Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything

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More ultrasounds

I suppose I should feel lucky that I get so many pictures from ultrasounds, since I’m now on number 5, for my dog to eat after they’re left on the counter.  But the flip-side is that they were all for issues.  I don’t know if women who say they wish they had more ultrasounds have thought this through.  More ultrasounds means they think there’s something wrong, or potentially wrong, and they want to keep an eye on it.  I don’t know many people who would take problems in exchange for more pictures, if they had the choice.

But I had my second in-depth ultrasound Friday to check on the fetal cyst.  Aside from receiving the jaw-dropping bill for the last one (clocking in at just under $675 AFTER insurance), it was a good experience all around.  The cyst is much smaller (by half!), and I don’t need to go in any longer for monitoring.  It’s such a relief; they will do an ultrasound after baby is born to check and see how it’s doing then, but it’s so “small as to be insignificant” at this point.

Bonus good news: baby is large for my due date, so it is now a bit sooner than before.  This means I get to be done sooner!  And leave work sooner, since that’s getting difficult to get up at 6:00 to go to everyday…


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Interviewing daycares, the finale

I’ll be honest and throw out something that might be an unpopular opinion: choosing whether or not to put our child in daycare was based 99.9% on the money, not whether or not we felt it was “best” having a parent at home 24/7.  You can debate all you want about the merits of working v. staying home, but there are successful examples on both sides of the equation and we were committed to making our decision work, no matter what it was.

That being said, for the sake of simplicity I only considered 3 numbers when evaluating the cost/benefit ratio.  I took my monthly income, my monthly cost in gas to drive to work, and the monthly cost of daycare.  I did not consider any other bills I currently pay, or registration for daycare.  The reason I did not consider any other bills is because if I were to stay home, we’d be paying those out of one income anyway, so including them in the equation muddied an issue that was straightforward:does it cost more to work and put a child in daycare, or to stay home?

Every daycare I looked at resulted in different numbers, but the same net effect.  I was only considering infant care at this point, because it gets cheaper as the child gets older and the class ratios increase.  Of course, I was really hoping to be able to go with Chain B, as I felt it was the best match.  The reason we looked at daycare in the first place is because we both wanted me to have options for continuing my career instead of losing significant time and having to return at an entry-level position, either full- or part-time.

Unfortunately, the math worked out so that, even considering only the cost to commute and child care, it was so expensive I would be bringing home negative hundreds of dollars a month.  So I will take my maternity leave, with paid benefits, return to work for 2 weeks, and on the first day back give my notice.  I’ll then stay home until our child is older, care is cheaper, and I’ll find some activities I can participate in to try and keep my skills up and sharp.

I will need daycare for those 2 weeks I go to work, and I think I’ll just go ahead and register at Chain B, since they only have 2 spots open for the month we’d start and I’ll need something no matter what.

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How I started hemoraging money

Having no money is something I guess I need to get used to.

Right now, I’m in the process of setting as much up in the nursery as I can. I’m not due until the end of November, but I’d rather get as much done now as I can while I still feel pretty maneuverable, even though my energy is way down from its normal levels. We’ve gotten all furniture set up, except a bookcase, and the room is freshly painted with some wall appliques added.

Because I’m also slightly crazy, I really wanted to have clothes in sizes going all the way up to 12 months. You can never be 100% sure how quickly a baby will grow and I’d like to have something to use instead of have to go out because I have no choice. You just know that’s going to be the day you’re tired, baby is sick, and you just know you can’t squeeze baby into those clothes for another day! I’ve gotten bottles, and blankets, and I have to say…I feel like someone amputated my wallet and from the wound gushes a stream of dollars and cents. I knew it was going to be expensive to get everything that’s actually necessary, much less a lot of the “nice-to-haves”, but good lord! There is no earthly reason a stroller needs to be $120.

To be fair, some of the things I got were more expensive, but I bought a lot of convertible items – crib, 2 car seats, stroller, and I’m planning on a dual purpose high chair. Those are more expensive at the start-up, but I’m hoping long-term I’ll save myself not only money but time and hassle when I can just switch to the next stage of use, rather than go and buy another one. Nevertheless, something seems shady to me, in all this money I’m spending for things that were built with shelf lives or limited use. I’m looking at you, baby clothes! My husband doesn’t even know how much I’ve spent, nor do I think he has any idea.  What I didn’t get from my shower, I got myself because I’m trying to lessen the financial burden on him right now.

I just know the storm has barely begun.  Any money-saving tips out there you want to share?