Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Baby Story

I'm starting this new series of blogs about 9 months late! As you all know, we are expecting Roman Keith Alexander on/around December 19, 2012. As it turns out, he has a pretty high chance of coming earlier than that, which could pose a problem for dear old Mom and Dad because we are still taking classes until December 14. The last week of school is of course, finals week, so things are getting a little tense in the Alexander household.
What if he comes on time and all of this worry was unnecessary?
What if he comes during finals?
What if we arrange to take our finals early and he comes during the time we scheduled?
What if he comes before we make any arrangements and we are unable to takes the exams?
What if he comes super early and I'm able to recover before finals week and go back just for the exams?
What if super early means he spends time in the NICU?
Can Mommy's hips handle this pressure for 3.5 more weeks?
Is this gut feeling that I'm ready accurate, or is it just wishful thinking?

I say all of this because on Tuesday (11/20 : 36 weeks), I was dilated 2 centimeters and my cervix was 80% effaced. While all of the doctors and books will tell you that you can hang out in this range for a few weeks without worry, I know that contractions are what dilate you further and I've been having some contractions combined with intense cervical pressure over the past few days. We were timing them 14 minutes apart last night actually. I've really had an awesome pregnancy, but I've just gotten to the point where I'm ready to shed the 32+ lbs I've gained since May and meet my baby boy! I can barely walk when I get up at night because my hips are softening in preparation for labor and I've been nesting like crazy. Seems like it's time!

With all of these blog posts out there about what to bring to the hospital, I thought I'd share with you guys how I'm getting ready for the big day.

What to pack in you & your husband's overnight bag:
1. Travel sized goodies -- body wash, shampoo, deoderant, face wash, toothpaste
2. Grooming essentials -- toothbrushes, hairbrush, chapstick, gum, Germ-X, lotion, curling/styling mousse
3. Small bag of make-up with just the basics -- foundation, mascara, & blush -- some might say this is unnecessary, but I decided I didn't want to look like the walking dead in all of those precious first pictures.
4. Slippers/Flip Flops & Robe -- I personally refuse to be barefoot with my butt hanging out while I pace the halls during labor.
5. Pillow from home -- for a touch of home, nursing, or for Daddy to make his cot/armchair more comfortable 
6. Going home outfits -- sweats for me, comfy clothes for Daddy at night and a change of clothes for daytime.
7. Thank You card for the nursing staff who will do so much for us. I know a card doesn't suffice as a thank you to the lady who watches to make sure you can pee before you go home or brings you the 15th cup of ice chips, but I bet more often than not, people don't acknowledge how much the staff does for them and a card is enough to let them know you value their service.

What to pack for baby:
1. Going home outfit -- I haven't committed to any particular outfit yet because I refuse to wash something that will be too small. The verdict is still out on how big he will be. Pictured below is just an example.
2. Minky blanket
3. Hat and scratch mittens
4. Car seat -- With the base properly installed in the vehicle and straps adjusted for the bittiest baby. We may or may not have practiced strapping the stuffed animals in...

I know the hospital will have diapers (I've been told they use Pampers Snugglers), wipes, soothers/pacifiers, nasal aspirators, and will wrap him up all snug and warm after his bath. No need to bring the things the hospital provides! If you're reading this in preparation for your little one, remember that most people are there for 24 hours. You don't have to pack the whole nursery.

The Nitty Gritty (Not a list for the faint at heart):
You may need these items during or after your hospital stay. I've prebought these little goodies.
1. Maxi pads
2. Tucks wipes (witch hazel wipes)
3. Charmin flushable wipes
4. A cheap 5 pack of underwear that you won't mind trashing later
5. Lanisoh nipple cream