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Final baby prep, Thanksgiving, and a pandemic haircut

Less than one day to go! As I’ve mentioned, due to Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy, I’m being induced into labor at 37 weeks, which means I’m going into the hospital tomorrow morning. I’m nervous, excited, and not quite feeling ready, but I will be grateful to conclude this pregnancy. Having a newborn is exhausting in ways I never felt exhaustion before, but at least I’ll finally be able to share the load instead of fighting through the pelvic pain, gestational diabetes, and dozens of visits to the doctor on my own.

In the two weeks I took of vacation prior to my maternity leave I’ve been getting as much pre-baby stuff done as possible, while also resting while I can. The big thing was making sure we found everything we needed. I knew we had it all from just two years ago when Adam was a newborn, but over that time I’d stuffed it into closets and spaces all over the house as new clothes and items came in. I succeeded for the most part, but it was a lot of work going through closets, rediscovering everything, and making sure it was all washed. Thankfully, our au pair helped a lot with this too, she washed all the baby clothes and got them organized into the dresser, after helping MJ move said dresser/changing table into a common area near the kitchen. Getting the bassinet and infant car seat fully cleaned and set up was quite the pile of chores as well, but I’m happy to say that’s all complete!

I do admit being a little sad about my home office. It’s where our little one will sleep while I’m on maternity leave, and over night until his sleep regulates enough to share a room with Adam. We moved the printer into a common area and swapped out the sofa bed for the nursery chair a few months ago, but otherwise it’s my office with a baby overlay. My little world in here is being taken over! But if I’m honest, I didn’t have a lot of time for myself anyway last time around, so it makes sense to surrender this room. I do still need my own little space though, so MJ and I went furniture shopping in town and picked out a big, fluffy chair to put in our bedroom. I’ll use it as a recovery spot, for pumping, and if I need an out of the way place to work if there’s a time collision in my home office. It’s a great chair that I’ve already been enjoying quite a bit, so I’m really glad we went with a new piece of furniture instead of trying to just make something else work. Plus, I was happy to patronize a local business that has likely been hit hard by the pandemic this year.

Beyond baby things, we have finalized holiday preparations!

Thanksgiving was a few days ago. Given my due date, we were never going to be able to spend it in Philadelphia, as is our tradition. This year the added risk of pandemic travel made it unthinkable. Instead, we celebrated as a household by picking up a traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, steamed veggies, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie catered meal for 4-6 people from the diner around the corner. It worked out really well. MJ picked up the meal around 1PM, we transferred the various dishes to oven-safe dishes and heated them up in our pair of ovens for 40 minutes. By 2PM we were ready for dinner, with the house smelling of cooked food, but without the actual cooking! Not being home-cooked, it wasn’t the best food I’ve had for Thanksgiving, but it was satisfying, and I managed to keep my glucose levels under control even with getting a second small helping of stuffing (my favorite!). We did have dessert three hours after dinner so that I could also a sliver of pumpkin pie, but it worked out since we were all so full from dinner anyway. It was also nice to dress up a little for a meal. We’ve definitely slipped into comfy clothes all the time around the house mode during this pandemic!

I managed to get holiday cards out as well. This was important because while I enjoy the process, it is tedious and time-consuming, so it wasn’t something I wanted on my plate after delivery, and I would have felt sad if I skipped it this year. Plus, Hanukkah beings on December 10th this year, so getting them out by the end of November was actually quite reasonable.

Hanukkah prep was the last thing on my list, and I’m pleased to say that we succeeded there too. Picking out Adam’s presents for eight nights was pretty easy, but it was trickier for incoming #2. What do you get for a newborn who doesn’t play with toys yet and already inherited everything he needs from his brother? We managed to come up with some ideas with the help of our au pair. He’ll grow into some of it over the next few months.

Beyond gifts, I realized that I really enjoyed the tradition I started in Philadelphia last year of putting all the Hanukkah gifts inside the train tracks of the O-scale train I keep there. So I looked around for a train that would meet the requirements, and ordered a train set, tablecloth, and table that I was able to get set up the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Next was wrapping all the gifts as they were delivered over the past couple weeks. The table is now overflowing with gifts! Adam really enjoys the train, too. When we return from our morning walk, he insists on sitting with me and playing with it for a few minutes. It’s a detour I’m happy with, I have someone to play with trains with!

I mentioned taking Caligula to the vet in my last update post, and unfortunately that visit led to a diagnosis of kidney disease. I can’t say I was expecting it, but we’re also not surprised. It’s common in older cats, and he was showing signs we were familiar with in Simcoe when she was diagnosed at just five years old. So far he hasn’t had a specific “crash” incident, which is great, and his kidney values don’t rise to the level of needing subcutaneous fluids yet, so we’re starting off with a diet change to better support his kidneys. This is easier said than done in our very picky kitty, but there are non-prescription options we can try too. He now has quarterly vet visits on the schedule to keep an eye on the progression and adjust treatment as needed. Coming to terms with this diagnosis has been tough though. He’s already exceeded the generic lifespan of his breed, but he’s been part of my life since he was a tiny kitten, I never wanted to admit he was getting old, let alone developing illnesses that could hasten the conclusion of our time together. Still, with treatment he should have a good chunk of time left, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure he’s got the best care we can offer.

In last minute preparations for the hospital, I also concluded that my hair was getting too long. I don’t get it cut very often, but when the pandemic hit it had been over a year! I’ve been cutting MJ and Adam’s hair at home for months now, but I hadn’t gathered up the courage to have MJ cut my hair until the weekend before Thanksgiving. Thankfully, my hair is straight and simple, so it was relatively straight-forward and he did a great job, even if it was a bit nerve-wracking. I’m sure I’ll be grateful for the low maintenance of short hair during delivery, recovery, and while we have a newborn at home!

And with that, I will return to whatever final home preparations I can squeeze into today. It’s going to be quite an exciting week!