One of the pregnancy podcasts I listen to, PregTASTIC, recently had a show about baby bucket lists — similar to the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket, but in terms of the things you want to do before you have a baby. This really struck me, because Aaron and I had barely even thought about that sort of thing until the infamous Miscarriage of ’07, after which our baby bucket list turned into our lifestyle.
Before we got pregnant the first time, the only thing we did in preparation was to paint the baby’s room. We didn’t have any savings, we hadn’t gone on any trips, we weren’t in the best shape physically… I’m honestly not sure what made me think it was a good idea at the time. Biological clock ticking and all that, I guess.
The miscarriage happened at ten weeks: barely enough time for us to have gotten used to the idea of being pregnant in the first place. I’ve mentioned our post-miscarriage dinner at Red Lobster (yes, I think it may have been that very weekend), where we discussed our chance of a do-over. Now we get the opportunity to do the things we should really do before starting a family… so what are they?
Going to Japan.
That was the main one, and it was made possible partially due to a pretty sweet tax return. The next year, we went to Hawaii, made possible mainly from the severance pay from the job I got laid off from in Fall 2007.
After those two trips, our annual Big Vacation became something that we (and our friends and family) came to anticipate and expect. It became a part of our lifestyle, as much as going out to eat together on the weekends, or subscribing to cable internet service. Our baby bucket list (of one item) became a pivotal linchpin of why we decided not to have children.
(Until the decision was made differently by one rogue, birth-control-evading ovum, that is.)
Now that I’m six months pregnant (really? already? holy shit!), there’s not much on the baby bucket list except gathering baby stuff. Clothes, crib, dresser, and whatever ends up leftover from my registry (which I’m sure will be plenty).
There are things, however, that I’m glad I ended up doing before I got pregnant — first and foremost involving my health. I’m glad that I was at my lowest adult weight when I conceived. I’m glad that I had started a running regimen, and that I had just finished my first 5K.
I’m also glad I got a job that pays well and that I enjoy (as much as a person can enjoy their 8-to-5, anyway). I’m glad that we’re financially stable; although we’ll definitely be cutting back on spending (dinners out, Starbucks, online purchases), we’re not living paycheck-to-paycheck, and we’ll make it. We’ll just go back to being weekend homebodies for a little while, maybe only taking Junior out to Sunday dim sum with us (because we’d go absolutely stir-crazy nutso if we didn’t get out of the house at all).
There are also things that it might have been nice to do before we got pregnant, but that it’s not the end of the world that they didn’t happen. I’m thinking mainly of home improvement projects, like painting the living and dining rooms and getting new carpet. Once Junior threatens to become mobile, I’m sure we’ll have a whole new set of home-related to-dos, like putting up gates and perhaps getting some new pieces of furniture (or securing our current shelves to the walls). But we’ll cross that cliché when we come to it.
Moms and Dads out there: what was on your baby bucket list? Did you have one? Did you wish you had after the fact?