Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hurry Up and Wait

I spoke with our social worker again today and she had quite a bit of encouraging news for us. She was with our birth family for some time today. Basically, she told me that she hasn't ever seen such a good situation as this one and a birth family that is so together. Our birth mom came out and told her today that she doesn't view the baby as her baby, but rather as our baby. She sees herself as a surrogate. She also wants us present at the hospital for the birth, as close as the doctors will allow. And most wonderfully, she wants our name that we pick for the baby, as well as our last name, to go on the birth certificate. This is a huge, wonderful, generous gift that truly speaks to the strength and character of her heart. I was touched, almost to the point of tears, when I heard this today. Unfortunately, our birth mom is still contracting and the meds aren't helping her much. If it gets much worse she will be hospitalized. Her doctor is really wanting her to make it to 34 weeks, which is a little less than a week and a half away. Jeez, this is happening so fast!

So, I bet you imagine that that I am busily cleaning out the eventually-this-will-be-a-baby-room room. And doing tons of shopping, researching and comparing baby products. And you probably figure I am busy googling and reading about how to actually care for a real live baby. Well, you are 100% completely wrong.

Instead, I am going nose to nose with moose; searching for the ever elusive bear sighting; traipsing across trails, hills and streams of nearly freezing water just to touch a real, live glacier; cruising around icebergs; and browsing through traditional native dwellings. What? All of this is in Arizona? No sillies, 'fraid not. We are here in Alaska, the last frontier, on a big family vacation. What timing, huh? We planned this trip to visit B's sister and her family months ago. We left dinner the other night with our birth parents and went directly to the airport, arriving here at 1:00 am. And here we will be for another week yet, hoping and praying and wishing that we don't get a call to rush back to the "lower 48". See? We are even starting to sound like the locals now. And get this, there seriously is not a big, giant famous baby store in the whole state. Just so you know, this is torture for a planner like me.

But still, B and I are enjoying ourselves and this really happy time. I'll be sure to share pictures after we return. Until then, I ask that you please share some of your "must have" baby items with me, because I seriously have no idea where to start.


  1. I actually just asked my BFF this question the other day. Her son just turned one month and I said "now that he's here, what stuff have you found yourself absolutely needing, and what has been totally unnecessary?"

    Her list of must-haves:

    *Someplace for baby to sleep (they use a pack n play with bassinette feature)

    *changing pad

    *diapers and wipes

    *vaseline (instead of expensive rash creams)

    *onesies--lots of onesies

    *Dreft laundry soap

    *Plain Johnson's baby wash

    *a Boppy and cover (a lifesaver for feeding)

    *receiving blankets

    *diaper bag


    *a baby carrier of some kind--great for going in public and warding off baby grabbers

    *a monitor if baby isn't sleeping in earshot of you

    and obviously since you're not breastfeeding, some sort of bottle system and cleaning system or sterilizer

    That's it. She said so much of the other stuff has sat unopened and unused. She hasn't used the bouncer or the swing, she said putting anything over the onesie is just a waste because you have to take it off again to change the diaper, the swaddlers are too big--she said receiving blankets work better, and he's too little for pacifiers, toys, a more complicated wardrobe, shoes, a highchair, stroller, crib...He may need some or all those things eventually but for now, they've found that their "must have right now list" is pretty short.

  2. PS! I hope you can enjoy your vacation despite your anxiousness for what's to come!

  3. What an amazing trip! Both the one you're on and the one you're about to begin.

  4. I;m so excited and hte onlything I can think of to sum up this info HOLY COW!!

  5. WOW!!! What a wonderful situation!! I'm praying that the baby stays put for a few more weeks!! I just can't keep smiling for y'all!!! It's so exciting!!

  6. Chris, I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes just reading your post. I can't WAIT for you to get home!!!! Can I come shopping with you?!?! I need to live vicariously through someone. ;) Oh, I am just so excited for you.

    No advice on what you do or don't need, but I think Jen got a lot of the basics down for ya. I am just in awe that this is finally happening for you!!

  7. I just started reading a couple of days ago when I linked over from Mel's page, and lucky me, what timing!

    My brother and SIL, also Brian and Christi(Neat!), are about to begin their adoption journey so it's so exciting to read about your journey here.

    Enjoy your vacation and treat it as a happy distraction, if you were at home, you would probably be out of your mind!

    Three things I could not have lived without:

    *Microwave sterilizer (AWESOME!)

    *Baby Bjorn carrier. I had a colicky baby and the carrier, strapped close to my chest was the only thing that soothed him.

    *Gowns (the kind with elastic in the bottom). This was a suggestion from my Mom,and even though she had her last baby 30 years earlier, she was spot-on with this one. Great for middle-of-the-night diaper changes when you are so sleepy you can't stand up straight. You won't have 50 snaps in crazy configurations to deal with. Pull gown up, change diaper, pull gown down, done.

    I'm so excited for you both!

  8. Wow - Alaska - fantastic! I can't believe how perfectly things are going for you -- WOW, WOW, WOW. You are going to have a baby so soon! I hope that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your trip, and that the baby will wait a few more weeks before the big arrival. So happy for you!

  9. Enjoy your vacation! Sounds amazing. No advice on the baby gear, but I'm sure you'll have a long list from your fellow bloggers and be able to organize it all in a couple of days upon your return.

  10. We are waiting to be matched. I am happy for you! God Bless!

  11. new mom friend was over today and she added two things to the list.

    *sleep positioner


  12. Suzanne McCauley6:13 PM

    I'll take you out when you get home and show you what you need most!! I'm SO happy for you!!!

  13. The trip will help you not to focus and worry about everything with the baby.

    Everything you really need for those first few days, the hospital will send you home with. Wal-mart is open 24 hours for everything else.

  14. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Hi! And many congratulations!

    We are currently researching and buying baby products ourselves.

    One thing that is very helpful to us is "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, 9th Edition." A highlighted note are products that are endorsed by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), an elective safety standard for baby products.

    We find going by this book very helpful in weeding out all the massive products out there (for example, it says not to buy sleep positioners or co-sleepers, things we didn't know about.)

    It also rates car seats, strollers...everything!

    And, we just took a Baby Basics course thru our insurance carrier. Two of the most important things for a baby's first year: (1)getting a baby to sleep; and (2) knowing how to calm a baby. They said things like diaper changes, baths, feeding are mechanical and will be learned after a few times.

    Hope this is helpful!!!!


  15. So excited for you! Amazing how life can change in a minute- here you are about to be parents!!! Enjoy Alaska- I want to go there one day! As far as must haves- burping cloths, purell, thermometer, and lots and lots of diapers!

  16. That is WONDERFUL news from the social worker! I am very excited for you guys - AND YOUR TRIP!!!

  17. I am so so happy for you, but holy shite this is fast - I'm totally jealous in all the good ways one can be:-)

    Re must have's, I know, whoda thunk I'd have a list, but a friend who has 2 kids gave me a list way back. Email me at if you want it and I'll send it on over.

  18. Wow. Sounds like you were picked by an amazing birth mom. Which means you are a pretty amazing couple. I'm just so happy for you!

    Must have baby items: A boppy pillow (ours slept in them a lot at the beginning) and a bouncy seat. Around 2 months we brought out the swings, and those were LIFESAVERS for naps ...

  19. I am a planner, too, so I totally feel for you right now! :)
    Our must haves included:

    A portable crib (if you have to travel with the baby, this is an awesome thing!)

    Disposable changing pads

    Cloth diapers to use as burp cloths

    Swaddling blankets

    Baby wash/shampoo

    Q-tips to swab the umbilical cord

    Baby gowns that have the elastic at the bottom (no legs make for easy diaper changing at 3 am)

    I'll keep thinking! :)

  20. So exciting!
    I've been collecting tips myself for someday and I helped out quite a bit with my nephews.

    #1 Camera and remember to take lots and lots of photos. They grow so fast!

    Lots of burp cloths or cloth diapers for spit up(lots of them!), Miracle blanket for swaddling and those gowns mentioned above really will make middle of the night changes easier to deal with.

    I also heard a great idea to make the bed twice so if there is any mess in the middle of the night you just have to pull off the dirty crib sheet and presto bed already made and everyone gets back to sleep faster. Put a water proof pad on the mattress, cover it with a crib sheet. Put on another water proof pad and cover that with a crib sheet.

  21. This is exactly what our situation was! Our B-mom felt the same way you described yours to be. She never has felt like the baby was hers; she knew the baby would belong to someone else, and she wanted us at the hospital, which we were. She has a really healthy attitude about the whole adoption, which made it easier for us. She has several children, so having a baby wasn't this new, mysterious thing for her which I think helped with her relinquishment.

    Best of luck to you!

  22. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Hey! It's Danicka!
    OMG! I don't even know where to start.

    The little side snap kimono shirts are all chase lived in since they don't rub on the umbilical stump and the baby will be swaddled most of the time (inside anyway) so they are cooler. Also, you can forget about 0-3 month stuff fitting (especially if he's a preemie) so they aren't all super awkward and huge.
    That's all I have for needs to eat...again.