Itâ€™s time to get practical. Iâ€™ve been feeling my way through all these weeks up until now. The most practical thing Iâ€™ve accomplished is sifting through old bins of baby clothes. Letâ€™s get real, though. This pregnancy ainâ€™t getting any longer and things need to get done. Month 8 will likely involve getting the house ready for baby, but there are things I can tackle now. If youâ€™re preggo too, letâ€™s see what we can check off our lists together!
Update or make a will. If youâ€™re like me, with not much to your name, a simple online search for a template and your stateâ€™s requirements might suffice. If you have more to your name or just feel more confident with outside help, seeking out legal assistance is useful. Ask friends and family for resources, check with your or hubbyâ€™s work to see if benefits include access to a lawyer, or just pull out the old phone book. We have a template that we will complete, notarize, and file with our county clerk. We will then supply copies to our executor and the people we have chosen to take guardianship of our children in the case that anything should happen to us.
Pick out babyâ€™s pediatrician. This time around is quite simple for us. We already have a doctor for our two children, and he will welcome this baby into his care as soon as we do. For those who donâ€™t have kiddos yet, choosing your pediatrician now will save you stress in those first couple of days in the hospital. Itâ€™s helpful to nail this down as both the hospital and your insurance may need this information before baby can be discharged. Again, ask friends and family for resources. Check your local hospital to see if they hold an open house at any point in the year. You may be able to meet your doctor before babyâ€™s birth. You can look online at reviews, though I usually take them with a grain of salt. Impassioned people leave reviews far more often than happy, busy people. I also suggest calling an office to see how long in advance you have to book an appointment. We finally changed pediatricians after repeatedly needing to book 1-2 months in advance due to the doctorâ€™s full schedule.
Think about packing that hospital bag. If youâ€™re having a no-complications pregnancy, you may not need to actually pack this bag yet. I havenâ€™t. I do have an idea of what I will put in the bag though. With our first two pregnancies I overpacked. This time around I know a few changes of soft, stretchy clothes, a deck of cards, a light book, nursing pillow, comfy nursing bra, and two outfits for baby are all I really need. Hubby can grab anything else I need as he makes trips home each day. Things outside the bag include toiletries, camera, USB cord for my computer, my computer, and wallet. Ask your friends and what they found helpful to have in their bag and begin your list for when you eventually pack that bag.
Complete necessary testing. This may include a gestational diabetes screening, blood work to see if youâ€™ll need a Rhogam shot, or further diabetes testing. Know these things will happen in the next few weeks and your appointments may take more time than usual or you may have to schedule an additional appointment.
Consider your birth plan and prep. Delivery is not moving further away. If you have interest in taking birthing classes, ask what your hospital or doctor or midwifeâ€™s office offers. If you have a particular birthing method you have researched and want to follow, like The Bradley Method, set up those classes now if you have not done so already. Also consider breastfeeding classes. I suggest reading about alternative experiences of birth. I planned on a natural birth. I am now planning on my third c-section. I think knowing the good and the bad about various types of birth can increase anxiety now, but may help you feel more at ease now and if you find yourself in labor needing to deviate from your plan. I recognize the difficult experiences many people have with epidurals, Pitocin, c-sections, and other hot-button issues. I encourage you to also seek out people who have had success with those interventions. I appreciate my first c-section as it likely saved my life and babyâ€™s after 19 hours of labor when complications emerged. I will write about my birth plan with c-section in the coming weeks.
Take a deep breath. Really. Do it right now. You got this, mama. Repeat as needed.
Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and three. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full nightâ€™s rest.