Thursday, August 4, 2016

10 things to Do When You're Expecting the Unexpected

Alternately titled:  The Unplanned Pregnancy
A lot of people plan their pregnancies.  They read up on all the right ways to make a baby.  They may even only do certain things or eat certain foods to try and conceive one gender over another. These people have been writing their "Before Baby" to-do list for a while now.
Then there are people like me.  The people like me didn't really plan on creating a human life, but it happened anyway.  This list is made up of things that I did once I found out that I was going to have a baby.  I really wish I would have done some of these things differently.  Learn from my mistakes.

1) Make a plan to save.

If you didn't plan on getting pregnant, you also weren't planning on the spending roughly $12,000 throughout their first year of life.  Now that estimate is probably on the higher end, but better to estimate high than low right? Corey and I started a savings account right after we found out I was pregnant and it has been a life saver when buying those big items like the crib.  It will also help us when I take a big pay cut on Maternity Leave.
Inline image 3
My advice: 
-Research assistance programs you may qualify for. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) can help you purchase qualifying food items and formula.  They have a pre-screening tool where you can check your eligibility.  You may also qualify to receive state assistance for childcare.
-Consider breastfeeding and making your own baby food (I got a baby bullet from my work friends so we can do this!)
-Tie up loose ends! I set up my student loan repayment through the Army, set up a payment plan on an old debt, and made a plan to reduce my monthly spending to make things a little easier with a baby.
-Shop online/used/consignment/yard sale sites etc.  Of course you'll need to be careful about what you buy used, but there are definitely ways to save money on baby things by buying used.  People even sell unopened packages of diapers online at a discount!
2) Decide how to document your pregnancy.  Or if you will at all. 
I made a plan for this and did not follow through with it.  I really wish I had though.  My issue with this was I never felt "cute" enough to take a "bump-date" picture. If I would have just picked an outfit and stuck to it, or planned one day every week or two weeks I would have been a lot better at documenting this time.

My advice: For success on this one is to set up a specific plan on when you want to take pictures, what you want to wear, and how you want to show how far along you are.  Or else you'll end up like this:
Inline image 5
3) Tell your friends and family.
If your pregnancy was a whoopsie like mine was, telling your friends and family is probably more nerve-wracking that it is exciting.  When I told my mom, I was very nervous, but it helped me to prepare for her reaction.  I thought about the questions she (and anyone else I told) would ask and I answered them as they came. 
Corey and I told our parents, sisters, grandparents and other family individual, and we made an official announcement after the 10 week ultrasound.  We made up our cute little announcing picutre and took to Facebook.
 Inline image 6
My advice:  It isn't a bad idea to wait until after you're 10 weeks along to tell people.  The risk of miscarriage greatly decreases after you hear and see the heartbeat.  But of course, to each their own. I didn't wait till 10 weeks to tell my family and it turned out alright.  Also, anticipate the questions people will ask.  Corey and I aren't married and people ask me all the time "When are you getting married?!"  I don't know if they realize this is a little rude...but regardless, I'll answer.  I have a rehearsed response that helps me handle this question.
4) Decide if you want to know the gender.
Inline image 2
This was a no-brainer for me.  I definitely wanted to know and Corey did too.  This is another one of those questions that people ask right away so decided how to answer this is a good idea.
My advice:  Decide sooner rather than later.  I promise you won't have the strength to say "No" to the question "Would you like to know the gender?"  If you decided in the moment.

5) Determine if  you'll be having a baby shower.  Most first time moms will have a baby shower.  Your sister/mom/aunt/friends will usually plan it and you'll be the guest of honor.  However just because someone didn't jump up and volunteer to throw one, doesn't mean they don't want to.  Suggest it to your friends and family and see what they say.  In my opinion, you can even throw one for yourself.

I was a part of the planning process for my shower and I loved that.  I decided on the theme, gave my sister the guest list, helped pick out the invites, and chose the food.  My family did all the heavy lifting, so to speak, and Corey and I attended.  We got lots of much needed gifts and we had a diaper raffle that supplied us with plenty of diapers to get us started. It was a huge success and I highly recommend it.

In fact, I'm going to write an entire post dedicated to having a shower.  Stay tuned for that one.

For me: registering really paid off.  Most of my friends and family purchased off my registry which means I got things that I needed/wanted.  As I got several duplicate items at my shower, because I was registered at Target they took every item and returned it whether it had a receipt or not.  As long as they carried it, it was returned.  I ended up with a nearly $200 gift card for me to purchase any left over items at that 15% discount.

6) Make a plan for new baby's insurance.
In my inexperience, this is one of the last things I thought about.  I'd be willing to bet that this one caught you by surprise too. As I'm under 26, I'm still on my mom's plan.  New baby cannot be on my mom's health insurance plan. 
My advice:  Get ahead of the game and plan for this early.  Apply for Medicaid, research your marketplace options, check out what your employer has to offer, etc.  Clara's due date has completely sneaked up on us and I'm scrambling to ensure she has health care coverage.  Don't do that.  It's not worth the stress.
7) Decide on a nursery theme and colors.
I decided early on that I really like gray furniture with other colors to accent.  Later on, I decided that I wanted the decoration theme to be hot air balloons.  Just so you know, this was NOT as easy as I expected.  So far, the only thing hot air balloon in my daughter's room is her crib set and I didn't even really try to match those colors with the other items in her room.
Inline image 1
My advice:  Pick something that isn't so hard to find.  I love the hot air balloons and I don't regret it, but I haven't really done a lot of decorating because I feel like I have to fabricate hot air balloon things on my own. 

Lambs and Ivy has TONS of different themes to choose from that will be easy for you to find in stores and online.  If you have the money to spend, I'd recommend finding your favorite theme there and going with that.

8) Make sure you know what's up with your living situation.
When you aren't planning to get pregnant, where you're living may not work out so great with a baby.  If you have roommates, this could pose an issue.  Do you live with your parents? Does your baby's dad live with you? Do you want him to?
For us, it worked its self out.  I was living with my little sister, but rent got to be too much for her income.  Corey was living with his friends who are also pregnant and needed his room for the nursery.  Sister moved out.  Corey moved in.  I knew right away that I wanted Corey to be there with me, but we had 6 months to actually make the move and we were able to give the landlord plenty of notice.  She even let us renew the lease to next spring to make new baby life easier.

9) Get to cleaning.
Chances are you don't need this on a to-do list to get it done.  My nesting instincts kicked in a few months ago and they've been fairly strong since.  I'll still let a mess accumulate (I'm a messy person...sorry, Corey) but I've gotten much better at getting them cleaned up in preparation for the baby.
My advice:  Don't try to do it all at once but take advantage of the inspiration/spurts of energy to clean or organize. I couldn't sleep the other night, so I started sorting Clara's washed clothes and putting them away.  More than half of that is done and I don't have to worry about it.  I also organized my closet and figured out some ways to help keep things cleaner later.  I know it will be hard once the baby comes so I want our routine to be easier if possible.

10) Decided if you want to take Maternity Photos.  In my last post you saw that we did ours recently. This was an awesome experience and I know that I will absolutely love having those pictures to remember this time.  I would  highly recommend it.  Because I was so terrible at documenting my pregnancy these photos were even more worth it.


Post a Comment

Designed By Poppiness Designs