Today, I am 35 weeks + 4 days pregnant with our third child. Unusually for me, I have gone to great lengths to prepare for baby’s homecoming.
The first time around we were sort of ready but not exactly and in the end I gave birth at 37 weeks +4 days on the bathroom floor without any pain relief (apart from arnica – who knew?), no medical supervision and the hilarious comedy duo of my sister and my husband for support. One didn’t catch the baby, the other was downstairs on the ‘phone – not sure why he chose that particular moment to use the landline….? Anyway, that’s a (very good) story for another time.
The second time we were nowhere near ready – we didn’t have a kitchen, hot water or heating due to some charlatan scummy builder and his cronies and I went into labour at 35 weeks. At least we managed to get to the hospital in time and I had a blissful three days in hospital bonding with our second daughter whilst my husband dealt with everything else.
So this time, I thought I ought to get my arse into gear a little bit. God willing, I know what to expect this time. I know I’m not going to get any sleep for six months. I know about labour and what I need in my bag. I actually feel like I know STUFF. Of course, as it’s third time around there wasn’t much we needed to buy. So, of course, I went on an online spending spree during the post-Christmas lull and bought a whole load of new stuff.
I’ve decided to decamp to the spare room once our new team member arrives so that my lovely husband gets enough rest at night (the first time I made him stay awake every time I had to feed our baby) and also so that my new little man and I aren’t disturbed by husband’s incessant snoring. I also thought the girls would probably want to keep popping in to see me or their new brother and being in the spare room will make this a lot easier. So ‘our room’ isn’t the nursery, it is a room intended for us both to share until he’s six months of age at which point we may look at moving him into a smaller room in the house.
For those of you new to the parenting malarkey or – like me – an ‘older mother’ (rude), here’s a run down of the bits and bobs I considered essential in preparing for the final addition to Team Saul:
SnuzPod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib with Mattress £179.95
Now, having used a Moses Basket for my first two, this is an entirely unnecessary purchase. However, I was woo-ed by the design and the fact it has a breathable, zip down mesh wall which means I can access him a lot easier when he needs feeding, I can hold his hand or comfort him as he goes to sleep or when he stirs in the night and he can easily see me through the mesh. As I ended up feeding both girls through the night (I’m talking 7pm til 7am), I will do anything that may make night feeding a little easier.
I had huge reservations about ordering this from the NCT shop – the only reason I did was because they were the only stockist to still have Dove Grey available. Turns out I was right as the whole process was an utter, utter ball-ache. We received the product almost immediately (29 Dec I think) but it took another three weeks for us to be able to assemble it due to a couple of faulty parts which we weren’t able to report until the NCT offices opened on 6 January. They referred us directly to Little Green Sheep who were hugely helpful and compensated with fitted sheets and a mattress protector but seriously, the process nearly sent me over the edge.
Sleepyhead Deluxe Portable Baby Pod, Chevron, 0-8 months, £109
Again, a seemingly entirely unnecessary purchase but it’s so nice to look at and I really think will help Master Saul feel all snuggly and comfy. A friend of mine has one and said it really worked with getting her little one to sleep. I love the fact that it fits nicely into the SnuzPod, can be used on its own in the bed if baby really needs to be next to me and also that I take it around the house with me (which apparently you can also do with the SnuzPod bassinet but there ain’t no way I’ll be attempting that – much too heavy) and indeed away with us when we need to visit family etc, meaning it can sort of be like a ‘home from home’ for him.
Mama Designs cellular blankets, £19 each
I have literally been coveting these for the past 20 weeks or so. They are just so delightful to look at compared to the boring white ones I had for the girls and are deliciously soft and snugglesome and extra large. I love the fact they add jewel-like pops of colour to the room. As you can see, yellow and grey is a bit of a theme so I went for a blanket in the same colourway plus another in orange with a teal trim. I’ll be taking that to the hospital with me so that baby isn’t just clothed and swaddled in white.
Faye and Lou muslin squares, £28.95 for a pack of 7
OK so as a third-time Mum we don’t need anymore muslins in the house, but the ones we do have are grey and icky looking. These will hopefully retain their colour, help me figure out which ones are mine when I’m out and about with other new Mums and again, I love the jewel-like pops of bright colour they’ll add to wherever we are. Bright colours make me happy. I’ve already packed a couple in the hospital bag, but here are the others – washed, tumble dried and very, very soft.
Ikea DRONA storage boxes, £2.50 each
Because, who doesn’t need to hide away all the crap that comes with having small people? We already had the unit so just gave it a refresh with yellow and grey storage baskets. These will really help in terms of stowing away nappies, wipes, nappy bags, creams, muslins, thermometers, medicines and so on in the first instance and later on, the plethora of toys and books we’ve got packed away in the loft. The teddy bear lamp has been with me since my early 20s – purchased from a cute little boutique in Moseley, Birmingham and the chihuahua print has just been moved from a different bedroom.
Boob breastfeeding tops, £29.99 each
I had managed to gather a pretty vast selection of Boob clothing from my first two babies but unfortunately ended up giving them all away so I’ve had to purchase a couple more feeding vests from the brand. They’re certainly not the cheapest on the market but I can honestly vouch for how amazing they are. Super easy to use and really help discreet breast feeding, which isn’t something I’m too precious about, but it helps when I’m at the inlaws!
Hand-knitted mittens, booties and hat, priceless
My lovely aunty, who is in her 80s, knitted plenty of items for the girls and last week she delivered these beautiful accessories for baby. I just love that everything she does is so heart felt and we will cherish these forever.
So, in a complete departure from what I usually write about, that’s a brief run down of how we’ve prepared for the impending arrival of our new housemate. Stand by for more hormonally driven pieces about what to pack for the hospital bags (an honest list!) and a review of the hypnobirthing classes we’ve been attending.