Update: Read our second childs birth story
During the week you may have many questions, but when you get to the doctor you may forget them in your 10-minute appointment. I had so many questions thought the week, but when I went to my appointment I would forget or be too afraid to ask most of them. Ask your doctor about parenting classes. We found a free class at a local hospital. The best part of the class was seeing a new infant being washed for the first time. This class helped with some of our fears. If you don't have time to fit a parenting class in your schedule, that Happiest Baby on the Block DVD may be something that you can watch when you have time. If you don't like taking prenatal pills because of their size, you can take a spoonful of liquid prenatal plus instead. Heading Home with Your Newborn is advice from actual doctors that is a good source if you forgot to ask some important questions. Do You Have Any Questions?: A Woman Doctor Answers the 100 Most Asked Questions About Pregnancy Here are some Anti-Nausea Tips if you are not feeling well while you are pregnant.
It may feel like a heavy period after you give birth. They provided me with heavy pads, ice packs, and a spray for the brush burns that I had down there. Just be aware that may different things can occur. A C-section may have different effects on your body. You may get a heavy first period around 6 weeks after birth. This may be different for every person. Keep those extra giant maternity pads that they give you when you have your baby because you may need them in the future.
3. Wedding Ring
4. Laugh at Yourself
5. Perineal Massage
Learn how to prepare the perineum for delivery. “If you're moving into your last trimester of pregnancy, chances are you've heard something about perineal massage—the practice of gently stretching the skin between the vagina and the anus in order to "condition" the tissues for birth. The theory is that having a more stretchable perineum lessens your chances of tearing during delivery, and that it may even help you avoid an episiotomy” (BabyZone.com). This may help reduce tearing or the need for an episiotomy. Here is a book on Massage for Pregnancy. An another book to Get Through Childbirth In One Piece!: How to Prevent Episiotomies and Tearing.
6. The First Two Weeks Home
The first two weeks were hard for me and my partner. My body was making big changes in a small amount of time. Someone told me the first two weeks are the hardest but after that you will be fine. I agree with that statement. So just be mentally prepared because as hard as you try before pregnancy your body won't be in the best physical shape right after having a baby. You need to take care of yourself. Along with taking your medicine, you need to take care of yourself. Try to change comfortable pajamas every day. Also, try to shower every day. A shower will give you time to relax. Once you will take a shower you realize how much it was really needed. I also put a little makeup on each day to make myself feel better. Remember to brush your teeth too! Here is a guide to 50 Things to Know in the First Year of Parenthood. It would not hurt to read this now while you have time.
I tried breast feeding and even with lots of help it did not work for me. I feel if I would have read some books about people who tried to breast feed for the first time I may have done better. Breastfeeding made simple was recommended during my pregnancy from a friend. You may want to know how to make more milk, the natural laws of nursing mothers, or how to problem solve when things don't go as planned. I tried to breastfeed and it only lasted about a week. I used a breast pump for two more before changing to a bottle. The more information you have now the better.
9. Go on a Baby Moon
Enjoy your partner outside your house. I went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. Even complete one more of those bucket list items: I went to Vegas and had a Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity. Can't get to serendipity yourself? Buy yourself the gift set.
10. Read or Watch The Happiest baby on the Block
Either we lucked out, or we had some great tips from this book. My husband and I were never really around babies and the tips we got in this book really seem to work when our child cries. I think this is one of the key reasons we have done so well to this point. We use the Sleep Sack to swaddle. They now also have woobies to swaddle without arms. If you don’t like to read, you can find links on watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD with your partner. Then send the link to your husband.
11. Make a Get Out of The House Plan
You need to get out of the house!! Yes, maybe a week or two is ok after you little one is born to get some sleep and learn your babies habits. But the sooner you get out the better. If you think about places that are safe to start before you give birth this may help. Grocery shopping, coffee shop, woman’s group, a friend’s house, or possibly church. I started out by going to a friend’s house. Then church. View pregnancy discussion boards for help. You are not the only woman going through this! Start being part of pregnancy boards. I frequented TheBump.com. Ask questions and get answers. Many questions or feelings that you have already asked by other people. Or just Google your question to get the answer. Remember to find reliable sources! My friend from college became friends with a couple girls that were pregnant the same month she was. They now go to each others birthday parties. Here are 10 Things to Know Before Traveling with a Baby. If you really want to get out, here are some tips for flying with a baby.
Remember your pregnancy by taking belly pictures each week or month. What a life changing event to remember! Then put all the pictures together into one image to view the great changes your body has made. If you want to get those o-so-cute baby pintrest, they should be done in the first 2 weeks of the baby’s life. This means you might want to decide and kind-of schedule an appointment before the birth. You can create a board on pintrest.com to show the photographer what type of pictures you would like.
Decide what baby formula you are going to use before your big day. I didn't think of this, and they gave my little one Gerber at the hospital. Now that all the coupons are gone, I wish I went with a cheaper brand. Even if you are going to try breastfeeding, they may give your baby formula at night. Decide now so when they ask you after the craziness is over you have an answer.
De-tag, wash, and sort all baby clothes by size. Put clothes in bins marked 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month plastic containers. Or you may want to wait because you don't know what size your baby will be each season. Here is a Baby Cloths Chart if you have trouble understanding sizes. Some things that we just loved are: Sophie the Giraffe - I know she was expensive, but this was the teether that our little girl used the most. I think she like it because it was similar to a human hand. Soft with different parts to chew on. Banana Tooth Brush- She loves chewing on this one too. I hope this will help her in the steps to loving her brush her teeth. Halo Sleep Sack - This is what our daughter slept in since night one! We got 2 from the baby shower, then the hospital gave us one as we were leaving for a present. Great gift! Sleep Sheep - This sheep was given to us to our friends who were just first time parents themselves. Before every nap and every night we turn on this sheep. We prefer the wave and rain sound. I switch it up to the whale sound too. Our daughter is getting big enough that we turns the sheep on herself sometimes too! and a Infant Car Seat - After you get the hang of it, car seats are not that bad. They let you have your freedom as a new Mom!
Try to walk as much as you can. Then waddle to the end! I even walked in the grocery store and couponed when it got cold. They also have pregnancy workout DVD's for each month, and the 5 months afterwords.
Find a Journal and start writing. I started journaling in high school. Thanks Oprah.
Choose a birth announcement from a website that you are going to select. I selected shutterfly.com to create ours. Create a spreadsheet with the names and addresses of intended baby shower/birth announcement/thank you note recipients. Print out Avery Easy Peel White Address Labels- two times, one for birth announcements, and another for thank you notes. We used the same addresses from our wedding. We like to use these for Christmas cards too. Another option would be to have everyone write their address on an envelope during the baby shower. Here is a She is About to Pop Baby Shower theme and our 5 favorite baby shower gifts.
Decide who you want to be on your team on the big day. The only person you can 100% count on being there is you! But planning for others and telling others no in advance should set you up for success. Are you interested in a Husband Coached Birth? Is Hypno Birthing something you are interested in? Would you like to ready about Faith-Based Births? The last book I will recommend is Your Best Birth which talks about many of your options.
By the end of your pregnancy when you cannot see all of your lady parts.You can start couponing now for items you know you will need.
You will need to deal with your milk coming in. You will need some support here. Also a tip, if you are going to try breastfeeding then decide it is not right for you, it may take a month or two to quit. This was painful to me when I just wanted to relax and enjoy my new one.
I don't like clutter, so keeping online calender for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life. This is also a great place for medical information. For example if the doctor asks when you changed over to solid food, you can find it on your child's online calendar on your cell phone during the visit. You can also purchase a baby calendar or put one on your baby registry.
Try to do these in the now while the nesting phase occurs. Trying to do them while a little one is crawling or walking around will be even harder. You can also go though your kitchen cabinets to make room for baby. Here is a food storage container organizer that may be helpful in your home.
After a couple weeks you may want to leave your awesome addition to your family at home for a couple hours while you get out of the house, but may not have time to leave that information for someone. Creating a sheet with important information before you have your baby will make this process smoother. You can always add more information to the sheet after the birth. Add this document to the home binder. You can purchase baby sitter sheets to keep instructions on where you will be, where to reach you, and special instructions for each child.
25. Cervix Checks
Before you have your baby they will start to check your cervix. Web MD explains this as "Effacement and dilatation need to occur for a baby to be born through the birth canal. Effacement means that the cervix stretches and gets thinner. Dilatation means that the cervix opens." If you did not start to change, this could be very painful, so just be aware. You do not have to get them if you would not want because this information may not help anyway. Research cervix checks for more on this. What to Expect When You are Expecting may be a good resource for more information on this topic.
26. Diapering with Amazon Mom
At the Changing Station you will need diapers, wipes, a changing pad, a changing pad cover and a trash can. I recommend putting the trash can on the right if you are a righty. This will make changing a diaper simpler. You could even have two of changing stations. For example up and down stairs. Keep clothes nearby in case a wardrobe change needs to happen. Adding a mobile hanging from the ceiling will provide entertainment to you and your baby. With a mobile the baby may stay still while you change them. At the Bottle Station you will need bottles, nipples, formula, bibs, and a bottle washing system. The items will need to be washed many times throughout the week. I put these items in a basket on my kitchen counter near the sink.
Make sure you have a place to write when you fed and changed the baby. See Baby Feeding/Diaper Schedule for a template to keep you and your helpers on track. This worked great for us the first month, but was not needed after that. You can buy a Itzbeen Baby Care Timer from amazon that can keep track of the diaper changes, sleep time, and bottles for you.