So it will be number 3 coming to join my 5 and 2 year olds at the end of next month. I am determined to retain, regain, rediscover, whatever, some semblance of self. I full out AP and there will be plenty of attention and giving to the family, that I know I won't allow to go unsatisfied. BUT when it comes to caring for myself that is the first thing to go.
SO, I am stocking up on my favorite creams, perfumes, makeup, getting a blow dryer for those days that I feel ambitious, I am going to get a nice easy to manage haircut close to my due date, etc. to try to have little pick me ups on hand to remind me that I count too. I have an exercise plan in place with my husband's promise to support/enable it for me. What else can I do to make sure that Mama is taken care of post partum?
Make sure you have a freezer full of meals or people to bring you meals pp. So you don't have to plan, shop, and cook pp.
This is definitely a big one! After my daughter was born we were totally unprepared and ate WAY too much take out and junk. This time around I was thinking big pots of healthy soups, lots of nuts and fresh fruit for snacking, smoothies, etc. The hubs doesn't cook at all so this will likely be a working right up until labor project.
like you, i am having my third with older ones at similar ages! good for you for thinking about this. i am super protective of my post partum time having worried about PPD from the beginning and thus seen it wreck up people's times. not that it can be prevented by having meals in place but for me, every little bit that makes life easier that first month is what i focus on and go for!
you can use mealbaby.com or just send out a spreadsheet for people to sign up for meals. i like for there to be a sign up sheet with specific foods and take out places requested for 30 days. it can start the day, week or whenever after the baby is born. like, if you have family or a post-partum doula helping the first week, get the food started the week. I agree with having your freezer stocked and directions on cook times either written on the package in the freezer or a list with directions hung on the freezer. so much easier for a helper to figure out.
if a good friend is dropping off food one day, i have thought about asking her for a little one hour of playtime with my kids- outside or in their playroom, wherever. she doesn't have to take them anywhere, just some attention and time with her and her kids, perhaps. my girls could burn their energy this way and i could have a shower/rest or focus on the babe, etc. i have even considered a sign up sheet for this like the meal thing.
i print directions to using my washing machine for my MIL and my mom so it's easier for them to do my laundry. i have heard some people keep a list of daily items (run the vacuum, sweep the kitchen, unload the dishwasher, wipe down the bathroom sink, fill kid's water bottles, set out food to defrost) on the fridge so a neighbor or friend who stops by can do a quick helpful job.
you could get a post partum massage set up. they can come to your house to do it on day 3 if you have space for their massage table.
have the phone number of a lactation consultant handy or la leche league so you don't have to search for this if you need their support. comfy nursing tank tops and breast pads are great to have.
for ease, i set up a basket of snacks in my bedroom for my older kids (and me) to have access to when we won't make it downstairs to the kitchen or to prepare a full meal right on the usual mealtime. all healthy stuff like larabars, nuts, etc. we don't usually have disposable boxes of food items but i break that rule real quick for post partum sanity and more post partum snuggle time. another basket of new coloring books or neat small toys that they can play with in your room may be helpful, too. we plan to do this and i have already stocked up! i rest for 3 full days in my room though; i do not mess with that bonding and recovery time at all. i totally chill. so, for my girls to remain content, i hope to have things set up easy for them. i know i will want them near by but calm and content. also, i had a stack of books to read to my oldest when her lil sis was a newborn. i could snuggle them both, nurse the babe and read to the older one. it served everyone's needs easily and kept us all connected.
have comfy transition clothes that are really easy to breastfeed in- button down shirts work great. stay in your robe or pajamas when people come to the door to bring you meals so it's clear you are not there to entertain them.
i try to get in the bed by 7pm so I can at least rest and attempt to patch together some sleep over the next 12 hours. can you tell i create a cocoon around my bed and rest time? for the first few days or so, i keep a notepad by the bed to record how long the babe nursed and on what side plus when i slept and for how long. this may sound extreme but i like to have a record and not have to worry or try to remember such details.
So many great ideas already! Love the mealbaby.com idea. Though, I would be more comfortable if someone else did that for me. I don't know if I'd feel comfortable putting the idea out there myself that people should bring me things lol.
I've been a little concerned because this is my first homebirth and when I birthed in the hospital it just wasn't a very welcoming environment. But, with people in my home I'm a little bit worried that they'll stay too long or expect entertaining or something. Some of these ideas are great for encouraging them to help out (lists on the fridge, etc). I wouldn't mind lots of visiting if it created less work for us!
I think that I am sort of on my own for food for the most part, so I am trying to stock up well and have meal planning tools on hand for that. I don't really that I can expect much chore help from anyone outside of the family either honestly. But I am very, very thankful that my husband will have a few weeks off of work to be available to help. And honestly, as selfish as it may sound I am not really overly concerned about chores getting done for the first couple of weeks anyway.I feel like in the past whenever the house started to get crazy enough that people were actually suffering for it, things would get done. I am more worried about myself being overlooked and neglected because that is what has happened the last two times.
To a certain extent I know that the family has to be squared away for me to feel free to worry about me, but honestly I know how driven I am when it comes to meeting their needs so I am not overly concerned. And I have always heard people say that they have overly social friends/family who stay too long or come to often, but I sort of have the opposite problem. I felt really lonely when everyone seemed to clear out so quickly with my homebirth with my daughter. Everyone was so overly concerned with being a bother that it almost seemed like no one cared that I had just given birth, that there was a new baby in family. It made me really sad and felt extremely anti-climatic for me. It was actually the only down side to birthing at home for me, normal life resumed so quickly and so smoothly that I felt like I never had a chance to catch my breath and take stock of what had happened.
I LOVE the idea of post partum massage! That would be so wonderful!
I'm making what's called my Diva List. It's a list of things that need to be done around the house while I'm recovering, breastfeeding, and bonding. The list includes regular household chores, my 6 year old's school schedule and what needs to be done to get him there and back, and my own needs (snacks, rest etc...) I'm also going to have 10 minute tasks on the refrigerator for whoever comes by and wants to help. My local mama community will set up a meal train for me so dinners will be taken care of for a while (with my ds, it was 6 weeks! but I had complications and don't expect that this time). Basically, I'm preparing everyone for the fact that #1 I don't want to watch my house fall apart and #2 I'm not going to do anything but recover, breastfeed and bond. My mom is coming in the first week and my husband is currently being prepped for the job of taking over my job. Also, my son will have lots of playdates so he gets a break here and there. I'm planning on a smooth transition and I'm not going to be afraid to ask for help this time. Post Partum is no time for pride.
I have nobody here. We moved here in May from Korea, and all my family and friends are thousands of miles away. I don't even have anyone to watch my older kids while I'm in the hospital, which is making me stress quite a bit. I wish I had a network of friends to even cook for me, but I've never had that kind of care, even when I was in Korea and had lots of friends, they all seemed to help out the first timers, but ignored me. I guess they figured that since I was an experienced mom with a full house, I didn't need that support. It sucked, big time. I must admit that I tend towards the self pity side of things, lol. Poor me, I guess.
you could consider hiring a post-partum doula, perhaps. also, just ask for help. if people don't offer like you said b/c they think you are experienced, etc, well tell them you NEED some help. i have found over and over, again that people like to help a post-partum mama. blessings to you.