Monday, 20 January 2014
In case you didn't already hear the news, we're expecting our first baby around the end of July! We were too early at our first scan (just eleven weeks) so we're having another one this week so we can figure out our official due date. Not that the baby is going to be born on that day, but it still gives us something to count down to!
For now, we'll answer all of your nosy questions. Some we've already asked, some we'll sure will come up soon. Simon's answers (given while playing the NHL14 game on the PlayStation) are in red.
1. Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
Rachel: Nope. We will hopefully be able to find out at our 20-week scan, but we've not decided if we want to tell everyone, or keep it a secret. We're not a big fan of gender-specific clothes/toys, plus, everyone is having so much fun telling us what sex they think it is (something that we don't entirely understand, but hey ho) that we don't really want to spoil that fun ;)
Simon: No. But we'll find out. And then not tell anyone.
2. Do you want a boy or a girl?
Rachel: We don't really mind. Maybe when it comes to our second child we'll decide we'd like to have a baby of the opposite gender, but at this stage we're just excited that we're having a baby!
3. Where will you have the baby?
Rachel: We haven't decided yet, but providing that we remain low-risk for the rest of our pregnancy, it'll either be the birthing centre at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, or a home birth. If we end up being high-risk, we can choose between the Royal and St. John's in Livingston--we'd probably go with the latter simply because I know a lot of women who have given birth there, and my mum has worked there for 25 years and knows a lot of the nurses, so I'd feel more comfortable in that environment. Really, that's what it comes down to--wherever we think we'll be the most relaxed and comfortable. We have plenty of time to decide!
Simon: In a place. Preferably with food.
4. Have you decided on any names?
Rachel: We only have one boy's name we both really like, so that may end up sticking. For girls, we have a handful we both like. Once we know if the baby is a boy or a girl we'd like to decide on a name so we stop calling it "the baby". We're probably not going to tell anyone the name before the baby is born as people love to give opinions, or tell horrible stories like, "Oh, you like Timothy? My great uncle was called Timothy and he was a White Supremacist who was put in prison for arson and murder" which will ruin the name.
5. Are you going to move house?
Rachel: We specifically picked a property that had enough space for at least one child, or not more, because we've both moved house a ridiculous number of times in the last four years and would like to stay put until we've saved enough to actually buy a house of our own. Our second bedroom is currently a study and dining-room, but the rooms can be rearranged to make a children's bedroom eventually. For the first six months, we're probably going to keep the baby in our bedroom to make night-time feedings easier.
6. Are you planning to breastfeed?
Rachel: Yes. It's cheap, doesn't involve all the fuss of sterilising bottles (especially if we're out of the house) and we think it's the healthiest option for our baby. We plan to breastfeed for the first six months, and then we'll see what seems best after that point. Since I'm at home 24/7 anyway, we don't need to worry about expressing milk or switching to formula when I go back to work, so we're pretty flexible.
Simon: Yes, yes, I am.
7. Any opinions on nappies?
Rachel: About a year ago, I loved the idea of cloth nappies. Now that we're six months away from actually having a baby, and already absolutely shattered, we're not sure if it's something we want to do straight away. One of my main reasons for liking the idea of cloth nappies was how cheap everyone claimed it was, but disposable nappies actually seem pretty cheap right now. Maybe we'll try cloth nappies when the baby is older, but for now we're going with disposable ones as it seems like the least stressful and time-consuming option for new parents.
Simon: They're probably useful.
8. Are you going to buy a car?
Rachel: Since neither of us can drive and we'll be paying for zillions of nappies, it doesn't seem like the most sensible option right now. We accidentally rented a house that is on the most frequent bus service in Edinburgh and we live within three miles of the largest Tesco on the planet, a branch of our bank, two primary schools, two pharmacies, our doctor's practice, two parks, a library with an excellent children's programme, and at least five bakeries (no, I'm not kidding, and most of them are on the same street), so right now we're really happy with being car-less. It means that I automatically tick the "is participating in regular cardio-vascular exercise" box with my midwife, and will hopefully inspire me to get out the house and run some small errands once the baby is here. If we end up buying a house that's not close to as many shops or not on a decent bus route, we'll look into learning to drive and getting a car, but right now saving up for the baby and a mortgage deposit are our priorities. (Also, an off-shoot of this question: if we decide to have the baby at the birthing centre or hospital, we'll take a taxi. Another benefit to living in a city!)
9. Is Simon going to be at the birth?
Rachel: Definitely. He's going to go to birthing classes and all that stuff too. No pacing outside in the waiting room for him--especially if we decide to go for a home birth.
10. Are you going to have an epidural or a natural birth?
Rachel: Shockingly, there are some options in between those two, like gas and air or TENS or water birth. We've decided that we don't want an epidural (it tends to lengthen the birth, and limit the positions you labour in, and there's a higher chance of needing forceps, etc) but we're not fixed on anything in particular right now.
Simon: I might have an epidural. Rachel won't.
11. Are you going to decorate the baby's room?
Rachel: The baby isn't going to have its own room to begin with, and after that we won't be able to decorate because we don't own this house. We'll probably put some pictures up.
Simon: The baby has its own room?
12. How have you been feeling?
Rachel: Pick up a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Looking at all the symptoms listed for the first three months. Aside from heartburn, I've had every one. And wonderfully, I progressed from all-day nausea to random vomiting at around 8 weeks. I sway between feeling fine aside from some back ache and morning nausea to throwing up and not wanting to get out of bed. I'm hoping this eases off after 14 weeks, but we'll see how it goes.
Simon: Fine, thanks. How're you?
13. Would you like some of this baby stuff that's in our attic?
Rachel: We're not sure what we need right now, as several family members have offered to buy things for us, and there are a couple of things we'd like to buy new, simply because we're planning to have at least two children and will definitely get a lot of use out of them. We're definitely not going to turn down any clothes or small toys! We have a ridiculously small amount of storage space in our house, so please don't be offended if we turn something down that we won't use until the baby is older--we probably just don't have space for it right now.
Simon: Maybe. Ask Rachel.
14. Bassinet, Moses basket, crib, co-sleeping?
Rachel: We're going to use a Moses basket on a stand when the baby is small, then probably a cot. We're not against the baby being in our bed if it's being really fussy and it's the only way we get some sleep.
Simon: It's going to sleep in a basket.
15. Are you going to wear your baby or use a pram?
Rachel: Both. Baby-wearing seems useful for grocery shopping and travelling to certain places where taking the pram would be awkward, but we're definitely planning to get a pram--preferably one that can convert for various age stages.
16. How are you going to keep up with your writing when the baby comes?
Rachel: I don't have a fixed plan in place, since we don't know exactly how our lives will change once the little one gets here. Working from home will definitely be easier (and cheaper) than going back to work and having to arrange childcare for a little baby, but I don't mind putting my writing aside for a season if it's what's necessary. My books will still be there when I come back to them, but the baby will grow up fast!
Simon: Rachel will do something. (Rachel: This sounds like he doesn't care, but really he just doesn't have an opinion on something that's largely my decision).
17. How are you going to educate your child?
Rachel: Since this baby hasn't even passed the end of the first trimester, this isn't something we've decided on just yet. We're still not sure where to give birth to the baby yet, so education is a little while off ;) We're not ruling anything out--public, private, homeschooling, etc. It really depends on what suits our child best.
Simon: Belt. (Rachel: Actually, one thing we both agreed on early on is that we don't want to use physical discipline on our children).
18. Are you going to have a baby shower?
Rachel. Yes! One of my friends has offered to plan this, and I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun. I like the practical idea that Americans have of giving you baby paraphernalia before the baby gets here. Then we know what we actually need to buy ;) On that note, if you'd prefer to cook us some meals to stick in the freezer for the post-birth days, or get us something super practical like nappies, we're all for that. We'll be needing more than just cute outfits!
Simon: Yeah, it'll probably get dirty.
19. Would you like to hear this horrific story about my sister's ex-boyfriend's cousin's traumatic birth experience?
Rachel: Seriously, we heard enough horror stories before we even got pregnant. I think we might actually be immune to them by now. The same goes for any story involving projectile puke or poop. People love to tell those stories to childless women, I've discovered. It didn't put us off!
Simon: Only if I can fall asleep.
20. Are you excited?
Rachel: Yes! It felt a bit surreal to begin with (we didn't think we'd get pregnant so quickly) but we're definitely excited. Occasionally I get worried or stressed out about all the big decisions we need to make, but Simon is pretty good at keeping me calm, thankfully.
Simon: Mhm. (Simon: He is excited, really. But he also got a new video game today, and he's known about the baby for quite a while now. We can forgive his current lack of enthusiasm!)
We have exhausted all the possible questions we could come up with, but I'm sure you'll find some more! ;)