Anyway, I got to thinking that as much as we needed to prepare last time by getting things done during pregnancy for the baby, I actually do this time as well; the preparation is just vastly different because it's more for our existing child or for myself. I have things to think about like who will keep Felicity when we're in the hospital (probably a variety of people, so it will take some scheduling), how to help her with the transition, putting some plans in place in case we deal with the same feeding/weight issues, and mainly how to make my life as easy as possible (ha!) with a toddler and newborn. I struggled a lot more last time than I anticipated I would, so I'm going to try to be as proactive as possible this time around. Here are a few of the things I've been thinking about and pre-planning for, and I'd love input from those more experienced moms!
- Some back up care for Felicity once my mom leaves and Steven goes back to work. By back up care I also mean play dates because though it will be super helpful for me, I think it will be equally good for her since she's used to seeing friends a lot. We have 3 friends nearby that we primarily spend time with so I'm thinking if each one keeps her for an afternoon, and she goes to one each week, that gives me a quiet afternoon to myself with the new baby once a week for 3 weeks. Luckily my friends are pretty awesome and would likely be happy to do that and more.
- Allllllll the freezer cooking and prep! When my mom was here last time, it was so nice that I had things in freezer bags that she could throw in the fridge one day and in the crockpot the next day. I broke my own rule on crockpot liners and we used them for a few weeks, which made clean up a cinch. We were eating home cooked meals with no one having to slave over a stove or sink. I also had things like burritos frozen for lunches. This time I want to have even more stashed since we have a deep freezer, and include breakfast items and more lunch items. It took me MONTHS to get back into the hang of cooking and I don't want Felicity (or us!) living on fast food or convenience food that long.
- Speaking of freezer prep, continuing to stash milk/donor milk. The biggest hurdle I had with Felicity was who is out running around for donor milk with a super brand new baby? So I ended up using formula to supplement about the first 2 weeks until my doula brought some donor milk. After that ran out, I was able to seek out/pick it up and we were good to go from there. I'm hoping to avoid formula from the get go (for at least 6 months but that's a whole other post!) so planning in advance will really help that. Luckily my sweet sister has already given me some for the deep freezer!
- This is a total luxury and we may or may not be able to swing it, but I think we may set up a one time house cleaning a couple weeks post birth. The house should be nice and ripe by then (*shudder*) and it would take that off my plate. It would also ease things up for Steven because, while he was a huge help last time with the house for quite a while, he will primarily probably be needed to help keep life normalish for Felicity.
- And last, one for the new baby, "Jellybean". We aren't going to move Felicity into the other room until after the baby comes (probably 3-6 months after) so we need a space in our room for a changing table and the baby's clothes. The actual space isn't a problem because our room is pretty big, but we need to organize a bit and find a changing table/dresser for our room so I have somewhere to store all the itty bitty items!
I'm sure this list will get ridiculously longer over the next few months, but that's what I've put together so far based on my experience with Felicity as a newborn... and Felicity as a toddler haha!