From the category archives:

Week 17

Baby sans automobile

by Milton on Wed, Nov 25th, 2009

in Home,Week 17

Just in case we end up not being able to sell our house before baby arrives, we’re going to have to come up with a strategy for taking care of a baby without the convenience of a car. Our current house doesn’t have a garage, and none are for sale, and parking spaces are hundreds of bucks per month.

Of course, all difficulties merely turn into challenges, and I’m especially interested in challenges that require minimalism and creativity to overcome.  But, I haven’t really thought about it enough to know if it’s even possible.

I like Dear Baby’s take on the car-less life with baby.  Their solution, which has yet to be tested, is:

  • Quinny Zap stroller – 13lbs, can hold a stroller seat or a car seat, folds up real small, has storage, etc.
  • Maxi Cosi car seat – for the first few months when the baby’s too small for a stroller, and also for car travel.
  • Zipcar – for doctors appointments, emergencies, day trips, etc.
  • Taxis + stroller + car seat for quick trips or visits.
  • Moby Wrap or BabyBjorn when we using public transportation, or walks.

I think it can all work. The main wild card is the fear factor of “what if something crazy happens and you need to get to the hospital and every second counts”… a car would clearly be the most convenient option, or an ambulance actually, so we’ll need to come to terms with that fear and see if it’s worth the cost of a car plus $150/month in parking plus insurance and all that.

I’m looking for examples of people who have a newborn and survive without a car. Any tips or tricks or advice would be really helpful! Thanks.


Dear baby

by Milton on Wed, Nov 25th, 2009

in Letters to baby,Week 17

Esther texted me today, “Our baby is awake. :))))))”

I texted back, “Yaaaaaaaay! What’s he/she doing???”

She texted back, “Swimming! Spending secret time with mom…”

“I’m jealous.”

It’s true, I don’t get the same secret time with you as Esther does.  I still haven’t felt your swimming frog legs kicking flips in her belly.  I have a feeling I’m going to want to overcompensate by speaking to you in deep sea voices once I do make first contact with your other-worldly self.

I’ve started learning some songs on my guitar to play for you once you arrive. I’m trying to find baby-appropriate songs that are somewhat soothing and also have either ambiguous or happy lyrics.  I’ve learned about 66% of From An Aeroplane Over The Sea, by Neutral Milk Hotel, and am working also on learning Flume by Bon Iver, When U Love Somebody by the Fruit Bats, and a couple Decemberists and Fleet Foxes songs sit on the backburner waiting for my fingers to callus up a little.  Once I get my guitar-playing fingers working a bit better, and my play-and-sing coordination down a bit more, I will try to write a song or two for you. Or at least change a few of the lyrics to songs I already know. We’ll see. Underpromise overdeliver, right?

Since I haven’t played guitar in a while, I’ve noticed that the songs I’m playing are a lot different from the ones I used to play.  The music of the last few years that I’ve been listening to is actually a lot simpler and easier to play than the music of my highschool and college days (lots of classic rock back then, to be sure).  In particular, the songs are easier to play, but there are a lot more lyrics to memorize. And the melodies are a bit more difficult to sing over the chords.  Just my observation. You won’t know the difference, really. But, I hope you like our music… cause you’re gonna be listening to a lot of it as you grow up.  We’re gonna try our best to avoid baby music… I don’t really get why baby music has to suck. But who knows, maybe it’s because babies have bad taste in music. I’ll leave all options open. Another good policy, I guess.

Back to some guitar now.  Talk to ya later, baby.




We got a $428.73 bill from Polyclinic today, apparently for various things that we did in the doctor’s office last month, before we decided not to go with them.  See the November 24th section of our Money Spent page.  I admit, it’s more than I was expecting… and of course they give you no warning or indication of the cost of the things you’re doing while there. I almost feel like they assume that money is simply not part of what they do… that it’s between us and our insurance company.  But they’re the ones that know how much things cost, how necessary they are, etc, and should be able to at least inform us that this or that thing will cost however much so that we can know what we’re buying.  That would at least help stir my memory when the bill came and something like “RTU PG UTRUS W/IMAG DOC T” that cost $178 was actually an ultrasound and we were glad to pay for it (that’s what I’m assuming it was, at least).

In any case, it turns out that our $3,000 deductible will reset on January 1st, so all of this money we’re spending now won’t count towards the deductible in May.  Lame!  The full bill for the midwives, home birth, etc is a flat $1,900, and is due upon delivery of the baby.  Both fact of which are pretty awesome.  I called our insurance and made sure that this would all at least go towards our deductible when the time came, and they verified that it would.  The helper at Regence even told me that we can get a free breast pump if we order it through one of these approved sellers.  Cool!  I’m assuming that we’ll also have to pay for the week 20 ultrasound (coming right before Christmas) that will hopefully be able to tell us the gender of our little avocado-sized swimming character (bigger by then).  Very excited for that.


Not much to report

by Milton on Sun, Nov 22nd, 2009

in Week 17

We’re definitely solidly in the “sweet spot” of the pregnancy now. At least, this is what Esther reports. She seems to be feeling a lot better nauseous-wise, only reporting feeling ill when she eats too much or too fast.  The second meeting with the midwifery group was fun… we met another of the midwives, Lynn, and she seemed just as calming and helpful as Beth.  We talked out some of our fears about having a home birth at our current place (in case our house doesn’t sell by then) and she reassured us that it would work fine, even though our bathroom is on a different floor from the main living area.  Apparently bedpans can be used. Iiinteresting.

Also, Lynn mentioned that Esther will be required to not move much for a week after she gives birth. The uterus needs to heal (especially where the placenta was attached) and of course if any tearing happens that too will need to heal.  Stairs are not allowed.  Women who don’t rest for that required week sometimes have continued bleeding for long after the birth–something we’d want to avoid.  Which means that Esther will be hanging out in bed and around the bed for about a week… which will be an interesting adventure for us both.  I plan on staying home for about a month after the birth too so I’ll be able to do all of the other things, but I worry most about Esther feeling couped up in a little area after going through such an ordeal. I’m sure she’ll be itching to run around and explore the world with little baby it tow, but I guess that’s gonna have to wait til week two.

Anyway, not much to report. I still haven’t felt anything, not for lack of trying. The baby’s now the size of an avocado. Our house still hasn’t sold. And on through week 17 we go…