When in a panic, make a plan

So my previously written about co-worker’s pre-term labor scare has me all out of sorts today.  I can’t focus, I’m distracted like I haven’t been since I first found out I was pregnant, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am sick with worry I can’t recall the last time I so internalized someone else’s tragedy (I suppose people with a soul call it empathy).  And what does a type-A gal like me do when on the verge of panic?  Make a plan. 

What, did you think I was going to say “get emotional and have a good cry” – you must be thinking of a normal pregnant lady.

So here it is – the list of shit I need to get done in the next two months, in no particular order:

1. Get the room set up: I started this past weekend by cleaning the random boxes out of the was-guestroom-now-nursery.  Thursday the “changing table system” (aka changing table flanked with shelves for storage as the closet is full of my clothing) arrives care of Pottery Barn Kids, so I have two nights to vacuum like a mad woman.  The arrival of some storage space times out perfectly as my two (yes, I know that’s excessive) showers are coming up and I will actually be able to put things away once we receive them.  The crib should get here before the end of September.  Let’s just hope neither involves assembly, as the husband thinks he’s more handy than he is (and growing up with a dad in construction has my standards for home repairs absurdly high). 

2. Clean Everything: This comes after the showers, but all the baby clothing/bedding is to be washed before the small one arrives, so I anticipate spending late September folding crazy-tiny tee shirts.  My original ideas for “clean everything” involved getting the rugs shampooed and the upholstery cleaned on the couch (my dog has a thing for licking velvet – not such an endearing habit), but now that we’re getting closer to go-time, that starting to sound a) expensive and b) like it’s just not going to happen since I can’t even manage to take said dog to the vet in a timely manner. 

3. Get Organized: While most women dread labor, I’m kinda looking at it like D-Day – if I manage to survive, its intensity will pale in comparison to the drain the following three months of battle are sure to require.  Yup – my fear is all things post partum(horrible physical side effects from labor coupled with no time to sleep for recovery and a sense of bewilderment at taking care of a new baby, not to mention the chance that I might actually go clinically crazy thanks to the hormones or lack there of).  As such, I need a plan of attack (to outstretch the bounds of this metaphor).  For example, I’ve been told going up and down stairs is a bitch after natural child birth so I’m going to set up a “baby station” downstairs, with the pack’n’play serving as a bassinet, a changing table pad topping the dining room table, and a basket of diaper what-not (diapers, covers, wipes, butt paste, change of clothing) at the ready.  This leads directly to number 4…

4. Go Shopping: Once I clean and mentally catalog everything we’ve been given, it’s time to hit the stores for any missing supplies to be sure everything (the nursery, the downstairs station, the diaper bag) is prepacked with everything I’ll need for the first month at minimum.  This includes items I was unwilling to register for, like nursing bras.  Do not be surprised if I use spreadsheets, I am that pathological.

5. Get Hospital-Ready:  In addition to packing the requisite bag, we also need to install the car seat and get it inspected by the local Fire Department to be sure we didn’t totally fuck up.  But before we get the car seat installed, we need to get my husband’s car detailed – it’s hard to cater out of your own vehicle and not have it looking like an absolute disaster, and that was before we took it to the beach and added about 10 pounds of sand to the mix.  Ick. 

6. Start the Cloth Diaper service:  I need to send them the paperwork and deposit by October 1 so that I can have diapers at the ready two weeks before the due date, just in case. 

7. Figure out Maternity Leave details: So I know I’m taking 3 months, but I need to work out the logistics of paying COBRA as I don’t qualify for FMLA, when/how to add the small one to the insurance policy, and if I’m eligible for short term disability (I don’t think I am due to the FMLA thing, but it doesn’t hurt to ask). 

8. Meet the Pediatrician: Sure, I know who I plan to use, but he doesn’t know about his new patient so it’s time to call our family doc and make sure he does in fact have an opening.

9. Panic about Childcare after I go back to work: Yes, the husband is planning to stay home, but I guarantee that sometime between now and October 27th I will freak out about how we have absolutely no back up plan if the restaurants can’t live without him.  This will inevitably lead to my drafting another plan.


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