- Reserving Maternity Photos
It took us a long time to get pregnant this second time around and based on my age, this might be my final pregnancy, so I want to cherish and record every moment of it. Therefore, we have hired a professional photographer to take maternity family photos next month. I will be about 30 weeks pregnant when taking the photos, which I reserved months ago to ensure I had the photographer I wanted and the date I wanted. Besides our family maternity photo shoot, I also reserved time with a second photographer to get black and white stylistic maternity photos as well that are just for me and my baby. I didn’t do these for my first pregnancy and since our family photos will be less expensive this time around, I was able to fit it in the budget this time around.
- Preparing the Nursery
I am so excited to decorate another nursery! And this time will be so different because I am having a boy this time! I have decided on a “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” theme and so there will be a lot of blue, gray, and yellow clouds, stars, and moons! My husband put together our daughter’s crib yesterday and now I just have to decorate with accents and final touches. Besides needing a new crib mattress (my daughter is using hers in her big girl toddler bed) we have all the same rocking chair, dresser, and changing table we used the first time. I found a lot of pieces online and I also see some trips to Target, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods in my future real soon! I want the nursery to be done before he’s born, but I know it will be a process so if its not done until after his birth that is fine with me. He will sleeping next to us in a bassinet in our room for the first few months anyway and won’t even be using his room until he’s close to six months old.
- Hiring a Housecleaning Service and a Food Delivery Service
I can’t do it all and I need help. The bigger my belly gets and the older my toddler gets I only have enough energy to get things done in a day. I can only imagine what an adjustment it will be when the baby arrives. So I am currently in the process of gathering quotes for housecleaning services and delivery food services. So far, I love Green Chef as my food option because all of their food is organic and there are gluten free options for me. I can skip weeks if I need to and their menu choices look delicious! I know I will not want to go to the grocery store or leave the house for any reason the first month after he’s born so these two “helpers” will be much appreciated until I have more energy to do the cleaning and shopping myself. Plus, I know I’ll need some time to adjust dividing my time and running errands with two children instead of one!
- Finding Care for My Daughter and Dogs
Besides my own care when I go into labor, my top priority is making sure my daughter has childcare while we are in the hospital. I definitely didn’t want to be scrambling at the last minute, so this one was a must do early on in my pregnancy. Since I am due over a holiday weekend, I also planned a few back-up plans just in case the first plan doesn’t work. I am certain; like my doula, family and friends will be on-call at least a week prior to my due date, but when it comes to my daughter’s wellbeing, safety, and happiness, her childcare is my most important priority to plan. Once all of the plans are in place, I will start verbally, mentally, and physically preparing my daughter for her “special sleepover” while mom and dad are at the hospital with the baby. I want to give her a few practice runs as well as have her bags packed well in advance. I want her to feel excited and comfortable in her environment while we are gone. In addition to my daughter, I also have a plan in place for our two dogs – and a back-up plan because when you go into labor you never know what time of day it will happen, what day/date it’s going to happen, and how long you might have to get to the hospital!
- Finishing my First Child’s Photo Albums and Baby Scrapbook
Please tell me I’m not the only mom that takes years to finish a photo album and scrapbook. I always have the best intentions to work on them, but somehow it seems to be the last priority at the end of the day. I was determined to have it finished by her first birthday, but that obviously did not happen. Plus, with all photos being digital these days I have them on my phone, computer, and a back up hard drive, but don’t always get as far as printing them out and putting them in an album. Even when I get them at 10 cents or less, it adds up and ordering prints can be quite costly. Maybe it’s because I take thousands of photos, but nonetheless, it is costly and time consuming. But over the weekend, I pulled her scrapbook out of her closet as well as my scrapbooking supplies and have it as a goal to complete it in the next three months! I also have been slowly but surely adding photos to an album on Shutterfly so I can print them all at once and slip them into an album during this timeframe, too!
- Cleaning Out Closets of Unused Clothes and Toys
Call it spring/summer cleaning. Call it nesting. I have been cleaning out things like the pantry and the refrigerator and also all of the closets in the house! In this process, I am making three piles; one to keep and reorganize, one to throw away, and one to give to Goodwill, or a secondhand clothing store. I am also clearing out unused toys. We somehow have accumulated so many toys over the years. Some toys I am finding haven’t even been taken out of the box, so I am also making a pile of toys to be given to the local Children’s Hospital and or Toys for Tots this Christmas.
- Registering At The Hospital and Booking a Hospital Tour
I want the day I go into labor to go as seamless as possible. I won’t be able to control everything but I can control the little things I can take care of now. One of those things is registering at the hospital I will be delivering the baby. Even though I did this a few years ago when my daughter was born, I am registering again since my health insurance and some other personal information has changed. Plus I believe my hospital requires that you re-register for each birth. They make it so quick, easy and convenient these days all I had to do is go online and I was done in less than 10 minutes. Just make sure you have your health insurance card, driver’s license, and social security number handy! Now that registering is complete, I also reserved a free hospital tour. My husband and I did this during my first pregnancy but it is important for me to do it again. I have a few questions I want answered, I want to familiarize myself again with the labor and delivery floor in hopes it will alleviate any anxiety about being at the hospital, and I want my daughter to experience being at the hospital so when she comes to visit her brother for the first time, she is somewhat familiar with this new environment.
- Looking Through My Daughter’s Baby Clothes
When my daughter outgrows her clothes, I put them in a clear plastic bin that I have in her closet and once it is full, my husband takes it to the garage. As you can imagine, we have collected a few bins over the years. I started doing this knowing we would have more children and I wasn’t sure at the time what gender I’d be having for future births, so we kept everything just in case! So over the weekend, I asked my husband to bring in all of the bins from the garage so I could look through them. My goal was to find the blankets and clothing that were gender neutral enough to pass down to her brother. There wasn’t too much that wasn’t a dress or the color pink, but I managed to find multiple onsies, shirts, blankets, and pajamas that will do the trick! I definitely will need a lot more, especially since most of what I found is for an older child, not a baby, but it was a start! Then I washed all of the items I found and started putting them in the baby’s room. Now I am debating what to do with the rest of the clothes. I would like to keep some for my daughter to pass down to her children, hoping she has a girl. Some are stained and I might have to toss and some I would like to give to Goodwill or a secondhand baby store.
- Taking a Childbirth Refresher Course
During my first pregnancy, my husband and I took a six-week Lamaze childbirth prep course. This time, we will be taking a Hypnobirthing childbirth prep course but instead of going through an entire course we decided to only take the refresher class instead. One reason is because we don’t have reliable and consistent childcare for our daughter for multiple evenings, and even if we did, we know that would be quite expensive to pay a babysitter for multiple weeks in a row. Instead, I am doing a lot of other things to prep for childbirth including reading multiple books with a Hypnobirthing book being my priority. I am also listening to daily birthing affirmations and hired a doula to also help me prep. I also signed up to attend local monthly pregnancy relaxation classes, have monthly prenatal massages, and do weekly prenatal yoga.
- Planning on Gifts for Both Kids
Some wise mom friends that have already gone through having two children suggested that I give a gift from the baby to my toddler the day he is born. In addition, I want to get her a few new small items for when we are at the hospital and she’s at her “special sleepover.” Finally, I want to give her something from her dad and I as a special big sister gift. I’m not talking about spending a lot of money, but it’s more about the act of giving the gift and the sentiment more than what the actual gift is. I also want to include my daughter in picking out a gift from her to the baby so she can give it to him when she comes to the hospital and meets him for the first time. Once she picks it out, I will most likely pack it in my hospital bag so her and her caregivers don’t have to worry about it when she arrives at the hospital. I am also planning on getting her a doll with doll diapers and other doll accessories so she can “practice” being a big sister and can mimic what I’m doing with her doll when I’m changing her brother’s diaper, feeding him, etc.