This week was my last week of my second trimester and I’m very excited. I feel good about going into my last three months and feel like I’m mostly prepared. I’m due to have baby Logan in February and I’m really excited as we get closer to the 14th. Of course the doctor says I’m due on the 23rd, but my mother calculated the same date I did for his due date…so we’ll see how that goes. A lot of the things I am doing to prepare for Logan were out of a desire to simplify as much as possible before he comes. There is a distinct possibility that we’ll be moving because of Ian’s job as soon as a couple of months after he is born, so the more I can adopt a more hands-free routine for the day-to-day home management and a simplified home overall, the better off we’ll be. Of course, even if we don’t end up moving it won’t hurt, so I’m just embracing the crazy nesting instincts and putting them to good use. I spent a lot of time in my first trimester working, trying to get us financially stable and build our savings so my second trimester I spent focusing on home organization and simple preparedness.
The most important thing I did in my second trimester
The most important thing for my sanity, and probably the thing my husband wanted to laugh at most was I packed my labor and deliver bag right at the end of my second trimester. I wasn’t as big as a house yet so it was easy, and since they say you’ll go home from the hospital about the same size that you were when you were 6 months the along…when better to pick out a not-unflattering hospital outfit? I also have this irrational fear (that probably comes from watching too many medical tv shows, don’t judge!) but I’m afraid that if for some reason the baby comes earlier than he should that I won’t be ready. I’ll write a post about what I packed in it later, but for now, I’m just happy that it’s hanging out in the nursery and ready to go on the very off chance that I need it.
Money stuff I handled in the second trimester
Money is something that I like having neatly organized, but don’t prefer to fool with a lot. I started using Mint.com so I could login and see the big picture all at once. It helps me make wiser financial decisions when I am looking at everything all at once, including our financial goals, the balance of all of our bank accounts, plus the balance of our investments and debts. Seriously, I love it and it’s totally free with all of it’s features, no “pay this to get all the features” junk that’s everywhere nowadays. That drives me batty!
I work with the thought that when you’re preparing for a busy season, the best approach is “If it takes too much work, it won’t happen.” So I plan accordingly. I didn’t want to have to think about when what bill was coming out, so I setup mindless auto bill pay. I had auto bill pay setup already for some of our bills, but we switched banks which allowed me to make things even simpler by having all the bills come out at the same time, on the 15th of the month. Anything that didn’t have an option to pay on my date, I put the money in PayPal in one big lump sum so I wouldn’t have to watch when those little transactions were coming out.
Since I knew we would have a lot of little expenses, I started saving more aggressively with Digit. I used our original Digit balance from the last quarter to buy Ian a very nice Christmas and birthday present because we had been doing so well meeting our financial goals and then some…so I plan to make one final Amazon order in January of any last-minute things I want to stock up on, and Digit will determine the budget for that. I have an Amazon Wish List that’s been an ongoing way for me to keep my ideas for things I wanted to get so I didn’t forget anything.
Cleaning and Organizing
Once we knew we were having a boy I went through our girl baby clothes with a fine tooth comb and got rid of a ton of baby clothes we wouldn’t need in the next few years. I sent a huge box to Goodwill if it was stained or worn and sent another big box to Swap.com. I figured I could keep the credit there for if we needed clothes for Logan or Autumn. It also didn’t hurt that I was purging stuff which made my nesting instincts feel satiated for the moment.
The one thing I did that really took a lot of time was I evaluated some of the things that weren’t working very well with our current system of organization for important papers. That meant I reorganized my Home Management Binder and made sure that it could be easily handled without much active thought required from by the sleep-deprived adults.
Part of updating the important papers meant I went through the house one afternoon and documented our important items for insurance documents like my camera, our laptops, guns and our TV. I took pictures of the items, then printed the photos and added the info to a spreadsheet. I have had to file insurance claims 2 times, one for theft and one for a flood, and every time I went through the claims process swore I would never let myself have to do it again without my high ticket items inventoried – that is just annoying and a huge hassle.
While I was going through my important papers and taking care of them, I setup my will and living will and had it signed by a notary, then setup our life insurance polices. When I worked for an insurance agency, I saw first hand what happened when children died without having any kind of policy to cover their final expenses. Many families think about it for adults but not kids, and a lot of families don’t know that they don’t even need a separate policy for the kids, they can be added on to the adults’ policy for just a couple of bucks a month. While I would rather not think about the possibility, it’s better to be prepared financially should something devastating happen. We can’t add on Logan until he is born, but we got coverage on Autumn and I have a reminder in my calendar to call USAA and have him added once he’s 14 days old.
Health, wellness & miscellaneous baby things
Since I was already in the mode of preparing for future decisions and situations, I went ahead and made some important health decisions ahead of time. Things like what happens in the hospital for baby Logan’s labor and delivery are one thing because ultimately that’s just a few days and in the overall scheme of things doesn’t really affect much. There are some things I wanted to be prepared for afterward that I would need to know immediately:
- What are we going to do about birth control after baby comes? What is safe and effective for me while I’m breastfeeding? What does my insurance cover and what isn’t covered?
- Are we going to selectively vaccinate, or abstain altogether?
- What about delayed cord clamping?
When my family asked me what I needed, I all but begged them to buy me used things for the baby. I know how expensive things can be for new babies, so I included a note in my baby shower invites and then mentioned it to anyone I talked to who asked me what I wanted…I did everything I could to try to save them money, especially on high ticket items like the glider I wanted. (We ended up getting an awesome deal on some baby gear, you can read more about that here.) Part of the reason was because I am just as happy with a pack of $2 used pants for baby as I am with a matching onesie set that set them back $17.99. The other reason was that it meant our family members were able and willing to help with higher-priced items, like the Moby wrap, woven wraps and the nursing tops I was going to buy if no one ended up purchasing them for me. Having a new baby in the family isn’t just about how it effects the people living in my house, but all of the grandparents and such too, and we wanted to be considerate of their budgets when they are so willing to help us and give to us so generously.
Setup a weekend alone. While we didn’t go anywhere and do a ‘real babycation’ Ian and I did enjoy having some time alone to have some fun and do some things that were just fun and let us let loose a bit. We knew it would be a little while before we could be spontaneous about lovemaking and have time alone to just cuddle and be a couple without the more-than-is-already-normal interruptions, plus you know how grandparents are about being *forced* into having time to spoil their granddaughter, they were just so very offended to be asked. 😉 We didn’t really plan to do a lot that required a lot of money, we are planning on going out and having a nice date night, then spending the rest of the weekend at home resting and having some “grown up time” if you get what I mean. 😉
That is just about everything. The second trimester for me was all about simplifying, organizing and smoothing the way for an easy third trimester where I really just needed to keep the freezer stocked, deep clean the house once before Logan comes and keep everyone fed and happy! I would love to head what you think, and how you are preparing if you’re pregnant or how you prepared if you’re not expecting at the moment. I always love hearing how other people do things, it gives me lots of new ideas!