FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
it comes to notifying the army of well wishers who are waiting to hear
the birth news, don’t saddle your partner with the task of calling a
bazillion people. He’s likely to be as worn out as you are. Why not
create a list with everyone put into groups. Each group has a “captain”
who will notify everyone on his list. Dad only has to call the captain.
And if your list is large, let him call one captain who can in turn
alert the other team leaders it’s time to hit the phones. You’ll want
to include name; home, work, and cell phone numbers ; and e-mail
addresses. The latter is for those captains who are tech savvy and may
want to send a written message in lieu of a phone call to save time.
GOOGLE YOUR GUESTS
Around the time
your baby is born, you’ll likely have several out-of-town guests coming
to stay. Since nobody knows exactly when a baby is coming until she
arrives, some of the travel plans will probably be last minute. You’ll
want a way for family and friends to stay connected, but of course
you’ll be in no position to oversee all the details yourself. This is a
perfect situation for Google’s menu of free products and services. You
can set up a Google Group where loved ones can discuss travel plans
with one another. They can use Google Calendar to create a schedule
they can all see. And using Google Docs, one relative can create an
Excel spreadsheet with details like cell phone numbers, flight arrival
times, and more, that all the other members of the group will be able
to access and edit. You’ll have given your family and friends a useful
way to stay connected and informed of one another’s travel plans
without having to go through you. You’ll have enough on your mind!
CHILDCARE, PET CARE, AND YOUR HOME
to your master list. List whoever is taking care of your children, your
home, and your pets while you are in the hospital in a separate
section; include their names, phone numbers, and e-mails. I would also
indicate the schedule so that everyone from family and friends to all
the various caretakers know who is to be on site when. They will also
be able to call each other in the event that one of them has an
If you have small children at
home, be sure their caregivers have the pediatrician’s contact
information. You will want to create a simple document with your
child’s insurance information and birth date along with a statement
allowing their caregiver permission to seek emergency medical treatment
on their behalf. Be sure to sign this letter. If they take any meds,
clear instructions should be written and the secure location shared.
you have animals, don’t forget to leave your vet’s phone number and his
address as well as the nearest animal emergency center. No one ever
gets sick during regular business hours, do they?
you distributed house keys? Does everyone know the combination to your
security system? Did you alert the security company to the fact that
you have an impending delivery and a lot of new people will be coming
and going? They will most likely give you a temporary code for use
during this period. In most cities false alarms generate a fine. Ask
for some leniency in the event that Uncle Harry inadvertently screws
up! Do you have lights on timers? Is someone bringing in your mail?
What about your newspaper? Who is going to take out the garbage cans
and bring them back down the driveway? The devil really is in the
This section of your list
includes the information that is truly for emergencies only. List your
attorney if you have one. Did you draw up your will? What about the
childcare document specifying who will raise your child in the event
both you and your husband have a fatal accident? And what about your
life insurance policy information? I know you have an organized file
system and that this information is easy to find. I also know that
there is only a remote chance you’ll need this during the delivery. I
just like to be prepared.
MEDICAL AND BENEFITS
want to know the name and address of the birth facility. I would
include the phone number as well as contact information for all medical
personnel assisting you, especially your OB-GYN and doula. Family and
friends are most likely to reach a service and have to leave a message.
But at least they won’t be flying blind if they are trying to find out
your condition in the event of an emergency. With that said, we all
have Nervous Nellies in our family tree. And that’s the beauty of
Excel. Aunt Tilly and Uncle Tony don’t need these numbers, right?
sure you have your medical ID card with you. (You’ll be packing your
hospital bag next week.) Is there any other information the hospital
will need for admission? (Pre-registering at your hospital can help you
save time while checking in.) I would have your ID number and the name
of your insurance company and agent (if applicable) on hand as well as
contact numbers on this sheet for added security. In the event you lose
or forget your wallet, you can access your list.
a hard copy of the contact list with you, and if you have a smart
phone, keep it there too so you’ll be able to access the document
easily. Does your phone have these functions? Great! Do you know how to
use them? Take some time to learn and be sure your partner has the same
information on his phone.
SO MANY DETAILS, SO LITTLE TIME
sure it feels a little overwhelming when you read this material. I
think you’ll be amazed how quickly this will go because you have been
so organized over the past seven months. You can always beg your
sidekick to return and do this for you. Promise to make her a nice pot
of tea. You can snuggle into a chair and dictate names and numbers to
her. I bet you feel better already!