Though I have not quite reached my actual due date, already over a week ago my doctor advised me to be ready as my baby could come at anytime. Ready? What does he mean by ready? Do I have diapers and clothes, a crib and all the other things that are on the must have lists? Is my hospital bag packed? Am I mentally prepared to give birth? Have I read enough books, is my marriage ready, is my body, indeed my life, ready to be forever altered?
Yikes. I’m not sure how he could think anyone can be truly ready for the birth of a first child. I mean despite spending countless hours reading and researching, I still really have no idea what I’m getting into.
As for stuff, I ignored the lists and just got what I thought was important, which probably varies by person. I’ve got a place for him to sleep, a dresser to house diapers, clothes and blankets. I’ve got diapers (going with Gdiapers so I won’t contribute to the landfills for his diapering years) and the home made coconut oil wipes are ready to go. I have some clothes but not a ton as i want to wait and see how big he is. We have a carseat and a baby bath for the kitchen sink and a Girasol wrap to carry him around in. I’m prepared with cloth nursing pads, frozen herbal sitz bath pads for postpartum recovery and nursing bras. I’ve put some baking in my freezer and prepped my husband that he will probably have to take over the grocery shopping and cooking for awhile. (This is not at all daunting to him as he does it half the time anyway.)
My hospital bag isn’t packed because I still need things that I would put in it. I don’t have a stroller because we are going to try wearing him and see how that goes first. I don’t have a special chair to rock him in as I’m going to try a friends first after he is born to see if he even likes it and then pick one up off of kijiji if necessary. I don’t have a change table as I’ve decided to just use the bed, couch or wherever as that seems just as easy (I’ll put something under him to change him of course.). I don’t have a mobile, any bouncy chairs, swings or play mats as I figure if I find it necessary I’ll go get it then. I haven’t written a birth plan though I’ve thought about and discussed our flexible “plan” with my birthing advocate as well as my husband and feel good about it.
I didn’t read any books on pregnancy as they simply didn’t interest me and I thought they would only create more for me to worry about. I did read several books on birth however, as well as some on parenting as those topics were of more interest to me. I feel mentally prepared enough to not be completely naive but also to know that I cannot ever be truly be prepared for something that is going to blow my mind.
So am I ready? Sure, bring it on. After all I’ll never know how strong I can be until my strength and character is tested and I have a feeling that this impending birth and following months will test me beyond the scope of my life experience thus far!