Wow! What a rush. This Thursday morning has been the first span of time I have found to be adequate enough to write a quick post. I have been itching to get one out since Owen Asa Kay had been born. Andrea and I had been warned about the time vacuum that follows after a baby, but we didn’t grasp the severity until now.What I am hoping to do for the next few posts is to add to the tips and tricks sections of this blog. Most of these posts will pertain to pregnancy and leading up to delivery. We will begin today with a short list of things Andrea and I did to prepare for the baby. One category will be things we did that was worth our time and effort and the other will list preparations that proved to be useless. Before I start the list let me remind everyone that this applies to us and may not be the case for everyone.
Preparations we did that was worth our time and effort
1. Grab bag- See The Getaway Car Andrea and I prepared a bag that was ready for our stay at the hospital. All we had to do was grab it and head out. This made our evening trip to the hospital much easier.2. Learning our camera– Andrea bought me a new camera for Father’s Day. I played with it at every chance I had so I knew how to use it well before Owen came. It was great that I was comfortable enough with my camera that I didn’t have to think about how to use it during those intense/emotional moments.3. Organizing the baby room– For us this rates 10 out of 10 on importance. Having the nursery baby-ready made bring Owen home super convenient. Know where everything is, how much you have and organized. Every minute spent organizing your baby room/supplies/gear will return tenfold when you bring your baby home.
4. Clean the house– We did our best to keep the house clean as we approached the due date. With a little help from family, we were able to come home to a clean house when we brought Owen home. This shot up the comfort factor and lowered the stress.
5. Tour the hospital– This was well worth the time. Having toured the hospital beforehand made the big day less stressful. We knew exactly where to go, what to expect, and also were made familiar with the hospital’s procedures. There were no surprises and we could plan accordingly.
Preparations that were not worth our time and effort
1. Excessive reading– Here is the bottom line on baby books. There is only one thing they all agree on- Every baby is different. Pretty much each book is saying, Here is how you should raise your baby, but nothing you’ve read here applies to you because your baby is completely unique. Save yourself time and find a couple who has a parenting style you like. Invite them over for dinner and have them tell you all of their secrets. Even though I have only been parenting for six days now I can tell you that these little boogers are eager for a routine. Figure out what you want your routine to be before the baby arrives. I am not saying don’t learn how to take care of your baby. Just don’t read 3 or 4 books like I did. You will only drive yourself crazy.
2. Preregister– We preregistered at the hospital hoping it would save time when we checked in. It may have saved us time. This depends from hospital to hospital, but for the one we used I feel like it still took us forever to get in. They are going to ask you all of the same questions again anyways, so I am not sure it was worth the extra trip to the doctor’s office to get the form we needed to preregister. I guess it doesn’t hurt, but for us… it just wasn’t worth the effort.
3. Pack entertainment– I am laughing as I write this item. To think we would have time to whip out an iPad to play a game or watch a movie is nothing short of hilarious in hindsight. Yes I did write about the calm before the storm. I guess we could have entertained ourselves then, but that would have been a waste of one of the most precious times I have ever spent with my wife. Once the baby arrives you will be too busy; greeting people, talking to nurses, changing diapers, eating, sleeping, making phone calls, setting appointments, signing papers, reading instructions, calming emotions, learning how to nurse, (YUP EVEN DADS HAVE A ROLE IN BREASTFEEDING), and believe me when I say the list goes on and on. >Save yourself some time and space and leave the books and electronics at home.
4. Worry– This tactic has never worked for me. It’s best if never practiced. If you have a legitimate concern it is best to give it to God. Acknowledge he has power over your concern, thank Him for always doing the right thing, and tell Him you will accept any outcome and give Him glory. When I prayed a couple of hours before Andrea went into labor I was honest with God. I told Him that I will accept whatever outcome, but that I don’t like the bad ones. I can not explain the peace I felt after that prayer. God reassured me that I don’t have to like the bad outcomes he just wants me to be willing to accept them. If you can get to that point of honesty with God about your concerns, you will find peace.
Again this list will differ from couple to couple. Just use this as a guide line. List your best and worst preparations below in the comments. Thanks for reading and God bless.