27 Weeks: To-Do List Update

I’ve pretty much finished all I can for now…at least until we have our baby showers! (I’m so thankful that my friends here in Cville and my friend Kirsten in NC are hosting showers!)

The big thing I need to work on now is reading. Problem is I want to read FICTION instead!!

I added a “final weeks” list at the bottom – things just not to forget to do, although I doubt I’d forget them!

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Complete a baby registry and figure out what I am going to buy sooner rather than later

Purchase and assemble crib and mattress [gah organic mattresses are expensive!!!]

Finish making nursery décor decisions

Buy dresser, side table and some kind of rocker/chair/glider and assemble

Paint closet and figure out closet system of organization

Re-do ceiling fan (Woo hoo – finished in this post!)

Hang curtains (Finished in this post!)

Attend childbirth class (Completed!)

Attend breastfeeding class and baby care basics class (scheduled for July)

READ. (I have 6 books on my nightstand and have only made it halfway through one…)

Hire doula (I’ve met with her too – really excited to work together!)

Write a birth plan (Wish list thoughts written down in this post)

Research baby health insurance (Can’t do a thing about it till the baby is born, so on hold)

Research cord banking (Decided to let the cord completely stop pulsing instead of banking)

Research vaccinations (Have a book in possession…don’t want to read it)

Research local placenta encapsulation guru (Have someone on the books!)

Choose pediatrician (I have one picked. Are you supposed to meet with them before the baby is born?)

Buy things for postpartum – like nursing bras, nursing pads or nursing tank tops (pads on registry, bras waiting till 30+ weeks)

Install car seat (once purchased!) and have it inspected

Wash all new things (Diapers done! Bedding done. Going to just do clothes as they come in)

Prepare cloth diaper system (Done!)

Take a nap (Nap tally: II)


To Do In Final Weeks:

(since time is crunching down a bit, but also things I can do now that I might not have time for later…)

Nest the crib (put on sheets and things when I have them)

Put together stroller (when we have one)

Put together any gear that requires assembly (sleeper, swing, seats, pack n play etc) in preparation for baby arrival. At the very least, figure out how stuff works in advance.

Put all baby things like wipes, toiletries for baby and shampoos in a handy spot

Finish diaper changing station assembly

Pack a diaper bag ( <— not really necessary but I am too excited about this!)

Buy/figure out diaper container to put wet bag in

Freeze some meals

Create contact list for baby’s arrival

Write post about baby’s name choice!

Buy gift for doula

Go on a date

Pack hospital bag (moved this one here Smile )

What else am I forgetting!? Anything small you wish you’d done in advance?



Knocked Up Fitness


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150 thoughts on “27 Weeks: To-Do List Update”

  1. Re: the diaper container. My recommendation is a bathroom sized trash can. Until your baby boy is crawling around emptying cans this is the simplest way to trash diapers and will encourage you to empty it frequently. We preferred this method over the diaper champ or genie any day.

  2. I did not meet the pediatrician before the baby came. Many docs don’t do that anymore–too busy. Many of our friends go to him and all said great things. Now you need a list of what goes in the hospital bag! I’d add “go to the movies” to your list. I was too uncomfortable near the end, but you don’t get that much time away for a long time!

  3. I think it’s a good choice to meet with the pediatrician before the baby is born. Ask any questions that you have, and confirm that he/she will be working/on call around your baby’s due date. 🙂

  4. Another thing you may want to do is purchase and pre-address thank you note envelopes for at least those attending your showers. You will be writing a million and one thank you notes between shower gifts and then post baby arrival gifts – And if you can save a little time (and hand cramping!) by pre-addressing the envelopes, that might help!

    1. Even better – purchase your cards and have the shower attendees address their own envelopes! I have been to multiple baby and bridal showers that do this and it helps out the mother to be bunches!

      1. I’ve been to showers where this is done, and I think it’s a nice idea when the host does it, but a bit tacky if the guest of honor instigates it. Fortunately for Kath, I bet the hostesses of her showers probably read her blog, too. 😉

        1. Yeah I don’t think I’m going to stand up and declare everyone must do it. Really a list would just be fine.

      2. I have seen this as a guest 100 times and find it so tacky and rude every time. If people take the time and $ to get you a gift, the least one can do is fully address and write them a heartfelt thank you card. I hope etiquette is not dead. =)

        1. I’ve hosted showers were I’ve encouraged this and been to showers were its been encouraged, and I love it! Really, the mommy or bride has enough on their plate. If writing out my address alleviates their etiquette stress, I’m more than happy to do it! Its not like I’m writing my own thank you note to myself.

          1. We did this at my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, and I didn’t think it was tacky at all! I thought it was a great idea. People are just so busy, and showers are usually near the main event, so it helps to have them addressed to get the cards out before sending out wedding thank you notes or birth announcements!

          2. I have been to baby showers where the host actually pre-addressed and stamped the thank you notes for the guest of honor – They already have the list of attendees and addresses from the invitations and it’s such a nce gesture for the mom to be. One less thing for them to worry about. I think that is better than the guest of honor asking the attendees to do it…

          3. Just noting that a lot of people who follow etiquette do indeed see this as rude/tacky. I was a bride and had two showers thrown for me and wouldn’t dream of having a guest write out their own envelope. It isn’t the dentist’s yearly checkup postcard… it’s a proper thank you note. Like I said, these people buy you a gift, the least you can do is thank them properly.

  5. I love lists! I’m 29 weeks now and at about the same stage as you so love reading your list. Right now I’m working on getting/assembling the stuff for my hospital bag which is fun! I also packed his little diaper bag last night with a few choices for coming home outfits (in case he’s in newborn or 0-3 month clothes) some little hats, a bib, mittens, diapers and wipes and 2 receiving blankets. I don’t know if I’ll need all that but I’m an overpacker and I just had so much fun doing it so I don’t care haha We are also a 40 minute drive from our hospital and we are stopping at my parents for a visit after and to pick up our dog so I figure I am going to need my diaper bag for the way home!
    One thing I am also doing is freezing meals! Right now I’m freezing any leftovers if I make extras and I’m going to spend a day or 2 in a few weeks just making freezer meals.
    I’m also having the same issues with baby books! I WANT to read most of them and I have them sitting here but I keep putting them off for some reason? I really need to get on that.
    Also here in Canada we don’t have to have a pediatrician. The baby is usually just seen by our family dr. unless there’s a specific health reason they need a pediatrician so I got to remove that one from my list.
    I had my shower this past weekend and loved putting everything away. It’s so cool that we’re pretty much down to the “finishing touches” like putting away clothes, blankets and setting up baby gear 😀

  6. This may sound a little odd, but I really wish I had made set times to have visitors. Everyone wants to meet the new little one, and offer congratulations. Wonderful as that is I just wanted down time with no one but my husband and my daughter. I always thought that if I had said to everyone ‘we’d love to see you (time) on (day) or (day)’ it would have been a lot less tiring. Maybe even just asking for no visitors on certain days. We’re all different though, you might think the complete opposite!

    1. I agree with this – the first couple weeks, visitors stressed me out more than helped. I was constantly nursing or attempting to nap, and when not doing those things I was dead tired and felt very haggard-looking and did not want company. True story: my in-laws came over “for lunch” when my baby was 5 days old, and we assumed they would bring lunch. To our surprise, they expected us to FEED THEM LUNCH. My husband and sister were pulling all the leftovers out of the fridge while they sat there and stuffed their faces. I’ll never forget that.

  7. ohh another one…I’ve started browsing birth announcements so that I can get one chosen and will just have to add a newborn picture of baby and order them shortly after birth. They have tons of cute ones at tinyprints.com but I’m sure there are other websites that have great ones as well.

    1. Ohh, this is a good idea and one I didn’t think about. I’ll have to check out Tiny Prints and be ready to go with ordering these once the baby comes.

    2. I did this, and it was great to only have to plug in the photo and order! Also, look at how many you want to mail out before hand.

          1. Agreed! I printed address labels ahead as well. With my 1st two I actually preordered the envelopes and addressed them since I had the exact card chosen but with my 3rd baby the gender was a surprise and I didn’t have a card chosen before birth so I printed labels and bought my supplies like stamps ahead of time.

    3. I actually did this while still in the hospital. They had a professional photographer who took pictures and created our announcements while I sat in bed. They arrived about a week later. It was great to have it all done so conveniently and the pictures were beautiful.

  8. Set up a area where you are going to be nursing. Comfortable chair, footstool, table for your water / snacks / remote, burp cloths, nursing pillow, put a good and long DVD in your machine (there is NOTHING on TV at 3am and once you are all settled in your chair you will not want to get up to do this and my husband was not really smiling when I asked him). I really regretted not doing this when my first son was born. It would have made that first feeding / day home much easier. Also bring newborn diapers with you to the hospital the ones they give you are like size 1 and are too big. AND the thing I wish I knew that no one told me = you will not fit in to regular clothes the day after you have the baby. You still look pregnant and need to wear maternity clothes home. I assumed that when baby came out stomach would go down. NOT

    1. Great idea about the dvd! I spent a lot of time watching infomercials while breastfeeding. A dvd would have been much better.

    2. I will definitely second the idea of setting up nursing “stations” – there’s nothing worse than being stuck in bed or a chair at 2 in the morning, starving and dying of thirst, but unable to do anything about it because if you unlatch the baby for a second they will start screaming bloody murder. I ended up with like 4-5 HUGE oversized water bottles and dozens of Lunabars and stashed them in every spot I might find myself stuck breastfeeding. It was a lifesaver.
      Also, I would go ahead and get the largest pads you can buy (or Depends, if you like), an inflatable donut, Preparation-H pads, stool softener and whatever you do, don’t forget the peri bottle they will give you at the hospital. I also made sure to bring home lots of the mesh underwear they give you at the hospital. One thing that usually isn’t mentioned in pregnancy books, etc. is that the first bowel movement postpartum can be almost as painful as childbirth, and taking stool softener and using the peri bottle really helped out. I also had a bunch of cloth chux pads that my husband picked up from work (he works in a hospital) because even with the huge pads, I was still bleeding lochia all over the place, especially overnight in bed. And you definitely want a waterproof pad for your bed (and the bed in your nursery) – you’ll be leaking all kinds of fluids and sweating like crazy in those first few weeks and you don’t want to ruin your mattresses. These were all the kinds of things I was unprepared for postpartum!

        1. Hey, you may be one of the lucky ones that has a super easy postpartum recovery. But I wasn’t prepared for all the postpartum messiness and pain – I still have some referred nerve pain 6 months postpartum due to my 3rd degree tear 🙁 which is no fun. But I always think it’s better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

          1. The sweat is no joke! I’d wake up completely drenched and have to change my pjs. Thankfully we had a waterproof pad.

            I also had water bottles everywhere. You get SO thirsty while breastfeeding!

            1. Haha, I wish I had picked up a lot more of those mesh underwear! I hospital also had these pads that would have heat or cold packs in them, pick up lots of those if they have them. Recovery varies so much – for the first baby I could barely walk for a week, and for baby #2 I was able to walk around and do everything 30 minutes later. Just depends how it goes.

              1. It even helps to put the waterproof pad down on your own bed a few weeks in advance in case your water breaks in bed! Great ideas!

        2. Definitely take advantage of the freebies in the hospital – just ask for more of everything! We had an awesome nurse who sent us home with 2 bags filled with diapers, mesh undies, witch hazel pads, peri bottles, nursing pads, hemorrhoid cream, and freeze spray (the best!). I’d suggest bringing an empty duffel with you for this purpose 🙂

          1. The freezing spray! I forgot about that – it was essential to numb everything down there for the first day or two. Another trick they did for me since I tore so bad (third degree tears in both directions, inside and out – my water never fully broke, and all the pressure of the fluid behind my baby’s head made her entry into the world much faster and harder than normal!) was a glove with ice in it, so that one of the fingers of the glove filled with ice could help numb, um, “inside.” If you do have some bad tearing see if they can do that for you as well – it really helped.

          2. I read somewhere that a great tip is to put witch hazel on super pads and freeze a bunch in ziploc bags. (Padsicles I think the article called them LOL) Apparently they feel amazing when recovering!

      1. Waterproof pads or towels were a must for me as well. Between sweating, bleeding and leaking breast milk it can get messy. I wish I had thought of Depends. At the hospital they give you pads that are also ice packs. Ask for more and make sure you take some home with you. Jessica is right that first BM is no fun. I asked for another peri bottle that way you have 2 and then you will not have awkward refilling issues ; )

        1. the best ice pack is a newborn diaper cut open and filled with crushed ice – very absorbent and just the right size! Your nurse may be able to show you how they do it.

      2. I was never one of those moms who watched tv in the middle of the night. I had a little sleeper next to my bed, nursed the baby when he woke up and put him back – get as much sleep as you can, avoid any kind of stimulation if possible during the night. I also feel that this helped baby to learn that during the night we sleep and have never had any night issues (like can’t sleep) with either of my boys. I hear horror stories from my friends and others who tell me that they get up at 1am or 2am and watched tv til 6am because the baby wouldn’t sleep….and then they suffer all day…

      3. The water bottles and granola bar/snack stations are KEY. And the sweat, oh lordy – get ready to wash your sheets a lot.

      4. I am so glad that someone brought up these post labor “must haves”. My sis in law gave birth 7 months before me and brought me all these items. I had no idea I would need all of this and she definitely saved the day. 🙂

  9. wow! i am impressed, you are totally organized and prepared! i appreciate that because i know that is exactly how i will be when i have a lil babe… and all of the stuff that you have left seems like the most fun of all (not to mention having your little guy out in the world!)

  10. RE Nursing bras, I recommend this site, http://www.breakoutbras.com/

    BUT, really you need something somewhat flexible if you want to have something on hand for immediately after delivery. There is no way to know what size you will need. So, I’ve had good luck with the bravado nursing tank:

    and these Melinda G bras:

    They are probably your best options for the first couple weeks until your size settles down a little. They offered decent support too along with being flexible in size. The owner of breakoutbras is super helpful though by email and great return policy! And, I always got my bras in a couple of days (they are in SC I think).

      1. Or…you can just buy 2 or 3 cheap sports bras from target. Get the low or medium impact. They are perfect for around the house, but supportive enough for short trips out of the house. I did this, and just this weekend at 4 weeks pp bought 4 nursing bras. The sports bras were great while My supply leveled out. Also…if you are feeding on demand, you spend a TON of time nursing at first…and not having to deal with clips while you and baby are still learning is nice.

    1. You beat me to it! I wrote pretty much the same thing further down (except you kept yours more concise :).

  11. Make sure you have some disposable diapers for the first few weeks. We found it best to wait until the umbilical cord has fallen off since the cloth diapers went up too high and made it hard for it to dry. With both we started cloth around 2-3 weeks. As for something to put a wet bag in, we just have two cheap kitchen garbage cans with lids in the nursury – one for garbage and one for diapers. Whatever you choose, just make sure you have a cover on it!

  12. I would say go ahead and grab some nursing tanks and bras now if you want. I couldn’t sleep braless at the end of pregnancy because I found it too uncomfortable so I bought a couple nursing sleep bras since they’re just sized s/m/l. I lived in nursing tanks when I was home and wished I’d collected at least four or five so that I could change after leaking 🙂 Have you thought about nursing nightgowns? I have two that I still get a lot of use out of. Like this: http://www.glamourmom.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=397
    You might want an extra pair of dark pajama pants that you don’t mind getting icky. I bought a pair and wore them in the hospital and at home when I was still bleeding a lot.
    I treated myself to a nice pair of slippers, too, since I spent so much time around the house.
    A variety of pads in different sizes is also really helpful. It’s kinda victorious when you get into normal sized ones. (Oh, and take everything you open from the hospital! If you don’t take it they have to throw it away. I used one pad from a container of 20 and took the rest home. Just ask the nurse and she’ll tell you what you can take!)
    We got a pediatrician recommendation from our doula and were very happy with her! If you don’t like your pediatrician you can always change at any time. You’re getting there!

  13. I just wanted to comment on the nursing bras/tanks. I’m pregnant right now as well (just a week ahead of you! 🙂 but with my fourth child. Whenever nursing bras come up I usually tell an expecting mom about my experience, which I think is pretty common. With my first pregnancy I pre-bought nursing bras, guessing on my size (from where I was already at and from what I read on the internet about where I probably would be later) – I wasted a LOT of money doing this. Honestly, your body will change sooo much that no formula is going to give you a correct size in regards to something that will be different for every body. Typically your band size goes up during pregnancy and will usually go down again after baby is out, but sometimes not back to normal. You cup size typically goes up during pregnancy but will usually go up even more when your milk comes in but then will go back down a little (usually not to your pre-pg size) when your milk settles (usually 4-6 weeks). It’s just such a huge guessing game.
    What I suggest doing is getting some nursing tanks to wear during the day (and night) and then the sleep bras for night. Both of these options are much more forgivng with changing band and cup sizes and will usually keep you held over until your milk settls and you can go and get fitted/sized in your new size. I prefer wearing the tanks anyway because they keep my soft belly covered during nursing. I highly recommend the Bravado line of tanks and bras, especially their tanks. They have more of an actual bra built in instead of those wimpy shelf bras all the other brands have. And you order according to your size and not S, M, L. They have extra length (again, nice for keeping the post partum belly covered) that is nice and stretchy so they work well for maternity tanks as well. WELL worth the money if you need extra support in the chest.
    Anyway, just my $.02 on that whole matter 🙂

    1. I think I just want to buy some stretchy bras to have for the first few weeks and then when I need to get more supportive, lacy, “real” nursing bras, I’ll go then. But I want at least something to wear the beginning and with stretchy ones the fit is less important

      1. best stretchy bra ever! I have like 10 nursing bras between nursing my 2 babies and this is my favorite. Its not a nursing bra technically but its so stretchy i just pull it down and it works better than my actual nursing bras (anad retains shape). It also can be worn for sleep or under “out of the house” clothes, one less article of clothing to change, haha! I have one on now :). Its also great since its so stretchy it accomidates different sized boobs when your milk comes in, or if you are fuller one day than another.

  14. Great work on your list!! So excited for you.

    I do not have my own baby, but worked in natural healthcare for half a decade and counseled/talked to lots of Moms pre and post vaccination as well as many who chose not to etc. Best advice is to find many sources and look at each vaccination separately rather than a whole overwhelming issue. The risks and benefits for each are very different and not at all similar as many would have you believe. It is a very emotional and passionate topic for most. Remember this IS your choice, they can attend school without and all that matters is your baby’s health not those of the rest of the world. That pressure is not yours. :). I highly recommend http://Www.nvic.org as well as ICPA4kids.org for info. Good luck to you Mama!

    1. While I know this is a passionate topic, and I do agree that the health of your own baby is important, the rest of the world IS important too. The only way vaccinations work is communally, where diseases can literally disappear when everyone is vaccinated. In the US, many babies are fine without some vaccinations, but let’s remember that is because 95% of people DO vaccinate their children! It is a personal choice, and there are effects on your baby AND the community either way.

      1. Right, there is absolutely no evidence that there is any link between vaccines and autism. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t vaccinate. And in areas where children aren’t being vaccinated, horrific childhood diseases are coming back and killing infants that are too young to be vaccinated. Your decision to vaccinate affects everyone you come in contact with. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm
        I would recommend getting a pertussis booster as well, to avoid something like this: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/baby-whooping-cough-death-doctors-urge-vaccination-family/story?id=10492381#.T84qVrA9Ano

        1. Last winter, (in Charlottesville, Kath!) there was a really bad outbreak of whooping cough. My doc knew where it started – a group of anti-vaccinated kids that go to school together. Whooping cough isn’t so bad for a regular school-aged kid, but if my baby caught it, she could have died! We choose to vaccinate, but she wasn’t old enough to have the vaccination at that time. Scared me to death!!!

    2. While this topic has become “passionate,” it shouldn’t have. The one man responsible for all the vaccine distrust lost his license to practice medicine! Not to be scary, but my adopted cousin died from measles she contracted from an unvaccinated child in the us before she was healthy enough to be vaccinated herself. She was a happy second grader in the fall, and dead by January. She is the face of the horrible problems that arise from not vaccinating.

  15. You are one organized momma-to-be! Freezer meals came in handy, but I didn’t end up needing as many as I anticipated. People brought food and my mom was there to help cook, so by the time we got around to freezer meals, I was starting to get the itch to cook again. However, make sure you’re stocked up on one-handed snacks 🙂

    And I love nursing tanks. I walked around many of the first weeks topless because I wanted my poor, sensitive nipples to air out, plus the lanolin made them stain shirts. But after that time, nursing tanks were awesome. Throw them on with a pair of shorts and ta-daaaaa!

    Ok, guess I’l blabbered on enough. Hope your glucose test is going well! 🙂

  16. This will all depend on how your delivery goes, but I was surprised on what was needed to help the nether region heal after birth. I was totally unprepared for that. I tore and needed up with a few internal hemorrhoids with all three of my kids and had to buy the necessary supplies to keep the stetches cleaned and keep the area comfortable. The hospital gave a small stash of some of the stuff (plastic water bottle), but we still had to stop at the store on the way home to grab some items (witch hazel pads, tylenol, cream, etc.).

    1. I was fine with the stuff MJH provided, and then bought more witch hazel (in a bottle) to apply later. I just applied with cotton balls or toilet tissue.

    2. Yes, agreed to this! Also disposable underwear or huge pads. I bled for a long time with my 1st child but not so at all with my others so I guess it varies but better to be prepared.

  17. You’re so organized! The only thing I’d add is some Mama care-type items that made me MUCH more comfortable the first week or so. Witch hazel pads for post-delivery healing, and soothing/ cooling nipple gel pads which are miraculous while adjusting to nursing. Your doula can make specific recommendations, but those are both things we wound up making special trips to buy.

    1. Yes yes yes to gel nipple pads you put in the fridge/freezer. A little expensive but so worth it. Even with a proper latch your nips are going to be sore!

  18. I am trying to take care of a few non baby related projects like filing, updating photo albums, finishing my wedding scrapbook, and really clearing out the house. Part of that is because we are moving but part of it is that as we add a multitude of baby things to our space I just don’t want to feel overwhelmed by ‘stuff.’ Am thinking a big stoop sale, and whatever doesn’t sell goes on the curb.

  19. You are doing a great job. 🙂 🙂 Just getting organized was the best thing ever. You won’t have time or energy to do it during the first few weeks and it so much more relaxing when you’re in an organized house! I wouldn’t worry all that much about reading….you’ll have time for that when you’re nursing the babe. haha 🙂

        1. I didn’t have a kindle for my 1st baby but did for my second – the 45 min nursing sessions were much more enjoyable.

    1. Yes, don’t worry about the reading! You end up nursing for up to 8 hours a day when they’re newborns, so you’ll have plenty of time to read (at least with your first).

  20. Do any deep cleaning now, because you won’t want to spend your energy on that later. I had a huge cleaning list and yard work list. I didn’t get to everything (I was a week or so early), but it kept me motivated and clear about what needed to get done!

  21. Could you shed some light on why you decided to let the cord stop pulsating instead of banking it? I’m really interested in cord blood banking but unsure of other alternatives. Do you have any suggestions on researching the topic further?


    1. It’s a personal and somewhat political decision, so I don’t want to go too far into it, but after talking to a few friends and medical professionals, we decided not to because that cord blood wouldn’t even be able to be used on THIS baby – due to a genetic predisposition for whatever disease it would be needed for. Therefore, it would be used on a sibling at best, if it could even be used. Banking is just so expensive and the risk is so low that that we’re willing to chance it. If it were completely free, I think the decision would be harder. I would rather give the baby all the blood at the time of birth (which is free) when I KNOW it will be put to good use inside of him than gamble on $2000+. Especially with advances in medicine changing daily.

      1. Please do not say the risk is so low. You have a very large readership and I do not want people to be misinformed. I respect your personal decision- but these are not not a political decision but a medical safe guard for your future children. I’m not trying to scare you or your readers, but very few people know the following true facts regarding Childhood Cancer…

        -The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.

        -The American Cancer spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.

        -Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.

        -Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.

        -Every school day 46 children are diagnosed.

        1. Also, here are a few more important facts to consider. Again, I’m not trying to be pushy but so few many people are aware…

          1 in 330 children will have the disease by age 20.

          Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.

          80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.

          Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.

          Cancer symptoms in children – fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection – are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.

          Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel.

          Treatment can continue for several years, depending on the type of cancer and the type of therapy given.

          What Causes Childhood Cancer?

          Every family is potentially at risk.

          In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations (or changes) in the genes of growing cells.

          As these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to predict or prevent them.

          Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupational hazards and exposure to other cancer causing agents.

        2. But these don’t really affect the fact that cord blood banking probably couldn’t even be used to treat this baby’s potential cancer

          1. Yes, but if you plan on having a second child and that child has cancer or a blood disorder, a matched sibling transplant is great option to have with many treatment plans.

  22. What books are you reading? Just curious! I’m sure that deserves a post all to itself…
    I read a bunch pre-baby but they didn’t really sink in until I had our baby–and I have read and re-read them since she came into the world 4 weeks ago. Every day I am looking up something new based on what is going on (naps? reflux? milk supply? scheduling?–you get the idea). It definitely helped to read them before, but you will probably find that you read them with a whole new lens when baby arrives!

    And definitely take everything home from the hospital! Tell Matt to bring an extra bag! Be sure to grab the blue suction bulbs, the diapers, the formula samples (just in case your milk takes a while to come in!), the items needed to tend to your “battle wounds,” and even the pads they put on the bed.

      1. Perfect, I was going to ask the same thing. I’ve read What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Child Birth, and I’m looking for some others to add to the list before the end of August when the baby gets here

  23. We just had a baby 5 months ago, and 2 things stand out in my memory:

    FOOD! We really couldn’t spare a brain cell to figure out what we were eating for the first few weeks. We were saved by friends/family who brought over dinner or who ordered prepared meals for us to keep in the freezer. If not for them we would have starved! I’d suggest setting up a schedule for meal help because you really won’t be able to do it yourself, and when you’re exhausted and nursing the nutrition is especially important.

    Housekeeping: if your friends are generous enough to offer to clean your house, great! Otherwise, treat yourself to some hired help for a little while so your place can stay tidy while you focus on the babe. Not sure how much time Matt plans to take off work, but if when you’re home on your own cleaning house should be the last thing on your mind!

    Good luck and congrats! Having a baby is the best thing ever (and most scary, tiring, challenging, and wonderful)!

  24. Map out a couple ways to the hospital in case of traffic. I ended up having my first contraction at 6 am so when we left for the hospital at 645 in full labor it was rush hour. It took about 40 minutes to get there instead of 20 and with my quick labors we didnt have the time to spare. Baby was born at 7:45 am, barely made it!
    As far as wet bags…I just hang mine on a hanger on the side of the changing table. Baby can’t reach it. Wet bags have a little tab that fits nicely over a hanger. I have 2 bags so I can just toss one in the wash with the diapers and have the other to use during that time.

  25. The nursing class is key!! You have the birth once, it’s a one-time event. You will nurse 12x a day for months….knowing what to do as much as possible in advance will be worth it’s weight in gold!

    And yes, figure out the wet pail option. After all those 12x nursing sessions you will have 12x diapers a day, too 🙂

  26. PLEASE do a post on what recipes/resources/methods you’re using for your freezer meals!

    I’ve looked high and low and find very few recipes that are both tasty and healthy. 90% are just different variations of pasta-bacon-cheese. I would be so excited to add a couple Kath approved recipes to my freezer-friendly repertoire!

    1. I will! Although I don’t really like freezer meals/casseroles thhhhat much, so I probably won’t do a ton of them. I imagine we’ll do more quick meals that don’t take long to put together – salads, eggs, crockpot stuff.

      1. The big thing is that you’ll want things that can be eaten one-handed. I don’t think I got a chance to sit at a table with a plate and fork for at least two weeks after giving birth!

      2. I agree- I’m not a big casserole fan and we have a CSA that starts next week so I imagine we will end up doing lots of quick meals. I am thinking about making up a batch of veggie burgers for the freezer and making sure to have some other proteins and quick cooking grains on hand as well as healthy snacks.

      3. To help with the crock pot meals, you might consider putting together all the ingredients in a freezer bag now so all you have to do is take the bag out of the freezer and put it in your fridge a day ahead of time and put the whole thing in the crock pot (or just put the frozen block-o-food in that day). I just started doing this and it’s been soooo nice to have it all prepped and not have to put everything together in the mornings before work.

          1. We did this too. I also froze pizza packs (dough, cheese, herbs in large ziplocs), shredded chicken for anything like sandwiches/soups, pre-cooked and seasoned ground turkey/beef/and beans, casseroles are normally not our style but I was delighted we had pre-cooked and portioned up ziti, mexican type meals, tuna casserole, and the like. My husband is a professor and he was home for the first 4 months but somehow 2 people home all day with a newborn still gave us no time to prep and cook.

            I also bought kashi frozen meals, soups, frozen tortellini, annie’s pasta meals, and tons of frozen veggies in the quick steam bags.

            Sometimes you want a home cooked meal and you have zero energy to spend 45 minuted cooking and cleaning. I think those pre made meals saved us calories, money, and time. Totally worth doing a meal here and there (I cooked double batches of things around 30 weeks).

    2. Try Once a Month Mom (http://onceamonthmom.com/). The vegetarian, diet, and whole foods menus tend to be on the healthier end of the freezer meal spectrum. I gave a few recipes a whirl this month and found that we got burned out on some dishes, so next time I will probably make smaller quantities of each dish. Also, I picked three recipes rather than making the entire menu. If you click around on her website she also has lots of great information about how to package the food for freezing (so it doesn’t get freezer burned or take up unnecessary space), best ways to thaw certain foods, etc.

      I realize I sound like a commercial and promise I am not affiliated with the website. 🙂 Just a fan!

  27. Don’t forget healthy snacks for the hospital bag! 🙂

    Also, I second another commenter, stool softener is a MUST. God, it hurt so bad for 2-3 weeks postpartum. It was awful for me.

    Get to know how your car seat works before the birth, because you don’t want to figure out how to adjust the straps, etc. with a baby crying in the seat. 😉

  28. We are using a stainless steel trash can with a foot petal for our wet bag container. It works great and doesn’t leak out any odor at all.

    I wish I would have had more meals prepared/frozen.

    I also recommend getting some changing pad / mattress pad liners to lay under the baby in the crib.

  29. In the last few weeks of your pregnancy you’ll also want to sanitize your breastpump parts. Even if you don’t plan on pumping much when my milk came in I had to pump to relieve the pressure and allow my daughter to latch.

    Also, I wouldn’t recommend washing all the clothes you get as you get them. Not knowing how your baby will grow, you may find you have to return and exchange a TON of clothes. And you can’t do that without the tags on! (or at least not as easily).

  30. I have one suggestion for a hospital bag, and I hope you aren’t supersitious and this doesn’t offend you!

    My baby (totally unexpectedly, as I had a very average pregnancy) ended up in the NICU with a possible respiratory infection for the first 48 hours of his life – he didn’t have anything, but he still had to be hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IVs and such. And we didn’t have anything for him to wear! All we’d brought were newborn long sleeved footed sleepers, and he couldn’t wear them because they interfered with the monitoring equipment. Eventually, the nurses were able to locate a lost and found shirt, but for some reason that STILL bothers me. My husband wouldn’t leave to get clothes from our house, as he wanted to stay with both of us, and I didn’t want to ask our friends/family to run that ridiculous errand. In the future, I’ll back a onesie and separates just in case.

    Just my $0.02!

  31. Your checklist is giving me anxiety haha – I have less than 6 weeks until I’m due and after reading your list I feel behind on so many things!

    What does one buy their doula? Would love ideas!

        1. I have no idea yet! I guess gifty things you’d find in a gift shop…or edible things..but I’m not sure yet!

  32. I called the clinic where my husband and I are seen by our GP. The first time I called they said I should make an appointment with the pediatrician within 24-48 hours after the baby is born. Then I went to the baby care basic class and spoke with a few mothers (including my own). These resources seemed to indicate that I should meet the pediatrician beforehand. That, and my OB basically told us that once the baby comes, he hands him off to the pediatrician. This got me thinking… how is our pediatrician going to know we are even there??? So I called the clinic a second time, and asked if it was possible to meet the doctor BEFORE the baby comes. They said they have just such an appointment. I’ve scheduled it for closer to delivery, yet far enough out in case we want to try someone else. It might be a good idea for you to see about meeting yours. Just in case.

      1. If it’s helpful, my midwife said to let the pediatrician know we are having a baby and would like to use their practice. This way you can get in their system and get a little bit of the paperwork out of the way. Then, make sure the hospital has the name and phone number of the pediatrician and the hospital will call and let the ped know the baby has been born. The pediatrician we will likely use (I’m due around the same time as you!) does newborn exams in the hospital and then we call to schedule the two week old appointment. I’m not sure if that is the usual procedure, but it might be worth asking.

      2. Agreed, you will want to meet with the pediatrician before the baby arrives even (especially) if you are positive that is the MD you want. All the ones I have had (for 3 children in different states) were willing to meet with us free of charge to discuss things like who takes call on weekends/afterhours, what the wait room is like (you want it separated into “sick” and “well” of course), and just their philosophy in general. That way they can see your baby at the hospital and you won’t be stuck with whoever the random pediatrician happens to be for any parents that haven’t chosen one yet. Ours came to the hospital each day I was there and I loved getting their input on nursing, diaper rash etc before we had even left the hospital. The pediatric practice we currently use reserves a certain time each week for these exact pre-delivery meetings. I also like doing it because you will meet the others in the practice (ours has 6 or 7) and not just the one you think you will use the most. When your baby is sick and your doctor is full, you will take any doctor in the practice who can squeeze him in their schedule so it’s nice to have at least met once.

      3. Two things… #1, they (the pediatrician) knows you’re there because the hospital tells them! I was told that when you check into the hospital they will ask who your ped is and then they alert them after the birth. But #2, (before I knew all that) I called my ped to see what the deal was and they have special “prenatal” appointments you can make. We went last week and it was just a good opportunity to meet the dr and then he/she tells you about themselves and their process (birth and after). It was very informational!

        1. I did a prenatal meet and greet with my pediatrian, but she only did these type of appointments once a month so I had to plan ahead a little. Also, if you’re doctor is part of a bigger practice, the doctor you see at the hospital might be a different doctor. In pediatrician’s practice, which has about 15 doctors, there is one doctor from the practice that does the rounds at the hospital for the day. So I saw two different doctors during our stay at the hospital, none of which were our pediatrician. This is the same if our kid is hospitalized for any reason.

          This is nice in some ways, because when my kid is sick and I need a doctor that day, I can always get an appointment in a bigger practice.

  33. http://www.sheetworld.com/od-Sheet-Protectors,Crib-Bib–Sheet-Saver-3811.htm
    do new parents still use these? I found them so handy for newborns who spit up and druel in the night. all you do is change the protector rather than the whole sheet.

    I still remember the granola bar I packed for my post gest-diabetes test. In my day, it had to be fasted and it made me so sick to have all that sugar on an empty stomach. 24 years later, good luck getting me to drink orange soda. Ain’t happening! And I failed the test to boot although I passed the follow-up 3 hour torture test.
    Good luck! I hope all is normal! And enjoy the process of crossing off your list.

  34. In addition to nursing stations, I set up a bathroom station. I got super maxi pads, tucks pads, hemorrhoid cream, cheapo cotton panties and stashed it all in a drawer next to the toilet. Sorry, but birth is messy for a few weeks. This way I wasn’t stuck hollering to my husband for a fresh pair of undies and my guests didn’t see all my supplies hanging out on the back of the toilet.

    I designated one meal per weekend to freeze during my third trimester. I didn’t even get to make all that I had planned because I filled my deep freezer! This was definitely a life saver.

    1. Agreed. I used one bathroom for about 3-4 weeks – it was easier because it had everything I needed! I just dragged all my stuff from MJH and threw it in there.

  35. Kath, read fun books while you can. Luxuriate in peace and quiet. Treat yourself! The baby won’t give you time to do any of these things for quite a while once he arrives. Relax & appreciate the silence! ; )

  36. The best thing for me was a meal train that a good friend at church set up. Her genius idea was to schedule meals every 3 days or so for six weeks. I thought that was crazy — that I’d be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Well, labor started early, so I didn’t get freezer meals crossed off my list. Even though I love to cook, meal planning and cooking was the last thing I wanted to do those first few weeks. It was great spaced out because we could eat leftovers and a simple dinner before the next delivery. The other perk was that people got to see the baby, but I knew the schedule from the meal train. She used this website: http://www.mealtrain.com/

    You might want to see if your hubby or MIL could set it up for you. I’m sure you’ll have loads of people who want to help out!

  37. Great post! I was in high school when my mother had two babies, and it was fun to see all of this behavior going on around me! I remember her bouncing on her yoga ball at night, (which I now use for abs!) and coming home from school to the house becoming more and more nested.
    I am curious how you decided on your pediatrician? What did you look for in your ped? Was it based on location/ doctor you normally see? Decision based on MD/DO? I am just very curious about what new mommies and daddies look for in their newborns pediatrician!! cheers.

    1. I asked friends for ped recommendations. There are also a few practices that are walkable from home, so I’m leaning towards those for convenience.

  38. I wish I’d frozen some meals- not huge meals, but individually-sized portions for easy re-heating, like small containers of soup/stew, veggie burgers, etc. I typed up and printed address labels ahead of time for baby announcements, and I picked out my photo card baby announcement ahead of time on Snapfish, which made creating the photo card and mailing them super easy. For the hospital, i packed a ton of underwear, nursing bras, comfy clothes, etc and didn’t use a single thing! disposable underwear at the hospital is SO much easier and that way you don’t generate laundry while you’re there. i just wore hospital gown/pants when i was there too, seemed easier with the constant nursing! Also i bought nursing bras late in the 3rd Tri and wish I’d waited or bought them much bigger, i couldn’t have imagined how much bigger my boobs were going to get once my milk came in!

  39. You may have already posted on this, but are you planning on taking a “maternity leave” from blogging or are you just going to post less/when you can after the baby arrives? Just wondering, I don’t know how I would have kept up with a blog the first few weeks. But you seem much more organized than me 🙂

    1. I’ll probably run on the bare minimum for a while (not answering comments, emails, etc) and just uploading snapshots from my days. Blogging is so easy for me that I think I’ll be able to get posts up OK – but i’m sure they will look different!

  40. I learn so much from some of the readers comments—- golly, they all have so much knowledge to share- things no one tells you…..
    Thanks for your to-do list updates- they always help me out on the things I forget! 🙂 I am so thankful for your babykerf blog, Kath. All the work you do is TRULY appreciated! *hugs to you and the little one*

  41. Lay in bed late one morning reading and rubbing my belly – did this till 11 one Saturday morning and it was amazing, so peaceful.

    Get a pedicure. I forgot to do this one and wish my feet would have looked a little more groomed when I saw them without a big belly in the way. 😉

  42. One of the single best tips I ever read was to make up the crib in layers — pad(s), sheet, pad(s), sheet — do 3-4 layers. That way if you have a middle of the night blow out or barf, you just have to pull off one layer and can get baby right back to sleep (and you too). We had twins, so this was doubly helpful! The last thing you want to fiddle with in the dark (or dim) at 3am is shuffling around trying to find a clean sheet and wrangle it back onto the crib, when all you want to do is tuck baby back in and then yourself! 🙂

  43. You have so much advice already but I’ll add. Really the only thing I regretted not doing before the baby came was booking newborn pictures. I know you’re a pretty avid photographer so you may be planning to do this yourself. I really wanted some pictures when my baby was tiny and some of our little family. I was surprised to find out after I had her that many photographers only do newborns during the first two weeks of life (maybe just my area?!). I did find someone to do it but my baby was nearly 6 weeks old by then.

    Oh, and stocking up on food would be good too. We ate out a ton because I was lazy during the last part of pregnancy and didn’t really do any of that. 🙂

  44. I’m going to throw in my two cents, even though I know you have tons of cents saved up. haha.. As for baby clothes, I am sure you have lots! But in my experience, in the early weeks, the little snappy gerber shirts were the best. Because baby boy will spit up you’ll end up changing his clothes often. By the time my third came about, I dressed her most of the time (except for family visits, pics, etc) in those little side snap shirts and diaper covers (which if you’re doing cloth you’ll already have covered). Similar to these: http://www.babyearth.com/safety-1st-long-sleeve-side-snap-undershirt-solid.html?att_val=1637&gclid=CKOHnfHEuLACFUkaQgodYhss9Q and they also come in short sleeved. Just a thought, maybe something to add to the registry. I guess for me, I found that when I put baby in a clean shirt, even if she was sleeping I could maneuver her out of these side snappy shirts and put her in a clean one.

  45. For the crib…my girlfriend who is one of the smartest people I know swears by these: http://www.cloudsandstars.com/ Brilliant idea!

    As for baby books, you will likely retain more info if you read it as you need it once baby arrives. You can totally make yourself overwhelmed and freaked out by reading too much now, but the baby books are good middle of the night nursing reads…you can just read about the phase you are currently in. I had a tray table set up next to my nursing chair and kept a book light and the baby books there.

  46. We booked a newborn photography session – and absolutely loved the result. It was such a luxury to get out from behind the camera and let someone else take pictures.

  47. I highly recommend researching what to expect if you need a c-section, just in case. I went through natural labor and pushing, pushing with an epidural, and eventually needed an emergency c-section. I was completely thrown off and unprepared. I wish I had known a little bit of what to expect in regards to the procedure and the recovery. I mourned the loss of a vaginal birth, but I think the whole thing was much worse since I didn’t know what to expect. I’d pick up a few pairs of very high cut undies to go over an incision just in case this happens to you. Regular undies tend to hit in the wrong spot.

  48. hi Kath, you said you bought the organic crib mattress.. which one did you buy and why you decided to spurge on organic one?

    looking forward to the book post next week! 🙂

  49. I would recommend as many dates as possible prior to the little ones arrival. All the other stuff will fall into place! Enjoy some fiction too. I am really enjoying watching your journey to becoming a mom! It will be so much more than you could have ever imagined.

  50. Hired someone to professional clean the house, pack a diaper bag now because you have an appointment soon after baby is born, sanitized all bottles, purchased after pregnancy comfy clothes, got a hair cut, program important baby numbers into phone like pediatrician, purchase thank you notes, charge camera, set up diaper chaning station, pre pay bills, purchase lots things for recoverly like pads (many), larger undies that you can throw away, ice paks, tylenol, hemmoroid wipes, lots of extra hand soap, wash sheets on bed, keep extra blankets and pillows around the house, purchase a notebook for recording baby information like diapers and feedings. And I thought I was overly prepared for this baby. He came one day early! The doctor said that I still had another week and would go past my due date but four days later he was here. I labored at work and took a walk and drank tons of water. I called my husband when the contractions were 10 minutes apart..not even 30 minutes later they were 4 minutes apart and this is my first baby but like you I was very active during my pregnancy. I walked and labored on the ball for about 2 hours and I was 8 cm dialated. As soon as I got the epidural it was time to push and then he was here! Keep working on your list and best wishes. My little guy is now 4 weeks old and I adore him more then life. Also he came out with long fingernails it takes a few days before you can cut them so make sure you have little outfits that cover the hands so he doesn’t scratch his face!

  51. Change that “go on a date” to GO ON A DATE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK FROM NOW UNTIL DELIVERY! You will be so glad you did 🙂

  52. 1.) Pediatric Associates is right dowtown 🙂 Piedmont Peds is another favorite, but located North on 29. All you do is tell us at MJH who you want your pediatrician to be and we notify them for you.
    2.) A carseat check is mandatory at MJH prior to discharge.
    3.) Vaccinations…well, many pediatricians will be happy to talk to you about vaccination (concerns, etc.). Personally, I vote vaccinate. Benefit outweighs risk in most cases.

  53. My advice if you are indecisive about design types of things is to get your announcements done on Shutterfly ahead of time. All you have to do is order once he’s here. Rest, rest, rest. Take the naps! Seriously, you will not believe how tired you become in the first year. And avoid pediatricians! I know that’s radical but, do some alternative reading (Dr. Mendelsohn’s book).

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