Wednesday, September 16, 2009

List writer extrordinaire

As anyone who knows me could probably tell you, I love writing lists. I am a list writer. Whether it's a shopping list, or a to-do list, or a packing list, I love it. There's something about taking a fresh piece of paper, and a pen, and organising thoughts into a logical process.

Some of my lists have become famous, or at least immortalised, within our family. There's my shopping list, which is a tick box sheet of things that we regularly buy, laid out roughly in the order that you encounter each product as you go round the store. It's saved on the computer, so every couple of weeks my dad prints out a few more, and they sit on top of the freezer. That way as soon as someone thinks of something that needs to be bought, they can tick off the item, and when my mum goes shopping, she knows at a glance what needs to be bought. I think I need to steal or reinvent the list for me and Menard to use too, cos it is a handy way of keeping track of the fact you're out of beans or sugar or soy sauce, without having to make sure you tell everyone verbally six times.

Then there's the holiday list. It started off as pen on paper, but later also got transferred to the computer. It was the list we'd use as a reference point when we packed to go on summer holiday together (so again, I'm talking about me and my sisters and parents). Each year I'd update it, taking into account the location we'd be staying, and for how long, and all those sorts of things, but the basic backbone of the list remained the same.

So yes, I love writing lists. I wrote lists for my wedding, I wrote lists for HP's wedding. I even wrote a list for HP (or rather in consultation with her) to help her know what to pack to take on her honeymoon.

I've said all that to ponder the question, why have I not made any physical lists to do with having Tiny? Sure, there are many lists going round in my head all the time. Things like what we need to buy/make/get ready for Tiny's arrival, what I need to get for me before Tiny arrives, what I need to take in my hospital bag, even what to put on a birth plan etc etc. But I've yet to actually put pen to paper on any of these.

I think part of the problem is that I am the sort of person that does things at the last minute. All my best essays at university were written as all-nighters the night or two nights before they were due in (as were my worst pieces of work, but for the sake of argument we'll just talk about the good stuff!). Our wedding was planned in two and a half weeks, we had to just get on and do it, and we did. But, the thing about Tiny's arrival is that it could happen tomorrow (or even today, although it seems doubtful, given that I haven't really noticed my bump drop, which suggest Tiny isn't very engaged as yet), but it could also not happen for another month. Babies are considered to be full term when born any time between 37 weeks and 42 weeks. Yesterday I hit the 37 week mark, which means the end's in sight, but it's not near enough in sight to motivate me to write lists!

I can't cope with the anticipation. Tiny may be born this week, it may be another few weeks. I don't know. And the not-knowing stalls me into inaction. It's almost as though once I've done something, like pack my bag for hospital, I won't have anything left to do. So I don't do it, cos that means I can still have something on my mental to-do list. However, I can't leave everything until I'm in labour, which means I need to take myself in hand. Which means actually writing some lists. The most obvious of those lists that need to be written at the moment is knowing what to pack in my hospital bag. I've got several different suggestion lists from a number of sources, and I plan to consult those, but I'd also like those of you who've ever been there and done that with the whole giving birth thing to weigh in with your suggestions. Pretty please!

Also, as a slight aside, I look at some of the lists and think "heck, that's a lot of stuff", so I'd also like to know what you actually packed your stuff in. Is this a pull out the holiday suitcase type of event, or a couple of rucksacks, or what? (I know at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what you take and what you take it in, it'll just be comforting to me to know what other people have done!)

Oh, and yeah, it appears I'm blogging again. I have got some belly pics from the course of the pregnancy that I want to share at some point, but I really need to upload stuff from my camera - it currently still has photos from our wedding way back in April on it, not to mention all the other stuff that's happened since!


Mary deB said...

You could take stuff like extra pillows (for support in labour etc), and then never need them and feel like a dork for lugging pillows about, or you could end up staying in hospital longer than you plan and having to send hubby back and forth for books and shampoo and whatever.

Camera with extra batteries. Toothbrush and general toiletries.
Phone numbers of people to call.
Something to do in case you're hanging around a lot -- I remember buying a deck of cards from a hospital vending machine!
Lots of underpants.
Blanket, car seat, whatever you need to bring baby home.

I was told first babies tend to take about 41 weeks to ripen fully. Of course, you could go tomorrow, but likely, you've got a month to wait.

Good luuuuuuuck!

Bekki said...

Go for 41 weeks! Then we'll be birthday twins. :-)

Kathleen said...

First, when you go into labor you'll still probably have lots of time before you need to get to the hospital and even to pack your bag.

But you should do it now because you won't be thinking properly.

With my first I brought everything to the hospital with me - a radio for music, lotion for hand rubs, a book to read, five changes of clothing... I used none of it. Except for the books, afterwards. I didn't even want my husband there, actually. But my last time I had nothing but the essentials. That said, a couple one room over even had a coffee maker with them.

I was there for 3 days, which is longer than your typical stay here, so this list can be altered, depending.

I would bring small bottles of shampoo and such, toothbrush and hairbrush, a change of clothes (the size you are wearing now - sorry), a couple of nightgowns and more pairs of undies than you think you'll need. This is all for afterward, of course.

I also took a few books, a camera, a phone and a list of people to call, and a notebook so that I could write down lists and journal entries during the stay. Bring a pen.

The rest of the time should be spent sleeping and resting and generally enjoying the fact that you have time to yourself, as it may not happen again until Tiny is at least 14! HA!

I'm so excited for you!