Week 20 we had our big ultrasound to make sure our baby was developing normally and, of course, to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl. The process only took about an hour since baby was cooperative and didn’t seem to mind being “photographed.” It was a bit nerve racking at times, however. I listened carefully to the doctor’s voice to make sure there were no sudden changes or concerns. A few minutes in, Dustin and I both relaxed and watched as pictures were taken of the brain, heart, spine, legs, arm and numerous other body parts. Every once in a while, baby would roll around and hide from us.
Toward the end of the picture session and checklist of fingers and toes, the doctor made her way to baby’s spine. Dustin and I both saw the kidneys, which we mistook for being boy parts, but once she fully zoomed out, we both realized it was a girl. We would have been happy with either a boy or a girl, but for us it was nice to know and made us feel even closer to the little person in my belly.
After the sonogram was complete, the doctor went through the list of everything they had checked in the last hour. I skimmed everything, making sure everything said normal, before I could really listen to his comments. Dustin said he did the same thing. The doctor mentioned that baby had long limbs (in the 95th percentile!) and confusingly asked if I was tall (I guess because I was laying down when he saw me). I laughed and said, “Nooo, it’s that guy,” pointing at Dustin. Needless to say, with the morning sickness gone and a baby that takes after her father, my daughter and I have both grown a lot the last few weeks.
When I found out I was pregnant, I already felt behind in planning. Maybe that was natural mother’s guilt starting early. I found a few things that made me feel more prepared and less scatterbrained. I started a baby journal, where I logged my thoughts, name ideas, pictures, food cravings, or whatever else popped in my head. I really didn’t like some of the “baby books” that had very general questions and fill-in-the-blanks. Having my own journal for her felt a little more personal. Dustin also wrote in it periodically. His most recent entry was about how excited he was to feel her kick for the first time.
Dustin, Edna (my sister), and I have also started to learn baby sign language. It seems to be super easy to remember most of the words. The first we’ll work on with her are Mom, Dad, milk, dog, and food. After that, we will move on to thank you, grandma, grandpa, yummy, yucky, and so on. I like the idea of being able to communicate with her as early as she is ready. The youtube videos of babies signing are amazing.
I started planning baby’s room using Pinterest, which is one of my favorite sites. I was never great at keeping bookmarks of my links, but Pinterest was a nice organized way to save all my favorite internet finds. After I had an idea of what I wanted the room to look like, I nerded out and made a floor plan of our apartment in Illustrator, placing all the new items I wanted to purchase in the diagram. It was a nice way to see what furniture we needed to get rid of and what new furniture would fit. Hopefully all this planning will result in fewer surprises, although I’ve been told I no longer control that.
Most of my baby room finds and mom research are on my pinterest page. Our apartment isn’t huge, so we had to be very creative with space and organization. I loved the Babyletto Mercer bed for its extra storage drawer and its relatively small size compared to other cribs.
The Mod Rocker was slick looking and compact. As a nursery chair, some people didn’t find this chair comfortable, but it worked for me. The one negative is that I won’t be able to fall asleep in it, but I should probably stay awake while nursing anyway.
The Story Mobile was one of the cutest mobiles I found. I loved how it told the story of Peter Rabbit and a lot of other children’s book characters. Even though we are having a girl, I would like the toys and decoration to be gender neutral. I grew up a bit of a tomboy and turned out mostly normal. It also makes sense should we have baby number two someday.
By far, stroller shopping has been the most stressful endeavor so far. I wanted something modern, lightweight, easy to fold, and that could be used for a newborn.
Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan was adorable, and the chair was super versatile. The chair turned both directions and it converted to a bassinet with no extra pieces. It seemed like it was durable and would last for a long time. Only down side was that it was a bit heavy and not the most compact. It did fold nicely.
Britax B-Agile & Safe Travel System was so lightweight (16 pounds) and you could fold it with one hand. It also came with a car seat, which made the price even more attractive. It seemed like this stroller was very close to an umbrella stroller and would have made traveling around town easy. It did have a reclining seat but it didn’t come with a bassinet. I found it a bit funky to attach the car seat or added bassinet atop the stroller. It just looked odd and cumbersome to me. The chair only faced outward/forward, which was a big concern for me with a newborn, though would probably be less of a concern when the baby is older.
The Stokke Scoot was just beautiful and had a reclining seat back that laid almost flat. The seat could face both directions and was higher off the ground than most strollers, so mom and baby could be near each other or so the baby could see more of the outside world. Downside: this stroller was fairly heavy for me and didn’t come with a true bassinet. It was also very expensive.
The Bugaboo Cameleon was the top stroller I found on my stroller scouting missions at a nearby playground. I probably wouldn’t have stalked strollers if I wasn’t visually pregnant. The Cameleon came with a bassinet, which could also be used for regular napping. The seat could face both directions, which was nice. It’s not the heaviest nor the lightest stroller I’ve considered. It is usually very expensive, but we are looking at getting it secondhand, so that would give this one some bonus points.
Now you can see my dilemma. I don’t think we’d go wrong with any of these choices, but it’s still hard to bite the bullet. [Update: We ended up buying the Cameleon from a friend. It is indeed a bit more complex and awkward than some of the strollers we looked at, but the bassinet, seating options, style, and the great secondhand price pushed us in that direction.]
Here are a few things I found better to do sooner than later. I probably was in dire need of a bra review a few months before I sought one out. After I was fitted, I could breath again and realized this was a long time coming. I had no idea I had grown two sizes. The lady helping me with my fitting (who was also pregnant and having contractions…scary) told me that they have the capability to change regular bras into nursing bras. Good stuff to know for later.
Also on the sooner than later list…it was recommended to me to find a daycare solution as soon as possible. So we have started our search for caregivers in the area. We are trying to decide between home care or daycare, but thankfully we are thinking about it now, because there are a lot of waiting lists in Chicago.
In the next couple of months, we will be attending some much-needed parenting classes, which I will find extremely helpful. The last time (probably only time) I baby sat, the little girl started to help me put her diaper on.
And finally, the registry. I’m glad I started early, so I could do some research along the way. I didn’t want to buy anything before the start of our third trimester, but it made me feel a little more sane to have some things figured out beforehand.