Tuesday, November 18, 2014

14 Things to do AFTER Baby Arrives


I've recently noticed that my most visited blog post is 20 Things To Do Before Baby Arrives. It also happens to be one of my most popular pins on Pinterest. I thought it may be helpful to continue that post by sharing the things I have found most helpful after Jack was born. I've said it many times before that coming home with your first baby is pretty terrifying. You bring home your most precious possession and most times a new mom isn't feeling 100%. I tried my best to remember and keep track of everythingI thought I would need to do. I had tons of help from my mommy friends and had some really great nurses to assist as well. No matter how many things I had in order there were still several things that came as a surprise to us!

Contact Your Job- Jack was born a week early and I went into labor on a Saturday night. I was planning to work until the last second SO my boss was one o the first people to be informed after family, of course. My husband also informed his boss immediately so she would have an easier time finding coverage.

Chronicle you babies birth story-Obviously, I blog so I have a great venue to share my birth story. When on maternity leave I started a pregnancy journal through Shutterfly.

Make an appointment with you pediatrician- I had chosen a pediatrician in advance so I had them on speed dial and made an appointment for the day after we were released. I made an afternoon appointment which was best because it was really, REALLY hard getting ready and out of the house. Since you shouldn't drive for 1-2 weeks make sure you have some one to take you.

Send out birth announcements- As I mentioned in things to do before baby arrives it may be a good idea to bookmark some of your favorites on your favorite websites. It's also good to store those coupon codes too.

Send Thank You Cards- I never realized how many people like buying gifts for the new baby. Even neighbors who have never spoken to us stopped by with some baby gifts. I also mentioned stocking up on thank you cards before baby comes. Maybe even created some return address labels too.

Take newborn pictures and photos- LOTS of Them!!! It's easy to snap pictures with your Iphone on your new bundle but it wasn't always easy to pull out our big camera and take good photos! Also, I noticed a few weeks into Jack's life that I barely had any photos of Jack and I. I had so many with him and everyone else, even the dog and barely had any of just the 2 of us.

Write Down Questions- I had a lot of questions. Some would come to me at 4am when I was feeding Jack so I really tried to have a pen and pad with me at all times just in case. I know so many people who wrote down when they fed the baby/changed the baby/pumped so the notebook came in handy.

Contact Your Insurance Company or HR Department- Brian contacted our insurance company during our stay at the hospital to include Jack in our plan. I informed my human resources department shortly after I got pregnant to discuss the company's policy on time off (I did not have any paid maternity leave) I saved up all of my sick/personal and vacation time for several years in order to get full pay during my maternity leave. I was also lucky to have 40 hours of vacation time left over when I returned to work after 3 months off. Once Jack was born my boss was kind enough to call our HR representative. They were very sweet and contacted me a few times during my time off checking on me. I also contacted them during my leave to mention Jack's cystic fibrosis diagnosis and the idea that I may not be able to return to a 40 hour work week due to his appointments. I was lucky that they worked with me and granted me a 32 hour work week upon my return.

Ask For Help- I have a problem of asking for help. I hate asking and admitting I need help or can't do it all. When you have a baby all of that nonsense needs to get thrown out the window. ASK FOR HELP or you will regret it.

Be a Gracious Host- (sort of) After baby arrives you have tons of visitors. I loved having people visit but I know so many people who do not. To be honest I would get sad when people left. I think I was so nervous the first few weeks that anyone who knew what to do with babies comforted me. I've learned people were not there to eat or be entertained. They just wanted to see and hold our new baby.   The best visitors were the ones who brought coffee, food or just let me rest when they were over. Even my best friend and her husband came over with salads, desserts and while I ate they took down our Christmas decorations. She even braided my hair after she watched Jack so I could shower. She really is the best

Relax/Hydrate/Nap- It is so easy to say but harder to do. I did realize the more I relaxed and kept myself hydrated the more milk I was able to pump and I felt like a better mom.

Be Prepared For The Unexpected- With a new baby all the things you think could happen may actually happen; poop, puke, plus all the smiles and love. There are times where the unexpected happen too. I wasn't prepared for a jaundice baby but Jack was pretty yellow so we spent the first 4 days after release from the hospital going back and forth to the hospital for blood work. It was exhausting driving to and resting was very difficult. Also, when Jack was 2 weeks old he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. It's been a long road for us as a family. Especially since we had received prenatal blood work that did not pick up on my husband's genetic mutation. Nothing will every prepare you for news like that but it's good to be prepared for changes.

Involve Your Husband and New Daddy- I am the type of person who wants to do it all and control it all. I think it has something to do with my job and needing to be in charge of everything! It's one of the things I hate most about myself. That all flew out the window once Jack was born. I made a point of letting Brian do everything around the home from cleaning to cooking  (although I prepared several weeks worth of meals.) I also made it a point of having Brian give baths, change diapers and help with the over nights especially when he was home from work the first week. It helps with their bonding but also because your body just ran a few marathons between delivery and loss of hormones. You need rest.

Send Your Nurses Something Nice- Like I mentioned before I had some great nurses so I wanted to sure I showed them I appreciated all they did for me, Brian and Jack.

I hope this helps a bit upon arrival home with your bundle of joy. It is such an amazing time. Savor every second because before you know it that little newborn will be close to turning a year old.

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