- Plan and Discuss (6-8 weeks out)– with everyone involved what will happen when your water breaks. This might seem silly but think about it. If we knew exactly when our water was going to break we would be at the hospital right before it happened. You might assume that your husband will be able to drive you to the hospital but this might not happen. You will need a back up plan and a back up to the back up plan. 🙂 Here’s my plan:
- If my water breaks Monday – Friday between the hours of 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, I will call James and tell him to come get us (plan A). Then I will call my mom and sister and have them meet us at the hospital. If for some reason James is not close enough to come home and get us, my plan B is to drive Cakey and myself to the hospital. My plan C is to drive to the station and have one of James’ coworkers drive me. Because my mom and sister work so far away they are not in my back up plans to drive me to the hospital if James is unavailable.
- If my water breaks Monday – Friday between the hours of 5:30 pm – 7:30 am or Saturday – Sunday anytime I will get James first (wake him up if he is sleeping). Then I will call my mom and sister and have them come over or meet us at the hospital. If my water breaks during the night, my sister will stay with Cakey and my mom will go with us to the hospital. If the arrival of Doodles seems to be sooner than the time it takes my mom and sister to get to my house or my contractions are closer than 20 minutes apart, we plan on taking Cakey with us to the hospital regardless if she is sleeping. During the weekends and at night someone else (either James, my mom, or sister) is always around so I did not have to create a backup plan.
- Stock your freezer and pantry (4-6 weeks out) – Stocking your freezer with dinners might seem like a no brainer for some people but dinner is not the only meal you eat. You need to stock up on foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, You might be lucky enough to have some wonderful family and friends who will bring you food for a few days or longer. Eventually, the food they bring you will run out and you will have to feed yourself. After my first pregnancy, I assumed I’d be able to (and want to) make food a few weeks after Cakey came home. Boy was I wrong! Getting up at all hours of the night takes a toll on you and the last thing you want to do is cook. This time around I did some serious freezer cooking.
- Stock up on pads (4-6 weeks out) – Each person is different as to how much or how long they will have this cleansing time but you are going to need a decent amount of pads waiting for you when you come home. Think about it, your body has not had a period in 9-10 months plus it has extra lining from the pregnancy. That’s a lot of stuff for your body to expel. Since you are not supposed to stick anything in your body after delivery, pads are your best bet not tampons. The reason I buy them so early is to give myself time to catch them on sale. Who wants to pay full price for pads or have to send your husband out for them because you know he will come back with the wrong kind.
- Pack you bags! (3-4 weeks out) – Yes, this is a common one and the hospital tells you what you need to bring but sometimes they are wrong or don’t include everything. After Cakey’s delivery I learned my lesson. The hospital told me not to bring shampoo, conditioner, or body was because they supplied those. They did supply them. But they were sample size bottles that only lasted one use (not good when you are there for three days). Plus, they smelled HORRIBLE! Even though I’m going to a different hospital, I’m packing a complete toiletry bag.
- What to pack (3-4 weeks out) – I also learned what kinds of clothing to bring and not bring. I bring at least one pair of socks (in case my feet get cold), some comfortable button down pajama tops/night gowns (hospital gowns are not comfortable), and a robe (to eliminate unnecessary flashing). I also pack two different outfits for going home a shirt and bottoms (pants, shorts, etc) and a dress just in case one of those is uncomfortable. For the baby, I bring a couple of outfits (they need choices too), blankets, some diapers and wipes (yes most hospitals provide these but it’s always better to be safe than sorry).
- Don’t forget your husband’s bag – If your husband is staying with you in the hospital you need to make sure you pack (or supervise his packing) his stuff. Most husbands get so excited they forget their basic needs until after the fact and then they are borrowing your toothbrush and deodorant! I pack both of our toiletries in one bag and when it’s time to go all I have to throw in is our toothbrushes, deodorant, and hair brush/comb. I pack all our clothing in one big bag that way I know he has at least two complete outfits packed.
- Get a plastic bag and some old towels ready (3-4 weeks out) – You do not know when your water will break but I assure you, you do not want it all over your car! Besides, you are not going to have time to go get your car detailed before heading to the hospital if you water breaks and you are not prepared! Not to mention, letting that fluid sit in your car and bake in the HOT Florida sun would be just awful! Ideally, your water will break outside of your car. But it may not so… you might want to just go ahead and prepare the seat to deal with it. Place a plastic garbage bag (or something similar) on the seat you will be riding in. Cover the bag with a towel or two. The only reason I suggest adding a towel over the plastic is because plastic sticks to your skin and depending on what you’re wearing it will probably stick to you. This would suck, of course, because when you get out of the car the bag would come with you and the fluid would get everywhere (which defeats the purpose of covering the seat anyway). You might also want to consider placing plastic under your sheets on your bed. A lot of women have their water break while they are in bed.
- Relax! (2-3 weeks out) – Take some time to relax and enjoy these last few days/weeks of pregnancy with your current family. Your whole world is about to change. It will no longer be just the two (or three or more) of you. Spend time snuggling, cuddling and enjoying your current family. Go do something you guys love because it will be awhile before you can (or will feel up to) going out again.
Do you have any advice or suggestions on preparing for a new baby? Tell me about it! I’d love to hear and maybe implement your suggestions (next time we add to our family)!
P.S. Yes I wrote this before Doodles was born. It was supposed to be posted before she was born but she had other plans which made me change my plans. 🙂
Have a blessed day!
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