After thinking about all of our company in the early weeks after the birth of Numero Dos, I decided that we just need to put our (collective) foot down, and T concurs. We will have company the first few weeks, but it's going to be on my terms. If I need to disappear into my room with my baby, I'm going to. If I need to ask people to do stuff, I'm going to. I keep thinking about the time I had with Miss M, and the big things I needed (but didn't have) were people to hold the baby while I slept, and casseroles. Otherwise, I happily coccooned away those early days, and it was wonderful bonding time. I'm already worried about having sufficient bonding time with this baby, given that we have another child to take into account this time around. How does one balance the new baby vs. making sure firstborn feels secure and has her needs met?
We're going to tell MIL that she should come after my maternity leave is over. She couldn't come until the end of my maternity leave anyway, and we (I!) just can't handle another guest during that time. We're going to tell my stepsister that her friend can visit--for a week--after my maternity leave is over, and during a different week than MIL. Hopefully, that will be that.
One of the other big decisions we had to make was what to do about a car. We had a chance to buy a car here at substantial savings, but it just didn't feel right to me for various reasons (the expense being one of them). We're going to wait until we get back to the U.S., and buy something right after we return. It will be a bit of a hassle, but if we have the financing ready to go and prearrange some of the details (ie, maybe settle on a model/work out price with dealership), we should be able to drive a new car off the lot within a few days of returning home. I think this is the middle option--not as expensive as buying a car here, not as cheap as a used car, but with peace of mind knowing that a car is new and doesn't have unknown problems (probably). I feel like this is the right decision for us. I think T. is so tired of talking about it (he doesn't analyze things to death the way I do) that he would be happy with ANY decision at this point, just to head off further discussion.
On the doula, I've given up. I would love a good doula, but I can't expend any more energy in finding the right one. It hasn't happened to date, and I need to just give up on the idea that I can make it happen in the time I have left. I need to focus my energy on things I can actually accomplish.
And on the big girl bed, we decided to transition Miss M by having her take naps in her own room in her "big girl bed" starting this week, and we'll go from there. She'll still sleep in our room in her crib at night for now, but we hope to take it slow and have the transition complete before the baby gets here.
So, decisions made! Oh, and the contractions have lightened somewhat, too. I'm still having them, but not as many as on Friday/Saturday.