This is an incredible blog. I actually started crying while reading it (I guess those emotions are finally kicking in). The part about having someone on call to take care of the dog is the part that really got me! I’m reposting so I can read this in my last few weeks and make sure I have everything ready to go! Please feel free to leave any more advice in the comments!!!
o Bring in a cleaning service to do a good deep clean. I am always on the lookout for half price house cleaning services on Groupon. I want them to focus on those things that probably won’t get too much attention for the next month or two – scrubbing our tub and toilet, wiping down baseboards, and dusting everything.
o Clean out the fridge and freezer. Friends and family are always so kind and thoughtful in the days and weeks after a baby is born and often bring over meals to heat up and ones to toss in the freezer for later. Having lots of space available to store prepared meals will be required.
o Stock up on hand soap. With Everly, I was always asking “Do you mind washing your hands first?” to anyone who visited and wanted to hold her. Between guests, and ourselves, we went through hand soap like crazy the first few months! So this time, I’ll have a few extra bottles stored in advance.
o (TMI – but truth) Load up on big, giant maxi pads-NOT DRY WEAVE. yes, the ones you wore in eighth grade. Depending on where you deliver, they may send you home with a good amount after the baby is born – but trust me, you’ll go through them faster than you think. I had to send Brent to the grocery store several times in those early weeks with instructions to “find the biggest ones they have” and bless his heart, he always did it… but this time, I’m making sure I’ve got plenty stored up in advance.
o Put a waterproof crib liner under the sheets on my side of the bed. Look, I know this one is weird too – but I’m hitting 37 weeks on Wednesday and I don’t want to have to trash our feather bed if my water breaks in the middle of the night.
o Put together a folder with all contact information for both our insurance and my maternity paid leave. I had to sit on the phone way too long in the first days after Everly was born trying to navigate who I was supposed to call to let them know that Everly needed to be added our insurance policy and what documentation and info was needed for me to start receiving my maternity leave pay. This time I’m putting all the documenation in one place and making those “what do I do next?” calls in advance so I’ll know just what to do once Arlo arrives.
o A “go-time” email to friends and family. We’re designating a person on each side of our family to contact everyone else and let them know when I go into labor. We’ve got a friend lined up to check on the dogs, and friends/grandparents on standby to care for Everly when I go into labor. This week I’ll send out an email laying out what the plan of action is for each person so everyone is crystal clear and we don’t have to worry about it while I’m huffing and puffing through contractions.
o Full bottomed, comfortable cotton underwear or boy shorts that you won’t mind tossing later. Actually – just go ahead and buy them in black. Have at least 6 pairs. Maybe more. Your super cute bikinis just won’t cut it in those early weeks, and you don’t want to ruin them anyway.
o Make a few padsicles! (Thanks to Meg for this terminology) Pour witch hazel on some of those monster pads and pop them in the freezer. So amazing in those early days when your lady biz needs some relief. Plus it’d be really fun to yell out from the bathroom “CAN SOMEONE PLEASE BRING ME A PADSICLE!!!!” And while I’m thinking out loud here – make sure you place them on the opposite side of the freezer from Aunt Suzie’s casserole, no need to intermingle dinner with your frozen feminine care products.
o Get the car detailed, tires checked and oil changed. The way the car is clean and safe, and not something to worry about in the first few months of baby.
o Purchase a plastic kitchen trashcan and place in the nursery next to the changing table and fill 1/3 of the way with water and Deft baby detergent. Whenever, and it’s often, baby makes a mess, the dirty clothes go into the bin for a pre-soak. Once you finally have a free moment, dump the contents into the machine and press start. Even if it has been a day or two the stains haven’t dried and set.
o Buy 2 sets of sheets and 2 waterproof covers and put them both on the mattress together that way in the middle of the night when you need to change the sheets you just have to take the top set off and the bed is ready to go without having to fumble with putting the new set on. Baby and you are able to go back to bed much faster.
o Print out a sign that says “Thank you for coming but baby is eating. We will be ready for company around (time)” You can have it laminated and then use a dry erase marker to write in the time. This will save Mommy and sometimes daddy the embarrassment of guests that just walk in.