Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Way Overdue

Yes, me! But not Babycakes. Just the fact that I'm long overdue on posts. For a while, I was consumed with morning sickness and lost contact with the outside world. But I'm feeling much better now, thank you, and have a renewed interest in blogging. I'm still scared of typos, which I've come to notice more in my daily emails, so please be gentle, readers. I really do chalk it up to yet another symptom of pregnancy.

Just to catch up, Babycakes is a boy, has a name, and is so consistently measuring ahead that my perinatologist has informed me he will be on the larger side of normal, if he appears at 40 weeks. Probably close to nine pounds. I guess it's expected, since I weighed over eight, and his dad weighed ten, at birth.

We've ordered a crib and other nursery furniture, bought bedding, a car seat, base, and bouncy seat, pre-registered at the hospital, signed up for birthing classes, hired a doula, and I just made my first big cloth diaper purchase this week. Apparently, the normal gestational period for humans is the same length as a school year, because there is so much information to learn. Not to mention all the decisions that must be made.

Natural childbirth vs. c-section, Lamaze vs. Bradley, breast vs. bottle, cloth diapers vs. disposable, circumcision or not, the list goes on and on. There are books for each of these, and I'm in the middle of reading them right now.

So far, we've decided to take Bradley classes, which are described as "husband-coached childbirth," but I was most interested in how in-depth they are. My hospital offers a six-hour Lamaze class, and since most people compare childbirth to running a marathon, three two-hour classes did not seem like enough for me. Also, my husband is incredibly involved in this whole process called pregnancy, and attends every single appointment with me, so I think Bradley will be great for him. Our Bradley teacher will also be our doula, and she'll provide emotional support for both of us during labor. Should the need for a c-section arise, she will also be available for that.

Of course, I'm hoping for a natural birth, or as natural as I can possibly stand it. I realize that some factors are out of my control, and because of some minor health issues, I may be a more likely candidate for a c-section. I'm still preparing to go natural, though, since that is my ultimate goal.

We've also decided to use cloth diapers, which is an adventure in and of itself. Not only is it cheaper, it's better for the environment. The initial investment can be a bit pricey, but I've already purchased what I hope will be all of the diapers I'll need until Babycakes is potty-trained. As soon as they arrive, I'll prep them and prepare for the day when I can finally use them! I've never been so excited to do laundry in my life. I'm sure the novelty will wear off quickly, as most cloth diaper moms do laundry every other day or so. But isn't that the case with other baby items, anyway? I've been cautioned that there is an addictive element to cloth diapering, and I can see how, especially once you're changing diapers 10 to 12 times a day or more. You can't help but get excited over a red diaper cover with yellow polka dots. Since I don't go in for brightly colored lingerie myself, I'm sticking to the more practical whites and neutrals, which are easier to bleach, if necessary.

Cloth diapering typically goes along with breastfeeding, which I plan to do. I realize that it can truly be a labor of love, and I'm hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst, at the same time. While we won't be co-sleeping, another technique often practiced by die-hard cloth diaper users, we will keep Babycakes in his crib in our room for the first few months. This should make middle of the night feedings and diaper changes easier for everyone. I am a little sad that his nursery won't have a crib in it, but I know we'll spend lots of time playing in there. And hopefully, once he's able to sleep in his own room, the transition will be easier because the bed will be the same.

I'm still on the fence about two major subjects: vaccinations and circumcision. Both are extremely controversial these days, so I've been doing lots of reading, and still have more to do. Both are also deeply personal decisions, and I believe that everyone must make the decision that's best for your family. Some of the procedures performed on newborns immediately after birth seem incredibly invasive and unnecessary, in my opinion, so I am continuously searching for more information to help me make the most informed decision before Babycakes arrives.

And once he's here, it gets even more complicated, which, I suppose, is what parenting is all about. The minute Babycakes is born, my husband and I are completely responsible for his safety and well-being, so this is not something I take lightly at all. I've got a lot of work cut out for me in the next few months, and then for the rest of my life, but it's a job I'm honored to assume.