Hey mamas-to-be! Pregnancy really does last FOREVER! You wait and you grow and you wait and grow and pee your pants and go to the hospital because you think your water broke to be told after hours of waiting that no, you really did just pee your pants so you can go home only to turn right around and be back the next day in real labor and BOOM, you’re bringing home a baby!
I’ve done this four times and every time was wonderful and amazing and I am so blessed to have such tremendous birth stories. Mostly no drama, no surprises, happy and healthy and fast. Each birth was so different but I have found there area few things I would recommend to friends and family when they’re preparing for a birth… if they ask, because of course we all know that giving advice when it’s not asked for almost always comes across as criticism.
Preparing home for baby:
- Get all of your baby clothes washed and folded and ready to go. Babies need changing often due to diaper error, spit-up, leaking breast milk, sweaty baby, just want to see how cute they look in the next outfit etc.
- Organize your space. Download Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” right now and go. She is amazing and simple and her system works. There are also tons of pins on Pinterest that summarize the basics of the book, just do it you won’t regret it.
- Get your house CLEAN! I mean CLEAN! Use that nesting energy to clean your baseboards, vacuum, dust, disinfect and scrub the bejeezus out of your home. Get your mom, grandma, sister, husband, and other kids to help as much as you can. The cleaner and more organized you are before baby arrives means the more time you have to sleep, heal, relax, and bond with your new baby.
- Arrange for someone to come to your house while you’re giving birth and make sure everything is cared for. They can feed the pets, stock the fridge, set out fresh flowers, run your essential oil diffuser, whatever you can think of that will make you homecoming with baby pleasant and peaceful. Think of things that you like to have done at home to make you feel at peace and make a list. When you give birth your friends and family will visit, call, or text and say “hey what can I do to help?” and you can say, “hey, I’m glad you asked the key is under the mat and there’s a list on the fridge of things you can do!” Also, if you suddenly go into hard labor while painting your nails and leave a mess out on the counter, you don’t want to come home to it like I did when I gave birth to Lucy.
- Buy fancy shampoo, soaps, lotions, bath salt, razors, relaxing wear, slippers, a bunch of books, and anything you like that will make being home healing from labor feel more like a spa experience than a drudgery. Pamper yourself in little ways that keep your mind positive and focused on the wonderful things going on at home. Giving birth is wonderful, but there is some major healing that takes place afterward, as well as adjusting to nursing, hormone changes, sleep deprivation, and body changes. Make a plan to mitigate some of those challenges by caring for yourself as well as your new blessing.
- Sit on your butt in the chair you plan to nurse baby in. Look around you. What do you see? Is the room you’re sitting and looking in a place of peace, beauty, rest, comfort, order? Does the light please you, does the art on the wall look crooked or the cords hanging out the back of the TV look messy? Is there a table next to this chair with room for your water, your books, a lamp for late night nursing, a place to put your feet up? You will probably be spending hours and hours in this nursing chair. Make sure it a place of rest and beauty for you while you nurture and bond with your new baby.