The cost of not having a baby shower

I did not have a baby shower for baby MMD. He was born prematurely at 28 weeks and I struggled to put more items on my plate other than pumping, hospital visits and work. A friend and I actually have pinned down a date, but I went into labor before we got the chance to send the invite. My friend insisted that I should still have a shower, but I was reluctant to have it in the first place, even before baby MMD’s birth.

Celebrating milestones

I don’t like the attention that a baby shower brings. Similarly, I didn’t have the usual bachelorette party, because of this reason. I like the idea of being with friends and celebrating each other’s milestones. I just don’t like the hassle of planning it and expecting everyone to provide gifts for me. Since the birth of baby MMD was so traumatic, I also had a hard time celebrating at the time. I feel that I will spend my time masking the fear and anxiety that I have while baby MMD is in the NICU.

Free items from our neighbor

We were lucky to receive majority of the free items from our local buy nothing group. This includes a crib, crib mattress, sheets and blanket. Our neighbor is so nice that they even deliver the crib since it didn’t fit in our sedan. The crib is a solid wood and was used by her 2 boys. When I search for the instruction online, I was surprise to see that this crib cost $400. We also received an infant car seat with a couple of bases and caddy from our neighbor. She also had 2 boys and the car seat still has a couple more years life on it. This saves us another $300. We also received a changing table, activity play mat, anywhere chair, nursery mobile, moby wrap, bath tub and more. I’m very thankful for the generosity of our neighbor. These items will go back to this group once baby MMD outgrew it.

My old furniture and gifts

My old dresser from my parent’s house were delivered for the baby’s nursery. For his clothing, I found a lot of clothes for $50, that my sister picked up and gladly paid for. We also receive 20 bum genius cloth diaper to start our cloth diapering journey. I also receive a nursing pillow from a friend. My in-laws got us a carrier.

Things we bought and a discount on baby registry

I signed up for a baby registry at Amazon. I filled this out through out my pregnancy but never made it public. I had a hard time filling it out since I’m unsure of the items needed. I basically put everything that the nurse is using in the NICU. This includes the bottles, shampoos, diapers and diaper cream. I found out that I get a 15 percent discount, on one order from this registry. I made one order for everything on my list including the stroller, which gives about $200 savings and $100 worth of diaper items. I highly recommend signing up for Amazon Baby Registry. They have everything and I receive my items in 2 days since I’m a prime member.

Splurge

The lack of baby shower cost us about $1500. The biggest expense is the semi high end stroller followed by a high end swing that baby MMD used in NICU. The stroller and the swing alone, is about $1000. These are the splurge items we bought because we didn’t have the time to look for it in the use market. The rest are for feeding, baths and diapers.

Items I don’t need

I actually ended up buying more items that I needed. The discount is good for one order so I just bought everything on the registry once. The good news, Since I bought it from my registry, I can return the items in a longer return window. For example, I found out that I don’t really need all the level of nipples from the bottle since I plan on nursing baby MMD. A level 1 is enough for his bottle intake once a day and after I return to work. I also don’t need a lot of bottles and sheets. I returned items worth more than $200. Did I say that I highly recommend signing up for Amazon Baby Registry..

There are also some items I bought that was not useful, which I can’t return. For example, I bought a rocker and a bassinet stand. I found that I actually like the bassinet in the stroller while baby MMD is taking naps. I bought a changing pad which we hardly use. I probably spent $200+ worth of useless items.

Overall, I’m glad that I didn’t have a baby shower. Baby shower also cost some money and I’m glad I just ended up purchasing the items we needed (or thought I needed).

Maternity Clothes on a Budget

I am now officially on my third trimester and so far I only spent $82.09 on a couple of maternity jeans. I’m starting to grow out of my normal clothes, but I don’t want to purchase clothing that I will only use for 3 months. There comes the problem. I’ve been lucky to receive some tops from my sister but those were not maternity clothes. It is actually just bigger size shirts and I also started to grow out of them. I watched out for maternity clothes from my local buy nothing project, with no luck.

Renting Maternity Clothes

I talked to my friends and family about the concept of renting maternity clothes. So after a little search from google, I found Le Tote. I spent some time reading reviews and browsed through the site. I decided to sign up for it for a month and give it a try.

The concept is pretty simple. It’s like Netflix but only on clothes. Le Tote have three maternity plans. For $74 per month, you rent 4 clothes or 3 clothes with 2 accessories. For $54 per month, you can rent 2 clothes and 2 accessories. You can keep the item as long as you want or buy the items. To buy the items, all you have to do is keep it and they will automatically charge your credit card on file.

I signed up for $74 a month to receive 4 clothing items. After signing up, I select the styles I like. I received an e-mail 53 minutes later with my first tote with 4 clothes. I customized it before shipment and selected 2 different tops. Here is my first tote that was ordered on Friday night.

I received an e-mail on Saturday that my first tote was in transit. I received the tote on Monday. I was very impressed with the clothes. I returned it on Saturday using the prepaid postage  envelope via USPS. That same night I received my next notification that my next tote has been selected and ready for customization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far, I’m very happy with the clothes. The app and the site is also very user friendly. I’ll continue using this service for the rest of the month and I might even try the “classic”, which is non-maternity.

If you want to try Le Tote use this link to receive $25 off your first month. The link is a referral and I will receive $15 off my next subscription for if you sign up using the link.

21 weeks of pregnancy – the financial journey

I reached the midpoint of my pregnancy. We found out that we are having a baby boy and all my check ups had been normal. So far, we haven’t bought anything, but it already cost us $980.09. Even though we know the cost associated to having a child, I still cringe when it hits my credit card. We are fortunate enough to not go in debt and have insurance to cover for medical bills. I have enough balance on my Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for my deductible but I choose to leave it invested. This expense is just now part of my monthly expense.

Things that I paid for

Majority of what I paid for are related to medical bills and pregnancy classes that we will take in June. I also bought a couple of maternity jeans. So far, I’m still wearing all my normal clothes and I received some shirt from my mom and my sister that are stretchy. I’m halfway there so I doubt that I’ll need to buy more maternity clothes.

Furniture shopping shocker

Given that I have never shopped for baby furniture, it was definitely a shocker when I started looking for baby items. Crib alone can go further than 1K. We visited ikea and although there are cheaper option, the furniture doesn’t look as sturdy as it should be. We also visited Pottery Barn. Everything there looks so adorable that I just want something exactly like that in the nursery. My husband reminded me that we don’t need anything cute, because our baby will make the room cute.. awww… He was also trying to make sure that I don’t purchase anything. We did decide that we will try to purchase a solid wood crib that will last and that hopefully can be passed on. I’m trying to look at the used market.

What we got for free

I already received a couple of anywhere chair from pottery barn and a rocker from our local buy nothing group. The chair will need to be personalized. It’s my chance to start embroidering the new name for our baby.  I can’t believe that I got this for free. It retails $89 in pottery barn for the smallest one. I also received 24 fuzzi bunz cloth diaper for free. It doesn’t have an insert, and we will need to change the elastics, but if we’re successful with using a cloth diaper, this can saved us quite a bit. We’ve already been told by coworkers and friends that we will receive some clothing too.

Furry baby is checking out the rocker

Fighting back by being patient

I have to remind myself to be patient from time to time. It’s hard because I just want to finish the nursery, and just purchase everything. For some reason, the baby companies knows that we’re expecting since every advertisement on my feed are baby furnitures. It is easy to purchase everything new, but I’d rather spend that money for my baby’s experience later on in life. As my husband keeps reminding me, the baby will not know the color or the design. As long as what we purchase is safe and comfortable and that we’re there for him, he will be fine.