I thought I’d planned out as many details as possible before our little one arrived two weeks ago. I bought everything I thought we needed and mentally prepared myself for consecutive sleepless nights. Still I found myself rushing out to buy things a few days after the baby was born.
Before the baby was born doctors told us he would be quite large. I wasn’t particularly surprised by this news, since my mom told me I was just a few ounces shy of nine pounds at birth. Our beautiful baby boy was born a week and a half early, but he popped out just shy of 8 pounds. Babies lose a few ounces after they are born, so by the time we left the hospital he weighed about 7.5 pounds.
The trouble is I was expecting a much larger baby and didn’t have any clothes in newborn sizes. The clothes that ran a little bit smaller than 0 – 3 months fit, but most of them weren’t long sleeved, which meant our little one had to be swaddled extra tight at night to keep him warm.
Within a few days of his arrival my husband and I trucked out to the store to purchase a handful of newborn sized sleepers that would keep him warm both day and night. In retrospect I wish I’d purchased a couple of outfits in smaller sizes. We could’ve kept them in the closet with the tags on until after the birth, but it would’ve been nice to avoid dragging a five day old baby out to the store.
While most of my day is spent caring for my newborn baby, I didn’t realize how much time I would need to care for myself. My labor was very quick, but it took the doctors nearly an hour and a half to stitch me up after delivery.
I had a drawer full of feminine products on hand for after delivery, but I wish I would’ve had a few staple supplies on hand like ice packs and witch hazel. It wasn’t the end of the world to send my husband out to the store for these items, but it would have been nice to focus my energy on getting better without having to wait for products that could relieve my pain.
As for sleepless nights, well there is simply no way to prepare yourself for that reality. Our baby boy is exclusively breast fed and wakes every two hours on the dot for feedings. Since it can take 30 minutes to feed and change him, I typically can’t sleep for more than one and half hours at a time. Some things I can plan, for other things like sleepless nights I just have to wing it!
6 thoughts on “Planning for Life After Delivery”
You are correct. There is no real way to plan for the foggy exhaustion of being on call all night every night . You will develop routines that will help you cope. No way to anticipate just how much love you will have for that new bundle of joy. I would give anything just to go back in time and rock my boys just one more time.
Like Jolie said "You are correct". There is no way to be totally prepared. I was not working for several years before I had my first child and still there were things I forgot in my prep. But with the next one … you will be totally prepared.
The sleepless nights last for many years … just not with the intensity of a newborn. When the kids are in their big kid beds they will still wake you at night because they are afraid or sick.
But every moment is worth it. Hug that baby and hold him for as many hours as you can because it really does go by in a blink of an eye. My twins have started Kindergarten this year and my son has decided that he is old enough to walk to class without holding my hand because he is a "big kid" now … he just turned 5!
Who ever said, "The days are long but the years are short" definitely got it right.
Try as you might, planning for a new arrival is a task. I always had other things I had to do even though I thought I had planned for everything.
The exhaustion is tough, but you do manage to cope. Just don't try to do to much. Take a nap whenever you can. I was better prepared for the second baby but it is still tiring. Especially when the older one (4 1/2) does not want to take a nap. It seemed to me when they get about 3 months it gets better. You are doing great!!!
@Jolie & Merri Ann – Your comments made me cry. I guess it's the hormones! I am trying my best to treasure each day. I can't believe a few weeks have already passed!
@Ann – I feel the exact same way.
@Susan – I hadn't even considered trying to care for the first child when the second is born. Caring for the first seems to take so much energy right now!
On second thought, it is almost impossible to plan. Each baby is different!