Monday, March 30, 2009

Pregnancy Week 36: Classes, Doulas, Pediatrician, Life Insurance, and Nesting--oh my!

Yes, another list and "oh my" post! Tomorrow begins Week 37, so I figured I should catch up on this past week before it disappears! Week 36 is busy, but we accomplish a few big items on the ever-mounting "to do" list, which feels really, really good.

We attend a breastfeeding class last Tuesday, which is interesting. I have read some about breast feeding, but more in regards to keeping your baby on a semblance of a schedule, than the actual process of creating a good "latch-on" etc. So it is good for Mike and me to see what the experience might be like.

We also have an OB appointment last Wednesday and a pediatrician interview the following Monday (today). The pediatrician is very warm, thorough, friendly, has a great demeanor and seems very smart and current. The practice has 4 doctors, with appointments 7 days a week, if needed. They have separate "well" and "sick" waiting rooms and exam rooms, which is a huge plus. The office is very modern and attractive, in a building by a marina; there are boats in the parking lot and you can see the water from the window. I think we will choose this office as our baby's pediatrician for now. They are staff at the hospital I'm delivering at in Connecticut (and I need to choose one), but after that, we may check out a few other pediatricians closer to where we live. This office is only about 15 minutes from our place (with no traffic), but if we hit traffic, it could be a lot longer, and there is a large practice less than 5 minutes from our apartment that someone recommended, so we shall see...

On another note, the pediatrician asks who my OB is and when I tell him, he informs me that this doctor is known as one of the best ob/gyns in the area. He is very knowledgeable, thorough, attentive with patients, and people come from as far as Buffalo and Albany to see him for periodic exams and procedures. I have met a few other people who have the same OB as I do at classes, and they share this sentiment, but it feels good to hear this from another doctor.

We also finally have life insurance! I have been begging Mike to get this since well before we conceived, and it has taken a while, but finally, it is almost complete. We have met with the agent, given the checks (so we are technically covered), and I take my medical exam last Thursday. Mike will have his medical exam this Friday. Since Mike's cholesterol is naturally high, he has been careful to limit (or eliminate) his intake of junk food, milk, cheese, saturated fat, and increase his intake of oatmeal, flax seed, fish oil. He successfully lowered his cholesterol by around 40 points at his last doctor's visit, so hopefully he is able to keep that up for his insurance exam.

I call to sign up for an infant CPR class, but after speaking with the hospital coordinator, she convinces me to purchase an Infant CPR Kit instead. She says the class is really geared toward people who need their certification for jobs, and for a much lower cost, I can purchase the kit, which includes a dvd, a blow up baby with lungs, and a booklet. She also points out that I can review the information on the dvd at any time, and will not have to remember everything from the class. I am relieved to have this option, as another pregnant friend recently complained that the Infant CPR class was the most boring class she'd ever been to. So when this arrives, Mike and I can learn together, and if we have questions, we can ask the hospital staff or our pediatrician.

On Friday, Mike puts together the baby dresser/changing table while I am away and this sets into motion many things. When I return home, we have 15 minutes before we are to leave to meet friends for dinner. During that time, we arrange and rearrange the furniture in the baby room until we are fairly satisfied. We grab a carpet that has been stored in our closet since we moved, and throw that on the floor. I set up the lamp which matches the crib bedding (which I also receive just this week). It is beginning to look like a baby room...

The next day, I pull out all the 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing we have received and we start washing it. My friend visits, and we fold and begin putting it in the dresser. As the weekend continues, I attach the matching diaper stacker to crib, put all the books we have received in a baby basket, attach the crib mobile (a cool Cirque du Soleil one my aunt gave us), open all the toys and put them in a tub, and sort through the bins we have been storing of various baby items and gifts (like a bottle warmer, baby carrier, blankets etc). I have recently cleaned out the baby room closet, reorganized, consolidated, and thrown out items, clearing shelving for baby supplies. Now I am able to start putting items in the shelves and cases.

Mike does all the wash (carrying the baskets outside and down the steps, into the locked basement), puts up hooks in the baby's room, screws in the changing pad to the dresser, carries bins up and down from the outside storage shack for me. He is so helpful! I read recently that fathers often have an urge to "nest", as well, organizing things they never would have thought about previously. Mike admits he does not feel the urge to nest in the least (and I don't see that desire in him either), but he is a good sport for helping me out, and he also is getting more excited as the room takes on a true baby shape.

We continue to interview doulas. Since we have switched to interviewing non-certified doulas, I find I connect more with the women. I think we were limited, by price, to the certified doulas we could meet, and now that price is not as much of an issue (since they cannot charge what the certified doulas charge), we have been able to see many doulas. I believe we have finally found one that we will offer the "position" to (it sounds weird to say "position"--I'm not sure what else to say--offer the "experience" or "the birth" to?). She is young and I will be only her second birth, but at this point, I don't feel I need a super experienced doula, and her enthusiasm seems a big plus. It will be a relief to have the interview process end, and the doula-preparation process begin.

Even though we keep thinking that we will slow down our activities, we find most of our "free time" is scheduled. I visit one of my pregnant friends who is due a week before I am. We go out to dinner with local friends. Another friend visits for the day; we plan to see Mike's father's art exhibit on Monday. Between the appointments and our activities, Mike and I still rarely find a night to ourselves. I am hoping that we will find more couple time as we enter April, but our weeks have a way of filling themselves up. We still have managed to see a movie or two at the theatre or at home, and plan to take advantage of our "Free Movie Tuesdays" now that we have completed our Tuesday evening classes. But again, I am grateful to have social things to do, even if we are kept busy. We will not be able to make plans so easily in a few weeks, so I am enjoying all the time we have with friends and family.

I also have completed the playmaking class I've been teaching, so this frees up one additional afternoon a week. I still need to create and edit the play we've worked on, but after that is done, I will have finished all "work" pre-baby.

Again, with my "in summary!" As we approach the 3 week mark, things are definitely becoming more real. Mike and I are both getting excited to meet our little guy and hold him in our arms. I still can't say I'm "ready" to have the baby yet, but I am getting closer and closer. At least to "feeling" I might be ready!


Sarah Santisi said...

Oh it sounds like things are really coming together for you.
The nursery looks wonderful and very peaceful. Seems like the furnitures fits well!
We're thinking of you as you take in the last days of "just couplehood". Get your sleep when you can (both of you!)...daddies are important helpers in the late night hours after baby is born :)
Take Care,

Mary said...

I am so very happy and excited for you both. It was so nice, albeit short, to see you both last weekend and you really look fit and healthy. I love your accounts of your adventures in finding doctors, doulas, etc. The baby's room is adorable - I really like the furniture; the dark color makes all the other colors pop! I wish you both a good birth, and so look forward to meeting little BBB!
Much love!

Mike said...

Though I don't feel a specific "nesting" instinct...there's absolutely a sense of relief that's set in now that the baby room is set up. Something's complete/in place...or so my psyche recognizes. maybe that's a hint of nest-on-the-brain? Not sure. In any case, I definitely enjoy standing in the doorway of the room and surveying what will soon become our son's domain... :D