Let me start off by saying my pregnancy with Pack was rough. I was not a glowy happy pregnant lady. I was a sick, living off IVs, barely getting out of bed pregnant lady. Although I had no control over my sickness I 100% had control over my attitude! Looking back there are so many things I could have done to make it a better experience and so many things I wish I would have done so I could better remember being pregnant — I thought everyone was lying too, but trust me you really do forget.
So here are some tips and tricks of things I’d do different next pregnancy – including everything from what I would & wouldn’t buy- to post baby game plans with your spouse and everything in between!
I think the first and most important thing that came to my mind when deciding what I’d do different was CHOOSE JOY. I chose to be upset that my clothes didn’t fit while all my friends rocked high waisted denim and cute swim suits, I chose to be upset I was sick, I chose to be upset that I couldn’t do what everyone else was doing. Instead this is what I will do – recognize the phase of life you’re in! The clothes will still be there when you’re done being pregnant, and until then choose cute maternity clothes (you only get to rock the bump for so long). Choose to be okay that you can’t always hang, you get tired – hello you’re growing a person! Choose to find things that bring you joy when you’re sick – work on your list of names, stalk facebook marketplace, pin inspo for baby’s nursery! Or if you’re feeling up for it, go grab your favorite treat, watch a good movie, get a pedicure – the possibilities are endless when we choose joy rather than choosing to be miserable. Trust me, I know.
Get ready! Oh man you’re going to be tempted to lounge around all day in your husbands sweats and not touch your hair or let’s be real, even look in a mirror. But starting the habit of getting ready (on days when you can of course) before baby comes is SO helpful! I am a firm believer in investing in clothes for your pregnancy that makes you feel like a million bucks. My maternity clothing guide will come out Friday (YAY keep those eyes peeled) – but just a few of my favs are – flowy dresses (I’m loving the smocked trend and so bump friendly!) oversized graphic tees with leggings and biker shorts, a really comfy (but cute of course) pair of mom sneakers and body con t-shirt dresses! Ill share links and all the favs in my upcoming post!
SHARE SHARE SHARE. Post the bump update, tell people how you’re feeling. I personally loving knowing what size fruit your baby is! You are going to want to go back and look at all the posts and bump pictures, even when you felt like crap. I took a total of four, yep thats right, four bump pics my entire pregnancy. You wont find a single one of them on instagram and I regret it. Big time. — The best part is, even if you feel obnoxious and don’t want the whole world to see it — archive it! You will want it there some day or in a chat book eventually. I also completely recognize the desire to not say anything because of friends or family struggling with infertility or miscarriage. I recognize why you would dim your joy to spare them pain. I say this as someone who watched as people announced pregnancies while I was going through a loss. Share it anyways. Don’t let your anxiety about hurting someones feelings stop you from posting about your baby – there are people that want to see it! Those who are struggling might feel the need to either unfollow or mute you for a while and thats totally fine! They get their chance to grieve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your joy and document your journey. That being said – be sensitive and kind to those around you we truly have no idea what others are going through. – If you’re fighting the battle of fertility I hope you know we are cheering you on! We can’t wait for the day you show off your little one, but for now, we love you even if our social media is just too much for your heart right now.
Journal, Scrapbook, Private Instagram, Vsco whatever you choose have an outlet to write it ALL down, every feeling, crazy pregnancy dream (I had some insane ones) and picture you take. You’ll want to look back and see them all (yes, even the unflattering ones). You’re kids and grandkids will want to read all about your pregnancy, know your cravings and all the names you almost called them! Don’t bank on remembering! Pack is four months and I have already forgotten most of it. Whatever way works the best for you, document all the little moments.
BORROW BORROW BORROW. Every baby is different. Your neighbors, best friends bother in law might swear by the Mamaroo or the Snoo or any one of the ridiculously expensive baby items. Don’t get me wrong I think they are awesome too and if they work they are probably worth every penny! BUT what if they don’t? I had a Mamaroo with Pack and he hated it. Preferred the basic bouncer or bassinet that didn’t move or rock him. Next time, I’m going to ask around – see who has what and ask to borrow. If baby likes it then I invest, or find a rental service (yep they exist). Not sure your baby will like a certain toy? Schedule a play date with someone that has it, borrow from a friend who has kids that are older, get one of facebook market place. There are so many options to try things out before you spend lots of money on something you aren’t quite sure they will like.
While we are on the topic of baby clothes lets talk gender neutral! I kind of did this but wish I would have done it more. Buying cute ribbed jammies, neutral solid color clothing or things with minimal pattern are usually my fav anyways but it’s SO smart if this is your first baby and want to be able to reuse clothing! Fun little drool bandanas and sneakers turn all the basics into cute boy clothes while flats and a bow will make anything girly! Don’t get me wrong, pack still has some dinosaur and truck outfits and if we ever have a girl they will get lots of frilly dresses but its so nice to have basics that every baby will need in neutrals! (sleepers, blankets, bibs, socks, jumpers etc.)
I know there is a huge debate about newborn photos and birth videos being worth it and man I wish I would have done it. Pack was a December, Covid, NICU baby (aka the terrible trifecta) and I put our whole house on lock down for like a month but man they change fast! I induced last time and it was the best thing ever – if my next doctor is okay with induction I am definitely having someone come take newborn photos in the hospital and photos when we bring the baby home within the first week or two.
Okay this is easily one the of most important things you can do. Set expectations. Set them with your husband – what days will he take off work? What can he do to help you? What can he be in charge of to take a load off your plate? What will paternity leave look like? Set them with family – When can people meet the baby? Who can come to the hospital? Do they need their vaccinations? Set them with your mom and mother in law – Are they wanting to come stay and help with baby? How long? Who is coming first? These expectations take a load off your plate and helps to make sure everyone is on the same page! No hurt feelings and a smoother transition as you bring baby home.
Last but certainly not least – a postpartum depression game plan. Postpartum can hit anyone at any time regardless of previous mental health history. Having a plan just in case is the best option, even if you don’t need it it’s better to have been prepared than to struggle and not know where to go. Find the contact to a good postpartum therapist, find the days and time mom groups meet and talk with your spouse about the signs and symptoms so you have someone to also be on the lookout for your wellbeing.
After having Pack and being able to find joy in the delivery and postpartum journey I knew there were ways to find it in pregnancy as well! It was also so much easier to see things I could have done differently in hindsight rather than when in the moment! Im curious what you’d do different? Or if you did something you loved and want to do it every time! What was it?