A few days ago I read a blog article called “20 Must Do’s During the Ninth Month of Pregnancy” I honestly clicked on it because my thought was “Twenty?!? Dang that’s a LOT!”
But once I started to read I also started to laugh, it was most CLEARLY written for that lovely first time mom….this was evident by Number 1: Get a Mani/Pedi
*Laugh out Loud Manically*
When you’re having baby #3 you’re already trying desperately to figure out how to get childcare for your other children for those EVERY WEEK doctors appointments! Finding time to go get a Mani/Pedi is down right laughable. So here’s my own list of “Things to do during the last month of pregnancy”. And since this is Baby Number 3, I’d like to think my list is a little bit more down-to-earth and reasonable.
1. Pack that Hospital Bag. Yup, this is legit and my dear first time moms- that article above tells you that you should purchase some adorable going home outfit for yourself and I’m going to tell you to NOT. Instead purchase some Depends. I’m super serious when I say they will be far more comfortable then a giant pad between your legs and you’ll definitely be in need of some padding and protection for whatever clothes you are wearing…either way don’t skimp on the Depends or the nursing pads-by the time you head home there will be a whole new meaning to the word “leakage” in your vocabulary. So save your pennies for your new outfit for a few weeks down the line when your maternity wears are starting to sag but your pre-pregnancy clothes are inevitably still not fitting well.
Also: ( Don’t forget your cellphone charger and your nursing pillow!!)
2. Squirrel away some freezer meals. Now undoubtedly this would be MUCH easier if I didn’t have two other kids in the house, because they have this annoying habit of wanting to be fed THREE TIMES A DAY ( at least, its really more like 8 but I’m going to be generous for this post) already and so finding the time to make EXTRA meals can seem nearly impossible. However, this deserves the extra effort since at least I’ll be making these meals while only taking care of two children instead of 2+ an infant. So I turned my multitasking skills to HIGH last week and managed to make a few meals for the future while ALSO making dinner and homeschooling my 5 year old ( I seriously felt like a super star and I really wished I’d had a reality TV crew following me…second best I posted a #humblebrag on instagram).
Here are my go-to Freezer meals:
Chili, Chicken Soup, Crockpot Jambalaya ( everything cut up and prepped to be thrown into the crockpot when needed) and Baked Chicken ( I baked my chicken till about TEN MINUTES before being done so that all I have to do is thaw and throw in the oven for 15 or so minutes and dinner is done). MOM TIP: I suggest you NOT make a bunch of pasta meals for your freezer, if you are lucky enough to have people make meals for you during the first few weeks postpartum you’ll be guaranteed half a dozen pasta bakes…they are by far the easiest thing for people to make and transport and so you’ll be guaranteed half a dozen by the end. You’ll be thankful you did alternatives in your own freezer for when the Pasta Bakes run dry.
Prepare the baby’s room Get your room ready.
I’m sorry, but your sweet babies room won’t really be used- minus for storage -for at least a month! …..the room you NEED to prep is YOUR room. It is the room where you and your little one are ( HOPEFULLY!) going to be holed up trying to sleep for quite a while. So figure out how you’re going to get a little baby bed as-close-to-your-bed-as-possible. Now, there is plenty of literature out there against co-sleeping and I don’t really want to get into the pros and cons of such things here on my blog-everyone is different…but I don’t care WHO you are…when you’re getting up a trillion times a night with your sweet angel you’re going to want that sweet angel inches away. So figure out a plan that will work best for you, knowing that when the time comes you want you baby safe and within EASY access of you and your boob in the coming days. Other things to consider having in YOUR room: baby clothes ( they will go through a shocking number of clothing ( if you insist on dressing them) and you don’t really want to be running down the hall for a fresh onesie at 2am, burp clothes, diapers and wipes, ointment for your sad, sad nipples because things are about to get REAL very quickly. MOM TIP: There are these super sweet absorbent pads they put under you when you’re in the hospital to minimize how many times they have to change your sheets during your delivery/postpartum time ( see #1)…..ask for as many extra pads as you can get your hands on and take them home: Then when you’re up for a 3am feeding you can throw one down on your bed, change you babies diaper no problem without having to walk anywhere to do a diaper change! Like I said-that gorgeous matching crib and changing station you’ve got going on? Not that great at 3am.
Go get a Mani/Pedi Go on a date(s).
Sure, I’m already using up all my babysitting points to get myself to the millions of doctors visits that the last month seems to hold, but I DO agree with the first child post when it comes to date nights. The hubs and I have completely busted this months date budget in a major way but we just don’t care….we’ll be trying to get in as many as we can in the coming last days because we know how sparse they will be in the coming months! So enjoy your spouse! Spend as much time together now talking about as many non-baby-related things as you can possibly think of because its about to be baby-all-the-time for the foreseeable future.
5. Get out of the house.
This mostly has to do with people who already have kids, but really I suggest it even for you first time moms: The next time you go to Target RELISH IT…because it will be the last time you go alone for…basically ever. If you’re an extravert than DOUBLE THIS-you’ll be going stir crazy in the near future, so try to get out and enjoy as much as you can now. If you’re an introvert-try to fight your introverted ways for the next few weeks, I promise you’ll thank me later! Plus: bonus it helps the time go by faster!
But as for those of us who already have kids, I’ve kicked most of my homeschool-at-home stuff to the curb these last two weeks in favor of a million and one outings. I know that even when grandparents are here to help, they are probably going to be stuck at our house for a while ( mostly because I know how hard it is to get out of the house with a 5 and 2 year old even in a town that you’re familiar with, much less one you are not!) so I am trying to hit all the outings we can get in. Last week we went to the children’s museum, the pumpkin patch, we got Ransom’s haircut at fun kid haircut place and we’ll be hitting the zoo this week if we can manage it. I see this as my “dates with my kids” and its just as much a priority before baby comes.
6. Clean the bathrooms.
Ok, I’ll be honest, last week I went on a cleaning RAMPAGE and then I nearly died of exhaustion and Braxton Hicks contractions around 5pm…but it IS kind of important to have at least a clean bathroom when you don’t know when you’ll be bringing home a baby and probably having extra helpers and friends coming and going in your home! Make sure you’ve got a nice supply of handsantizer and hand-soap for all those who are going to line up to hold baby too! And if you’re a tad-OCD like me, you’ll sleep better knowing everyone will be coming into a clean organized house ( or at least on day one…I can’t promise you anything after that…)
which brings me to the MOST IMPORTANT PREPARATION OF ALL…..
Sleep in, go to bed early, take a nap between dinner and bedtime, take a morning nap, take an afternoon nap, sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Yes, sleep has become more and more evasive as the days have gotten closer to the end, but I am not going to let that stop me from grabbing any ZZs I can get my hands on. Last night I told Brett the thing I have been most proud of this pregnancy has been how much I have taken advantage of sleeping. I know that sounds silly, but sometimes as a mom and wife I feel guilty when I sleep in or I take a nap, but I have made a conscious effort to take advantage of EVER OPPORTUNITY to sleep instead of doing just about anything else. If there is anything my two other children taught me, sleep deprivation is REAL and it NEVER gets better. And, thanks to an AMAZING husband I have gotten to sleep in and take naps like a champ these last 9 months. I know that it won’t really make much of a difference when I am actually sleep deprived in a few weeks time-but it will make a difference to me mentally and that really does help. Or at least I’d like to think it will 😉
8. Get Sibling Gifts
If you do have other kiddos then this is something I most definitely recommend! Ransom STILL talks about the gift “Tabitha” gave him when he first met her in the hospital and it definitely put a positive spin on her entrance into our family. I personally like to make the gift something small, but also something that will hopefully be time-consuming for your child in the coming days since might as well let this Sibling gift serve two purposes! Knowing Tabitha’s propensity for all things little that she can line-up and make-believe with, she is getting a set of small Princess figurines. Ransom is getting a Lego set that I know will take him a while to put together but will then serve for some good imaginative play once its together.
I am also taking my kids, since they are older, to pick out a gift for Justice too! I know it will also help them understand that we are all a family. Spoiler: It’ll probably be a stuffed animal since both of my children put a HIGH PRIORITY on sleeping with a trillion stuffed animals.
9. Stock up your devices.
You may not have a smart phone, but I do recommend having something that “glows” ready for those nighttime feedings when staying awake is next to impossible. I personally like trashy TV ( see America’s Next Top Model) to keep me awake, but I also like easy to read Non-fiction ( I’m thinking about splurging on Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book in the Kindle version for this baby). But even if it’s some mindless game App that you know will keep your eyelids open, set yourself up with a few options. They will be helpful, I promise.
Also, if you have kids, I’m just going to give you a FREE PASS right now for the unlimited amount of screen time they are about to get in the coming weeks. Sure, it shouldn’t last forever, but there are certain seasons when watching educational, calm shows are definitely worth it to save your sanity.
We watch the following (some more than others):
Daniel Tiger, Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood, Wild Kratts, Little Bear, Word World, Octonauts and Dinosaur Train.
P.S. Also, I personally like to have a breastfeeding App on my phone to help me know when my last feeding was. There are a million free ones to chose from and I personally like knowing which side I started on last, and just how long ago that was….I promise it all starts to bleed together pretty fast!
10. Clean off your cameras/phones.
Your picture taking really IS going to hit an all time high in the next few weeks, I’m thankful to say that that has not changed with any of my children. I am so grateful for every single one of the millions of pictures and videos of my babies- and I know I will never regret having taken any of them. As much as I am not looking forward to the lack of sleep and craziness after Justice is born, I also really can hardly wait to see his little face. I took the time to download all the pictures from my phone onto my computer ( thus freeing up all that extra space) and then backing up my computer to make sure everything was safe and sound in case of crashes.
My Own Bonus Crazy-Check-List:
Along with taking my kids to the Pumpkin Patch and purchasing Sibling gifts and making freezer meals- I also had a few other things on my own personal check list. I turned Justice’s future room into yet-another incarnation of a guest room. It had had a twin guest bed in it, since my Brother-in-law moved into our guest room several months ago, but once again I needed to house not just single people in my guest room again so another shuffle took place! I am happy with the results and once again SO thankful for the largeness of our home! What a blessing!!
I also wanted to prepare for any extra visitors we might have to our home in the coming weeks. I do hope people will drop by and visit when I’m spending a lot of time in-doors, and I love fall decor so I was on a serious search for the perfect fall Mum. I only found one I liked on Friday and now that I have my fall door in place, my house cleaned ( minus the every-day clutter of my two other kiddos) and my hospital bag packed I am ready for Justice to arrive in a week ( or less!)