We are days away from meeting our miracle baby! There has been so much joy and anticipation this entire pregnancy. There also has been a lot of preparation, and a bit different preparation than the last two.
Here's my list of things I've done/am doing round three.
Sibling Prep : Having a 4 year old and very fresh 3 year old at the time of this birth, I've put a lot of attention in prepping them in ways to bring peace to their hearts and our home.
Talking details as much as possible with joy and honesty. [As we have been getting closer I've been explaining as much of the transition as possible to them to prepare them as to what our new world may look like]
Potty Training [Having to buy diapers for only one child in the house was the goal]
Okay to Rise Habits [Using our hatch sound machines, we use a color system so our kids know they can play quietly in their room once they wake up until a certain time. This helps our home to "start" at a predictable time in a peaceful way.
Freezer/Pantry: For recovery, breastfeeding, home rhythms, I've learned food prep is the MOST important way to set yourself up for success. Having healthy, nourishing, and warm foods to heat and eat is the best gift I can give to future self.
Stocking up on paper plates/cutlery [elimating dishes is a great gift to give]
Week One meals *mostly* stocked [Having a few things stocked in the freezer and pantry will hopefully help our meal world]
Meal Plan on paper for month one [I can easily make a grocery order while I'm nursing, but having the meal on paper really will help take a mental load off]
Home Zones : As fun as nursery prep is, I've learned you don't really use it for the first few weeks. I have been creating a darling new space for her, but I'm equally more cognizant of making sure other home zones are ready.
Master Bedroom transistion [Moving some things around and stockings some drawers with the mentality of "room sharing" with baby for a while helps so much.]
Living room pack-n-play [It helps in our context to have a downstairs zone for naps and diaper changes]
Breastfeeding caddy [A lot of mamas like a cart, but with a two story home I've found a caddy to hold your pump and parts is more helpful]
Hospital Stay : We trust the Lord's ways and doings. Ultimately plans are in His hands. But as of now, due to another breech baby and 2 previous C-section, this little blessings will arrive by C-section as well. I am preparing with that in mind.
Minimum items [A robe, slippers, toiletries, phone charger, baby swaddle and one "cute" outfit for baby is really all I bring. I use everything the hospital provides (for both baby and me) and it's more than enough.
Release to capture newborn hospital pictures or post to social media [Such a HUGE one for me. I felt so much pressure to get the perfect newborn picture and post soon, while at the hospital because so many people were praying for us and I wanted to capture the moment well. But the reality is, it puts a lot of extra stress on you. Staging a photoshoot while you are trying to recover is not the most ideal. my favorite pictures looking back are not the ones with a perfectly swaddled baby in coordinating colors. It's the candids I have of tiny toes and exhausted mother cuddles (like above).
Breast pump [Probably it'll stay in the car, but having it close just in case is a veteran Mama move]
Focus on Dad: I think with each baby newborn season gets easier for moms and tricker for dads. Mainly because they take a major load of caregiver to mother (especially with a C-section recovery), toddlers, and home. I'm trying to make sure that Ryan is set up for as much success as possible.
Special snacks [He'll have late nights and hard days too. A few favorite treats in the pantry and drinks in the fridge goes a long way]
Toddler activities stocked [Most of dads role this round is caregiver to our older kids. Having some new coloring books, playdough, and games will hopefully help]
New shirt/hat/etc [A new child, a new season, it may be nice to get something for dad too]
Leaning on Help
Requesting true needs [Learning the power of my voice is an ongoing process. But having a handful of people on hand that I feel comfortable to be super honest with is helpful.
Having childcare set up [Knowing where the kids are going during our hospital stay, and first few baby/mama appointments brings peace of mind. We are SO blessed to have family and friends who are so generous with their time and love!)
Thinking 3 weeks not 3 days [Lastly a big one. With my first baby I thought newborn prep was hospital prep. With my second I stretched it a bit more. But this round I'm trying to thing longer. Newborn survival mode is more realistically about 3-4 weeks. Having that expectation hopefully will make a difference. ]
Thank you for praying for us as we prepare!