The first place so far was my favorite. We did not make an appointment per advice from a forum so that we could catch them off guard if they weren't that great. They were quite welcoming. The classrooms were all secured and very clean and organized. They encouraged us to open any and all cabinets. The teacher in the main infant classroom talked with us for about an hour and just had a great matronly vibe - efficient but very caring. To my delight, they said they do allow cloth diapers. We also looked at the playgrounds (large and with a lot of green space) and the classrooms for the older children. C and I had a good gut feeling about this place, and luckily the price was within our expected range - $800 per child per month.
The second place we stayed at only briefly because it was just so dark by comparison and just didn't resonate as much. The third place did not accept infants under twelve months anymore but seemed lovely. However, I would prefer to keep the twins at the same daycare for at least three years before switching them to preschool.
So, we still have many more places to look at but at least we got the ball rolling. Honestly, C and I walked away feeling quite overwhelmed at how babies act and look and their environments and how we have no idea about any of this! And it scares me to entrust my babies to strangers. I have very few contacts in my town who have/had kids, therefore I have only a few personal recommendations about daycares. The other places I have found through Google and school rating sites.
The other major step we embarked on recently was to tour the hospital's maternity ward. Compared to the other attendees, we were far earlier in our pregnancy but since preterm labor is more likely for me, I wanted to see the hospital before any emergency. Also, before I didn't want to do much sitting or walking. We are delivering at a hospital with the highest level of infant intensive care (NICU III), which hopefully won't be needed but of course is more likely with twins. The tour began with an hour long presentation by a lactation consultant who has worked in all aspects of the ward during her tenure and delivered info in a very straightforward manner that I appreciated. She broke down things like what to pack, timeline for being in each room, the hospital's skin to skin policy, expected timeline from checkin to after birth, etc. It was very helpful but again overwhelming for C and me.
We then saw the labor and delivery rooms, postpartum recovery areas, overnight suites, and NICU (through a window.) We saw a tiny baby pass us in the hallway and the nurses doing a check on a brand new baby. Soooo tiny and the twins will probably be even smaller!
A lot of information to digest this weekend. C and I are fairly laid back and have always assumed we will figure out parenthood as we go along, with occasional help from friends, family and the Internet. In addition, I do read a lot of forums, though mostly pregnancy in nature since I have a lot of concerns about making it through this stage and sometimes cannot think beyond to the living child stage. But after seeing the daycares and the hospital, I feel so overwhelmed and underprepared. And worried that I will inadvertently endanger the little ones. Sounds like a baby care and infant CPR class need to be in our future.
Other issues have increased the anxiety a bit lately. We had our annual conference for work last week and all the attention and discussion about my pregnancy was a bit overwhelming. It was too much for me to be super bubbly about it for a few days. In addition, I have been worried more about my cervix, knowing I am at the 18 week mark today and the risk is up for the next few weeks. The good news is I feel good so far, though it is getting much more uncomfortable to roll around in bed, lay on the couch, and put on or remove sneakers. I have also gained 17 pounds so am on a great trajectory to gain the recommended 20 pounds by 20 weeks. Finally, the anatomy scan is tomorrow, and I fret about all the things that could go wrong at this exam.
Sadly, my fears have remained mostly hidden. I share them with two friends of mine on occasion but right now they are both quite occupied with their own personal woes. Plus, sometimes they are too upbeat and don't understand. C understands but with his work schedule, we have very little time at night to talk and by then I am quite exhausted. So, I keep the burden of my fears to myself and that is something I need to actively avoid doing over the next month. I need to go to therapy more, reach out to my friends more, and seek other ways of dealing with stress. Because I want to do all I can to have full-term babies. My mantra during infertility was "Happy and Healthy Baby in 2015" and besides baby turning into babies that hasn't changed.