The time has finally arrived: it’s July, and I’m nine months pregnant! So crazy. We’ve been really busy checking things off our list, and now I’m just trying to keep my stamina up to get the rest of it done before she arrives! This past month was full of backyard and rooftop barbecues and dinners out with friends, and we’re so thankful for those times to enjoy summer while we can. I was conditioned to handle humidity at the Muny, so I really love summer in DC.
Highlights of Our Ninth Month
We Installed and Checked the Car Seat. This was a big, important accomplishment! Will secured the car seat, and then we had it checked by the Arlington police at the local library. This was a very 1950s, reverse Bowling Alone moment that made my heart really happy. Also, there are a lot of straps on that thing, and while I’m sure it’s as intuitive as they can make it, I was happy to have someone show me where to tighten everything. While I was at it, I checked out some books from the library instead of ordering them on Amazon. There was a class on gardening going on outside and lots of people playing tennis and baseball. We love Arlington.
We Took an Entire Weekend of Childbirth Classes at the Hospital. This was a long weekend of learning about labor, delivery, and the early postpartum period, and we learned a lot! It was great for practicing relaxation techniques and knowing what to expect and when to call the doctor, culminating in a hospital tour! I like to be in the place where it will all go down so I can know how to picture it, and knowledge is power! It was a fun way to bond with each other and other parents-to-be and to make us feel more prepared. We got tons of tips and tricks that we prepped soon after (like keeping a towel and trash bags in the car!).
We Washed and Put Away All of Baby Girl’s Stuff! The nursery is officially complete! I will post pictures of it soon. I’m not a fan of washing brand-new clothes, particularly the smocked ones. You know they never look quite the same, but I did it (begrudgingly). I heard the chemicals they use to make them look so crisp is exactly what is bad for baby, so I guess it’s important. Anyway, it was a pretty long process. I also sorted through all the baby supplies that have been piling up in the guest bathroom, lined and organized all the dresser drawers with dividers and containers from a Container Store raid, and put everything neatly away. We also made several Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath and Beyond runs during this time to get last minute supplies for organizing. (One memorable baby shopping day was on an adventure to our church’s network-wide annual meeting in Columbia Heights. We’re getting some DC exploration in too!)
We Set up a Home Base Bassinet Station for Our Room. We know that the baby is supposed to sleep in our room for the first while, so we set up the bassinet from our stroller onto this stand it can lock into. Then I stocked some bins from the Container Store with all the essentials I could think of that we would not want to walk to the nursery for. This includes swaddles, burp cloths, snacks for me, breastfeeding supplies, diapers and wipes, fresh outfit changes, changing pads, and even a nasal syringe and thermometer. On the side table we have a noise machine and planner to keep track of feedings and diaper changes and such for the pediatrician!
We Selected a Pediatrician. On that note, we interviewed a couple of pediatricians and decided to go with Pediatrics of Arlington, which we are super excited about. They have seven doctors and answered all our questions before we asked them. We feel good about trusting our daughter’s health to them, which is really saying a lot for paranoid first-time parents!
We Met with Our Doula. Our doula came over to our place for an evening so that we could discuss our birth preferences, answer any questions about labor and delivery, and practice positions and pain-relief techniques. It was very helpful and actually pretty fun!
We Had Another Ultrasound! We’re now going to weekly appointments at the OB, and we had an ultrasound at 35 weeks. It wasn’t as exciting as the 20-week one, and we didn’t get any good pictures of her, because she’s too big now! Honestly, she looked like a lot of lumpy body parts this time, and it was hard to get a good view of her face, but the tech thought everything looked good!
I Packed my Hospital Bags. Finally! This was really right up there with the car seat in terms of stress-relief, haha. I read a million and one blog posts about what to pack, and I’m feeling good that we have the bases covered without bringing too much. I’ll write my own post to add to the vast cannon soon. 🙂
I Prepared Postpartum Gear. First I made a kit of postpartum supplies so that I have everything I might need handy as soon as we get home from the hospital. Then I sterilized all the bottles and pump parts, which looked kind of like a Breaking Bad scene in our kitchen. Thankfully I’ve heard you don’t actually have to boil everything in the future and that the dishwasher will be sufficient. Yay!
We Booked Our Newborn Photographer. I’m really excited to have locked down our photographer for our newborn session after we get home. We also lined up friends for Pippa-duty and hospital photo-duty, since we don’t know if any of our parents will make it in time!
We Did Our Baby Name Bracket. The name issue has been really stressing me out. I actually broke down in tears one day because I felt like we’d never have a name that we really love. So Will hatched the smart plan to just let me explore all my options by making a huge master list of every possible name. We did a date night in Dupont where we did a round robin head-to-head tournament for rankings and narrowed it down to two brackets of eight each. Then we discussed all the names against each other and now finally have a final two. Even though I still genuinely don’t know which way we’ll go, it feels good to only have two names and not feel like I should still be still be scouring Nameberry. We both change our minds between the two almost daily but truly love both, so we may decide in the hospital! (Note that they can’t be sisters, which makes it harder. We’ll never use the other one!)
We Practiced Baby Care Techniques at Home. Are these photos not the cutest? Will is all about his swaddling and shushing skills. We watched the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and did some hands-on practice with this “stuffed Pippa” from Restoration Hardware. This guy is going to be a great dad. There was also a fun Saturday night run to Buy Buy Baby to use coupons that were about to expire and a new cell phone adventure that is baby-related for better-camera and more-storage space purposes. 🙂 It was a busy month!
Medical and Physical Updates
I’m definitely slowing down a bit and feeling a little more tired, but not like the first trimester by any means. I’m still doing a prenatal barre DVD and walking Pippa as much as possible. We even took Pippa down to the Mall for a walk on the Fourth of July! We did find out that I’m one of the group of 40% of women who have to be on antibiotics when they go into labor, which was a bummer. But I can wheel a cart around with me, so it’s not a huge deal. Otherwise, I got these compression stockings to combat leg pain and swelling. They have helped a ton. I have the occasional heartburn and a weird fuzzy feeling in my mouth when I eat (pregnancy allergies?), but I’m definitely not miserable or anything. The summer heat hasn’t bothered me any more than it ever has, and in fact, I often work outside in the mornings!
What We’re Excited About
At this point, we’re just excited to have a slower schedule, read some more books, and get some final things locked down like a list of people to email when she first arrives and some freezer meals made, thank-you notes finished, etc. In the meantime, we are enjoying lots of date nights and may be a little selfish about our time together this month. It feels kind of similar to being newlyweds again, and it has been really fun. And of course, we’re excited to have this sweet little girl join our team and live life with us!