Planning for pregnancy, delivery and beyond

As I am quickly approaching 12 weeks, I have the urge to sort out some pregnancy preparations.

In the past week, I’ve accomplished the following:

Registered for hypnobirthing

I’ve always wanted to take hypnobirthing as I hope to achieve a natural childbirth. I registered my husband and I for a local session running from mid-May to mid-June.

I’m also really looking forward to using this session as a chance to connect deeper with my baby and myself. I’ve been a bit “out of tune” since our loss. I’m gradually working on getting back to my regular meditation routine.

Found an amazing doula!

We met last night for tea and had lots in common – reiki, cards, birthing views, etc. I sent her an email this evening letting her know we are interested in hiring her. I hope she works out. 🙂

She is working on her placenta encapsulation certification. I’m hoping to be one of the first ones she does this Fall.

I’m also interested in getting her for a Blessingway ceremony. I have a large group of intuitive/spiritual friends. I feel like this ceremony is much more “me” than a traditional baby shower (although I assume I will end up having both).

Started researching newborn photographers

WOW! I am seriously grateful for the friends who did our wedding photography. They were amazing and charged me way under fair market value. Ever since then, I’ve struggled with the cost of professional photography. My husband feels that the cost is worth it for capturing priceless memories of our newborn baby.

We looked through a few local newborn photographers to chose the style of photography we prefer. Right now, we are leaning towards studio shots with posed newborn (as opposed to family shots or natural light photography). We’ll see if we have it in the budget to pull it off. Right now, the estimate is looking at anywhere between $600-1000 depending on which photographer we choose. YIKES! 

I don’t think we will finalize this decision until after we have budgeted for baby necessities (crib, stroller, etc…).

Next up on my list is to look into: 

Additional child birth preparation classes. There are a few others offered in our region besides hypnobirthing. For those of you who have taken additional classes, would you recommend them? I’m so confused as to whether or not they are necessary since we are already taking hypnobirthing and will have a doula.

Setting a budget. Living in Canada means I have the benefit of a year-long maternity leave. However, I do not have any employer top-up. Living off the max Employment Insurance (EI) amount will be a huge financial strain for us – especially since I make more money than my husband does and we’ve spent our savings on IVF. We have a savings goal we hope to obtain before baby comes, but I also need to figure out how much we will need to spend to prepare for baby. I need to weigh the necessities vs. the nice to haves. I pre-ordered the 2015 Baby Bargains book and hope this may help with some decisions. Thanks My Perfect Breakdown for the recommendation. 🙂  I haven’t done much in terms of baby shopping. I’m really holding off on nursery planning until we have confirmation that our baby is a boy.

Child care. Originally, my husband and I thought we would split the leave with 6 months each. We didn’t time this pregnancy very well (which is ironic because we totally timed it!). If I were to only take 6 months, I’d return to work right at the start of farming season which would leave 2-3 months of additional required child-care while my husband is at the farm. It doesn’t make sense to do that, so I’ll most likely take the full year off. Either way, we will have to secure child-care for when I return to work in Fall 2016. Sometimes, you need to get yourself on a wait list months ahead of time. I’d like to look into my options now – private daycare vs. public daycare vs. daytime nanny.

If you have any advice on any of the above mentioned items, I’d love to hear it!

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20 thoughts on “Planning for pregnancy, delivery and beyond

  1. You’ve sure been busy! I have also found newborn photographers to be way too expensive for us. I knew they would be expensive, but the cost for all of the photos just on a flash drive from one photographer would cost us 3 times my husband’s monthly salary! My mom says that when babies are a little older, they can be more expressive, so maybe we should save up until then. I think we’ll probably end up taking mostly our own photos.

    As for classes, we have attended two so far – Infant CPR and one called Mommy & Me about caring for mom and baby for the first few weeks home from the hospital. While there were some okay things in these classes, if you have experience with children, I would say to skip them. You can do an Internet search about infant CPR and learn about just as much as we did at the class. I am hoping that some of our other classes like breastfeeding and labor and delivery will be more helpful.

    I wish you all the best as you continue your preparations!

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  2. Yikes! That is a lot of money for newborn photos! I think I’m too scrooge like. 😀

    Take a baby CPR class (says the mom who hasn’t done that…).

    I have bought so much of my boy’s (and 2nd child’s) stuff second hand (or borrowed from friends and family). It is amazing what you can get gently used and for a much cheaper price!!

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  3. This is making me think a lot. I’ve looked into many but need to do some more research. I think and nanny is worth the money compared to a daycare for young children. I personally feel the social interaction is better when their toddlers and in daycare. Photos are a must in my book, priceless! I too lean towards the studio posed kind for infants. Family photos can be taken by a good eyed friend or family member much easier. Yay for a doula!! So glad you found one, it made me feel much better when we hired ours. I’m definitely going to need to check out that book too. Also, I’m in the same boat on classes, how worth it are they when you have a doula??

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  4. I think you’re smart to do so much planning early on! It’s easier to get your ducks in a row and know what the plan is, than to be scrambling at the end and stressing yourself out. I’m really jealous that you guys get a whole year off…we’re already talking about whether or not I will return to work after having kids, since day care in this area is SO expensive. Unbelievable that photography is so expensive! Well, I guess it is believable, but it’s crazy lol!

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  5. I would recommend a breastfeeding class. I didn’t take one and felt like I was so in over my head and I still kick myself for giving up after 2 weeks.

    I had a friend do newborn photos who is just starting out in photography. I was honestly disappointed. With that said, I would have paid more for better photos because they’re only that little for such a short amount of time.

    I learned the hard way not to buy so much stuff up front. I returned a lot of things and ended up buying different stuff. Some of the stuff I could have saved even more had I bought second hand (rock and play, play pen, etc). If I were to start from the beginning again I would ask for diapers and gift cards and a few big items. Clothes are overrated and the baby hardly wears them before growing out of them. I know I’m going to have a whole pile of 6 month summer clothes Mackenzie probably won’t even wear because she’s so small.

    I think a must is a car seat and stroller that are compatible. I love out travel system and it’s so easy to use!

    That’s awesome you get a year off. I am very jealous! I go back to work next week (she’ll be 16 weeks) and it’s killing me inside.

    Feel free to message me on fb if you have any other questions!

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  6. Wow, you are on your A game! I admire your desire to plan and prep. At 22 weeks I haven’t done hardly anything and I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed. But your list, along with comments about what’s valuable, I’m feeling like I have a little direction! XO

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  7. You canadians are so lucky you get a whole year leave!! Here in Hawaii we only get 6 weeks of paid leave at 58% of your salary and a max of 12 weeks leave (6 of which would be unpaid). Im so jealous! haha

    You are so on it Lyndsey!! Good for you, Im way behind on everything… but I kinda needed it to be like that so I dont go crazy with everything not working out as planned… You’re gonna be a wonderful mama!

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  8. Taking a tour of the birthing facility (unless a home birth is planned) around 20-something weeks is a good thing to plan for, too.

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