It's a funny thing, this pregnancy stuff. Doctors, family and friends will always tell you to 'take it easy' and try to relax in your third trimester but ironically this is the time where you suddenly have the urge to do more and you can't sit back and relax "just in case" you have forgotten something. The word 'nesting' is actually something that I have found to be really true. I've never wanted to clean, organise, and buy more than I do right now.
I definitely think that people can go overboard when it comes to buying things for the baby. I see a lot of accessories and gadgets that seem a bit unnecessary to me but at the same time I would literally never judge another woman's choices because we all have different preferences, expectations and desires. People will tell you what you need, you will have an idea of what you 'want', and somewhere in between all that you will probably find yourself at a happy medium. That's how it seems to be panning out for me anyway. A couple of weeks ago I would have said I had more or less everything that I needed. From the get-go myself and himself were very organised because we both knew that it would be one less stress for us. Each month we saved a bit and we bought things as they were on sale. I remember feeling silly buying a bouncer and a travel cot when I was only 14 weeks pregnant, but now I am really thrilled that I did because both were on sale for 50% off at the time. In time we then sorted the pram (thanks mammy), started buying nappies and wipes when they were on sale (usually around Children's Allowance Day, you learn something new every day), little clothes bits here and there, baby bath, bottles and steriliser, soothers, creams and lotions and anything else that we could tick off our list as we went along. The pile started to build and it was such a surreal experience to see the baby things build up in your home. It makes it suddenly feel very very real.
I was really lucky to get some wonderful hand me downs from my aunt who only had a baby a year before I fell pregnant. She gave me the Moses basket, a car seat, lots of other bits and bobs and a whole heap of neutral coloured baby clothes. I now have lots of cute baby grows, vests, t-shirts, leggings, socks, bibs and hats. Everyone tells me that this is the point where you go through the most clothes and yet the stage doesn't last long at all so it was really nice that we didn't have to spend a fortune on newborn clothes. I am forever grateful that my aunt was able to help us in this way, it has made such a huge difference to the both of us (well, the three of us when you think about it).
I am an organiser through and through. I absolutely love a good list and I am at my happiest when I am planning things. I don't mean parties and occasions, in fact they stress me out to be honest. I'm referring to planning my own affairs such as doing my monthly budget, planning what I need to do around the house, shopping lists, to-do lists and all of those exciting things that us organiser party animals like to do. Luckily I have a cousin who happens to be one of my best friends and she is literally the exact same as me in this regard so I don't feel totally insane. Would you believe that she actually got a 'list book' from Paperchase? It's basically a gorgeous little diary with all sorts of different ways to make a list. Here, if you don't believe me check this out... http://www.paperchase.co.uk/primavera-multi-list-book.html. I once made the mistake of uttering the words "this weekend I think I'll do something spontaneous'. Yes, I am the girl who plans spontaneity.
So last week I sat down to once again re-visit my 'to do' list for baby items and before I knew it I realised that there were actually still quite a lots of bits and bobs still to get. The first and most important thing was a wardrobe. When we moved in to our house there was just enough storage for the two of us with no space left to put baby clothes in to. A wardrobe was a must and luckily we had a nice little space for one in the spare bedroom. Last weekend we set off on a great adventure to the great IKEA and let me just tell you that if I never have to go there again it will be too soon. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, I don't know, but I really didn't enjoy it. People walking so slow in front of you, the smell of the meatballs making me feel sick, and walking around what seemed like a crystal maze to find the one thing you are looking for. Then there was the fun of trying to pack the wardrobe in to the car (because I thought it would be an excellent idea to go food shopping before IKEA so the boot was full of groceries, how clever am I?), trying to transport it in to the house when we only have a little teeny tiny hall area and a good few big steps up to our front door, but then the real fun started... the assembly. Now, this would have been the perfect time to sit back and relax while himself but the wardrobe together but I am a complete and utter control freak and I needed to be there to oversee things. A foreman of sorts. He would have been perfectly capable of doing it without my careful reading of the instructions (which to be honest, were fairly woeful) but I just had to be involved. Fast forward 4 hours later and we were two cranky DIY novices, but we were delighted with our work. We now have ourselves a lovely wardrobe to house our lovely soft baby clothes. It is so exciting. I keep walking in to the room and opening the wardrobe just to look in and see the clothes again. It's amazing how real it feels now. Fancy having a look? It was our first DIY job and I'm actually rather proud of this, and in fairness to IKEA you can't argue with a price of €75! We could have bought it for €70 in white as well.
Once the wardrobe was bought and assembled I felt a huge weight off my shoulders as now we have all the fundamentals to welcome the baby home. I then started my antenatal classes in The Coombe last week where they circulated a 'what to bring to the hospital for you and baby' list and I realised I had another shopping day ahead of me. I still have to buy quite a bit in that regard - new nightdress and PJS for myself, underwear, nursing bras (as I plan to breast feed), travel size toiletries, muslin cloths, cellular blankets for the baby, baby cardigan (you have to have one in the hospital), mittens and hats, maternity and breast pads (oh the glamour) and a few other bits and pieces. I've planned a shopping day this weekend where myself and my sister will get all of the above and then I'll feel really organised. I should have my hospital bag packed and ready by about 32 weeks so that will be a nice big task ticked off the list. I also still have to collect the pram from Mothercare (it's ordered and paid for), buy a mattress for the travel cot (I can do this when the baby comes) and a buy a few other little things like a thermometer and a little foam bath seat for the baby bath (the thing they lye on, apparently Mothercare sell them for €9.99 so happy days). All just little bits and pieces so I am actually rather excited to go out and buy them now that all the big things are sorted. It's a good feeling. The one 'treat' that I can't wait to buy is my baby bag. Some mammy friends of mine have told me that it becomes your handbag for the first 6-9 months and beyond so it's worth investing in a good one. I have my eye on a few different types but I love the style of these ones. The brand is called Pink Lining and this is the Yummy Mummy range. I think they are just gorgeous. They have ample storage for personal items like phone, keys, purse etc and lots of room for the baby's things, a changing mat and sections for baby bottles among other handy compartments. They can be as expensive as €100 but you could get one on Amazon or on sale for closer to the €50 mark. I am in no hurry to get mine so I think I'll wait to see if I see one at the Pregnancy and Baby Fair in the RDS next weekend. A friend of mine also got one from a different brand in TK Maxx for €35 and it's gorgeous.
The Pink Lining Yummy Mummy Baby Bag!
Oh and for anyone who doesn't know, the Pregnancy And Baby Fair its on Saturday the 5th and Sunday 6th April in the RDS in Dublin and then the following weekend in City Hall, Cork. You can buy tickets from the website and other outlets but I actually got two free tickets by registering online with SMA who are sponsoring the event. You can register online here.
31 weeks exactly today and the countdown is really on. Only 9 weeks to go, single figures. It's all very exciting and surreal. I'm trying not to worry myself too much about labour and birth. The most important thing is to bring the baby in to this worst safely and I really trust that The Coombe will make sure that this happens. Only 30 full days left in work, now isn't that something to have a little dance about?
Tracey and Baby Byrne x