Pregnancy is a challenge, motherhood is a challenge. I’m new to all this, not an expert at all, but I wanted to share 4 things that I did during my final trimester that helped me once my baby decided to show up. My #5 is what I wasn’t prepared for, that I think all mommies should be aware of.
- Guard Your Peace – With all the preparation going on for baby, things could possibly get hectic. It seems that leading up to the baby shower and after the baby shower, there was non-stop action going on around the house. Everything that was going on disrupted my calm mindset I had developed. I started to feel rushed and anxious. I prayed about it and God told me to Guard my peace. I had spent days and weeks and months praying and meditating to get to a place where I was not in a rush or apprehensive as “D Day” approached. With everything going on I had to make sure I did not allow any circumstances to throw me off. I stopped trying to entertain, did things at my pace, ignored advice I didn’t ask for and focused on the Lord’s promise. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
- Build Your Knowledge – These days we have so much information available to us. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you utilize it. Having a baby for the first time can be intimidating. Thinking about all your body has to go through. There are so many women with so many different experiences who will share what they know and it will not always be accurate. Do your own research. I spent countless nights reading (on reputable sites) about the labor and delivery to prepare myself. I read about anesthetics, the 3 phases of labor, what contractions were like, when to go to the hospital, false labor, how to help east labor pains. I read so many different things, and it helped. Once getting into the Delivery room, if I didn’t know about something I asked. Pray and ask God for wisdom in decisions you have to make dealing with you and your baby. Don’t base your decision off of someone else’s experience that they shared with you.
- Prepare Your Team – My mother lives in Texas, along with my sisters, brothers, and grandmother. My paternal grandmother in Florida. My family is scattered all over and throughout my pregnancy I really had a rough time without them, and I had to prepare for postpartum to ensure I had the help I needed. My mother bought her ticket in advance to be here on my due date (which was too late, I delivered 3 days early). She planned to stay with me for 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks she assisted me with breastfeeding woes, piles of laundry, groceries and meals, and house cleaning. Though it was a bit hectic with the extra company, I would probably still have laundry piled up 7 weeks later if she wasn’t here to help me. Once she left, family from church offered help by coming over so I could take a nap and bringing food to help with my many tasks. Whether your family is near or far, plan ahead on who can do what so you can have help and not put your body through too much too soon.
- Create Stations Around Your Home – Once getting home with baby, things will go rather quickly. I love Pinterest, and while making sure to prepare my home, I saw lots of posts about making “stations”. Diapering Stations – I got cute little bins and put diapers and wipes in my room, the babies room of course and also the living room. Anywhere you will spend time, you want to avoid having to get up. I created a postpartum station in the restroom. I put my pads, peri bottle, Dermoplast, wipes, and Witch Hazel all in a bin by the toilet to avoid too much moving around. I didn’t care who saw my pads out in the open! For breastfeeding, I had my pump, lanolin, water, snacks, charger, and remote in the place I nursed the most. This probably I “Duh, Of course I plan to do that!” type of thing but just in case! It saves you time.
- Cry it Out – I cried a lot during my hormonal pregnancy days, I was already a crier before though. What I was not prepared for was “Postpartum Blues.” Not to be confused with Postpartum Depression, the Blues occur up to 7 days after Delivery due to hormonal changes. I found myself crying more during that week post D Day, than I did my entire pregnancy. I cried over small things, I cried (and yelled and cursed) due to sleep deprivation, I cried out of frustration, I cried in extreme gratitude. I cried a lot. At first I was embarrassed, but it gave me some relief. Don’t be afraid to say what is on your mind whether you are afraid of something or angered by something. Let the tears flow and don’t be surprised by it. If you don’t experience it, that’s ok too. What the nurses made sure to tell me though, was if you had these uncontrollable emotions after that first week, you may want to seek some help.
I hope all of this is helpful to anyone reading out there. I enjoy writing about my experiences since having my baby girl. Comment if there is anything you are doing to prepare that you want to share, or anything you did with your past pregnancies! I’d love to read them!