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When Master X was born in July 2015 I thought that I had prepared everything down to the the colour of his nursery corner. I clearly recall an afternoon that I had three friends over to help me cook some boobie biscuits and other sweet treats to help Mr A and I pass the time while feeding and gazing adoringly at our new bundle.
Of course things did not work out and there are a few things that I am doing this time around to ensure that we get the right support as well as realistic expectations of what is to come.
#1 Clean house
Nesting is a definite urge in the third trimester. It is like this demon takes you over and all you can manage to do or think about (besides how uncomfortable your belly and body are getting) is scrubbing that patch of mould from the under the kitchen sink that has been festering since the birth of your first child 2 years ago. The stuff you will find will amaze you! Remember to donate good quality items to charities or give away online rather than sending it to landfill.
On the cleaning note, you will have no time at all to clean after Bub is born so if you can, I would organise a cleaner. We were lucky to have some close friends nearby when we had Master X, who dropped past every couple of days to bring food and change our sheets and do a clean up. We don’t have these people near us this time, so we are going it alone! Writing this post has reminded me to organise a cleaner to come every week for the first month or so, and then every two weeks for the next six months. This is a real issue or keeping mentally and physically healthy and it is amazing how quickly a house can get dirty with so many people living in it full time!
#2 Stocked freezer
As I mentioned we had some really supportive friends who lived nearby in the early days of Master X’s arrival and they helped to stock our freezer for months. I had pre-cooked staple meals like pasta sauce, stir-fry bases and the like. I thought I was totally prepared. Hahahaha. What I didn’t plan for was the loss of reality that comes with the post birth hormones and that by the time it was eating time we were too late to wait for me to cook up the pasta as well as defrost the sauce! So with this Bub we waited until there was a sale on Weight Watcher’s frozen meals and we stocked our small stand alone freezer with enough of these to feed four people for two weeks. We will stock the remaining room in the fridge/freezer with bread and snacks like protein balls to keep us going.
Last time we spent A LOT of cash on takeaway over the first three months post partum. I think that it was about $2 000AUD! So I am hoping that by having these ready to eat meals on hand, this will cut down on our need to order in as these meals are pretty good for frozen. And we have also talked about Lite ‘N Easy home delivered fresh meals for when we run out of the freezer meals, just to get us through the first month or two.
#3 Schedule visits for support and playdates
Having a newborn is a beautiful time, but it can also be a very stressful time for the family. When I came back to Canberra after staying with my mum recovering from postpartum psychosis, my husband put together a calendar of visitors to help in the transition. I had people coming to just sit and chat, watch baby while I slept, take us out for the morning/afternoon or anything else that was needed to help out. I only needed it for a couple of months until I was back on my feet and independent but it was a life saver. Literally.
This time I am going to do up a roster and have people coming over to take Bub for a walk so we three can have some time, or bring their child over for a playdate with Master X or come and hang out with us for some adult time. The initial postpartum period is about three months so it would be good to have people come over once or twice in that time to catch up. It takes that long for immunisations to be settled so we will likely be limiting our out-and-about time!
#4 Organise key birthing people
There are a range of people and services to consider for the birth and if you don’t think about it early enough there may not be anyone available to take care of these small, but important business.
- Who will watch your other child/ren?
- Will you have private care through a doola?
- Do you want birth photography?
- Do you want to encapsulate or use your placenta for a purpose?
- How and when will you announce the birth?
- Will you let people know that you are in labour?
It takes time to organise these services and they can be quite costly so I try and spread them over the third trimester. Eeeeppp! Today marks 27 weeks which is the start of the third trimester. We could have out bub is less than three months time! I’d better get onto some of this stuff soon! There are so many things to consider when you are getting ready to have a baby. Can you add to this list?