Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pending Birth

I just met with my new OB today. (long story, but suffice it to say that my previous hospital asked me to bring my own fan when I give birth since the air conditioner doesn't work well.)

She says I'm one centimeter dilated, the baby is in birthing position, and that it might come early. Yikes! I'm not ready for this!!! The baby room's a mess, full of paint and plastic - Mike's a few days away from finishing the mural. The baby furniture won't be ready to be delivered for another 2 to 4 weeks. I have not even thought about pediatricians or immunizations. My hospital bag is far from being packed and ready. And I have no idea of even how to take care of a newborn or breastfeed.

O crap. What have I done.


Blogger Melessa said...

While I rarely feel qualified to give advice, this is one area I think I can discuss competently.
First of all, it won't take more than half an hour to pack your bag-do it as a precaution because then it won't be lingering in the back of your mind and worrying you. Second, although everything was ready, none of my babies wound up sleeping in their rooms for the first few months of their lives. It was just easier to keep them in our room for late-night feedings, especially when breastfeeding. In fact, three out of four wound up co-sleeping which, before having kids, was not even something I had considered. (My oldest was just to fond of her own space ever to co-sleep, though.) Finally, breastfeeding is something you can read and study about (and it's a good idea to do so), but you don't really learn it until baby is here. That's true whether it's your first or your fourth because each child is different. But, I would get your husband to work on that mural. It won't matter to your baby whether it's finished or not, but you would much rather have a husband helping you with a newborn than painting during those first few weeks at home. I promise.
And no matter how things unfold, just remember that what you want most of all is a healthy baby and that everything else will fall into place. You seem to me to be an incredibly sensitive, intuitive, and beautiful person who is more than equal to what lies ahead-it won't be easy, but I know you can do it.

7/10/2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous VirtualM said...

Best of luck to you! I've got about 6 weeks left before my kid's impending birth and we've done nothing to prepare (no classes, no furniture except a used crib which is in pieces in the garage, no room set up, no pediatrician selected, no nothing.) All I know is that legally we need a carseat to bring the baby home; from there we'll figure it out somehow. My husband and I have such full schedules between work, church, and other obligations that it's next to impossible to fit 'baby preparation' into the mix.
I do have a question for you, though. As a pug owner myself, I'm curious as to how others have prepared their dogs for a new baby. Have you done anything in that arena? My pug is spoiled rotten and I think she's in for a big surprise. Any suggestions on how to lessen the blow would be most appreciated.

7/10/2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thanks for the advice! Good to know that it won't really matter if the baby room is totally set up and ready. I actually am planning on some co-sleeping - glad to hear that worked for you and most of your kids.

I really appreciate the vote of confidence. Thanks!

Virtual M,
You sound like me! Except I should be doing better since my job ended a couple of weeks ago (summer break). Somehow I'm finding it hard to get up enough energy to do all the organizing that I'm supposed to be doing.

As for introducing the baby to the pugs, I haven't done any prepping/reading about that either. I think they'll be ok - they are older and pretty calm. And even when they do get jealous and attack each other or other dogs, they have almost no teeth, so I don't think they could do much damage.

I'm actually more worried about the dog we just got from the shelter a month ago. She's a young (1 or 2 years old) beagle. Highly energetic, barks a lot, aggressive with other dogs (including my poor puggies). I've never seen her bite, just get in other dogs' faces and bark wildly. I think I'm going to call in a professional trainer on this one to get some solid dog training tips. Sorry, wish I could help more with your pug!

7/10/2006 7:39 PM  
Blogger jana said...


You probably don't need to worry much, I think it's pretty normal to be 1 cm in the weeks prior to delivery. Besides that, you'll have lots of folks helping you out after the baby. Everything will get done :)

7/11/2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I can't wait to hear about your experiences with birth and parenthood! Someday I'm going to have to go through this whole pregnancy thing too, but in the mean time so so so much vicarious love sent your way.

7/12/2006 2:13 PM  

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