As I previously mentioned, it's baby season again. Several dear friends of mine have found themselves knocked-up, with child, and in the family way. I am elated and excited not only for a new squishy baby but for new opportunities to share my wisdom and know-it-allness. One lovely mother-to-be recently asked me what she should be doing right now to prepare for her pending arrival. I figured she couldn't possibly be the only one seeking my sage advice. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity and give the future baby mamas a step-by-step guide to this beautiful time of preparation and growth.
Week 5: Pee on a stick. Hurrah! You are 1/8th of the way through your pregnancy and you didn't even know it. Tell your baby daddy. Tell Allison. Not only is she an expert at keeping secrets, you will need her knowledge and know-how to make it through the next nine months. Buy yourself some baby books (May I recommend Your Pregnancy Week by Week). Read up on the growing and the changing.
Weeks 5-12: Glow. Sleep. If you didn't do it the day you pulled the goalie, get on daycare waiting lists. Draft your Cradle List.
Weeks 5-40: Go out to dinner. I recommend fancy places with dim lighting. Other things to keep in mind, very quiet or very loud, preferrably only serving drinks served in martini glasses. You will forget what they look like if you don't get it out of your system now.
Week 13: Tell your friends, family, the mailman, the barista. Announcing my pregnancy was one my favorite parts of being pregnant. When people get over the shock (or the fear that they'll never see you again), their faces light up, they give you big hugs, and tears may form in their eyes. Maybe the mailman will fear for the impending barrage of cards and packages, and barista will second guess your decaf or full-caff choices, but most everyone else will rejoice.
Week 14: Buy yourself some extra hair-ties so you can extend your non-maternity wardrobe.
Week 15: Discover that hair-ties are getting you nowhere. Burn through your child's college fund with an excessive order to gap.com.
Week 16: Register for prenatal yoga. Tell your boss. Don't tell them too early, because you want them to start to get the hint before you spill the beans. You don't want to catch them by too much of a surprise, so I recommend wearing tented blouses, orthopedic shoes and announcing that you can't eat unpasteurized cheese. You also want to tell them early enough so they realize that they cannot live without you and will beg to take you back, reduced schedule, pumping room and all.
Week 17: Con your doctor into giving you an early ultrasound so you can start envisioning pink or blue.
Week 20: Start asking your friends, neighbors and the barista for pediatrician recommendations. Sleep.
Week 22: Call your dear friend Allison for baby registry advice. She's killed her registry and she knows what she's talking about.
Week 26: Defend your cankles. Sleep. Read some books about baby sleep.
Week 28: Register for a childbirth class. If you're going to try to breastfeed, read some books on that.
Week 30: Sleep.
Week 31: If you haven't already done so, get yourself a maid.
Week 32: Build some sympathy. Start laying a guilt trip about your aching back, your heartburn, your acne. Leave earmarked Tiffany's catalog lying on the sofa.
Week 33: Graciously accept a surprise prenatal massage. Oh honey, you shouldn't have!
Week 36: Install carseat. Sleep.
Week 37-38: Assemble all that plastic crap people gave you as gifts, pack-and-play, stroller, swing. pack your hospital bag.
Week 39: Go out to dinner. Every night. Sleep.
Week 40: Tell that baby to get out get out get out.
Call Allison and tell her what a genius she is and you couldn't have done it without her. Invite her over to snuggle with that little baby so you can get yourself some sleep.