Counting Down to Baby: The Big Item ChecklistEmily Malone
It’s a good thing I have 40 weeks of pregnancy (give or take a few) to get ready for our little arrival. I am continually amazed by how much there is to DO and how many decisions need to be made in order to bring a new person into the world.
Some of these decisions are minor and fun – things like picking nursery decor or choosing a name. Other decisions require a lot more time and discussion – finding prenatal care, discussing topics like religion or circumcision with your partner, or formulating a birth plan.
As I get ready to enter the third trimester this weekend, I’m starting to think about the list of big items that we still need to check off our list. With just 13 weeks left, I need to really do my research and make some decisions on these things soon! Here are a few of the big items still hanging over our heads…
1. Finding a Pediatrician
Prior to being pregnant, I had no idea that you actually choose your pediatrician before your baby is born. We plan to raise our baby as a vegetarian (which is probably an entire other post in itself), and I want to make sure we are able to find a doctor who is supportive of our choices. This is probably the outstanding item on our list that is the most stressful and overwhelming to me. I don’t have the first clue where to start!
2. Creating a Birth Plan
I don’t actually want an official “birth plan,” as I am prepared for things to potentially change or be different than I expected once labor begins. However, I’ve been reading my books and doing lots of research, and I’d like to have a somewhat formal idea of how I hope things will go. Our plan will also include things I’d like to have in the hospital with me, songs for my labor playlist, and a plan for keeping in touch with long-distance loved ones throughout the experience.
3. Choosing Cloth Diapers
While this list item is not nearly as critical as item #1, it’s still very important to me. Cloth diapering is something I feel pretty passionately about for both personal and environmental reasons. But the number of choices and options available is totally overwhelming, and from what I hear it also depends on what works best for each individual baby. While many moms have suggested the “wait and see” approach, I really want to feel prepared!
4. Researching Vaccines
This is another one of those major “where do I even start” types of decisions. Casey and I have discussed vaccines quite a bit, and I think we both still feel like we need to do more research before we feel prepared to make a decision for our son. I know that we do plan to vaccinate, but altering the traditional schedule, or choosing to omit certain vaccines is simply something we’d like to know more about, since I know there is much debate on this topic.
5. Work After Baby
I know many moms really struggle with finding childcare options for their babies when/if they return to work. I am very fortunate to work from home (as a cook and writer), so traditional childcare won’t be needed. But realistically, I won’t be able to continue to work the way I do now – setting my own schedule, working both mornings and evenings, and spending countless hours glued to my laptop. I am hoping to spend the month of September preparing a lot of advanced work (to give myself a little time off!), and also drawing up a plan for how I see my work life changing once I have a new addition to my home office. I need to get a lot more organized, which can’t be a bad thing.
What are some of the the hardest decisions you’ve had to make for your baby/pregnancy?