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omg what do we need

November 15, 2008

for when the baby is just born?

1. name
2. marriage license since husband and i don’t have the same last name, yet he would like to lay claim
3. coming home outfit
4. diapers of some sort
5. place for it to sleep
6. food in case the biological method backfires?
7. food delivery mechanism (bottle?)
8. carseat that has been installed into the car by the police or something

This week I’m a little more than 6 months pregnant and I started having these sudden moments where my belly gets really, really hard. These are apparently pre-labor contractions called Braxton Hicks. I have heard about them, of course. Like many things in life, they sound fine and interesting when other people talk about them, but when my tummy is suddenly hard as a rock (quick! bounce a dime off of it!!) they take me by surprise and I feel sort of uncomfortable. It’s not pain, it’s just a measure of weirdness.

I also read that we’re basically at “viability,” where the baby would likely survive if born.

The contractions combined with the possibility of actual life is coming together to make me scared that the baby is scheming to get out.

And here on the outside, we don’t even have a little suit for it.

We’re supposed to have about 3 more months. Well, like 12 more weeks. But multiple people have told me stories about babies born at 7 months. My cousin Susan was born then. And someone else’s baby was just born then. It’s not impossible, in other words. The time drawing nigh is leading to a mental shift where I’m thinking — YOU NEED TO GET RID OF AS MANY SHOES AS POSSIBLE NEED TO GET RID OF CLOTHES THAT DON’T FIT MUST PAINT ASSEMBLE CRADLE ETC . . . . .

Normally that voice is not a voice in my head but rather Matthew’s actual voice, gently prodding me to be civilized.

Anxiety leading to organizing is called NESTING. It’s because I feel a primordial urge to be ready for the baby. WHICH I AM NOT. I have isolated and given away a lot of shoes and clothes (well, put them into the truck of the car, and that is at least away from the living room and my closet, for now) but I do have some basic questions. Anyone who can help answer them, please answer away.

Do I need one of those stretchy gowns with the hand muffs that you see in photos from the hospital, just in case the baby’s fingernails have been growing at a similar pace to my own? Which is that every day, I grow a new set of claws.

Or will the hospital dress it in a tiny gown during the time it spends there?

Do we need to bring the world’s smallest nail clippers?

Do I need to get it a really small hat?

We’re going to drive home in the car. We’ll be using a little-used infant car seat from friends (thanks C & M!!) Does it need to already have one of those sleeping bags to snuggle into?

Will the sun get into its eyes and irritate it? Or will it have mettle, like my husband’s stock, and its eyes will be fine?

Is the cradle mattress really going to be soft enough? It’s like, 1/2 an inch thick. And do I need a “bumper” so the baby doesn’t crash into the walls of the cradle?

Cloth or disposable diapers?

What is the correct decision on circumcision? Sometimes, I am sad that my ears are pierced. It doesn’t gross me out when other people do it, but for me — it’s not for me. It seems like a fake thing to have done to my head.* So having my possible son’s genitalia altered makes me also want to be sure that it’s the right thing to do. “DOES IT REPRESENT A COVENANT WITH GOD?” a friend who is not circumcised recently asked. Um, no. “THEN DON’T DO IT.” We’re not Jewish, so culturally it doesn’t matter. I know that there are pros and cons to both. The most immediate pro would be not having someone take my baby away and cut him. But it’s obviously more important to look at the big picture, and there are public health issues which would be the main ones we would consider. I actually think that this is husband’s decision.

Ladies (and gents), advice appreciated.

Oh–and Matthew dreamt that it would come out with its own perfect name. Barring that actually happening, we are scouring around for fabulous things to name it. We have some ideas, but it seems like such a — flag to the world. Such a moment of self-definition. I mean. I drive a silverish toyata camry which errs on the side of characterless. Yesterday we walked by a very low slung red and white sports car that was really fun to look at. Sort of ridiculous, but . . . why not? Names are the same, sort of. Fun to have a fast low-slung red one . . . but for every day?

*not that I don’t do other fake things to my head without thinking twice

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2008 2:12 am

    I can’t really give you any definitive answers to any of your questions but I know you and Matthew will figure it all out and you will all be more than fine. 🙂 I just saw a combo diaper at gaiam.com – it has flushable liners and a washable cotton cover.I love reading this by the way. You’re hilarious.

  2. December 1, 2008 8:03 pm

    one thing to know is that the hospital will give the baby a tiny hat. also, when you leave the hospital take everything with you, all the diapers, blankets, etc. they will charge you for them anyway. i can recommend someone to talk to about the circumcision decision–many people believe that the health scares of not circumcising are overreactions. i know people who just bite their baby’s fingernails off b/c they are scared to use clippers. but just keep the little one’s hands inside the mitts so he/she doesn’t scratch his/her face. mostly whenever you have the little thing you’ll be so happy and relieved. all this from someone with no children of her own.

  3. December 11, 2008 3:12 pm

    get hand mittens, sans the tiny gown-they may give you some at hospital but get extragowns suck, get long sleeve onesies with not a lot of SNAPSbuy tiny clippersthey will dress baby in hospital, just bring coming home outfitblanket ok for car seat, unless you already have a snugly thingno bumper on crib, at least i didn’t use it, too paranoid of suffocating if she rolled into it, plus i could not spy on her from far away with the bumperor, get a mesh one, not as pretty. use cloth and disposable, if you have a washer and dryercircumcision? sorry cant help ya hterethese, of course, are just my opinions!!! take them or leave them 😉

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