Countdown to Becoming First Time Parents

Countdown to Baby Griffin, Only 7 Weeks Left!

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Holy Cow! Baby Griffin is almost here. The last time I posted an update, we we’re around the 20 week mark. As of today, we’re 33 Weeks and 2 Days! In case you’re wondering, I have a Baby App that tracks our pregnancy to the day. It also tells us how big our baby is in terms of fruits and vegetables. Right now it’s the size of a honeydew melon.

Becoming first time parents is really a roller coaster ride. We have no baseline of what to expect, so any strange pain or feeling Jenna experiences gets us concerned about something going wrong, or the baby coming early. I’m sure we’ll be much less sensitive for Baby #2.

My last baby post painted the picture of us being pretty unprepared and not ready to bring a baby home. 13 weeks later and we’ve got things a little more under control. We did get a shocking update at our last appointment that might leave us scrambling and a little more panicky. Don’t worry, the baby is perfectly healthy, and so is Mom! 🙂

Our Crib is Fully Assembled! Baby Griffin has a Place to Sleep

Our crib is beautiful. It was also free, which is my favorite price for anything. Our friends gave it to us only asking that we never give it back. It sat in our baby’s room for the last few months unassembled with no instructions.

I’m not a super handy guy so I was a little nervous about putting this bad boy together. To be honest, I was secretly dreading it. But it was one of our goals over Christmas break, so it needed to get done.

I wandered upstairs a couple weeks ago with dread. I assumed it might take a couple hours of frustrated educated guesses since I was operating without instructions. Luckily I found the model number on the crib and used it to access a wonderful PDF of the instructions. It was basically my dream come true.

Countdown to Being First Time Parents

45 Minutes with an allen wrench and this beautiful crib is ready to hold our adorable bundle of joy. Not bad huh?

We Figured Out a Plan to Avoid Day Care Until August

I can’t believe how unbelievably expensive day care is. It’s insane!!! It makes me wonder if I went into the wrong career. In our city, day care ranges from $800 a month to well over $1,000 for just one kid. Also, some day cares have a waiting list until August of 2019!!! That’s 19 months away! Why not save the waiting list for people who are ACTUALLY PREGNANT!

Luckily we got a jump start on this and found someone we know and trust in the lower price range, phew! Bonus: it’s practically on our way to work, which is so convenient!

With Baby Griffin arriving in March, that leaves us with about 7 weeks left of the school year when Jenna’s maternity leave expires. 7 weeks is not long enough to justify enrolling in day care just to take the baby out during the summer. With some help, we devised a better plan that will save us THOUSANDS of dollars.

Part 1: Use our own sick time to extend maternity leave.

Jenna and I each get 8 sick days a year, and they carry over if we don’t use them. I have about 40 days, and Jenna has roughly 35.

Since Jenna only gets 6 weeks of paid maternity leave, she’s taking two extra weeks of sick time to maximize her time at home with the baby. Then, once she goes back to work, I’ll take 2 weeks of sick time to get one on one Daddy time. This leaves us with 3 weeks remaining.

Part 2: Family Has Volunteered to Help!

Both of our families are amazing! While we were talking about how to cover these last 3 weeks, Jenna’s brother called randomly and asked if he could fly down from Alaska and care for Baby Griffin for a week. Seriously, you can’t make this up! We were blown away and obviously said yes! Her brother is awesome and will take our little tike for all kinds of hikes.

It was totally unexpected and we are so excited that he gets to spend quality time with his new niece or nephew.

The next week, Jenna’s mom is planning on traveling from Southern Illinois to watch the baby for a week. Apparently her family loves to travel extreme distances to care for newborns!

Lastly, my family has offered to come visit for a week or two if we need it. I have 3 sisters, and all of them said they would love to come up and visit and hold the baby for hours on end. And of course clean up messy diapers too. 🙂

That brings us to summer vacation when we will be home and only working sparingly at our second job! Phew! This plan is saving us thousands of dollars!!! That’s IF everything goes according to plan! And then this happened…

Baby Griffin Might Arrive Sooner Than Expected

Hold the phone! That’s not part of the plan! Before you freak out, let me explain. Then you can freak out!

Our original due date is March 3, which is less than 7 weeks away! That’s hardly any time at all! We had an appointment on Friday the 12 and learned that Baby Griffin is measuring at about 36 weeks.

Wait a minute, what?!

The baby is only supposed to be 33 weeks! That’s 3 weeks too soon!!! We’re not ready for that!

If you don’t already know this about us, we like to have a plan. We want to make sure our ducks are in a row if the baby comes early. However, we haven’t set that plan up yet. Now our brains are working in over drive to figure out all the things we need to do now, instead of in a few weeks. This is what I’ve got so far.

1. Pack the hospital bags!

We’re actually planning to do this in the next two weeks, but it’s not done yet. Since we haven’t officially had any showers, we don’t have all of the necessities to bring baby home, like a car seat. Technically we have a car seat, but not the base or the extra padding to secure Baby Griffin. Update: My Dad bought us a car seat/stroller combo that arrived in the mail 3 days ago! I love my Dad.

We were recently talking to friends about bringing baby home and the intense requirements for a car seat. They said it’s the one thing the hospital really seems to care about besides the baby being healthy. Now I basically have a picture of a Secret Service caliber team of people ensuring Baby Griffin will get home safely and that our car seat meets all the regulations.

Countdown to Becoming First Time Parents

Dispatch, we’ve got first time parents who don’t know how to buckle the car seat. Send back up.

2. Day Care

If Baby comes early, we can’t make it to summer without a lot of help. As of right now, Jenna would go back to work with 5 weeks left of the school year and as I mentioned earlier, we’ve got people to help cover those weeks. We don’t, however, have enough help to cover 8-10 weeks if Baby Griffin arrives early. Anyone else want to watch our baby? 😉

3. Call Insurance to Make Sure Everything is In Order

It’s been on our list to call our insurance provider for a while. We’ve heard there are several things we can take advantage of, and want to make sure we’re doing everything we need to do to be prepared. It’ll also give us a good idea of what Jenna’s pay will look like.

We know she’ll be at 70% pay, but we’d love a more exact amount rather than an estimate. Also, talking with insurance and payroll will give us a better idea of how her pay is affected once she comes back. We already know it will be lower than normal until August when our new contract starts, but again we like to plan ahead. Not to mention, our budget works better when we know how much money we’re actually making. 🙂

4. Create and Write Down a Birthing Plan

This is a pretty big one. There are about a bajillion options for giving birth, but every pregnancy and woman are different so we need to figure out what works best for us. Jenna has a pretty good idea of what she wants, it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper so we both remember. I want a reference guide when we’re in the delivery room and everyone is screaming. We also want to tour the birthing center to learn more about the available options.

Here are some decisions we’ve discussed so far:

  • Avoid an epidural if at all possible
  • C-Section will only be a last resort
  • Nobody else can be in the room besides Dad. All family can wait
  • Dad gets to announce the gender and present Baby Griffin to Mom
  • Who cuts the umbilical cord, Dad or Doctor?

I’m sure there’s a lot more, I just can’t remember it all, haha. I guess that’s why we need to write it down.

One thing we decided to do is to have this hard conversation. It’s going to sound morbid, but to us, it’s incredibly important.

What do you do if complications arise and you have to choose between Mom and Baby?

Again, super morbid and something no family wants to even think about. But it’s a very real situation. My wife is a super planner and brought this up years ago, long before we started trying to get pregnant. Since it will be impossible to make a rational decision in the heat of the moment, we wanted to make a plan ahead of time. If something goes wrong, we are on the same page.

Countdown to Becoming First Time Parents

Here’s an adorable sweater and booties to brighten the dark, gloomy mood. Our baby is going to be so cute!

Jenna Stopped Working a Second Job

My beautiful wife is 8 months pregnant and becoming increasingly uncomfortable. At some point she needed to take time off from her second job and we decided that time is now.

Working as a server in a fancy Italian restaurant takes a toll on a person, especially all the walking and maneuvering between tables. Plus, as Jenna mentions, it’s awkward to bump into people with her belly in the crowded sections. “Sorry, please excuse me while I ram you with my belly.”

I’m really excited that she’s officially done working. She’s been a trooper for our family this entire pregnancy and has worked a lot. It’s helped keep us on track toward our savings and investing goals. Now she can just get some extra rest, take more baths, and really get ready for baby to arrive.

It’s the Final Countdown!

With only a few weeks left, we’re so close to meeting our little guy/girl and we couldn’t be more excited! Its incredible to think we’ll be holding our baby so soon! I get all giddy and smily just thinking about it! Until then, I’m going to enjoy my full nights of uninterrupted sleep and a schedule that I get to choose! Wish us luck!

Countdown to Becoming First Time Parents

Let Me Know in the Comments

What are we missing? What tips do you have to survive the last few weeks of pregnancy, and the first few weeks with a newborn?

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6 Comments

  1. Wooo! I hadn’t realized having a baby was so complicated until now…but it seems you have all bases covered! Having your family willing to pitch in like this is a life saver, especially with crazy daycare costs…

    I hope little baby doesn’t derail your plans by coming too soon!

    All the best 😉
    TOF

    • Thanks! We keeping telling him/her to just stay put for a while, haha. It’s crazy how complicated it can be for babies! And so much information and advice is out there that it’s overwhelming!

      We feel really lucky with our family helping. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. The insurance thing was soooo frustrating! I just wanted to know options, but until she was here I basically got nothing. Thankfully newborns sleep a lot, so both of us called different companies to see what our options were. Yay for 30 day grace period. Daycare…..so crazy hard to find. We had one open option in like a ten mile radius. I kept my birth plan overall simple like the things you have, I also had immediate skin to skin too unless baby needed help. Don’t be surprised if Jenna has contractions and they turn you away from staying, I was turned away twice. The 2nd time they were only a few minutes apart. They said to come back when when they hurt more, I’m sure the look I gave was super pleasant. Good luck, overall he/she only really needs a few essential things and loads of your love 🙂 can’t wait to see pics of little one! You guys will be great!

    • Turned away!? That doesn’t sound fun. Our plan is to keep things pretty simple too and definitely have the immediate skin time. We’re beyond excited and will post all kinds pictures to share the cuteness. 😁

  3. If you need help this summer for any babysitting gaps, please let us know. I know two teenage girls that would love to be a “mother’s helper” whenever you need them. Even next summer…I will fly them home. Also don’t be too strict on the birth plan. Let the nurses and Dr direct the birth plan when it comes to labor pains. If an epidural is offered take it- as once you miss that golden hour of time, she can’t have it once she begins pushing. And please don’t worry about who to save should something go terribly wrong. Modern medicine is so advanced that both would survive, no matter what. Pack Jenna’s hospital bag. Get a pet sitter for the pups. Once again get a pet sitter for the pups. I can’t stress that enough. Pack a baby blanket and wrap baby in it to get baby’s scent. Then Dad bring it home and let the dogs smell it, sleep with it etc. Baby will be welcomed into the pack! Pick two people to call other family members with baby’s weight, height, etc. then be done with the calling. Have quiet time as a family after baby is born. So much to learn, experience and ponder. Secure baby car seat in car today. You might get a care package of freebies from the hospital. Use them. And most importantly- use common sense and let your instincts kick in. You can do this!

    • Haha the girls must really want to babysit! We’ll take their help anytime their in town!

      We’re packing Jenna’s bag this week and then our next big mission is to figure out a dog plan for when we need to be at the hospital. Thanks for the pro tips!

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