Winter and spring are in a battle here in Alabama. Chilly rain one day, seventies the next. While I’m waiting for the official change of season, I’m satisfied with a little sun and a few stray daffodils. I’ve got lots to do anyways.
There’s what most call a flutter but I simply cannot explain in my belly sometimes, especially when I’m very still. Fourteen weeks down. Around twenty-six to go. If they fly by as quick as this first trimester has, September will be here before we know it.
So far, I’ve been surprised by just how little we have done and plan to do to prepare for Baby. It’s not nearly as complicated as some of my momma-friends and Pamper’s commercials make it out to be. My primary concern is to keep things simple. Hopefully, this won’t be the only baby we ever have, so I don’t want to use all of our resources (not just monetary ones) at the beginning of our parenthood. This is what’s on my to-do list between now and September.
No polka-dot painting, furniture-financing, remodeling projects for us. My mother has generously offered to buy the baby bed. One of her co-workers has a very nice white bed and changing table that she has offered to sell for $50.00 sans mattress. This high-quality bed should last us years and I’m glad my mother isn’t spending hundreds of dollars on a gender-specific investment we might never use again. The blinds in our extra bedroom have been chewed on by a mischevious cat, so they’re going to get replaced with cheap paper blinds and panels (probably sewn by me). We’re keeping all bedding gender-neutral also and what few decorations will be in the Beatrix Potter/ Peter Rabbit theme, appropriate for both sons and daughters. The closet in this bedroom is lacking shelving, so we’ll likely make or purchase some type of organizational system.
Here in the South, we do baby showers, which are a tremendous blessing. I’m confident that I’ll be given enough clothing, accessories, blankets, etc. to last for at least the first six months of Baby’s life. Still, there are a few things I either want to or need to buy:
- 3 sets of Econobums cloth diapers (I’ve gotten virtually NO positive comments about this parenting decision, so I doubt I’ll be given any)
- wet bags
- a couple of cheap Beatrix Potter prints to frame and hang (eBay)
- baby books
- a Moby Wrap (again, not much on natural/ attachment parenting around these parts)
- wooden toys as I find them
Carseat and stroller will undoubtedly be purchased by family members. Since we have such limited storage space and prefer to keep baby-contraptions to a minimum, we won’t be purchasing a high-chair, walker, play-pen, etc. until the need arises.
We still owe about $1000.00 to our midwife for her fee (still a drastic savings as compared to a hospital birth, even if my insurance covered it). Additionally, we must pay for a Bradley Method course ($350.00) and hire a doula ($300.00). I have a list of supplies and items to purchase for the birth and will be planning and preparing snacks and a homecooked, frozen meal for everyone per my midwife’s request (I’m thinking meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and homegrown green beans sounds like the perfect post-pushing meal). There’s a chance we might have to stay a night or two at a hotel before/ during labor since we’re birthing about an hour and a half from home. I’ll have money put aside just in case.
I’ve been spending a good deal of time lately thinking about what I want to feed myself, my child, and my husband. I know that groceries are an area in which the effort I exert equals immediate savings. Self-sufficiency is always a good thing, too.
The McNuggets are growing well. We’re down to 34 from 41 after Geoffrey led a pack of neighbor-dogs to the buffet one afternoon. By the way, chickens are disgusting and mean and quite cannibalistic. I doubt I’ll be too sad on butchering day.
Our garden spot is tilled and limed and waiting on Good Friday for planting. We increased its size by about 50% this weekend because, you know, it’s not like we’re having a baby during harvesting season or anything. Our seed supply includes sweet corn, several types of green beans, squash, zuchini, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, and cucumbers. I’ve started a stash of thrift-store Mason jars and am on the lookout for freezer bag sales. Nothing is going to waste and I’ll be counting on my parents’ garden to supplement our stockpile.
I’d like to slowly stock my pantry over the next few months, too. Dried beans, flours, sugar, salt, rice, butter, meat, etc. I’m trying to learn a little about freezer meals and hopefully will have at least a handful of dishes prepared for the first few weeks after Baby arrives. Not that we won’t be bombared with pizza and Popeyes, but that stuff can’t be good for nursing, right?