Along with a new waddle and trying to stay comfortable, entering the final trimester, the urgency to nest and prepare for a baby really sets in. As your doing your final preparing for your new little love, you may be asking, “Am I forgetting anything?” I know I did. I should also mention that I had my shower when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I wanted my husband to be there. He was gone for work during most of my pregnancy. So, I pushed my shower as far out as I could. I thought it was a good idea at the time. After all, I had TWO WEEKS before I was “due.” But as it grew closer, I began to panic. Reading other mom’s birthing stories, and following pregnancy updates of friends on social media, I realized I could go into labor at anytime. Luckily, I carried full term. I had a beautiful shower, with friends and family, and my husband had made it back home the day before the shower. It was perfect. We received so many wonderful gifts. I was blown away. After getting everything home, I did not realize how long it would take to unbox, wash, and find a place for everything. We were waking up at 3-4 AM everyday (he was on a different time zone schedule) and I was in major nesting mode. We went to Home Depot almost everyday up until the point of me delivering. I remember receiving a call from one of my best friends, as I walked into Home Depot, I told her, “I am going to deliver this baby in Home Depot. She is going to be the Home Depot baby.” Just like many other expecting mothers, I found that the first baby often comes late. None the less, here are 10 things that I recommend before your baby comes.
- Make a Daily Check List Create a master list of anything you MUST do in a day. For instance, taking medication, feeding your pets (breakfast and dinner), and any other important responsibilities. My ability to remember to do these simple tasks was incredibly surprising. Before Libby, these items were very routine, intuitive, and done at certain times. Once you have your baby, the days will blur together. Before your day was broken up by the natural schedule of nighttime and daytime. Going to sleep usually means when you wake up, it is a new day. Once you have your baby, your first few months will be filled with random 2 – 4 hour blocks of sleep. These sleep blocks are between feeding/nursing, changing, and soothing your baby. Everything will be about your new baby. When you add sleep deprivation with “mommy brain,” you will sure be glad you had a list. Having a list will also help your partner takeover tasks you might have done on autopilot pre-baby.
- Buy a Pill Box: As I mentioned in #1, your natural order of the day will shift, if you have medication you must take i.e., thyroid, pain meds after surgery, vitamins, etc., GET A PILL BOX! It’s an easy way for you to check that you took the pill, and you avoid double dosages. Put it on your master list so you don’t forget to take it.
- Take Photos of your Growing Belly Since my husband was away for work six months of my pregnancy, I would take lots of photos. I wanted him to see my belly growing. Had he not been away, I probably would have only taken one or two pictures. It’s so amazing to look back on the photos and recall my pregnancy journey. While pregnant, I also had lots of moms tell me to take lots of photos. This was one thing they wished they would have done more of.
- Clean and Stock up your Freezer Clean out your freezer of old food to make room for new food. If your into freeze-ahead, crockpot meals, take a day or two to stock your freezer. In addition, pick up some other items that are easy to cook same-day, such as lasagnas, mac n’ cheese, or frozen pizzas. Sometimes, you may forget to pull out a crock-pot meal to thaw and you don’t want to be stuck scrambling to find something to eat (remember if you freeze crockpot mealsin flat gallon plastic bags, they will not fit into the crockpot frozen).
- Stock up on Water Bottles There is no thirst, like the thirst of you get while nursing. If I can describe it; imagine running a few miles, in the dessert, then eating something super salty like boneless wings and then waiting thirty minutes. Now, you may quench your thirst. This is how you will feel while nursing. Keep a couple water bottles next to the bed, couch, or any place you may find yourself nursing your baby. You will be glad they are there and that you don’t have to get up to get a glass of water.
- Pack a Hospital Bag This one is pretty obvious. I would say stick to your strategy about when you pack for vacation. Meaning, if you don’t feel prepared unless you have lots of options, and every little thing, then stick to that. If you’re a minimalist, stick to that. I personally am in the middle. I hate having a TON of stuff to lug around. For my hospital bag, I packed more then I needed. The things I was glad to have packed: snacks, drinks, a phone charger, a stocked diaper bag, socks for the hospital, pillows/jammies for my husband, mascara and an outfit to go home in for me and Libby. If you are opposed to hospital gowns, you may want to bring your own robe or jammies. I preferred hospital gowns. They were much easier for moving around and post-op examinations. You should also check with your Hospital if you need to bring items for your baby, such as diapers, wipes, clothes, etc. I brought these things, but my hospital had provided them, so it really was not necessary. You may also want to bring outfits for a newborn photo shoot at the hospital.
- Select a Pediatrician This is not something that occurred to me until I was in the hospital. One of the nurses(maybe doctor) came to check in on me and my baby and let us know we would need to do a follow-up appointment in two weeks. Followed by a “Who is your Doctor?” Oops. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I am sure it was in my checklist paperwork from my OBGYNs office. I remember asking around about Pediatricians. But some how with the mix of birthing classes, breast feeding classes, a baby shower at 38 weeks, working full time and everything else, it managed to escape my mommy brain. Luckily, the hospital is prepared for this. They had pediatricians on staff that met with us. They ended up being wonderful doctors and who we stayed with. However, it’s always better to be prepared, and select who you would like to care for your child.
- Go on a Baby Moon Weekend Getaway: A Baby Moon is “a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.” When we went on our baby moon I was 38 weeks pregnant. It was right after our baby shower, and my husband had just gotten back from being away for work for 6 months. A baby moon was the perfect opportunity to take a few days to relax. We booked a hotel in a town called “Frankenmuth.” It was less than a two-hour drive. I didn’t want to go to far incase I went into labor. However, it was just far enough. Once we were there, we were ready to relax. I booked us a spa package, made dinner reservations and we did some light shopping. We were even able to pick out our daughters first Christmas ornament. It was nothing crazy, but much needed. I definitely recommend taking a weekend and/or weekdays to get away from the cleaning, preparing, and general nesting to unwind, get a maternity massage, and relax with your significant other.
- Decide Who You Want in the Delivery Room: This advice came from my birthing class. Pretty sound advice. You may prefer just your significant other, or you may prefer your whole family. Whatever the case, you should think about it ahead of time. More so, certain loved ones may think they are invited into the delivery portion of your labor and that may not be your plan. It’s good to communicate what you prefer ahead of time to make the day go smooth without anymore added stress for you.
- Read Other Moms Birthing Stories: I loved reading mom blogs while I was pregnant. I also loved talking with close friends and family about their delivery experience. I like to be prepared, but also plan for the unexpected. I found it so refreshing and helpful that so many women are willing to open up about their birthing stories, expectations, and fears so honestly. I remember in one of my birthing classes one of the mothers was in tears because she was paralyzed by the fear of giving birth and having an unhealthy pregnancy. There was nothing indicating complications with her pregnancy, it was just absolute terror she felt, so much so, that she had a small breakdown in class. Pregnancy affects all women differently, as does each child. If you feel a certain way, sad, overwhelmed, fearful, happy, whatever the feeling, someone else has felt it to. Reading these stories is a great way to connect with other mothers. It also helps to validate our feelings that can be very new and unexpected as we grow another human.
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- THE REAL THINGS NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT HAVING A BABY
- CELEBRATING BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS
- MY FAVORITE ITEMS FOR A NEW BABY
- HOW I SCORE FREE DIAPERS
Best wishes on your Pregnancy Journey!