It’s amazing how quickly nine months can go by when you have things happening. I suppose that’s how the flow of time flows, mostly; time not only flies when you’re having fun, but when you’re preparing for multiple goals at the same time. With a thesis defense on Thursday, a baby due for delivery on Wednesday, and a life that will be completely changed come Friday regardless of how the first two tasks play out, most of this past year has gone by so quickly I can barely remember it. (Don’t even get me started on the medical issues I’ve facing for most of this year; that’s a whole other barrel of time-eating monkeys to get into.)
Let’s focus on the baby being due part, though. There’s a lot that needs to be done to get ready for your first baby in the modern world, from getting your soon-to-be nursery in proper order to preparing for the emotional impact of a newborn in your life. There are whole lists of things to do to prepare for an incoming baby. This time around, let’s look at some of the things to do when you’ve got as much (or little) time remaining as I do:
Three Things to Do Right Before a Baby Birth
1. Prepare a Hospital Baby Bag: No matter how much your hospital has available, and how well they help you to prepare for the up-coming miracle, you’re still going to need to bring some things for both the pregnant party and the coach(es). A full list can fill a complete webpage in and of itself, but some of the highlights include comfortable (and let’s be honest, disposable) clothing for the pregnant woman, snacks, money to cover parking and similar expenses, and a book or two on newborn care. The better prepared you are, the easier the birth process will go.
2. Create Transportation Arrangements: If you are the pregnant mother, let’s be honest, you’re not going to be ready to drive home shortly after the big event. Having a ride home is definitely as important. Nearly as important (perhaps more so, depending on the rules of your hospital and state) is making sure that your ride has a car seat that will support your baby on the ride home. Ensuring that everything is ready to go will prove valuable when you want to go (or the hospital wants you to go, whichever comes first).
3. Get Food Ready for the Following Week: I’ll admit, I’m no expert on giving birth (and not simply because I’m a male), but one thing I know is that the mother is generally a bit worn out for a week or two after the big event. If said mother also happens to be in charge of things like making the meals and keeping the food supplies in order, as my Sondra is, it’ll make things tricky, meal-wise, for the coming few weeks. (This is not to say that I have no part in the housekeeping; I’m the semi-official dishwasher, prime laundry carrier, and singular killer of all spiders.) Having meal plans prepared, that all the food is available (or easily obtained) and ensuring that none rely on skills that only soon-to-be mother possesses will help to ensure everyone is well fed, even those of your family who aren’t going to be breastfed.
That’s a pretty good start to what you need; as noted, there’s plenty of other things you need, and plenty of things you can do to help give your child a great start, financially. We’ll have to cover some of them in the future (starting with 529 plans, and everything else I hope to do for my little Elaine as soon as our finances allow).
What else do you think soon-to-be parents should have when the due date approaches? (Let me know; I’m getting a little nervous about whether I have everything.) Here’s to a wonderful birth!
Baby Bag picture is from Cake Craze