Family and Everything in Between - Living in the Caribbean

The New Addition

Well as a beginner to the world of blogging, here goes my first attempt at trying to impart some of the knowledge and experience gained as I prepared for the life altering moment of becoming a mother....Here goes...

Congratulations you're pregnant!

So, after a couple failed attempts, the confirmation was made, I'm pregnant!!...(well this was well over a year ago as my precious little bundle is now a very rambunctious 15 month old). I must say, I did have a fairly easy pregnancy, and was quite fortunate to be one of those women that lost weight while pregnant (I lost approximately 30 lbs)...

For me, this was pregnancy number 2 with hopefully my first child as my first pregnancy some months earlier ended in a miscarriage at 21 weeks. I must saying, after that lost, I had a completely different perspective on the whole pregnancy experience. For me, I was no longer concerned with the gender of the baby, just simply praying for a health baby. The joy and nervousness felt when I made it past the 21 week mark and nearing the end of the pregnancy was almost as intense as the night of delivery itself.

Getting baby's room ready

From early, I had made the decision that my new arrival would be sleeping in her own room from day one...I'd seen to may parents trying to get their kids out of their bed after starting the practice and I knew that was not for me...So, the first course of business was deciding on the kind of crib that I wanted.

Well, that decision was made very easy with the wealth of information available on the internet. Personally I found websites such as www.epinions.com and www.consumersearch.com to be very helpful in making my selection. Please be mindful, there are other very good review sites available.

In the end, my decision was very easy, I wanted a solid wood crib that would last my new addition at least until the early teenage years...for this I selected a convertible crib in the Da Vinci model from Million-Dollar-Baby. After 15 months, lots of jumping, tumbling and banging with toys, this crib is still as stable and sturdy as they day it was first assembled.

As I do not live in North America, but in the Caribbean, Barbados to be exact, I had a choice to make when researching the items needed for baby....do I buy then in Barbados for a bucket load of cash? or do I purchase them online and have then shipped into Barbados?

Well considering that I didn't have a bucket load of cash, nor did I have a money tree in the back yard, I chose the slightly more challenging but significantly cheaper route of purchasing online and shipping to Barbados. I purchased the crib, car seat, crib sheets, baby clothes and pretty much everything needed from online. I like many Bajans was fortunate enough to have family living in the US, so I had everything sent to them and once it all arrived, I had all of the smaller items packed into a barrel and had the crib and car sent separately. In the end, all of my items, plus shipping and minimal duty at the port of entry was cheaper than if I had bought it all locally in Barbados. In fact, everything came to less than if I had purchased the crib I wanted by it self.

My cost saving strategy when purchasing these big bulk items was ensuring that they shipped within the US free and shopping around for the best price. I personally used a combination of CSN Baby, Walmart, Amazon and Diapers.com when making my purchases. An important fact to remember if you are going to purchase your things online and have them shipped to you anywhere in the world is that you have enough time between them getting to you and baby's expected arrival date.

For me, everything arrived about 2 months before baby was due to arrive. This gave us enough time to assemble the crib, get all clothes and linen washed and have the room set up and waiting for baby's arrival.

The Arrival

I had my baby shower about 3 - 4 weeks before baby was due. This was immediately followed by me going on Maternity Leave. In Barbados, you are entitled to 12 weeks leave and I knew that all sleep is lost after baby arrives, so I took my leave 3 weeks before my due date. Well baby had other plans, she arrived 6 days past her due date, but she did come before I had to have labour induced. Considering that I live in the tropics, being 9 months pregnant in September, early October is torture as these months are usually as hot as July. This meant that I was convinced I was in an oven most days. Well to relieve this discomfort and to encourage my little to enter world, my partner and I ventured to the beach. I just needed 20 minutes in the nice warm tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea before I felt a lot better.

Surprisingly, what I hoped would have happened, didn't occur while enjoying my "sea bath" as we Bajans call it...and yes, being a water, especially warm soothing water is known to induce labour...It did however, happen some 3 hours later. I somehow had the energy to prepare a nice dinner of lamb stew, rice and steamed vegetables, following this delicious meal, I decided to lay in bed and take in some Discovery Channel, and as I was getting comfortable, it happened...my water broke!!

My labour experience was not a long drawn out process, my contractions came on very quickly and very intensely, but with in the blink of an eye (it felt like an eternity), I had given birth to a beautiful 8lb 5oz. little girl within 3.5 hours of going into labour. I must tell you, this was truly the greatest moment of my life.

Until Next Time

I have completed my first blog with little incident and I'm really looking forward to my next post. At this stage, I am thinking that I will probably talk about my experience in adjusting to motherhood...or I could give myself a knock in the head for writing this and not working on my thesis...Until next time, which will probably be tomorrow :)

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