This pregnancy just flew by! I remember being pregnant with my first son and thinking it was a never ending process. The days felt like months and the months felt like years. Although I didn't work, I was SO big and uncomfortable and I mostly just slept my days away... which in all honestly, was probably making me feel worse. This time around I feel like I blinked and BAM a baby is ready to be born! I've been so busy since day one of pregnancy between keeping a never ending mess actually clean, caring for a dramatic 1 1/2 year old and wrangling in my crazy ass dogs. I feel like I don't sit down...ever.
How I Manage Physically
Things are getting a lot harder for me to do. Because of my Placenta Previa I can't bend down or pick things up, I can't carry Lyric like I used too and (like normal pregnancy symptoms) I get winded just by doing everyday tasks. I have a hard time "taking it easy" and need to learn how to relax more especially for my body and the baby. So, I bought a dry erase board for our fridge and each day of the week I have a new task. This helps break up some of the workload I have on a daily basis so I don't over work myself. I've been adhering to this schedule since I was 15 weeks pregnant and its been working great! Heres what it looks like:
I also don't pick Lyric up. If he wants to be held, I sit on the couch and help guide him up versus bending down and lifting with my stomach/ back. When my husband is home, he does all the lifting and bending so I don't have too, this really helps give my belly and back a break. After being admitted to the hospital, we've really had to get creative and let our independent little boy become even more self sufficient. For example, If my husband is gone in the morning before Lyric wakes up, I put a big box (thanks HelloFresh!) in his crib, he then climbs on that and I help guide him out. We do all of our diaper changes on the floor or couch and he recently learned how to climb into his own booster seat for dinner time so it's been really helpful towards the end of my pregnancy journey. To be honest, It's almost become our new normal.
One more thing, which I HIGHLY recommend if your extremely pregnant or having complications like myself. I purchased these Extra Long Grabber/ Reachers for $18. They have been THE BEST! I pick up a million toys a day, do laundry, feed dogs, etc and never realized how much I actually bend down and put pressure on my stomach until I wasn't allowed. These come in handy for so many tasks that you wouldn't believe.
How to Prepare Your First Born
So many people have given me advice on this topic. While I love every single one of you and I appreciate all the advice I can get, I think I'm going to do things a little different. Most people told me to get Lyric gifts that symbolize being a big brother and the love we have for him. I think thats an awesome idea but its not really my style. Lyric is a very independent little boy. Although he gets a ton, he seeks very little attention from others. At this point in time I don't really feel the need to shower him in gifts to let him know he is loved and will always be loved. Instead we do things together which involve preparing for the baby's arrival.
He was involved in painting, decorating and assembling the baby's nursery and furniture. He helped me put all the clothes away as I explained what every item was for. He loves to sit in the rocking chair and hold all the little animals he can find. He goes through every single binky we have and tests them out to make sure they pass approval for his little brother. Lyric is obsessed with this little boys room. The minute that nursery door opens he runs straight for it.
Then there's my belly... my husband and I are constantly rubbing it and now he's caught on. He now lifts his shirt and rubs his belly right along side of me. He also lifts up my shirt so he can bend over and kiss my bare belly, which melts my HEART! When we have some free time we look at pictures/ videos of little baby's cooing (he's in love with videos of babies), so I feel like I'm preparing him more mentally, physically and emotionally by keeping him involved every step of the way, then giving a gift.
I always ask him if he wants to give the baby smooches. He'll normally walk right over, rub my belly and lift my shirt to plant a smooch on the baby. He noticed the phone and decided not too haha! But peep his little hand rubbing this big ol' belly in the beginning.
We recently enrolled Lyric in a childcare/ school (once again due to this dang placenta previa) which in all honesty is good for him to be out and socialize with other kids since I can't take him out of the house right now. We decided were going to keep him in it when the baby is born 2 days out of the week so I can have time to bond with the baby and he'll have time to run all his energy out. I also downloaded a free printable schedule that I customized to Lyric. This way I have a structured schedule to make sure he is still getting the knowledge and play time that he needs. I will mostly likely have to tweak a few things according to the baby's schedule as well but I'm going to try my hardest to stick to it.
How We're Preparing the Household
We plan on sleep training and sticking to an extremely strict schedule just like we did with Lyric. It worked wonders for us and we had him sleeping through the night at 4 weeks old. I'm a HUGE fan of schedules and structure in our house, so following a strict plan is nothing new to us. haha! So were hoping we can do the same for this baby. Anyways, we actually just finished brushing up on the book we used the first time around called Baby Wise & I'm feeling pretty prepared. If you would like to know my entire sleep training process, read my How to Sleep Train a Newborn blog post which goes over EVERY THING.
I'm also going to start my freezer meal preps for my husband and I as well as food for Lyric when I'm around 33-34 weeks pregnant. I did this last time and it was a life savor. The main thing I plan on stocking up on is breakfast burritos and just burritos in general because those were quick and easy for us to heat up and eat while moving around. I have an Instant Pot so I'm going to make healthy freeze ahead meals that can easily go in there as well. Here are a couple blogs I'm following for inspiration on all the freezer meals I'm making!
Last time I gave birth I never asked for help. My husband went back to work after 7-10 days and from then on I was on my own. This time around my husband will have 14 days off and after that my mom will take another week or two off to stay over and help me. I don't know if this is going to be our last baby, so my main focus is soaking in all the newborn snuggles and making sure Lyric gets the care and attention he needs as well.
Lastly, I'm all about charts and schedules. It helps our family stay organized and on the same page with every thing (I'm sure you can tell based on my Instagram Stories, haha). I recently updated our medication chart which is laminated and hung on the fridge for when the baby comes. I haven't created a new schedule chart yet because I don't know the rhythm of our household, but once we get the hang of it I will create one. Here are the charts I use. Print them, laminate them and hang them on the fridge! They're perfect to write on with dry erase marker and keep up communication between you and your spouse, they've been heaven sent!
Were so excited for our little Lowen to join the family! Surprisingly enough, were not nervous at all but more anxious to meet him more then anything. My husband and I are already fighting over who's going to get more baby snuggles since our big boy is so independent and doesn't have time for mom and dad, haha! I can just picture our snuggly movie sessions now (Lyrics favorite), all 4 of us piled in our small bed cozied up. AHHHH I can't wait!
If your pregnant or just juggling your household with two hands, I hope you find some of this helpful! I've come to realize that schedules are life and everyone needs them. Don't over do yourself and if you need a break, take one!