I was not prepared….
I wasn’t prepared at all for bringing baby home and starting a new life. I was prepared emotionally, I was prepared in my heart, but I was not prepared. Baby #1 arrived 1 week early, I still remember this very clearly, I arrived at my teaching position on Tuesday morning, the next day being Wednesday would be my last day of work. This in my moderately rational thought process should have been no big deal, my mother was two weeks late with both my sister and I, so naturally I was going to follow her birth story and carry my baby similarly – fashionably late! I would have been left with a week to finish and pick up all those things I hadn’t had time to do yet, lots of time right?
Well, as I started my day teaching, I thought and felt like something just wasn’t right. I talked to my principal, left early explaining I am just going to visit the Dr. and then would be back the net day to say good bye to my students, and complete my day. At my appointment, the Dr. confirmed that yes, I was progressing along nicely, and baby could arrive anywhere between the next 24 hours to a week. Again, no concern here, of course in my case it was going to be another week!! Who was I kidding, what made me think I was going to have any control about when sweet baby was going to arrive?
Fast forward a couple hours, I am walking around the mall, clearly in the beginning stages of labour, stopping every couple minutes to stand by the railing to brace for an extremely mild contraction, yet I still had so much to do, and had fully accepted that this baby isn’t coming late, but early, and by early… I mean today!
So what exactly was I at the mall for that I thought were in my top 2 things needed, or I just wouldn’t be able to have this baby? Pyjamas and a nursing bra.. that’s right, I needed to look good in bed when visitors came, and apparently a great nursing bra was part of that process. Huh? The logic was far from present, but dear sweet husband walked around the mall with me in all of my ridiculousness as I looked for the “necessary items”.
By 11pm my wonderful sister came over, and thought she might want to take some control over the situation! I was definitely having much more frequent contractions, and the thought occurred to me, maybe I should start to think about packing a bag to go to the hospital. Wait a second, I don’t even have a bag, except for the gigantuous suitcase for vacations. Little sister to the rescue, she brought a bag over, and then proceeded to pack it for me, all while she was supposed to be studying for a huge exam the next day!
So.. needless to say…I wasn’t prepared! I was barely prepared for the birth let alone coming home with baby! On a side note you would have thought I would learn from my mistakes, and yet, with baby #2, I had big boxes of furniture sitting all over the house, and had baby girls room painted pink while in the hospital. So, no, looks like I didn’t learn a thing, but perhaps some of you can learn from some of my mistakes, and some of our customers awesome suggestions of things they have done to make coming home with baby much easier.
Thanks to our great customers and friends here’s some super helpful tips that will make everything just that little bit easier! (You can see some comments in more detail on our Facebook wall post from Feb. 11/11)
- Enjoy your time with baby
- Keep your guests to a minimum
- Accept all help offered and even ask people when needed
- Book a lactation consult for a couple days after birth
- Stock freezer with meals (we were wonderfully blessed as our church brought meals every second day for 2 weeks, incl. drinks, buns, salad, main meal, and dessert, we were spoiled!)
- Sleep when you can, even when guests are visiting
- Keep juice boxes, water, crackers, granola bars, dried fruit in the house, easy to grab and nibble on when necessary
- Have your car seat installed by a technician, St. John’s Ambulance usually hosts clinics
- Use disposable dishes for the first couple days
- Use zipper sleepers or sleep sacks, so much easier for late night changes vs. snaps
- Put a bouncy chair in the bathroom
- Stock change table with creams, diapers, wipes
- Buy a few movies or tv series for longer feedings
- Pick up hand sanitizer, Tylenol, stool softeners, sitz bath (don’t want to have to stop on way home from hospital)
No matter what remember in the words of wise twitter mom @beingthefunmama ” Stores will still exist after you give birth and you will be able to go to them. If you don’t have everything, it will be okay.”
I would love to hear if there are more helpful tips to offer new mammas…. Because as we now all know I am clearly not the best person to ask!