She Says… Check! Check! Check!

I know, you’re probably all bored of me talking about impending labor. Because, really, in theory I could have 3 more weeks of talking about impending labor. But honestly, it’s pretty much all I can think about these days.

In the back of my mind, I’m mentally checking every thing I do off of a running list… which inevitably leads to a barrage of questions and reminders that rotate through my mind for the rest of the day.

  • I just did the laundry. That may be the last load of laundry I do before we have to head to the hospital and be gone for a few days. Does Owen have enough clean underwear if the grandparents don’t do laundry again? Are there clean sheets and towels for those who will be in our house while we’re gone?
  • I just went to the grocery store. If I don’t get to go again, do we have enough gluten free food for Owen for a few days? What about easy dinners for when we return from the hospital? Is the kitchen organized such that whoever is taking care of Owen knows what he can and can’t eat?
  • I’m running a training at work today and tomorrow. A training I wasn’t really sure if I’d be here to run. It’s the last in-person thing I need to do at work before I go on leave. Is my desk clean? Can my colleagues find what they need while I’m gone? Does everyone know how to cover my work while I’m out? Can I make it through Friday with work-appropriate clothes and no dramatic story of my water breaking while commuting?
  • The basement renovation was stalled for just under 2 weeks while we figured out a particular heating issue. Now that it’s figured out we’re in the final stretch. Plasterers are there today putting up walls. Will they be ready in time for my mom to stay there after the baby comes? If not, where is she going to sleep? Will there be construction workers traipsing through my house while I’m trying to re-learn how to breastfeed my newborn? Was this a terrible idea?
  • Just got gas in the car. Is that the last time I will get gas? Don’t let the gas tank get below 1/4 tank! Which car is the labor bag in? Remember to leave the other car keys on the counter for whoever is staying at home with Owen.

I’m in that stage where every phone call I make, whether to my husband or my mom or my siblings is met with “Are you in labor? OMG, don’t scare me like that”. Apparently I can’t call anyone until I’m on my way to the hospital.

Contractions seem to have slowed over the last few days. Or maybe it’s just that they are much harder to notice when I’m busy hacking up a lung, who knows. And, since the baby dropped over the weekend, I weirdly feel less pregnant than I did last week. I even managed to paint my toenails last night. Impressive, right?

Last night I actually thought I was going to have to head to the emergency room… but not for the purpose of having my baby! I got another one of my bloody noses, but instead of stopping easily like normal, this one just kept going and going and going. Like, for over an hour. I called the urgent care line at my doctor’s office and they gave me some tips for stopping it, and said if I tried all of those things and it still didn’t stop, to call back. Well, I tried them all. Twice. The blood flow slowed a lot but didn’t stop, but I was hesitant to call back and have them send me to sit in the ER all night when all I had was a light bloody nose. By bedtime it was pretty much stopped, but not entirely, which made me nervous to go to sleep (I had visions of waking up covered in blood, or choking while laying down… all lovely images, no?). In the end, though, I survived without even a drop of blood on my pillow, and seem to be breathing normally today. Thank goodness.

Another crisis averted… something else to check off the list!

What was the “thing” you wanted to complete before going into labor? I’ve been thinking a lot about how babies often seem to know when the right time to come would be. For me, right now, I think the right time would be late next week. Owen has predicted the 4th of July… so maybe he’ll be right. Hopefully I’ll be healthy by then and ready to welcome this baby into the world without coughing on him.


8 responses to “She Says… Check! Check! Check!

  1. Hi Kate,

    I am a first time mummy to be in August and so my “check” list is enourmous and full of doubt! I am planning on being a natural parenting mummy so learning as much as I can on how my behavior can affect my babies development… like the negative effects of cio and abandonment on baby brain development and the positives of baby wearing ,natural food, cloth diapers etc are all in my need to know check list.

    What I would like to known is, as this is not your first rodeo, what you AREN’T checking off this time. What advice can u give to a first timer? Are you approaching this birth with a different attitude and mind frame?

  2. @Kristy, This is a great question. I am going into this labor and newborn stage with 100% fewer expectations about what I will and won’t do. Of course I’m glad I learned all about feeding, sleeping, parenting before my 1st baby, but I’ve also realized/learned that you really know NOTHING about the decisions you will make until you are faced with them. And that they are incredibly individual to each and every child. And that you are not nearly as in control as you think you are 🙂 So this time around I am far, far more “go with the flow” and waiting to see what this little person is like before deciding how I’m going to be the best parent for him.

    My best advice to a first-timer is to not set absolutes for yourself (because you will probably eat your words). Parenting is a fluid thing, and your job is not to be “the best” but to figure out what “the best” means for you, your family, and your baby specifically. It’s not as simple as deciding what you will do and doing it. And that is OK.

    Do others have advice for Kristy?

  3. Caroline s.

    @Kate – my list was long since I do no, yes, NO preparation before munchkin arrived. So everyone else had lists, things they were in charge of bringing/getting once she arrived. It worked out well. (It’s a Jewish custom, to not prepare, not have anything in your house, since “just in case” something happens, you don’t come home to a decorated room etc.) The other thing on my “list” was just to have her since my in-laws flew in and were literally waiting for me to go into labor… umm.. awkward!

    @Kristy – advice.. hmm… I would say, try not to read TOO much, try not to do TOO much research. Because in the end, once that baby comes out, your own natural instinct will kick in. If you have too much information in your head about what may or may not be damaging, or what you should/shouldn’t do you will just feel even more overwhelmed then needed. Try to incorporate “go with the flow” along with your natural point of view. The truth is you can plan and plan and plan but it is your baby that will set their own needs. (i.e. my daughter HATED her carrier, wouldn’t go in it, screamed bloody murder when I tried…) Try to take things in stride, sleep whenever possible, and never ever say no to help!!! 🙂

  4. Grammy will do laundry and necessary shopping so you can remove these items from your list of concerns. And Owen will tell all of his caregivers what to do so all will go well. Hope you are feeling better by now.

  5. I’ve been doing the same thing with groceries, gas, etc. I keep cleaning the house thinking “What if I go in to labor tonight and so and so comes to stay with Elle? The bathroom needs to be clean! The dishes need to be done!” I know things will be fine no matter what/when things happen, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it all the time. My last day of work is Wednesday, and I think after that I’ll be a bit more relaxed about Baby #2’s arrival.

  6. I’m with Owen – I’m rooting for a July 4th baby for you! Hoping the same thing for Kristin, actually … I figure there’s a good chance at least one of you will hit that date.)

    @Kristy, kudos for seeking out advice! Best I can tell you is this: trust your instincts and don’t worry about doing something you always said you’d never do. Only YOU will know how to best parent your child, but you may not know what that really looks like until you meet your little one. Best of luck – you obviously care very much about being a good mom and that is half the battle!

  7. Thanks for the advice. I have definitely taken it all on board! What I was most surprised at hearing (although I have no idea why I am surprised) is that little miss just may not want the particular “isms” I have constructed in my mind to do with her. Seriously none of the books say what to do if she doesn’t like baby wearing or ebf! Thank you for the most practical advice I have heard, to trust myself.

  8. @Meg, Kate and I might have to conspire to have a July 3 baby and a July 5 baby. No fireworks for you! 🙂

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