How I Prepared For Having a Baby
Well if you're reading this, then I am assuming you're looking for information about preparing to have a baby because you are about to have a baby. So...Congratulations! You're having a baby!! This is a super exciting time for all parents out there. I remember all the excitement and stress that went into planning for my little bundle. It seemed like I was pregnant forever! Everyone says it'll be over before you know it. But that's just because they're not living it. I was excited, nervous, happy, scared. (I was pregnant, it fluctuated). If there was any feeling I could hope for during my pregnancy, it was to feel prepared. I had no idea what to expect even though I read What To Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. Luckily there was a number of things I did do to prepare that helped make having a baby very special.
Having a baby shower was a great way to make welcoming our little boy very special. I understand that some people feel uncomfortable asking other to buy things for their kid, but most people are really excited and want to help you out. I registered at Babies-R-Us, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. I picked different things from each place with prices varying. It was mostly out of convenience for others. My registry wasn't that I wanted things in a specific color and make and model, it was more of a reference for things I liked. For the event itself, my in-laws reserved a cute local restaurant and we had all my girlfriends and all the ladies in my family come. My mom went all out on the décor, my aunt did an amazing job on the cake, and everyone was super generous and showered me with so many gifts for our son. It was just as I imagined. It felt like having a second birthday dedicated to you and your baby.
After my baby shower, I had so many gifts to unpack! I spent so much time getting the nursery ready. We sorted all of the clothes by size and hung it up accordingly. We built the crib and set up the bedding. We moved the changing table and glider around until they were just right. I saved some of my baby shower décor and made some of my own DIY things for the walls. Decorating the nursery was a really exciting thing for me. Even when I was done decorating, I would just sit in there and look around with excitement. They weren't kidding when they say "nesting" is important for pregnant mamas. I even went so far as to learn how to work my stroller before he arrived. The last thing you want is to be in a parking lot with your newborn trying to unfold the heavy stroller. I practiced getting his swing to work, which helped when it came time to unpack the car after our big day of coming home from the hospital. Having everything set up and operational was extremely helpful. It felt so comforting to know that the only thing missing in our home was our sweet little baby.
The last thing I prepared before going into labor was my hospital bag. To be completely honest, if I hadn't read about it so much on Pinterest, I would've never thought of it. Be sure to check out my boards to see the pins that inspired what I packed. The most important thing for me was nipple cream. I planned on exclusively breastfeeding for a while but without nipple cream, I'm not sure I would make it. I didn't pack this in my hospital bag because I thought it was something you used only under certain circumstances. Your baby learning to breastfeed is one of those circumstances. Luckily the hospital had some samples and I rationed it out carefully until I got home. Many people recommended sweat pants and robes. I didn't use any of them. I had one outfit, which was when I left the hospital. I used the hospital gowns because they had snaps on the shoulder that were easy to feed the baby without any adjusting. If I were to do it again, Id probably bring a robe or two that wasn't too hot so I could sleep in it. I brought lots of underwear and didn't use it. The hospital provided lose mesh undies that held the pad liners (also from the hospital) well. As far as snacks go, I wasn't allowed to eat anything while I was in labor and anything after I just had other bring me food I wanted. I would bring a big cup for water, if the hospital doesn't provide one.
Every ones labor and delivery story will be different. Think about what works best for you. Just keep in mind you'll be in a bed for two days with visitors coming in and out and most likely stitches somewhere on your lower half. Postpartum was the hardest thing to prepare for. After going home from the hospital and finally experiencing child birth, there were still some things I felt I could've done to prepare. The best thing the hospital gave me and I recommend buying some ahead of time, Tucks pads. It relieved all the burning and itching. I read about "padsicles" but it sounded so strange. I never tried it but I wish I did. Another thing I didn't do was take the medicines exactly as directed. I thought I was feeling better so I could decrease what I was taking. The main thing I should've kept up was the stool softener. Nobody told me how important that would be and boy did I pay! There were other little things I wish people told me to stock up on like Vasoline, for my sons circumcision, food for the family, including water. Breastfeeding mamas, have lots of water on hand!
I hope this helps you feel a little better about preparing for your little one. I never felt fully ready. I had the nursery set up, the clothes hanging up, my hospital bag was packed, and I read so many books, posts, magazines. The bottom line is, you'll never truly be prepared to have your little one. Even if its your second, third, or fourth kid! okay, maybe by kid #4 you've got it pretty figured out. Every pregnancy is different, the hospitals are different. The most you can do is make it the most memorable and comfortable experience for you and your family.