Well, last night was our last childbirth prep class. We have officially graduated and now we know everything there is to know about labor and delivery. Right?? I wish... I do know that we are ready to face the challenge ahead. I asked Big John on the way home last night if he was ready to be a good coach and help me through it all. He said that he is definitely ready. We got to tour the labor and delivery unit of the hospital and the mother baby unit also. It was so cool to see where we will be in a few weeks. It really hit me hard when I saw the labor rooms. And the baby warmers and the teeny tiny hats they keep for the babies. And then I saw a brand new mommy and baby being transferred to the mother baby unit and her baby was just a few hours old. I quickly realized that I will soon be the one holding the little bundle while being pushed into our new room across the hall. WOW!!
The hospital we are delivering at just went through a huge change in the child birthing center. They are now considered a "baby friendly hospital." Which pretty much just means that they don't let mothers send their new babies off to the nursery to be cared for anymore. The babies "room in" with mommy at all times. They also promote breastfeeding. So they will not supplement with formula unless it is absolutely necessary. Also they encourage mom to nurse within 30 minutes after baby is born. Which fits perfect with my birth plan. I want as much skin-to-skin contact with Eli as soon as he as born as I can get. I also want to nurse for the first time before they do all of his shots and blood work and things like that. They will no longer give baby a pacifier. If you want your baby to have one you have to bring it with you. They recommend that you don't give your baby a pacifier until well after breastfeeding has been established. So a few weeks to a month or maybe even longer than that. All of this fits in with our wishes though. So it's the perfect place for us to give birth. However, I can imagine that they will have some unhappy mothers when they realize that they baby stays in your room all the time now. No more sending the baby to the nursery so you can have a break. You actually have to learn how to care for your baby and bond with him.
We are completely ready for Eli to get here now. We went last weekend and bought the rest of the stuff we wanted off of our registry that we didn't get at my baby showers. So I think we have everything we want now. The only thing left to do is to wash one more load of clothes and strip his bedding off and wash it. Also we need to install the car seat in the car. I have started packing Eli's hospital bag and need to work on getting mine packed and ready to go. I have my list of people to call on the way to the hospital and one of people to call after he's finally here!
I go back to the doctor on Dec. 3rd for my 36 week check up. I will have an ultrasound that day to see how big he is now and estimate how big he will be. They will also check to see if I have started to dilate yet. I am really excited about this part of the process. I am hoping that they tell me I'm already dilated a little bit. I guess we'll see in a week...