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And baby makes three... preparing for the new arrival
And baby makes three, preparing for the new arrival
How time flies when you’re having a baby! Nine months of anticipation and preparation, and you still think you're not ready?
Well rest assured you’re not alone. With the excitement of bringing a new life into the world, a creation unlike any other, it’s easy to forget even the simplest of things. And that ‘baby brain’ you’ve been experiencing will soon be replaced by ‘OMG, I’m so tired I’m seeing double’ brain, of course if you have twins you literally are. By being organized you’ll be ready for the rollercoaster ride called parenthood.
Making a list of what baby paraphernalia you have and what you’ll need to buy is a good place to start. If you’re mid way through your pregnancy and anticipate additional baby showers don’t hesitate to shoot an email to friends and family members to let them know, too.
One of the last things you or your partner will want to do is cook when you get home from hospital. A great suggestion from quite a few moms is to have a ‘Stork the Freezer’ shower. Ask a close friend or relative to organize guests, preferably at your home, to bring freezer ready meals accompanied by the recipe, just in case it turns out to be a new favourite! Having a freezer full of ready to zap or bake dishes is a great stress releaser, not to mention yummy.
An excellent point came from Jennifer Soos, mother and Marriage Therapist, who said, “I did not do a thorough enough investigation of the whole breast pump world prior to bringing the first baby home. Therefore, my husband had to run out and get a different kind late one evening while I was at home in tears and pain. I will not be making that mistake again, for sure!”
To avoid problems that may arise if you choose to breastfeed it’s advisable to attend a La Leche League meeting prior to birth. To find a location close to you visit http://www.lllc.ca/index.php.
A couple of simple things forgotten by new moms I chatted with were baby socks (even if you’re due during warm weather) and baby mitts to prevent scratches on newborn skin by sharp little finger nails, ouch! One item I recommend not forgetting, if you have a boy, is peepee tents (they look like tiny hats) because inevitably as soon as the diaper comes off the water feature comes on!
Social Psychologist Susan Newman, PhD and author of ‘The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever’, offered a bit of truly valuable advice.
“The one thing parents, in their excitement, forget to do is preset their minds and prepare themselves to turn down visits and unwanted invasions into their home. Deciding before bringing baby home, when they will permit visitors to see the new baby and how they will say no to what can be a constant stream of company allows the new family to bond and adjust, to rest and enjoy the new arrival. All these things are imperative.”
She added, “Saying no to a mother or mother-in-law, other relatives and friends and making visits on your schedule makes life with a new baby a whole lot easier.”
Empowering yourself to say no isn’t an easy thing to do, but it could prove to be a sanity saver. Granted if your mother or mother-in-law comes from out of town you can’t exactly tell her to buzz off, but you can politely ask for quiet time.
Making a visiting schedule a few months in advance, especially if you have a large circle of family and friends, is a good thing for everyone.
Another piece of valuable advice came from mother of two and writer, Sarah Caron, who said to make sure to recover enough before coming home. It was medically necessary for Sarah to have a C-section with both her children, but she insisted on leaving the hospital two days earlier than was recommended.
Caron admitted, “I wanted to get back to life as soon as possible. Unfortunately, all of that pushing myself to go home resulted in me being not physically ready for the demands of home life. I couldn't pick up my two-year-old son, I couldn't walk as well as I thought I could, I couldn't sit up ... a day or two more in the hospital would have made a big difference for my recovery.”