Monday, September 29, 2008

Nine Month's Waiting

I have been asked to provide some ideas for using the time during the 9 months of waiting for the birth of a child. I would certainly welcome anyone else's ideas!

It is sometimes difficult to tell women all the things they need to do, because, if they are sick during this time, or they just don't have any energy, they will have to rest. Women who are used to getting things accomplished will find this very hard to do! No one likes to lay around while the dishes and laundry pile up and the house deteriorates. I understand this very well, because I got so sick each time I was expecting, that I just had to go to bed. I was too sick to lift my head from my pillow. However, just resting and waiting out those first three months when you feel "icky" is an important thing and no one should put pressure on you or make you feel lazy.

The last three months of the pregnancy seem to bring on a furious nesting instinct. These are the days when women are likely to get more organized, and get the baby's things ready. When my daughter was last expecting, she spent the time that she felt well, getting ready for the baby, and also preparing for the actual birth day, by storing up special things for the other children to do on that day, in the form of new books and crafts projects, or things that would be special for them and keep them occupied. Some women try to have a few meals prepared that can be brought out on that day. Depending on when the baby comes, families can sometimes miss meals, so prepared meals are welcome. The mother herself will need comfort foods and to be able to eat often of richer foods that will help keep her blood-sugar high and prevent depression after the birth.

If you are well, it is a great time to get your home in order so that you won't be constantly picking up things or cleaning. Make your house safer by putting safety plugs in your outlets, or taking care of sharp corners of the inside of the house and being aware of cleaning chemicals that a child could get into. Clean the fridge and the cupboards and keep the laundry caught up so that you can last a few days without working.

This is also a good time to inform your husband and your family on what to expect when the baby is born, so that they can be extra helpful. You might make a book with notes in it for them.

I am sure there are a lot of creative ideas out there from people about how best to use the 9 month waiting period.


Anonymous said...

I love your thought, Lady Lydia!
If a woman is pregnant and keeping her home, and she is interested in making baby items herself, she can make bibs, cloth diapers and wipes, nursing pads, a "Boppy" pillow, and more.
There are a lot of sites out there with free patterns as well. I have a post on my blog called "Baby Love" with a lot of links and several recipes for baby lotion and wash, etc.

Little Missy Homemaker said...

I love the nesting period! When I was pregnant with my middle child I hand-painted small green stripes in the nursery, tons of them! I wouldn't have taken that project on in any other state of mind. It turned out so beautiful as well as the curtains and crib bed skirt I made. Well worth the effort.

I would suggest that a mother-to-be purchase one chilren's book every month during pregnancy. When the baby is born he or she will have a nice little library started.

Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

One thing I did toward the end of my last pregnancy (a long time ago) was hire a teen girl down the road to help me out a bit in the afternoons. I had two little ones and was about to deliver my third and some things, like bathing my little ones, had become a bit difficult for me (I was sick with my third child).
Her help was so appreciated and she enjoyed the children. She would just come for a little while and spend a bit of time with them, bathe them and it gave them some extra attention. I was always there but I could even lay down for an hour or two if I needed it.
She helped me a lot and I have never forgotten it. :)

Ginger said...

I am a mother of a newborn and a toddler. The last month of my pregnacy left me very tired and hardly able to do much for a long amount of time. To help me through this time I hired someone to come on Fridays and help me clean my house. It was really encourageing and I didn't feel like everything was falling down around me.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ God's Princess said...

That sounded like me in the first two to three moths, I felt very tired and nauseous! In regards to getting things in order for the baby, I believe that not only should you get physically in order by getting enough rest and the right nutrition - but also psychologically and economically.

Melina xx

Dawn said...

Such good advice! Thank you for sharing it. :)

I am not a mommy yet, hopefully one day, God willing but I want to say to all you mommies...God Bless You! You are so blessed to be raising the next generation for the Lord! May God lead and guide each of you daily according to His purpose.


Anonymous said...

I vote for doing a extensive pre-delivery housecleaning, organizing what you want and need, and giving away the rest.

Funny how that gets so much harder to do once the baby arrives, and that's not really a job you can delegate to relatives or friends later, either.

Going for a daily walk goes a long way toward staying reasonably fit and optimistic, too.

(Though my personal definition of "reasonably fit" is pretty broad, LOL)

Anonymous said...

When the ladies at church wanted to host a shower for my second child, they asked what large item could I use. Having no need of any large item, I asked for meals that could be frozen. They were wonderful! Some came ahead, others after we got home, but all were delicious and put to use! It helped me relax and eat healthy meals myself during those first couple of weeks.

Domestically Inclined said...

There are many great preparation ideas here. I guess I would add preparing your spirit with the word of God. Listen to what God has to say to you about this particular child, and grow your baby on God's words as well. Read to him/her while nursing or feeding. Also, if you have other little ones at home it is a good time to prepare them to be gentle with a baby, and learn to help mommy. I was sick 24/7 for the first three months. Saltine crackers by the bed help tremendously. The smell of food made me sick. I found a health food store that made me an apple yogurt shake with brewers yeast and liquid vitamins and rasberry tablets that I forced down for nutruition. It is the only thing I kept down each day. (Of course check with your doctor or midwife to see what is good for you.)
Music...worship Jesus.

Lily said...

I have six children, if there is one thing I wished I had done differently while waiting for my first baby, it is researching vaccinations. I would suggest researching to the nth degree all the propaganda pro and con regarding vaccinations so the new mom can make educated decisions.

Lydia said...

I agree with this. Find out the list of ingredients in this potion, and look at the alternative websites, and don't take the pharma. company's word for it.

Anonymous said...

If this is your first child, spend some extra time with your husband. Things will never be the same once the baby is born.

Research breastfeeding and have some good support ready to help you if you have a problem. In this area, I recommend using lanolin cream (Lansinoh is a great brand) on your nipples once or twice a day starting about a month before the baby is due. I did this with my first, and I had only soreness but no cracking. When my second child was born, I hadn't done this, and I had a lot of cracking and bleeding.

I like the idea of having meals ready in the freezer. Whether others prepare them or you prepare them in advance, you will really appreciate them when you are exhausted and hungry. Also, make sure you have easy snacks in the home - grapes, baby carrots, whole grain crackers, cereal - if the baby is colicky (like my first child was), you will forget to eat. It's also a good idea to have someone stay with you or check on you after you are home. My mom comes from out of state to stay with us for 2-3 weeks after I have a baby. If your family lives nearby, someone can check on you and make sure you're ok. If you don't have family nearby, make sure someone from your church can come by a few times a week. A new baby can make you feel a little isolated.

Enlist the help of a doula. I found one that works for free (she considers it her ministry and does a GREAT job). I did this with my third, because I wanted to have a natural, drug-free birth (my first two were induced and with epidural). She was able to prepare me in advance much better than the hospital classes did. I had my drug-free birth 10 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, and it was awesome!!! My husband hadn't arrived at the hospital yet, so my doula got to cut the cord. She was thrilled!!

I will heartily second the part about getting organized and getting rid of clutter. It will be very hard to find time to do this later. You will feel so great having it done, so you can relax and enjoy that babe!

Enjoy bring pregnant! Eat healthy and often, go for walks, wear beautiful dresses, and enjoy God's creation in your belly. It's such a great time! My husband doesn't want anymore children, and I'm sad that I will never experience this again. :)

Anonymous said...

One thing that I did during all 3 of my pregnancies was to stock my freezer with lots of ready-made meals. I just made extra whenever I cooked and froze it. It was so easy to have all that food on hand after baby arrived.

Another thing that I did was to accept help from my mother, mother-in-law and my sister after my arrival home from the hospital. It was a special bonding time for us women and I benefited from their experience and knowledge. I was able to rest and recover much faster than I would have otherwise. Now that my dear mother and mother-in-law are departed, I have such wonderful memories to cling to. I know that they enjoyed being a part of that special time and I look forward to the days that I can do that with my daughter/daughter-in-law, God willing.

Mrs. Anna T said...

As someone who is currently expecting - and compared to other women I know, my pregnancy is WONDERFUL and easy - I still feel the need to rest more. Don't feel guilty about it.

Since this is our first time around, I'm doing research on everything related to babies, such as actually giving birth, nursing, how early some form of schedule can be implemented.

Then there's the baby's room to prepare, and the baby's things to arrange. And in my spare time, I do baby crafts!

Kate said...

It's not so much the 9 months of pregnancy that i need advice and ideas on, it's the time post-partum. I always jump the gun and do too much too soon. Part of it is because I still have nesting instincts after I give birth. Another part is that I always have so much to do and not many people to help me do it. Unfortunately, so many women who could otherwise lend new moms a hand don't stay at home and are not available to help.

Little Missy Homemaker said...

I always had that issue myself. We never live near family so it's just me (as my husband tends to travel a bit for work). All the moms I knew then worked, or they stayed home but were never home because they were involved with so many things. I did have two teenage girls nearby who would sometimes entertain my oldest children after school for an hour or two when my youngest was born. That was very helpful even though I didn't get much done, I was extremely anemic and I felt like the living dead.