I was having a buzz of anxiety a couple of days ago, and upon self-reflection, I realized that I was feeling the crunch of being the primary source of income for our family. What if I were to lose my job? What if I no longer had benefits for all (hopefully) three of us? Of course, that got my erratic thinking going. I transitioned from financial worries to all kinds of other ones. What if we use a community hospital for the birth and there is an emergency that they are not equipped to handle? What if things do not go smoothly and there is something wrong with the embryo, fetus, or child? AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
I cannot control any of these things. I've been learning to use radical acceptance.
FREEDOM FROM WORRY
Since I cannot control any of these things, I acknowledge my uneasiness about my lack of control and have decided to be gentle with myself- and with Tommie- when I feel worried about our little one's future. I notice that there are categories of things that need my attention and, to some degree, our planning. These will be my focus, or the "What Ifs..." will turn into monsters.
Category #1: What type of doctor and hospital should we use?
A book a mentioned earlier (Homebirth in the Hospital) has been a priceless resource. Since we have been trying to get pregnant for five years, we have had many talks about our wants and our needs. Ideally, we would like to find a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) who specializes in OB/GYN. We prefer this to a traditional M.D. because these types of doctors have comprehensive skills and training, but are more willing to consider the needs of the whole person and the person's entire body. We also want to avoid the gigantic, institutional setting of the city hospital and go to a community hospital for the birth. We do not want to be on the 11th floor, sharing a birthing tub with other people. All I can think of is the supermarket and taking a ticket at the deli line. In our area of Connecticut, our best choice is Manchester Memorial Hospital. They have a birthing center and it is fairly new. We know several people who delivered there, all of whom gave it rave reviews. While Tommie toyed with the idea of a home birth, I knew that I would be completely unprepared for something like that. I would be a wreck. I think I would wind up on the floor, curled into the fetal position, or I would be hiding under the bed until it was over. To achieve the home birth feel, however, the mix of a D.O., a community hospital, and a birthing coach will work. We have a fabulous midwife who conducts all of our annual exams and she has 20+ years of experience delivering babies. Although she no longer delivers, we are going to ask her to coach Tommie through the pregnancy, and perhaps, the birth. In case you are a Connecticut resident and want her information, here it is: Rachel Donovan, C.N.M.
Category #2: How will we address our new financial needs?
It's simple. We will save money. I need to learn a new way of looking at our financial world; gone are the days that I can buy shoes, clothes, more shoes, and more clothes because Tommie and I are without children. Shopping is often my therapy. That needs to stop. My goal is for us to be completely debt-free (other than our mortgage) by the time that Eggbryo is born in August. I am starting this process by meeting with my financial planner and reading the Financial Guidebook for Parents. Tommie and I have also discussed downsizing into a smaller house. I know this sounds contrary to the concept of a growing family, but to save money in the long-term and to provide Eggbryo with the necessities and some indulgences, we believe that this is the perfect solution. We have been fans of the tiny house movement for more than five years and have entertained this idea for a while. Therefore, in the next 3-4 years, we will sell our home and will purchase a small residence of 700-800 square feet. We will customize it to meet our needs and our stylistic choices. This is where we will live, as a family, for a very long time. If you want a glimpse at how this can work, check out this video.
Our other main strategy will be to buy only pre-loved items for Eggbryo during its infancy and toddler years. There is absolutely no reason to invest in Crew Cuts (see my previous post), H&M, or Baby Gap, even though these are all so cute! Babies and small children pee on, poop in, and ruin everything. Tommie and I believe we can save money by purchasing used, but clean items for the future child. I found a number of online sources for this: Thred Up and Swap look particularly good. We are hoping to snag baby furniture from other people like Tommie's sister. She has a child of 16 months. I also know that there are great finds on Craigslist. My best friend of many years "purchased" a $600 high chair for what was supposed to be $100, and when she arrived to pick it up, the seller just gave it to her for free.
BLOOM FRESCO RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE HIGH CHAIR
Tommie and I would like to start a scrapbook. In it, we will save all of our favorite design and baby fashion ideas, so that we can recreate them using cheaper materials. My go-to source for home decor is Room and Board. I peruse their catalog like it is the Encyclopedia Britannica. To make room for Eggbryo and to accrue even more money, we are going to have a yard sale or Craigslist's sale in the Spring. Off will go my kayaks and furniture we really do not use. I am going to resurrect my vegetable garden, so we can save some money on produce too. That takes a chunk out of my summer budget. Mostly, though, I am FOR ONCE not going to put myself at the center of the world! Now, it's Eggbryo and Tommie. It's a rather freeing feeling.