So the pregnancy. It continues.
The baby kicks, mostly at night, when I'm already struggling to find a comfortable position and properly position a pillow between my legs and huffing and puffing like I'm in the third trimester or something. My belly is small and round and (if I must say) rather cute and I like it. It's high and all in front, just like last time, although I still feel curvier everywhere, and hate the way my thighs look in photos. I've only gained a couple pounds, just like last time, and I had to work for them, forcing myself to eat every few hours and not fighting the second serving of strawberry shortcake Jason insisted I eat last night, and oh, but life is SO HARD.
I'm also wracked with the same sort of hand-wringing anxiety as I was last time -- this ever-nagging wait for something to go wrong, for the worst-case scenario to happen. The lack of weight gain, far from being any kind of HA AM AWESOME bragging right, was scaring the crap out of me, and I convinced myself that my belly was far too small for this far along and clearly the baby had some kind of growth problem -- we should have known from those early ultrasounds that consistently measured small! woe! fie! -- until I finally dug up a photo of myself from about the same point last time, and...oh. I look exactly the same. Never mind.
One minute I refuse to let myself assume that we'll actually have a baby at the end of this, and the next minute I freak out because WE NEED TO ASSEMBLE FURNITURE! I HAVE TO ORGANIZE CLOSETS! GO GET THE SWING FROM THE ATTIC RIGHT THIS MINUTE SO I CAN GET THE SERIAL NUMBER AND SEARCH THE PRODUCT RECALL WEBSITES!
So. Yes. Also just like last time. Reruns! How boring!
In between the panic attacks, however, I've managed to spend quite a bit of time overthinking the few pieces of baby gear we need to purchase this time. Namely: slings/carriers and strollers.
EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ENJOY COMPULSIVELY OFFERING ADVICE RE: BABY GEAR PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WANDER AWAY NOW, BUT I KNOW THIS IS LIKE PORN FOR SOME OF YOU (AND MEEEEEE) SO THAT SORT OF PEOPLE SHOULD STICK AROUND.
Here's my current brilliant plan, and all I ask is that you be KIND when you rush in to point out its many flaws:
I'd like to avoid or, at the very least, put off a new stroller purchase for as long as possible. We made the mistake of buying a stroller while I was pregnant last time, after merrily wheeling it around the store for a few minutes. Not exactly a real-world road-test, when you're trying to drape a heavy diaper bag over the too-wide handles, or navigate over cracked pavement or through tiny city store aisles or fold and lift the damn thing while recovering from a c-section and lugging a 10-pound newborn in a carseat and ARRRGH I hated that stroller so very, very much.
(Peg Perego Aria XT, or something, in case you are curious. Our particular model was discontinued the following year. We picked it because it felt the lightest in the store, only to discover that once you load a baby and a bag onto it the front wheels would lift off the ground and you'd basically be trying to steer while stuck in a permanent wheelie mode. It folded flat but wide and was light but unwieldy and generally just sucked at existence.)
(After that we ordered some rugged European Bugaboo Wannabe called the i'Coo Infinity, sight unseen, because we became convinced that the crappy plastic wheels and lightweight frame on the Peg were the source of all our troubles. The thing weighed 400 fricking million pounds and would only stay folded if you took the time to buckle it shut and everywhere I went I left a path of destruction on either side of me because it was far too big to take anywhere that was not a wide open field, which is all the awesome online demonstration video had shown, ha ha suckers. Try wheeling it through the Gap and suddenly you're dragging three dresses and half the display of fabric belts behind you.)
So now we have a Maclaren umbrella stroller, the love of my life. Sure, it'll tip over if you leave your diaper bag hooked on the handles and remove your child, and the handlebars are starting to wear a bit and I'm not sure the brakes work so well anymore, but it folds up practically pocket-sized and you can sling it over your shoulder and I now every time I see a young, sleep-deprived couple out with a gigantic color-coordinated travel system that outweighs their newborn by a good 30 pounds I shake my head and give them six months before they realize that the crushing, pressing need to downsize totally trumps any prenatal belief that your preshus baybee needs to be surrounded by as much plastic and padding as possible at all times.
So. I plan to strap this next kid onto my body as much as possible for the first year or so. Noah honestly doesn't even ride in a stroller much anymore, and with a late October due date I'm thinking we can probably make it a good six months before the weather warms up enough to really deal with long outdoor two-kid activities that might require the use of a double or tandem stroller.
Thus, mah questions, for the four of you who made it through all that yakkity and are still with us:
1) Recommendations for a good newborn sling or wrap? One that is easy to figure out and would allow me to nurse while the baby is all snuggled in? I've been leaning towards the Moby but am a little concerned about how hot all that fabric might be in the DC humidity and also that I might be kind of too dumb for it, since I've seen mothers at the playgrounds with them and they're practically walking pieces of cotton origami and the kid is still dangling somewhat precariously off their body. Then there's the K'tan and Hotslings and all sorts of gorgeous homemade ones and wheeeeeeee, I'm off to silently rock in a corner now.
2) Recommendations for a six-months-and-up carrier? I know the slings promise to be so ultra-versatile you can carry your kid to college in them, but I still think I'd like a Bjorn or an Ergo for when I don't feel like swaddling up like a mummy. Plus, I know Jason would be more comfortable with something more...uh...buckle-ly and manly. We had a Bjorn last time but not, apparently, the RIGHT Bjorn, the expensive one with the back support, so it killed my back and Noah outgrew it in length awfully quickly. So I'm curious if anyone has used both the Bjorn and the Ergo, and which one you'd recommend.
And while we're at it, we might as well talk strollers too. Side-by-side doubles are just...no, for us, but I have still managed to come up with a frillion different possibilities. A literal frillion! True story!
3) Anyone have the Joovy Caboose? How do you like it out and about in the real world? Is it easy to steer? Noah really dug it at the store but alas, we've learned our lesson that linoleum does not really exist out in nature and the stroller aisles at Babies 'R Us are about four times as wide as a REAL store aisle and they do this on PURPOSE. Because it is all a RACKET and they HATE YOU. Also, is there really any difference between the regular and the lightweight model? Because neither one felt all that lightweight to me, frankly.
4) Jason saw a Phil & Ted's tandem stroller this weekend and fell in love on the spot, but I am loathe to spend that kind of money on YET ANOTHER GODDAMNED STROLLER MAKE IT STOP. Particularly since we just don't use a stroller that much, and I have all these Grand Plans Of Babywearing. But. I could possibly be talked into it, if it's the greatest stroller ever and makes all other strollers look like Hitler. Plus there's a local consignment store that always has the ultra-expensive strollers for sale, so between that and Craigslist I could probably get one used.
5) My OTHER grand idea is to just keep the Maclaren and attach one of those little wheeled platforms onto the back of it. The obvious downside is that Noah couldn't sit down, and I know that once he sees the new baby getting pushed around everywhere he may regress a bit and suddenly WANT to ride in the stroller. Or he might not, or he might constantly try to step off the platform and drive me insane and I'll wonder why I ever passed up the chance to have him buckled in with a 27-point harness or something.
6) Oh. And thoughts on a used Snap-n-Go? For any infant pushing emergencies? This was the one piece of baby gear we DIDN'T get last time and I really regretted it, but I wonder how useful it would be the second time around, since I certainly couldn't use it while out by myself with both kids. UNLESS! The wheeled platform works with it? But by that point maybe I should just get over myself and buy a new damn stroller already?
Okay. I think that's it. I remember that I will need 4,586,029 cloth diapers and about the same number of Soothies nursing gel pads; that there will be very little sleep and that there is nothing wrong with shoving a pacifier in a cryhole if you need to, unless you are okay with a non-hungry-but-screaming newborn using YOU as a pacifier for six hours at a time, and seriously, I let Noah do that to me at the hospital and even became FURIOUS when I found a pacifier in his bassinet after they brought him back from a checkup or something, but then again the hospital lactation consultant came in, took a peek at my bloody butcher's-counter nipples and said yep, everything looks okay here! and then sent me home.
Oh, and the hospital now has a whole new wing with private rooms, so I will not have to deal with someone else's diarrhea and the endless drama that it can cause.
(SHE WOULDN'T FLUSH THE TOILET BECAUSE SHE WANTED THE NURSE TO LOOK AT HER RUNNY POOP FOR SIGNS OF INTERNAL BLEEDING. THE TOILET THAT I HAD TO USE AS WELL.)
Oh God. I kind of repressed that one. Quick, assvice me up, babies. Help me spend my non-existent money before I wonder what exactly I have gotten myself into here.