Okay, that ‘hour of…

Okay, that 'hour of writing time' yesterday was overly-ambitious. I was exhausted by 4:30, so instead I talked to Jed for half an hour, then lay in bed and watched a re-run of Gilmore Girls; lying down rested me enough that I was in decent shape when I went in to teach my class last night. I think class went pretty well, though for some odd reason, we were all a little punchy, it seemed -- prone to dissolving into laughter in the midst of critique sessions. No idea why. Ah well -- it's better than having a harsh, bitter critiquing session, I suppose.

Today I go in and teach a class, have a conference call, teach another class, come home and rest for a bit, then have a Rasaka staff meeting.

Other than that, the main thing we've been doing around here is opening packages. It's funny -- since Kev and I never got married, we didn't do the wedding registry thing. And honestly, even if we had done it, I'm not sure what we would have registered for; we have a pretty complete home for two people here, from bedding to wineglasses to his mother's china that she passed down to us. If we had registered, all we would have been doing would have been upgrading slightly; getting nicer sheets and unchipped, matching dishes. Which is a pleasant thought, but not actually important, y'know? Wedding registries somehow seem more appropriate for an earlier age, when most people didn't live together for years before they got married. (Though perhaps that's just the circles I run in? :-)

*Baby* registries on the other hand, are *hugely* helpful. The estimates seem to be that even if you're trying to be careful, look for sales, avoid high-end items, etc., that just buying basic baby stuff can easily run around $5000 in the first year. (Apparently diapers are $600-$1000 for that year alone). We've already spent about $1500 in medical costs for this pregnancy, and that's *with* decent health insurance -- let us not even talk about what this pregnancy would have cost without insurance, because it's truly terrifying. The financial planning books say to budget $10,000 for a 'normal' pregnancy without insurance, assuming you have some prenatal testing, monthly doctor check-ups, standard ultrasounds (my hospital charges $900/ultrasound), and spend a few days in the hospital ($1500/day) at the end. (Obviously home births are a different category entirely.) Caesareans or any other complications (like mean degenerating fibroids) up the cost significantly -- sometimes ruinously. This has been your PSA for the day: vote for universal health care!

So given the medical and diaper costs that you have to carry yourselves, it's just so nice to have friends and family helping out with the crib, the dresser, the bedding, the diaper genie, the stroller, the bouncy chair, the car seat, the moses basket, the mobile, the infant bath, the sling, the tiny toenail clippers, the swing, the baby monitor, the cute little washcloth, the nursing boppi, the baby bjorn carrier, the receiving blankets, the breast pump, the infant thermometer, the stuffed animals, the comfy nursing glider, the baby books, the nightstand, the onesies, the safety gates, the snowsuits, the other adorable and irresistible clothes, etc. and so on.

Of course you don't actually *need* everything in that list, but you do need quite a surprising amount of it. (For example, you're required to have an infant car seat to take baby home from the hospital, even if you're not planning on leaving the house for six months.) And in the set of what you don't 'need' is much that will make your life easier -- i.e., in the category of 'trying to get screaming baby to please please sleep so Mary Anne doesn't hurl it out a fourth-floor window in maddened frustration' we find the swing, the bouncy chair, the sling, the nursing glider, and probably more. And of course, this is all stuff that you're unlikely to have already around the house (unlike the wedding registry). (I do have quite a few kids' books, but they tend to start around 2nd grade level and go up.)

Kev and I were trying to figure out what a bare-bones baby would cost. Home birth, no midwife or doula, pieces of fabric for diapers, breastfeeding only. Almost nothing, esp. in a warm climate when you can let baby run around mostly naked; you can see how people manage when they have to. But a) you have to assume no medical complications, which is pretty darn iffy when you're my age. And b) can we really picture either of us washing out cloth diapers by hand? Not so likely... :-)

So hooray for baby registries! It is very nice, having these packages arrive at our door, and getting to open them up and see what people have sent us. :-) We've been feeling very loved lately.

One thought on “Okay, that ‘hour of…”

  1. Don’t forget about diaper service. We had it for the first six months and it was a godsend. They brought clean cloth diapers and took the dirty ones. We only had to invest in some diaper covers (which we just gave away. Sorry!!). We had to give it up, eventually, because Son kicked too much and they were impossible to get on. But it was great while it lasted. And we kept a few diapers out of the landfill. Check it out. I’m sure there is a service where you live.
    And you don’t need everything they say you need. Putting Son in the baby bjorn while we vaccumed often put him to sleep (and kept our house clean!).
    Good luck. And yes. I’m thankful for our health insurance everyday.

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