This might be the time to have some difficult conversations – calmly – without the haze of sleepless nights and baby poop. If you haven’t already discussed updating your wills or getting a will with your spouse/partner, you need to. No one wants to think of their precious one being raised by someone else, especially when you are still so happy about the birth, but guardianship is an important issue and you owe it to the newest member of your family to take it seriously and protect his/her future. It’s part of the business end of being a parent, the not so fun part. Make sure you speak to your local JAG office about updating your will and possible drafting a will for the non-military spouse, some offices can do this or can direct you on where/how to do this.
Are you currently working and hoping to be a stay at home mom or continue working? Discuss the options that make the most sense for your family and how to go about accomplishing your goal. If you are going back to work, it is never too soon to arrange childcare. Many quality facilities may have waiting lists. If you are going back to work and would like to be a stay at home mom, talk about what you can do to reach that goal and be realistic – you want to stay home in 3 months or 1 year. Start planning now.
Likewise, start looking at your finances, life insurance, the idea of college plans, etc. Determine what changes and tweaks may be needed in your family to reach whatever your goals might be.
It goes without saying you should use some of your time to pre-wash some of the baby’s clothing to wear when the baby comes home. You may also want to separate the clothes by size so you aren’t searching through a drawer scanning tags trying to find the right one. If you are hanging clothes, separate them by size and you can purchase size dividers (like you see in the store) or make your own so you can keep up with what you have. It’s very easy to overbuy for the first baby, but try to keep a good view of what you have and that can keep you from getting carried away.
Be sure to sit in the baby’s room in the dark. Imagine what a 2 AM feeding might be like. Do you have a nightlight that will help you see to breastfeed or bottle feed? Do you have a comfortable chair or spot where you will sit with the baby? I always placed a glass of water on a nightstand in my children’s room so when I went in to feed and was thirsty is was right there – the first time I realized it was on the opposite side of my dominant hand and I had to reach across the baby to get it. Not a big deal, but not comfortable for anyone. Needless to say we moved the table and it just seemed more naturally in reach.
What are you doing to get organized in preparation for baby?
Yes, the doctor, hospital, and any new parenting book will outline very detailed birthing plans for you. But this is the time to discuss the basics with your spouse/partner. You may not react exactly as you expect during the birthing process. For example, I am usually extremely chatty – I mean really chatty – but during the birth of my two children, I probably only said about twenty words combined. I had the quiet focus of a Superbowl QB. I didn’t want to chat, I just wanted to focus and be quiet. This was a bit disarming to my husband to say the least – he probably secretly hoped labor would last forever, he was enjoying the quiet!! My point is, try to have a conversation about what you envision the delivery being like so you both have some realistic expectations.
Here are a few “tips by experience”:
-Take a huge cup with you. The ice machine was a pretty good distance from my labor room and my husband had to fill little cups with ice to bring back to me and since I missed lunch, dinner and breakfast, I was really enjoying my “ice buffet”. One big cup (and I am talking Big Gulp size) would have cut down on his trips.
-Take change for a vending machine. Who knows how long your labor may be and your spouse/partner/family members may need snacks.
-Speaking of snacks…you may encounter a meal time while you are in labor. Is it ok with you if your spouse goes to get something to eat or do you expect him to tough it out hungry with you?
-Don’t forget to schedule the hospital tour. It helps to see where you will give birth and where you recover. Sort of like an athlete pictures winning the big game, this will give you an opportunity to envision the surroundings where you will give birth – to see yourself there. Also, it gives you a chance to scope out the room for items you might want to bring with you. You can find exactly where that vending machine and ice machine are located. Being familiar will take some of the “unknown” out of the equation.
-Decide who you will want in the delivery room. Are you up for every family member being in the room, or would you just like it to be you and your spouse/partner.
-Talk about the type of delivery you may want, but be open minded. Even the most hardcore “no drugs” mom might change her position after a grueling 16 hours of labor. Make the decision that is right for you and don’t worry about judgment for others (remember to also return the favor by not judging other mothers for their choices!).
-How do you really feel about visitors? This is not the time to be shy about your desire for privacy. If you really don’t want visitors, try to make that clear to friends ahead of time. Decide how long you believe you would like to wait before accepting visitors and explain your decision to friends and family nicely ahead of time. Let them know this is not a slight against them, just a personal preference while in the hospital. If you do want visitors in the hospital, just not at certain times – enlist the help of the staff. The nurses will usually very nicely explain to your guests, “we need to clear the room, it’s feeding time”. This will allow you to feed the baby alone if you prefer.
Have you had your baby? Tell us: what do you wish you would have taken with you or what do you wish you had done before you went.
Even the fittest among moms will start to feel the pregnancy affects by 32 weeks. Now is the time to take it easy if you can. If this is your first child, listen to your body. If you feel like sleeping, try to do so – you won’t be able to “baby” yourself like this with subsequent children. Believe me, no matter how tired you are with future pregnancies, you just have to keep going with your current kids. It’s ok to just take it easy while you can.
Indulge in your own spa day. If you can go somewhere to be pampered – that’s great. If not, there is no need for your spa day to be expensive – create your own. I sometimes tell my husband I am going to “girl world” for an hour – no men or children allowed! Do your own facial, manicure, or just read. Whatever relaxes you – take the time to do it now!
Tell Us: What are you doing to relax before the big day?
Even if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend OHOK’s awesome Great Expectations Baby Shower, hopefully you have had a shower with your friends and loved ones. And so here you are – you have purchased a crib, selected bottles, maybe you even know the baby’s sex – it’s week 32 and now you…wait. You begin to tell people you are due to deliver in 2 months instead of 8 weeks (because it sounds like less time, I mean 2 is less than 8, right?) and wonder how to convince the baby to make an early, but safe, appearance. Consider this last stretch before baby, whether is it your first or fourth, as a great time to get a few things done. Continue to follow our series “You’ve been “showered”…now what?” for suggestions to help occupy your time until baby arrives. We would love to see your replies sharing what you are doing as you wait for your bundle of joy.
Did you attend our recent 2012 Operation Homefront Great Expecations Baby Shower? We know we had a wonderful time sharing in your special day and we hope you did too. Stop by and sign our guest book – tell us what you thought!
Over the next weeks, we will be re-running our popular “You’ve Been Showered, Now What?” series. We want to share our ideas about how you can spend your time preparing for baby after the Baby Shower and during those, sometimes long, last few months. We would love to hear from you as well!
Our Premier Operation Homefront Oklahoma Great Expectations 2012 Baby Shower Sponsor, Midwest Regional Medical Center, has a fantastic program all parents to be should know about. It’s called Cuddlebugs! Here is some information about the program:
Cuddlebugs. Making things right for you and your baby. Right from the beginning.
Midwest Regional’s Renaissance Women’s Center offers a free maternity program to help educate and prepare expectant moms for pregnancy, labor & delivery, and caring for newborns. The Cuddlebugs program can help make your baby’s birth day special, and your pregnancy and birthing experience memorable. Look at what all they offer:
· Childbirth classes – Adorable Arrivals-Putting expectant parents at ease.
· Monthly e-newsletters-Taking pregnancy one month at a time.
· Tools and knowledge-Giving you the information you need.
· Care and support-Helping you feel comfortable and confident at every stage.
To join, register at www.cuddlebugsbaby.com or come to the Great Expectations Baby Shower to meet our physicians and get more information about Cuddlebugs.
We hope everyone who is attending the baby shower is as excited as we are! We will have an expert panel from our wonderful sponsor, Midwest Regional Medical Center, at the Baby Shower and we want you to submit your toughest (and not so tough) questions about pregnancy, childbirth, infant development, and safety. It doesn’t matter if you are a first time mom or a seasoned pro, we know you have a million questions running through your mind right now. Remember: No question is a silly question, chances are someone else has the same one!
Please send your question and your name (or note if you want to be anonymous, that’s ok too!) to us by using the contact button above or by clicking this link to the contact page. We will compile the questions and submit the to the experts! The experts will have great answers to your great questions.
Huggies Diapers is doing it again – they are offering a great rebate for military moms (read the information and download the rebate form here).
From 4/1/12 through 12/31/12 if you purchase $200 worth of Huggies, Goodnights, or Pull Ups brand items at Military Commissaries, you can submit a rebate form to receive a $25 Commissary Gift Card.
Whether you have a new born or are potty training, this is a great chance to get the gift card, just by doing what you are already doing – spending all your money on diapers!! These can be purchased in multiple transactions.
The last room in our series of items we can live without is the bathroom. If you missed our earlier Buy Buy Baby Posts, check them out here:
I think someone needs to address the manufacturers in the baby wash cloth and hooded towel industry. You will get tons of these items and just an FYI – most don’t actually absorb any water. It’s more like you are just spreading water around your child and not really getting them dry. I think as parents we need to spread the word to stop wasting money on these and buy great regular towels instead! Also, a word of warning – eventually you will somehow end up with a zillion baby bath toys, rather than buying some sort of net or container for them, just cycle them out and get rid of them. Otherwise, you won’t actually be able to see the bathtub anymore!
Tell us – what can you do without in the bathroom?