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9 Things We Need to do Before the Baby Arrives

Last night I started having some really bizarre sharp pains in my abdomen and around the same time realized that my normal night owl baby was not moving. For an hour we tried walking, sitting, laying on either side, poking him, playing music, cold water and got nothing.

In case you wondered, it was completely and totally terrifying. So we went to the hospital.

The baby continued to be sluggish for the first hour we were there and being monitored, but towards the end of a 20 minute ultrasound that involved the OB repeatedly poking him with the wand to wake him up, he finally gave some good kicks and punches and they felt content that that, with his normal heart rate and lack of signs of distress, we could go home safely.

But before they let us go they also did a cervical check because I was having regular, not painless contractions and surprise, I’m 1 cm dilated and 30% effaced at 36 weeks. We agreed this would be no big deal if it weren’t for the contractions, but there was some concern that I was in early labor. They toyed with the idea of making me walk for 2 hours to see if the contractions intensified or if I progressed, but since we expressed that we didn’t really want to have the baby yet, they let us go home with instructions to come back if the contractions increased or my water broke (spoiler alert: they didn’t and it didn’t).

Besides providing several hours of terror, the experience also was a nice kick in the pants to remind of all the things we really need to do before this baby comes. Early dilation doesn’t necessarily mean early labor, but we’re getting ourselves in gear anyway. So these are the 9 things that we really need to do before this baby arrives. Here’s to hoping we have time!


  • Install our carseat bases 1 of 9
    Install our carseat bases
    This was actually on my to-do list for today, but I need a good carwash first, and after last night's very late night at the hospital, it's going to have to wait a day or two. We've never installed car seats before, so this should be an adventure. And we'll be taking it to our police station to have it checked to make sure its in right, because that's how much faith we have in our car seat installation abilities.
  • Pack a hospital bag 2 of 9
    Pack a hospital bag
    When we got to the hospital last night and started to worry that they'd possibly have to deliver the baby (if he was in distress) it became pretty obvious that we were not prepared. I had brought my purse and phone, my husband had his iPad. And really, what more could you possible need when having a baby? Oh, only EVERYTHING. So the hospital bag will be packed this afternoon after a solid nap.
    Image from Morgue File
  • The nursery 3 of 9
    The nursery
    The nursery is about as far from finished as a nursery could be. Currently, all the stuff in it except for the crib and bookcase are in my bedroom while we paint it (I say we in the general sense. I'm painting with them in spirit, but in reality, I'm sitting on the couch downstairs) the totally wrong shade of blue (no, I don't want to talk about it). We also don't have our dresser because it's in my sister-in-law's garage which is attached to her house that is currently closed down due to massive amounts of asbestos. No, I really do not want to discuss that situation at all either, thank you very much.
  • Wash clothes 4 of 9
    Wash clothes
    To be fair, I have intentionally waited on this one because I know that if the baby is overdue (which I'm less worried about) he likely won't need all of his newborn clothes, so I don't want to wash them all when I could potentially return them for a bigger size. But also, I currently have zero pairs of washed clothes he could wear if he was born soon. Naked babies are cute, right?
  • Pick a going home outfit 5 of 9
    Pick a going home outfit
    This one is...complicated. My MIL insists that he wear an outfit that all the kids in my husband's family have worn, only she can't find it. I would much prefer he wear an outfit we picked out for him, but of course, have yet to wash. So, again, naked baby, it seems.
  • Sterilize pacifiers 6 of 9
    Sterilize pacifiers
    Since our hospital does not provide pacifiers, if I want my son to have them (and I want to give it a whirl, don't judge me), I need to provide them. And while most hospitals have those nice sterilized ones, mine won't. So into the pot of boiling water they need to go. Someday.
  • Finish birthing class 7 of 9
    Finish birthing class
    We have completed one whole birth class now. Mostly what we learned is that we are the least mature people in the world because we pretty much laughed through the whole thing. We still have 3 more classes and we're hoping they don't kick us out before we have the baby. Or at least before we learn about the breathing and pain management techniques since last class was all about pregnancy (which I've pretty much mastered already).
  • Take a breastfeeding class 8 of 9
    Take a breastfeeding class
    Because we are SO lucky, the same teacher who totally hates us for laughing through our childbirth class, is also our breastfeeding class instructor. It's a one night adventure though, so we're hoping we can grow up long enough to get through that one.
    Image from Wikimedia Commons
  • Buy diapers 9 of 9
    Buy diapers
    I don't think I really need to elaborate on this one except that the other day we realized that uh, we probably should get some of those. Maybe even some baby wipes too. Details, y'all.
    Image from Morgue File

What baby preparations did you save until the last minute?

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