling slightly ridiculous for trying to plan something that can’t be planned, I renamed the document “birth wish list”. It starts like this:
I did come up with a surprising number of details, like skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding and our preferences on circumcision in case Strawberry Baby has fooled us all along – but most of these refer to the time after delivery. For labor itself, there’s not much. I haven’t even made up my mind regarding pain relief, as the thought of a needle near my spine scares me. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, I suppose. In part I’m sure it helps that the hospital staff was wonderful when the twins were born, and as we’re going back to the same ward I’m just hoping to have similarly positive encounters. In part, really, as long as I have a living and breathing and healthy Strawberry Baby in my arms afterwards, I don’t care so much about the details.
*I did collect nursery inspiration on Pinterest, but it was kind of a secret guilty pleasure
We had this awesome plan of hacking a Swedish crib into a co-sleeper and placing it next to my side of the bed – but it wasn’t until we had assembled said crib and taken measurements that we realized the room is literally 2cm too narrow for our plans. Briefly thought about switching our and Strawberry’s room, but that would have been a lot more work than what I feel up to… and fortunately by rotating the beds we have just about enough space. It sure feels like Strawberry Baby is rearranging her quarters, too.
A crib makes the anticipation of bringing home a baby soon even more real than the car seat or stroller. It’s also scary – the fear of the unimaginable pain of coming home to an empty crib is hard to ban completely. At some point, A&C’s blanket and hats were in the crib, underlining just how tiny our beloved twins had been.
Bonus picture: The crib mattress cover has stars! Which weren’t in the online description, but are always welcome.
Part of Mel’s MicroblogMonday movement.
I gave this magnet to my husband recently. Mainly because he’s been depressed about his career prospects, but it seems applicable for this part of our journey, too. (Also, I showed it to him first as I wasn’t sure whether he’d find it amusing or annoying.)
Over the last days I have done so many thing I’d been looking forward to, yet sometimes feared would never happen for me.
Granted, some days we were preoccupied with concerns about whether or not I might be developing preeclampsia, but as my blood pressure has stabilized at around-120/low-80s and my 24h protein came back at 200 (neither really great, but still below any official thresholds) while my liver enzymes are at the lower range of normal (which is good!), I’m hoping we can at least delay, if not fully avoid that part.
But. I folded tiny laundry. Onesies that we actually bought for Strawberry Baby. We have stacks of gDiaper* inserts at home. We decided on and ordered a crib, and even some other nursery furniture. When I brought up the nursery issue two months ago, H didn’t want to set up one – his official point was that she’d sleep in our room anyway and wouldn’t need that much other stuff. And that he wanted to keep this room set up for watching movies with his projector. How much he really believes in the latter and how much of this was self-protection I don’t know, but somehow (without poking from my side) he picked out some dressers and asked if we wanted to get these.
Lastly, we even bought a stroller and a car seat! In a real store, not “just” online. All this makes the thought of bringing home a baby very real. For the last step we managed to find the sweet spot between my renewed drivers license finally arriving** and, well, getting the car seat before the baby arrives. Because while I’m happy to keep her inside for another 6 weeks, my MFM (who is very sweet and very thorough and might be more worried about preeclampsia than I am, though he probably has the better perspective) said that, if my labs were to start looking bad, they’d recommend delivery at any point after 34 weeks. Which is tomorrow. Whew. Strawberry and I get to do weekly testing, which I first thought would be a nice reassurance, but really, they should call it stress-test for the parents instead of nonstress-test for the baby. I don’t like nurses coming in to “wake up” my baby or bug her with a weird “baby alarm clock” so that she starts moving and her heart rate goes up. But of course the main goal is to keep her safe, inside or out.
* They seem like the most realistic approach for me right now, with a husband that’s highly skeptical of any non-disposable options and no washing machine of our own (there’s a couple in the building we can use, but it’s not free). Plus, they’re cute :)
** If you’re here on a visa it expires with the visa. Which for me is every year. So then you get to send in all your paperwork on the visa extension and get a renewed license. I just wasn’t counting on that taking 2 months.
Unfortunately the German books haven’t been translated, I think. Also note that “stillen” means breastfeeding and has nothing to do with stillbirth.
I wanted these because stars, you know. And because everyone raves about them. H was deeply sceptic about the need for burp cloths at all (he doesn’t have much experience with babies apart from holding one occasionally) but finally decided that Product RED is a good thing. So were both happy.
Part of Mel’s MicroblogMonday movement.
I haven’t had any possibility to compare to the same stage in my last pregnancy for a while, but, as we were so lucky to get pregnant again so quickly, there still is a temporal overlap. And I remember looking at Labor Day sales last year. There was a cute little hat with stitching like a baseball, it would have been adorable. But somehow I didn’t want to buy anything yet. This still makes me wonder if some part of my subconscious knew.
This year, much further along, I allowed myself a few purchases. Friends have generously asked if we want their baby clothes (“but you’re having a girl, and ours is a boy!” – no problem. We’d love to.) If I can work up the energy I also want to explore garage sales in the area. But it was fun picking out a few things, showing them to H, who mainly rolled his eyes, before actually ordering. We even went to a local store last weekend, to look at strollers and car seats. H was heartbroken whenever he thought about the double stroller we had considered for the twins, but bravely came along. The owners were extremely helpful, so in a few weeks we’ll hopefully go back and buy some basic baby gear. It’s still kind of hard to believe, but getting more real.