You have been pregnant for 9 months now with one (maybe two or three) baby so that’s the only addition to your household when you return from the hospital, right? Most likely, WRONG! If this is your first child, or worse the first grandchild on either side of the family, you can expect to be inundated with visitors. You will have local friends just wanting to stop by to meet the little one as well as extended stay visitors. And if you don’t live in the same town as the two sets of grandparents (not to mention aunts and uncles) you can expect house guests as well. This is something that you want to arrange right now, to avoid confusion later. If someone will need to be picked up at the airport, enlist a local friend to handle this for you. You will likely have all sorts of offers for help in this busy time, so take them up on it. If you can manage it, it really is best to have them stay in a hotel for their visit. However, this is not always possible and you will need to figure out who will be sleeping where and for how long. Because believe me, you will be in no mood to deal with playing a gracious hostess when you return from the hospital. So take the time now to arrange who will be staying where and when. Also, I would say you are well within your rights as the new mother to assign tasks to the visitors – such as cooking and helping with the laundry. After all, you are the one that just expelled a baby from your body for the enjoyment of all. So set up shop on the comfiest place on the couch with baby in arms and just enjoy these first moments because before you know it you will be sending them off to their first day of kindergarten.
Another thing to start planning for is meals for the first few weeks after you return from the hospital. Stock up on pre-made meals like enchiladas, lasagnas and the like that can just be popped into the oven, with minimal effort. It will take you a while to both adjust to your new sleep routine, as well as the many new tasks of the day. Trust me, a hungry newborn will be hard to set down to make your own dinner but eating is vital to your own recovery, and to your baby’s health if you are breastfeeding.
Word of the Week
Fontanels – noun – one of the spaces, covered by membrane, between the bones of the fetal or young skull. (www.dictionary.com)