Monday, January 18, 2010

Operation Baby

Unlike most mothers-to-be that must devise a game plan for the birth of their baby, an intended mother embarks on an entire mission. The idea of going to your local hospital, give birth, and go home is laughable. Like a secret agent given a complicated, urgent, and death-defying assignment, I must execute like a finely tuned machine - synchronized and masterminded with design.

At so many points of the last 3 years, this moment could only appear to be "Mission IMPOSSIBLE." Huffing and puffing on the hamster wheel of infertility, the concept of "Mission Accomplished" seemed like it could never be. But now as I am about to step on a plane today to close out Operation Baby, I see myself as the seasoned agent, not the rookie. I know how to jump through hoops, dodge bullets, sniff out liars, strategize next steps, outsmart enemies, wield my weapons, and stay on target.

So as I begin the final 10 day countdown to our due date (Jan.29th), I have had to orchestrate quite a lot in these final weeks before the grand finale. Here is my checklist:

Decide the exact right amount of time to a book a flight to destination before delivery - A delicate balance between not being too early, but not too late so that you miss the entire delivery.

Book a hotel with a kitchen- going to be our baby's first home.

Make sure all your Pre-Birth Order legal paper work is done. When using a surrogate, a lot of states let intended parents fill out a pre-birth orders so that their names will be on the birth certificate as soon as the baby is born.

Make a list of important contact numbers and name it "Operation Baby."

Find a place near surrogate to rent a breast pump.

Take infant care and  CPR class.

Register for and pack Cord Blood kit.

Ship all baby clothes, gear and supplies to A. ahead of time so you don't have to lug it on the plane.

Pack your own bag of clothes so that at any moment if your surrogate calls and says she is in labor you can jump on a plane.

Find a meaningful gift for your surrogate.

In our case, delays in renovations to our apartment has forced us to go with an emergency back up plan after birth. Live with my parents until apartment is done. Then drive back to New York City. This means I pack for two different places I will live before I bring our baby home. Not easy, not ideal, but once again, better than infertility.

Find three pediatricians. One at home in New York City. One near A. and one near my parents.

Pack up apartment before construction begins.

Wrap up all loose administrative ends in your life.

See as many friends as you can before you get so absorbed and sleep deprived.

Go to a museum. Go hear live music. Go to a movie theater. Go to a great restaurant.

I know that change is disruptive, bumpy, and disorienting. And though nothing can truly make you fully prepared, we as humans try our best to try to think of everything we can to divert disaster. Especially if disaster has already knocked on your door two, three, four times already. It even has made me think through what I might be losing as I step into parenthood. I have over thought so much of why I want a baby, I also want to be mentally prepared to lose other things in my life because of it. In wanting a baby so much, I keep reassuring myself that I have accepted all that comes with it. It's funny to think about the life you are leaving behind when all I could ever think about before was the life I felt I couldn't have. It feels a little like we are shipping out to war as we say our good-byes and do our last hurrahs before life changes as we know it. Of course there are certain freedoms, certain luxuries, certain impulses when you are childless that I might never have again, but life is taking me in a new direction. We are literally walking out of our apartment and when we return it will be a completely new place.

I cannot thank all of you enough for staying with me through this journey. Please join me for my ten day countdown. Like all countdowns, our hearts pump a little faster with every descending number, knowing that whatever is about to launch will change our lives forever.


Kim said...

How exciting for you...I liked this: "We are literally walking out of our apartment and when we return it will be a completely new place "

WOW, just thinking about how profiund that statement is!!!!

Your post was so very real and raw...what your gaining, what your loosing, being prepared. That list might be different than many mothers-to-be and perhaps a bit more stressful, but you planned it all the's thorough and the goal for both lists are the come home with your baby.

We will be right here with you during the countdown....very anxious for you and with you.

Celia said...

I am so excited for you! And seeing as how I cannot find even ONE pediatrician, I am amazed at your prowess in finding THREE. I bow to your management skills.

Expectant Duck said...

So excited TABI - I was thinking of you this weekend, wondering when you will be flying out to finally meet the wee bub out of utero.

Lisa said...

So have arrived. Can not wait to hear how everything goes!

Holly said...

I'm so excited for you I can hardly stand it! YAY!!! May the next 6 weeks be so blissful that you won't even notice how sleep deprived you are!

And don't forget-sleep when the little one sleeps!

JellyBelly said...

I'm so excited for you TABI!!!!

Btw, your baby's due date is the day after my birthday!

Me said...

I am so excited for you! Best wishes!

FET Accompli said...

You know, I had pretty much the same thoughts running through my mind, the to-do lists, the not-going-to-the-movies realization, the anticipation of exhaustion. But. I I know this is weird to say, but my life didn't change as dramatically as I thought. Okay, let me rephrase that. What I mean is that, despite the totally unconventional way we were blessed with a family, having these kids here just feels so natural. And heck, I didn't really go to movies so much beforehand. My big thing was shopping and exercise classes/yoga. And you know what? I can still go shopping and head to my yoga classes. Hubbie will watch them for a few hours when I scoot out, and I'll do the same when he steps out for his stuff.

So it may actually be a lot smoother than you think. (This coming from someone who spent 16 days in the NICU away from home). It just is so wonderful to have them. Joyous.

FET Accompli said...

I forgot to mention - I think you noted that you'd be renting a breast pump for your surrogate. We considered this option as well, but ended up buying one off Craigslist (and sterilizing it, although in our case I don't think it was ever used - but the seal had been broken so it couldn't be returned). It may work out to less if you buy the pump off Craigslist instead of renting? Depending on how long your surrogate would be using it for.

Peaches said...

WOW!!! Your list is overwhelming to LOOK at, I can not imagine what you are going through trying to get it all done...SOOO excited for you and can not wait to watch the days count down...