On a visit to a maternity and baby clothes shop a couple of months ago,I saw a heavily pregnant woman walking to the cash counter with a trolley full of nappies,feeding bottles,clothes and other items. I too was tempted to lay my hands on a few of the beautiful dresses and other interesting stuff on display. But like many other families,mine too is against any shopping before the baby is born,which means I will miss out on the big shopping opportunity,which my husband plans to enjoy when I am in hospital.
Running 33rd week,I am inching closer to the due date and will go on maternity leave with the beginning of the ninth month. My movements will be restricted to the weekly visits to the doctor. Hence,after my next appointment with my doctor this week,I plan to do some window shopping on the way back home. I will check out the shops and shortlist a few things I want for my baby. My husband can pick them up later.
On my shopping list are a cot,mattress,blankets,pillows,mosquito net,nappies,diapers,cot sheets,baby bath tub,bath towels,hand towels,a baby bag,bottles,baby soaps,lotions,toys and the related paraphernalia,which the newborn will immediately need.
A baby coming home means it will bring its whole world along. From clothes to food items,you need a lot of planning to make the new member comfortable in your world. Once my leave starts,the first thing I plan to do is to empty out one of the cupboards to make space for the little ones essentials. The house needs to be cleaned and dusted,and a daily routine chalked out for the chores. A great relief for me is the fact that my mother and mother-in-law will be with me soon.
At the same time,I am desperately looking out for a trusted help who I will need when the mothers will be gone and this new mother will be on her own,with the maternity leave over.
A major planning is required towards the monetary front too when a baby is on the way. With medical insurances usually not counting maternity as illness,you will have to depend on the one provided by your office,mostly in the form of a fixed amount,or on your bank balance. Some amount of saving will come in handy to meet the sudden expenses.
Once on maternity leave,you cant go out as and when you wish. Remember to stock your refrigerator with food items you need or crave for. Ensure you dont run out of milk,fresh fruits,vegetables,and your medicines. Keep your cellphone charged and important phone numbers,like that of 24-hour call taxis,handy. My worst nightmare is my labour pain starting early,when my husband is in office and I have no one around to drive me to hospital till he comes back.
Though doctors always give you a due date,the baby may come early in many cases. On my last visit to her,my doctor told me I might deliver two weeks early. Halfway through third trimester,many pregnant women develop certain conditions,requiring early hospitalisation. It is hence better to be prepared for the big day beforehand. Keep your hospital bag ready,complete with all your medical reports,insurance papers,change of clothes and other essentials so that you dont have to depend on others to do the needful and there is no last-minute rush in case you have to reach hospital before time.
Once you are ready,it will only be wait and watch — for the date given for a C-sec delivery,or the first signs of labour,about which your doctor will tell you at the right time.