So a strange thing happens when a new burst of hope comes in…
With domestic adoption, you don’t know when this kiddo will arrive on the scene, but you do know that when a birth mother selects you, she’ll be in her third trimester…or the baby might even have just been born.
So knowing this, it means there’s really no guaranteed pseudo-gestation period – you’ve got to be READY. So how “ready” should that really be?
Well, it brought me to thinking for the first time in almost a year about preparing for a child to arrive in our house. Could be this summer, this winter, next year, we don’t know…but the odds are, for the first time, in our favor that we’ll be parents.
Being a world class listmaker, it could get dangerous, but at the same time, during our six rounds of DEIVF, I always felt better if I did something to prepare for a child than if I tried to ignore it all. And during that brief summer of pregnancy bliss before we lost our baby, nesting was something we embraced, in our own little minimalist, sustainable, DIY kinda way. Nothing big, just a little project here.
So with us now left to waiting, waiting, waiting, we’ve restarted the Pinterest-ing, and created a simple list of must-haves, with nearly all of them having DIY solutions:
- A place to sleep (DIY): We have a king size bed. As there will be no breastfeeding (while there are ways to try to get your bosoms to make milk even if you’ve not been pregnant, to summarize what another blogger said who was adopting after a long battle with infertility, I have seen my body fail me enough already – I don’t want to put it through any more to potentially fail again), the pool noodle & a pillowcase combo between us is the ticket. The noodle? $1 at – you guessed it – the dollar store.
- Diapers: Cloth of course. No way in hell would I buy something that stays in a landfill for 500 years. And while some people spend money on expensive cribs and toys and designer duds, as for us? We’re going the diaper service route. For $70/month, it’s not only even more eco-friendly, it’s a mega-time saver. Literally put the diapers in the pail on the porch, and they pick it up once a week and leave a replacement supply. Excellent.
- Wipes (DIY): Cut out squares of cotton and flannel – inspired by this post – but even simpler. Simply grabbed a few shirts out of our go-to-Goodwill donation bag we keep by the front door, including my husband’s red flannel shirt that had frayed too much around the collar to wear anymore, and cut them all into 6″ squares. When the times comes I’ll find an old container to put them in, but in the meantime we have at least 40 wipes cut out. Bam.
- Baby Wrap (DIY): There are a million DIYs on Pinterest for this to avoid buying the $50-100 “moby” style wraps, so I chose this design, which is made from a cotton jersey bedsheet. So yesterday we went to Goodwill and scored an entire jersey knit sheet SET for $9, with the top sheet taking care of this wrap, the pillowcase covering the co-sleeper pool noodle mentioned above.
- Bottles (DIY): Glass? Check. Make them from half-pint canning jars already on our shelves, and just buy the nipple part?? Fuck yeah! I swear, anytime you wonder if something can be DIY’d, google it. There’s usually a way.
- Burp Cloths (DIY): Cloth diapers. Bam.
- Stroller: Used. Bam.
- Carseat: If I’m lucky, a newer used model that fits our car. Bam Bam Bam!
Ultimately this stuff is the easy part. Having a few things on hand is the least of our concerns. We just can’t wait to meet the little one who’s going to change our lives forever, and take this new path, this new journey, and figure it out as we go along. I’m so grateful to the many people who have told me their own stories, either as an adoptive parent or as an adoptee, and we continue to read more and learn more as we prepare down this unknown road. Wheeeeeeee!
(For any of my infertility sistas who have praised me for moving forward, please know that my brain is still in giant clusterfuck mode. When you’re 43 and going through this, you know that time is of the essence and sometimes you’ve just got to get shit done…)