Keith was going into his labour and delivery as bare bones as possible. He had been researching (Read ‘watching too many ‘What’s in my hospital bag’ videos) and the whole thing just… stressed him out. There were so many things that people wanted and needed to bring! Onesies and diapers and swaddles and more diapers, hats, blankets, nursing pads, pads, a change of clothes, slippers, personal hygiene items, exercise balls, the list went on!
Keith knew he needed to be as relaxed as possible during the birth. He wanted it to go as quickly and as stress free as he could, and well, hospitals freaked him out. He had stayed in the hospital when his dad was dying and had avoided them like the plague since. He just never could see himself being happy to give birth in that environment.
Unfortunately, the decision wasn’t entirely up to him. Everything came down to baby. Which suited Keith fine, he would do anything to keep his baby safe, even if it did mean giving birth in a hospital. Luckily, he was low risk with no complications so far. So, with clearance from his midwife and a fuck ton of research done, Keith had settled on a home birth, with the option to move to a hospital if needed. He didn’t want an epidural, he didn’t want a hundred different people present, he just wanted Matt and his midwife there to make sure the baby was safe.
(Part of him wanted to high tail it out to his dad’s old shack, way out in the desert, to give birth. Just himself, the sand and the sun to witness his baby’s birth. The intimate first few hours, days, of their life spent with him, no pressure, no expectations, no visitors. The more he thought about it, the more appealing it became. Maybe he’d even let Matt come, only because he couldn’t deny him witnessing his – their – child’s first few precious hours.)
Once Keith got to thirty-seven weeks pregnant, he went into overdrive nesting. He was tired and slow, but he needed the entire apartment to be perfect if he was going to be giving birth there. The nursery was a bit of a disaster, so that’s where he started.
After their baby shower, all of their furniture had been set up, just never actually put into place. Keith had done all of baby’s laundry as well, but never got around to putting them away. The crib and recliner in front of the window, with the bassinet and changing table pushed against the wall. The car seat and stroller weren’t set up properly yet, but they weren’t in their boxes anymore. There were several baskets of clean laundry hanging around the room, and Keith wondered if he should wash them again. They were washed maybe a month ago, and after a quick sniff test he decided against it. There was nothing in this room that could dirty them anyway.
Keith moved the car seat, stroller and bassinet from the room, as none of them needed to be there. With a little bit more space, he set the baskets of laundry into the crib, and moved the recliner in front of the open door. The empty changing table/chest-of-drawers was placed adjacent to the window, with the crib on the wall opposite the window. The room was long enough that the baby wouldn’t get any direct sunlight if they were having a nap. He moved the recliner to the corner of the room, next to the window. They had a brilliant view of the city and the sunrise and Keith liked the idea of being able to watch as he sat with his baby breastfeeding or bonding.
He vacuumed the floor, and then dumped all of the laundry on it. Their apartment had hardwood floors throughout, which suited Keith fine as it meant he didn’t spend his life trying to work animal fur from the carpet, but he had a small mat for the room. He sorted the laundry into clothing and others. The others included the countless swaddles they owned, his baby wrap, bed sheets for the crib, blankets, burp cloths and other miscellaneous items. He had a fair idea where he wanted to store everything, but he needed it folded first.
He was ashamed to admit that folding the laundry took nearly twice as long as it should have, but who could blame him? He kept getting distracted by how tiny everything was! Baby felt absolutely huge right now, while they were inside him, but once they came out, they would be so small and fragile. He may have shed a few tears over how precious babies were.
He moved all the clothes into the chest-of-drawers, and he set about making the crib. Since baby didn’t need a blanket and pillows, (he doubted they would be spending much time in the crib in the first few months anyway) he just put a light sheet on it.
He pulled the car seat and stroller back into the room and properly set them up. They were a dark navy, which suited Keith fine since it was fairly gender neutral. Keith hauled the boxes of diapers and wipes into the room and put them in the top drawer of the chest-of-drawers, along with wipes and burp clothes.
Satisfied that the room was now baby ready, he moved out to the sitting and dining area. It wasn’t too bad at the moment, just needed a general clean-up. He had built a nest on the corner of their sectional and he debated pulling it down and adding to his nest in their bedroom. He liked it well enough though and decided to just neaten it up. He might move it closer to the time.
The kitchen was a bit of a disaster, Matt had been working late the last few weeks due to upcoming exams, and Keith had been understandably exhausted. They had a mountain of washing up to do, as well as all the dishes that needed to be loaded into the dishwasher. He needed to wash the baby’s bottles as well, since he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to produce enough milk. The thought upset him, but his midwife said not to stress about it, lots of people have difficulty producing milk for a few days after baby is born. And although it wasn’t looking that way for Keith, lots of male omegas weren’t able to produce milk at all, and they still managed to have perfectly healthy and happy pups. Not breastfeeding wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Once the kitchen was done, he moved onto the bedroom. He needed to make his nest birth-appropriate. He had bought lots of new sheets, blankets and towels for this exact purpose. They would sleep in the nest until the birth, saturating it with their scents, then after, they would throw them away.
He stripped the bed of everything and placed two waterproof sheets on it. Birth was messy and the last thing he wanted to do was permanently ruin their mattress. He layered the next sheet of top, and then began building the nest.
He wasn’t too fond of it just yet, it smelled too sterile and generic, but he knew soon enough it would smell like home. There were more layers than probably needed, but Keith wanted to take a few out when he was in labour so that he could replace the destroyed ones after he gave birth. It meant less work for Matt and the midwife and he could be happy with their scent.
Keith stored their duvet and blankets, with the exception of his weighted one in their closet for now. He would move his weighted one to join them when he was in labour, but he knew he would want it before then.
The last place he cleaned was the bathroom. It wasn’t too bad, just a bit messy, so it didn’t take him too long. Once he finished, he collapsed – more like lowered himself gingerly - onto the couch for a rest before Matt came back.
He was still three weeks away from his due date, so he was sure that he’d need to clean again, but it was nice to feel a bit more ready for the birth.