The Countdown Is On!

One little monkey jumping in the bed

The third trimester is upon us, and I am very aware how unprepared we are.  We. have. nothing.  I take that back.  I just accumulated a total of 3 newborn onesies, so we should be good, right?!?  This third baby is a blessing, but was not planned.  In fact, I was so done having kids that I sold EVERYTHING.  No car seat.  No bassinet.  No swing/bouncer.  None of the big items.  ellis. I even got rid of all my maternity clothes and undies.  Fortunately, I still have our changing tables and diaper pails – thank you, Asher.  And I have the Tula because I could still use it with Asher even though he doesn’t like to be worn anymore.

Mentally, I’m ready.  Newborn Asher is still a fresh memory as are sleepless nights and feeling exhausted all the time – the latter has yet to pass!

One of the biggest preparations is figuring out how the baby is going to fit into our lives.  Where is he going to sleep?  Where can he hang out?  How will our routine affect him and vice versa?

Then there are all the worries.  I still don’t have this parenting thing perfected (darn kids keep growing and changing, as do their needs, plus they have their own individual identities – what’s that all about?); so I feel less together than when I was impatiently awaiting Ellis’s arrival.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t know what I didn’t know back then and now I’m aware that I know very little.  I tried tweaking and doing things differently with Asher than with Ellis, but none of our tweaks were actual improvements – just changes.  A lot of things we actually did better with Ellis than we did Asher – so I don’t know which way I’ll go with #3.  Will I go back to overprotective and neurotic or will I be so overwhelmed that I will maintain survival mode for years to come?  I tend to overthink and overcomplicate things and then I just become so stressed.  It takes actual work and focus to try to simplify – and I’m talking everything from routines to household maintenance to play time and self-care.

I like Asher’s room because it’s small, un-cluttered, and everything has its place.  Some of my systems need to be rethought, however.  The blue baskets at the top of his closet were for “Too Big” clothes and “Outgrown” clothes.  I have the same system in Ellis’s closet, too.  It kind of works for the “outgrown” clothes, to just throw them up in the basket out of the way until I can decide what to do with them (need bigger baskets, however), but the “Too Big” clothes are sometimes forgotten about.  When I was going through Asher’s clothes at the top of his closet to figure out what I have for his little brother, I found clothes with tags on that he could fit into now.  And a ton of t-shirts in the size that are a little big, but that I’m already putting him in.  I found some size dividers at TJ Maxx and decided that would be a better system, especially now that I will be dressing two different sized boys out of one closet.

The closet situation

The right side of the closet is sizes 12 – 24 months, or Asher’s side.  The left is what I’ve picked up for Baby #3 and Asher’s old clothes, sizes newborn – 12 months.  I didn’t find out I was pregnant until Asher was 1, so I only have his clothes from 9 months and up. I store extra diaper changing supplies in the blue bins on the left.  Behind that is the pack n play which might end up being Baby #3’s crib until he’s ready for a toddler bed or can climb out of it.

Asher doesn’t have a dresser, so his clothes are all organized by baskets:  PJs, sleep sacks, socks, swim clothes, and shoes on his book case, and then his bottoms are divided into shorts, pants, and sweats/leggings in his closet, and I hang his shirts.  I love the baskets because I don’t feel inclined to fold all his tiny clothes, making life easier and putting away his clothes a quick task.  I will probably share my dresser with Baby #3 for things like diapers, pjs, and anything I might need for him at 3 am.  Because diaper blow outs do not discriminate day or night.

I keep diaper creams, brush and comb, Dreft stain remover, nail clippers, etc. in the blue organizer on the side of the changing table.  The first chevron basket has burp cloths/old school cloth diapers that I use under his hiney for #2 changes and patting him dry after wiping.  The next basket has his day and night time diapers, and then he’s got wipes in the last bin.  The large basket underneath is where I store his extra sheets and extra changing pad cover.  And that’s a pair of shorts on top of the table because he never sits still long enough for me to get them on him.  Hence the reason he’s always running around at home in a diaper and no pants!

Asher doesn’t have much else in his room.  He has one activity cube that he really doesn’t use anymore but makes for good decor, I guess, a tub of cars, and tons of books.  I threw his stuffed animals on the floor of his closet because I don’t know what else to do with them.  Sometimes he goes in there and snuggles them, but not often.  He has a rocker (uncomfortable – I make really bad choices when it comes to this essential nursery purchase), a night stand next to the rocker, and an ottoman where I store extra blankets.

My little helpers

 

If you’re feeling charitable…

We have a baby registry set up at Amazon.com.

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The Nursery Post

Most women on their pregnancy blogs do a post showcasing the lovely nurseries they’ve created for their little ones.  The difference is that they post them BEFORE baby arrives.  When Ellis was born, her room was painted, but there was an air mattress on the floor where my mother slept during her visit, and Ellis’s furniture didn’t arrive until a week after she did.  I hadn’t been too concerned about not having her nursery set up before she arrived because we had her bassinet and diaper station ready to go in our room, and everyone I talked to told me she wouldn’t use her nursery or crib for at least the first three months.

WRONG!  Let me be the first to advise you that if you can set up your nursery in advance, please do, because you won’t have the time, energy, or brain cells to do it after your tiny overlord precious bundle of joy arrives.

We’ve been using Ellis’s nursery daily since it was set up.  She did stay in her bassinet until about 2 months, but that was partially because we hadn’t bought a mattress for her crib until then.  See?  The to-dos just pile up.  Basically, the girl accumulated a lot of stuff before she was born, and I needed to have it organized so that I knew what she would need immediately and what we wouldn’t need until later.  I also really didn’t like changing her diapers on our bed or on the ottoman in the living room as leaking tended to happen on the times where I forgot to first put down a waterproof pad.

12 weeks since our daughter was born, we’ve finally hung the remaining pictures on the walls and cleared the tools off her closet shelf.  The only thing still waiting to be done is changing out her ceiling fan which has been sitting in a box in my office patiently waiting for its moment to shine.

Anyway, enough of this chit chat… Let’s see some pics!

Before…

(Back when Alex was happily an only child.)

Buh-bye, guest room.  Visitors, meet our air mattress.

Buh-bye, guest room. Visitors, meet our air mattress.

After…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And now for the slide show…

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks

Total weight gain:  approx. 30 lbs.

Baby is the size of: a baby.  The US technician approximated that she’s in the 50th percentile for her size and length, weighing approx. 6lbs 11 oz.

How’s baby doing?  All seems well.  At our appointment, the doctor measured my belly at 36.5 cm.  My last appointment two weeks ago I was 36 cm.  Because my belly was measuring small, the doc decided to do an unscheduled ultrasound, just to check things out.  It turns out I’ve lost a lot of amniotic fluid since my last sonogram (went from an AFI of 18 cm to 8 cm).  This is considered normal for this stage in the pregnancy.  According to BabyCenter.com, “A normal measure for the third trimester is between 5 and 25 centimeters (cm). A total of less than 5 cm is considered low.”  But because it is close to the low side, they decided to schedule another ultrasound at our next appointment.  Yay for us!  We thought we were done seeing our little girl until she shows up, so it’s a nice surprise to get these extra looks at her development.

Position in my belly:  Head down, facing left.  Back and spine on my right.  Her butt is at the top of my belly.  Little hands and feet are squished up in the middle and to the left.  She had to have switched positions recently (though she’s been head down for a while now).  I had been feeling major kicks and seeing her little alien parts poking out on my right, but now her kicks are felt on my left side, and I know that was no spine swiping up and out across my right side the last couple of months.

Also, we learned that she has a full on set of hair.  And she’s still a girl.

Belly Bump:  huge and uncomfortable

Maternity clothes?  Maternity clothes, Travase’s clothes, potato sacks, whatever fits

Stretch marks?  Not yet

Sleep:  Getting prepared for baby.  I sleep in 2-4 hour shifts, having to get up to drink water, use the restroom, and rearrange my aching body.

Best moment of the week:  Spent last weekend at the beach, eating poorly and soaking up the sun.  Yesterday was my last day of work.  There was something very liberating about creating a To Do list and knowing that I wouldn’t be the one who had to complete it.  (Preplanning notes for my replacement.)

Miss anything?  Not being physically handicapped by this giant belly.  Clothes that fit.  Walking without pain.  Sleeping through the night.

Movement: She’s still moving around in there, but it doesn’t seem as intense or frequent.  I have to pay closer attention now that she’s slowing down and running out of room.  Since she’s changed positions, too, she’s not poking out as much so I don’t see her movements all the time like I’m used to.  Here’s a pic of how my belly looked for the last couple of months:

 Triangle Belly

Food cravings: I started cooking again. I think I’m nervous about baby’s nourishment these last few weeks, so want to make sure I’m feeding her well.

Anything making you queasy or sick: the heat, the smell of old, musty library books, and giant black sharpie markers – thank goodness I’m finished with the last two!

Gender predictionWe’re having a girl.

Labor signs:  Apparently, I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks, but they are not noticeable unless I’m touching my belly.  The tightening sensation feels just like baby moving, so I can’t really tell the difference unless I feel my belly and it’s solid hard.

Symptoms: The usual discomforts.

Belly button in or out? It’s out, and it’s ugly.

Wedding rings on or off? Tight, but still on.

Happy or moody most of the time?  Only moody when I’ve been in pain for a while, am overheated, and/or hungry.  Sometimes, when I’m this irritable, I have this irrational expectation that everyone in the world should be treating me like a queen and when they don’t, it pisses me off even more.  Don’t they know I’m working a miracle here?  The trick to getting myself out of the funk is to think about meeting our baby, or other sweet things, like remembering back to Trav’s reaction when I told him we were having a baby.  That snaps me out of it and puts a huge smile on my face.

Looking forward to:  Our next appt where get another ultrasound and see how baby is progressing.  Work is over, so there’s nothing to do but wait for baby at this point.

Baby prep:  Okay, so I get asked all the time, “Are you ready?”  The answer is, “Sure, as ready as we’re going to be.”  We’ve taken all the classes and did our reading.  We’ve talked to lots of wise and knowing parents.  But, as a teacher, I know that the only way to learn is through hands-on experience.  So, having never cradled a baby, breastfed, soothed a fussy infant, pushed a tiny human through a 10 cm hole in my cervix, I can only guess at how prepared I am.  Not at all, or as much as I’m going to be.  I choose to think positively.

As for the nursery, most mom-to-bes are so excited to show off their nurseries, which they spend a good portion of their pregnancy putting together.  This is probably the one area we slacked on, but I’ve read and been advised by so many parents that the baby is hardly in the nursery the first few months.  We have her bassinet set up in our room, her furniture is on order, and with the glider assembled, it is hanging out in her room until we decide where we’re most likely to use it.  We’ve called a couple of painters, but none have returned our calls, so my impaired mother (she busted her ankle trying to do a cartwheel – doesn’t she know she’s a grandma now?) may be painting our nursery for us when she comes down.  Not an ideal use of her time, but she says she’s happy to do it.  And who knows?  Baby might come late, so we’ll have time together to fix up her nursery before she arrives.  So, with that, I present to you the state of our nursery:

Next appointment:  June 10th

Nursery Planning Has Begun

Last Sunday I took a trip to Michael’s to find some yarn to make Little One’s baby blanket.  Okay, so I don’t plan on making the blanket; I’m going to ask my MIL to do it.  I had been scouring the Internet for the perfect baby bedding and couldn’t find anything that I was really excited about.  She really doesn’t need a full on comforter anyway until she’s a toddler, and she’ll most likely go through at least one crib sheet a day, so really I just need to find a bed skirt and sheets.  I haven’t studied up enough on bumpers.  They are supposed to protect the baby from sticking her little arms and legs between the rungs, but they are a potential suffocation hazard.  I’ve seen the breathable bumpers, so that might be the way I go.

I think we may have found a crib.  It’s fairly cheap, but meets safety standards.  It will only be used the first two years of our children’s lives, so there is no reason to break the bank on it.  We need to find a dresser, a glider/rocker, bookshelves, and a rug, and that should be the extent of our furniture purchases.  It’s a tiny room, so there isn’t room for much else.  We will have to get creative about space.  It’s already going to be tough enough that Trav’s closet is going to have to combine with mine.

We’ve also started a registry with BabyList.  It’s definitely a work in progress and doesn’t have any of the essentials on it, but it’s a start at least.  http://babyli.st/erickson-registry

baby blanket

Colors (white not shown)

Picture the olive-green yarn shown in the picture below as white and then my four additional color choices.  It will be a bright, playful blanket!

baby blanket

Vanna’s Choice Color It Beautiful Afghans, 2007, p. 29

picture frame

Bonus Purchase: Michael’s had some girly room decor next to the yarn section. I thought this would be a cute addition to her room.