In just over 2 weeks I reach the due date for our second little boy. I have noticed a lot of differences between the two pregnancies as I reached third trimester. When I was nearing the end with J I was still working. We had the big things ready in the nursery room and other bits were in boxes. I just carried on with life really. Then once J arrived the baby stuff came out and the house got taken over. I niavely thought I’d be up and about, cooking and cleaning and being a ‘yummy mummy’. Instead I could barely move thanks to stitches in my lady bits and the overwhelming tiredness (J had to be fed every 3 hours due to jaundice). This time round I am more aware of the pressures of those first few weeks…plus I have a 4 year old that I can’t just hide in a cupboard.
So I thought I’d write about how I’ve prepared for everything. I will add a disclaimer that I can’t guarantee any of this will work, haha. But here goes…
I have been slowly getting the house ready for the last few weeks. I sorted all the kitchen cupboards so that things were easy to find and I didn’t have to bend down to see things. I used a lot of little storage boxes thanks to a newly found obsession with Marie Kondo. I have to say that it was a fab idea. Now that I am very big and round, I can’t duck down without getting stuck on the floor so the fact I can grab the basket to get what I need, then pop it back in has been a lifesaver. It will help after labour too as no matter which way baby comes out, you will be sore and moving will not be easy.
I also had to sort a cupboard to house the baby bits. I needed a kitchen cupboard for the steriliser, the bottles and formula. I plan to breastfeed at first, but I know that plans don’t always go as you’d imagine so I have backup. Plus it means that I can express so hubby can do some feeds too and I can sleep! I also needed to find space for baby’s clothes and bits so I had a sort out upstairs too. Baby now has part of the wardrobe and a cupboard in J’s room.
I had to move furniture around…well that’s a lie, my husband was instructed to move furniture around so we could fit the ‘next2me’ cot beside the bed, the pram can go behind the sofa and changed the coffee table for a nest of table to make room for baby bouncer.
The Baby’s Things
We set up the big things over the last couple of weeks. This is simply to make sure all the bits are there. If we waited till baby was born, or few days before, and then found parts missing or broken it would make things a huge rush and challenge to get them replaced. It also meant I could practise using them so I know what I’m doing…especially the pram as I couldn’t figure out how to get it up and down (and that’s without sleep deprivation).
I have also:
- washed baby clothes and put away in drawers (one with 0-3, one with 3-6m).
- sorted out everything into boxes (eg: box of small things like a box of nappies, wipes, nappy sacks ready to be left downstairs and one for upstairs).
- baby toys washed/sterilised and in boxes ready to get out (things like a playmat, music toys, rattles).
- Checked batteries in things like the lullaby toys and baby mat. Also tested out the monitor to make sure that’s working.
Food and ‘stockpiling’
The last thing I’ll want to do after labour is worry about food and shopping. After we had J we lived on takeaway and junk food. My husband would pop to local shop for bits which all added up. This time we don’t have two jobs and maternity pay to cover this, plus it wont be suitable to feed J take away every night. This time I have been freezing some of our meals. When I make things like lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese, chilli etc I have made an extra portion and frozen them. I have two drawers of individuals portions that can just be microwaved when needed.
I’ve also been buying little extras each week and leaving in a box in the cupboard. I’ve brought quick and easy things like microwave rice, tins of beans and spaghetti and sausages. There’s also coffee, J’s favourite foods (my son is autistic so only eats certain textures/brands so running out isn’t an option) etc. I brought boxes of cat food, toilet rolls and cleaning bits that I put away so if we are caught short then we don’t have to rush out. It may sound extreme to stock pile but its such a busy and emotional time when you’ve given birth that your brain doesn’t always think of things.
I’ve also set up an account so I can have shopping delivered this time which takes pressure off having to take a newborn and child to the supermarket. I’ll also make use of friends and families offers to grab bits. Last time I was adamant I could do things as I was going to be super Mum. This time I’m taking all the help that is offered to me.
As much as time feels like it stands still when in labour, the world does still go on. That means that birthdays, celebrations and special occasions will still creep up. Now I know that my family and friends will understanding if I haven’t been able to get them something as I’m in hospital, but also baby may come before hand and last thing I want to do is rush out to get bits.
I’m due 13th April which means I have Mother’s Day 31st March and then Easter in April. So I have made sure I already have the gifts sorted and I have the families Easter eggs in cupboard. That way I’m prepared for either being very pregnant and not wanting to make effort to waddle around shops or had baby and not having to worry about leaving house.
Planning for siblings
Again, when pregnant with J I didn’t have to worry about when I went into labour. I could go to hospital at the drop of a hat and not worry about getting home. This time I have to think about J…will it happen whilst he’s at nursery (so who will get him?), will it happen late at night (so do I drop him at family or get someone to sit here?), who is going to have him if labour goes on over night? etc etc.
So I have basically planned for everything…
- List of people who can pick J up from nursery and have him at their house till Grandma/Grandad can get him (I have a copy of the list along with contact numbers that I’m giving to nursery this week as nursery will have their own safeguarding rules on letting people collect children).
- Plan for staying over….J will sleep at Grandma/Grandad house as he is comfortable there and they know his autistic/sensory needs.
- Bag packed for him with snacks, medication, PJ’s, clothes and some books/magazines. I have list of last minute bits to pack too such as his sensory aids and favourite teddy.
- Checked his medication to make sure nothing will run out in last few weeks of pregnancy or first few weeks of baby being out.
- Got J’s symbol cards ready and visuals to explain what’s happening (this is important as J’s autism can mean that routine changes and emotional situations are tricky for him). We’ve been reading ‘I’m a New Big Brother’ to prepare J for what will happen and what to expect. It’s led to great conversations.
- We discussed what to do about J’s routine…do we send him to nursery or do we ask grandparents to keep him home? We decided that the plan will be for him to have his normal routine and go to nursery, except if he is struggling. If he is finding the changes too difficult and its going to make him worse being in nursery then he can have a few days off. Once baby is born and we’re home the plan is for Daddy to take him to nursery so normal routine can be established and so I can have some time getting back into swing of newborn life and I can rest.
- I have made sure that there is a list on the fridge of vital information. Things like his allergies, his sensory needs and his nursery information. I have list of people’s numbers such as my best friends who are ‘on call’ in case there’s any issue and my parents need someone to watch J for a bit (friends who know J’s needs and I know can cope with him).
Stuff for me
I have a much better idea of what to expect when labour starts and the first few weeks after. I have planned my hospital bag to include things I didn’t really think of last time like a phone charger, lots of snacks, things to distract myself. I have also stocked up on things for after birth such as painkillers and cold packs for the afterbirth pains and in case I end up with stitches again. I’ve stocked up on ‘new Mum’ bath products as having baths was a life saver for me last time. I pretty much lived in the bath as it was the only time I was comfortable. I also recommend getting some dry shampoo too, just because its convenient and makes you feel that little more confident when visitors come and want to take photos.
I have some treats ready for me to keep my energy levels up and pamper myself (courtesy of some of my amazing baby shower gifts). I have a comfy pillow for downstairs as I found sitting on sofa was a bit challenging for first couple of weeks and a heat pad to help with the aches in shoulders and back. I put a lot of pressure on myself last time to prove I could do everything. This time I will accepting more help, leaving the housework that doesn’t need doing straight away and resting more.
So I’m feeling prepared now…anxious because its hard not knowing exactly when baby will be coming, but at least I know everything is in place. I’d love to know if you have any more words of wisdom and things I should be sorting. Let me know in the comments on find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.