An “experienced” mom. That is what I am these days!
I don’t feel old enough to be “experienced”, but these lines on my face, this gray hair and all the photos lined up across my living room wall tell stories of days and months and years. Times that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’ve learned a little bit along the way. Not having grown up with siblings or around babies, these lessons weren’t always easy. I’m thankful for an understanding husband and that babies don’t remember, lol!
Most of you know I have recently found out that we are expecting again.
You can see our announcement video here:
We are just thrilled beyond words. I think I’ve been giggling since I first saw those little pink lines!
It seemed like a perfect time to organize some information on preparing for pregnancy and babies. I have learned so much over the last 23 years.
I’m preparing this list for my own girls, but also for any of you who may be wondering how to make the most of your time as you count down to bringing your little one home.
Creating a list is the easiest thing.
I’ve always had a routine, of sorts. It’s not something I really think a whole lot about- it has just become part of life while I’m pregnant. I’ve done it so many times now, it just seems like second nature.
(I’m sure this list will change over the coming months as I think of additional things to add that I may have forgotten!)
From an experienced mom to you:
Things I’m thinking about and doing, during my entire pregnancy:
- I always make an appointment with my OB. I’m not in as big a rush these days since I know my body and I know what pregnancy is supposed to feel like (and what it feels like when things aren’t going so well). I stay on prenatal vitamins all the time. As a general rule, for most folks, going to see your OB early in your pregnancy is a must.
- You will find me BUYING DIAPERS AND WIPES through my ENTIRE pregnancy. I just go ahead and add that to my grocery list each week.By the time our baby is born (the Lord willing), we are going to have more than 30 bags of diapers stocked in various sizes and more than 30 boxes of wipes.I do this because: having a baby is hard enough without running out of diapers, it saves us the expense of diapers and wipes during a time when there are extra expenses with doctor appointments, hospital bills, etc., it allows me to shop sales and use coupons to get the best price and it’s just fun to see those little diapers waiting on a little body to fill.If you are having your first, or even your second, you may end up with a ton of diapers from baby showers. I always just bought the diapers anyway knowing I could always exchange them.It’s just part of the routine of having babies in our home.
- Also, I spend my entire pregnancy canning food for my pantry. We generally try to keep dried beans canned at all times but this is the time to make sure stock is made and stored along with your beans and other yummy things. Those first months with a new little one can be pretty hectic. Think of this extra stored food as an insurance policy for those nights when baby just wants to be held a little longer, you have unexpected company, or you are just tired.
Ok, so those are the things I’m going to be thinking about during my entire pregnancy.
For everything else, I generally divide my pregnancies in half.
The first half of a pregnancy, I try to do everything, EVERYTHING that I can possibly do before we learn the baby’s gender.
These are the things you will find me doing, particularly in that first half of a pregnancy:
- Evaluating my maternity clothing as well as things I will need for nursing and purchasing those items.
- Working on my hospital bag. I used to wait to do this until the last minute until I had an early-bird baby. It’s not the most fun to try and explain to your husband which socks and which undergarments you want from your drawers at home. Childbirth is hard. Packing early means you will be more comfortable while you recover in the hospital.
- Organizing and re-organizing anything I know I’m not happy with at the house and that I want changed. I’m trying to wrap up any big home improvement projects we have going at the time.
- Buying diapers, and wipes through my entire pregnancy but I also buy all the other necessary toiletry items
- Stocking up on feminine supplies for after baby’s birth (I also stash these in my hospital bag since I prefer mine over what the hospital provides)
- Planning school assignments and activities for my school-aged children
- Buying all of the baby’s clothing that is not gender specific- things like white onesies, and white socks
- Replacing any gender neutral baby supplies such as crib sheets, burp cloths, changing pads, etc.
- Repairing and replacing any piece of baby equipment that needs to be updated…car seats, strollers, walkers, exersaucers, etc.
- Creating a list of freezer-friendly meals to cook in the later part of my pregnancy so meals aren’t a worry for me
You know, life just happens sometimes and I can’t get to it all, but I give it my best shot! Any of these things done early are things I don’t have to do later when I’ve very far along and just not feeling well. (Doesn’t it seem like if you do put off important things, those are also the times when everything happens and you find you don’t have time to do what you wanted? It’s good to do things early and be prepared! You never know when your little one might decide to arrive early. You won’t be sorry later when it’s all done and you are just waiting on your new baby to arrive.)
I’m hoping this post will be part of a series. What we consider to be the most important things to pack for the hospital, what we gather for our babies, and the meals we cook are all things we are planning to include. I thought it would also be fun to do some simple sewing tutorials on bibs, burp cloths, blankets, paci- clips, and whatever else we end up making for our new little one.
Anything else you would want to know?
I’m still learning so many things myself, but I don’t mind at all answering questions.