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Preparing for baby

by Karen on June 10, 2010

Disclaimer: I plan to be pretty open about baby stuff here. If you’re not into the baby thing, please feel free to skip these posts. I’m trying to keep baby posts down to one a week since I know I have readers who don’t have children. I realize that with posting so light lately, it seems like a lot of my posts are baby-related. I promise that once I’m feeling better and my posting schedule gets back to normal, I’ll be balancing baby posts with finance and other fun stuff. As always, if you have questions or suggestions for topics you’d like to read about here, please send me an email.

This weekend, I’ll be 14 weeks pregnant. That means I made it through the first trimester! Yay! Unfortunately, I’m still not feeling a whole lot better. Everyone, including my doctor, keeps saying, “Any day now!” I’m thinking if I don’t feel at least a little better by next week then it’s time to call my doctor and tell her she’s a BIG LIAR.

I’m kidding. Sorta.

I’m also considering taping my days so the footage can be shown to high school health classes to caution teens about the risks of unprotected sex. Because seriously, you guys, pregnancy hasn’t been pretty for me so far.

Kidding again. But not really.

Now that I’m through the first 14 weeks, it’s time for me to start planning a little. There is so much to consider, and I don’t want to be overwhelmed, so for now I’m just starting to make general plans for the birth and how I want to care for my newborn.

With Tony teaching part-time and me working from home, it’s likely we’ll be on a pretty tight budget for at least the first year of baby’s life. Not surprisingly, a lot of my plans are focused on raising a baby frugally. But money isn’t the only thing I’m considering.

I’m feeling overwhelmed, so if you’re a mom with experience in any of these areas, I’d love your input. Let’s keep it positive, though! I don’t want to hear about why I can’t do this or that.

Natural birth

I’m preparing myself for an unmedicated natural birth. My mom gave birth this way four times, and it’s something that I’ve always known I wanted to do. There are a million different factors, and I realize that circumstances don’t always allow for completely natural birth, but I’m sure going to try!

I’m reading up now on how best to prepare myself for a safe natural birth, and I’m registered for a Bradley Method childbirth class starting in July. My OB is on board as much as she can be — she basically says natural is fine with her, but we’ll have to discuss induction or other options if the baby or me is in danger. I would have preferred a midwife, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a midwife in my insurance network.

Breastfeeding

Formula is expensive, guys! Breastfeeding is practically free. And studies show breastfeeding is good for mama and baby. So I’m going for it! The hospital where I’m giving birth is one of 92 in the country deemed “baby friendly” by UNICEF and the World Health Organization. That means they follow best practices that ensure a good start for moms who choose breastfeeding. Every bit helps! But I know that education and preparation are so important for successful breastfeeding, so I’m doing all I can to hold up my end.

Cloth Diapering

Yep. I’m doing it! According to Green Baby Guide’s figures, cloth diapers can save you as much as $1757 over the course of your baby’s diapered years. This number may be off depending on a wide variety of factors, but money isn’t the only reason cloth diapers appeal to me. They’ll keep my newborn’s 10-12 diapers a day out of the landfills, too.

I still have a lot of research to do on the subject, and I suspect the most valuable research won’t even happen until after the baby is here and we can test different methods. But as of now, I’m drawn to a prefolds/cover system, which seems to be the cheapest and simplest option. Expect more on this topic as I learn more about it, though!

So that’s what’s been on my mind. I’m already overwhelmed, and I haven’t even started looking at cribs and car seats. Yikes.

Photo by aliedwards

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