Thursday, May 14, 2015

15 weeks

One of the things that strikes me as different about this pregnancy is that it is so ... normal.  It's pretty awesome.  I am now well aware of what I missed out on last time, since I was working, had a high risk twin pregnancy, and just had no clue in general about what would be useful, helpful, or necessary.  This time around, I know for sure it's my last, and I'm taking advantage of everything I can.

Today I attended my first prenatal yoga class, and it was pretty awesome.  I'm going to sign up for a series and if it goes well, I may continue with the mommy and me classes after the baby comes.  I'm also still swimming, and just purchased a maternity suit that I'm hoping will work well for real lap swimming.

For my last pregnancy, and when the twins were little, I really scrimped and was a bit of a scrooge (my husband won't agree, I'm sure, but it's true).  Since I didn't know if I'd have another pregnancy, I bought the bare minimum of maternity clothes.  I didn't buy a maternity swimsuit, even though I love swimming, and instead wore boy shorts and a sports bra top in the pool.  I only felt comfortable swimming like that at home, so I quit masters swimming very early.  This time around, I know I won't be having another pregnancy, but I don't want to completely deprive myself.  I know I can pass on the things I buy to others, the way that others are now passing things on to me.  I know I need to enjoy this time, because it is so fleeting, and so crucial to helping me become the mamma I want to be for my older kids and this new baby.  I feel like I am being reborn as a mother, and I really want to take care of myself and surround myself with support and positive feelings.

A good example of this is nursing.  During my last experience, I felt that one of the advantages of nursing was that it was free and natural, and therefore I shouldn't have to spend any money on it.  I basically set myself up for failure.  I didn't understand that while nursing itself is natural, it is not easy, and because society is not set up to support nursing mothers, mothers need to create an environment to support being able to nurse.  This time around, I've gotten:

  • two nursing pillows (second hand, so free or inexpensive); 
  • a nursing bra (and will buy more as the time gets closer, for now I'm just using this one as a maternity bra since I needed a bigger bra anyway);
  • a nursing top (just ordered it, and if it's nice, I might order a few more, it's a simple long-sleeved crossover top);
  • A mini cosleeper that attaches to the bed, a cosleeper that keeps the baby in bed with you (in a sort of little bassinet-type thing), and a full-size co-sleeper that we had for the twins, all to help with nursing at night - these were either things we already had, free from friends, or extremely cheap second-hand;
  • a nursing cover, and I may make one or two more simple ones.
I also plan to get the following, to set myself up for SUCCESS!
  • A pump - I believe my insurance will cover it, and I will either rent or buy depending on what is best.
  • Bags for storing milk and bottles for having hubby or others help with feeding.
  • More nursing tops and bras as necessary - if I want this to be a long-term success, I need to dress for it and be comfortable.
  • Self-care things - creams, nursing pads, etc.
  • Pajamas that are comfy and good for nursing - the top I just ordered might actually work well for that, plus a comfy nursing bra for sleeping.
Last, I want to be prepared with the following resources:
  • The phone number of at least one lactation consultant, preferably someone who will come to my house if I need it.
  • The local La Leche League info; I plan to attend at least one, if not more, meetings before the baby comes.
  • Online help from forums and groups.
In addition to all of that (obviously breastfeeding is a big thing for me this time around), I want to be more prepared for late pregnancy, labor, delivery, and having a new baby.  This includes:
  • Group prenatal visits to meet other moms and start off on the right foot with a close group of women who will be a natural support group ... a village!
  • New mother's support group (this was the only thing I did last time, what a huge help!).
  • Taking advantage of programs at the hospital, such as a tour of the birthing center, and "meet the doulas" and "meet the midwives" evenings (although I just realized that "Meet the doulas" is tonight and I invited friends for dinner - hopefully i can make it next time!).
  • Obtaining things that will make having a new baby easier - a bouncy chair, simple beautiful wood toys that I'm working on organizing now, swaddle blankets, etc.  
  • Prenatal yoga, to help stay in shape; and now that I've attended a class, I know that she will be giving us a lot of information about tools to use during labor and delivery as well.
  • Purchasing a jogging stroller that can be used as an all-around stroller with a snap-in carseat; I got this second-hand, but it is all in excellent condition and will not expire anytime soon.  I was SO cheap with my last kiddos, and ended up spending money on junk.  Should have just gotten a nice double jogger to start with.
  • I'm making plans for help with the older kids and the new baby; I really hope to find someone who can speak Italian.  I'm not sure if I will be able to bring my new kindergarteners to school and pick them up with the new baby; what if he'll be napping during one of those times?  I also need to think of what other chores or help I'll need.  So my options seem to be:
    • Get an au pair - the only problem is, they're supposed to speak English at all times, so I shouldn't be asking them to speak Italian with the kids; also, not sure I really want an extra person in the house for such a long time;
    • Look for a mother's helper from the University, either through the Italian language program (a grad student?) or the various international programs to see if an Italian researcher or professor has a spouse or older kid who wants to earn extra money
    • Look for some help within my personal network - there is a little Italian boy at my kids' preschool who has an older sister in high school here, and she babysits.  I know she CAN speak Italian, but I don't know how much she really wants to.  But the high school is next to the elementary school, so she may be able to bike at least one way with my kids, plus could babysit or help me out with chores around the house.  Or if any of my husband's Italian employees has a girlfriend or spouse who would like to earn money, that would work well, too.
Anyway, there's a lot to think about.  I also have to work on talking to the kids and trying to get them to come up with the idea of having Baby #3 (hmmmmm he needs a nickname) sleep in Tadpole's room at the beginning, with the understanding that rooms will get reorganized a bit later.

And now, I need to get to work prepping dinner, getting ready for the kids' violin lesson (first concert next week!!!!), and cleaning/organizing the house a bit.  Cheers!

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