Complex Pregnancy & Preparing For Baby

During this time, there was so much uncertainty. Having a complex pregnancy just changes things. For the longest time, I debated even setting up the crib and even buying diapers.  

Was baby going to make it? 

And also if the baby did make it, when would they be coming home?  

The surgeon had told us to expect at least 2-4 weeks if all went well. 

What if it didn’t go well?

Since finding out about our complex pregnancy, all these questions were always swirling around in my head. I am a planner, but there was so much unknown in this situation!

How is a person supposed to plan around that? 

As February came, I decided it was time for me to start doing some things around the house. There was a chance that the baby may not come home with us, but I would make things so much harder on myself if I came back to nothing set up. I made a plan of what I needed to do before the baby came.

I needed to have the mindset that the baby was going to be okay. That things were going to be okay. I think this was the only way I was able to get through it all. As I would slowly do something, it would sneak into my mind, what if I have to put this all away because there is no baby. 

Scary. It is impossible not to feel this way sometimes! I am human! I carried on though, it was a risk I was going to have to take.

Many things had to be done before the baby came. I would recommend any of these things, in no particular order:

Make freezer meals and lots of them!!

I wanted to be sure to have plenty of easy meals available to us when we got home. I wasn’t sure what to expect regarding how demanding the baby would be. This ensured that on difficult nights we would still have a meal! Also, we were hoping that the person who would be watching our other girls would be able to watch them at our home. We knew this would be different for the girls, and then they could have some normalcy. 

One less thing to worry about is always a good thing when adjusting to a new norm! Plus, I love to be in the kitchen, so it was a stress reliever for me.

Few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Some freezer meals need to defrost 24 – 48 hours in advance
  • Make some freezer meals for the slow cooker
  • Make some easy to heat things such as taco meat, breakfast burritos, shredded chicken, and soup.
  • When you make meals, double it and freeze one of them.
  • There are many places that provide recipes. I used Taste of Home for most of mine, as well as Allrecipes, and Large Family Table. I made things such as Tator Tot Hotdish, Meatloaf,

Do some good, deep cleaning including polishing the floors

I knew with this complex pregnancy I would be having a c-section with the baby. My last baby had been born that way, and a v-back was not for me. There is some recovery with the c-section, which can make some household chores difficult. Even though I wasn’t anxious about it, I just wanted to make sure the house wasn’t needing a deep clean when we got home.

Also, with someone else being in our home with the girls, I didn’t want them to feel pressured that they had to clean a lot to keep up. And, a girl needs to nest when having a baby!

If you have the funds, get your house professionally deep-cleaned

I would recommend a professional cleaning you have the extra funds. This was something I decided to fork out the money out for.  Search for deals on Facebook or Craigslist if you are interested in it.  Make sure you check out reviews and verify that it is a reputable company! 

As I had said previously, we were going to be having someone stay at our house with the girls. My sister, who was staying with our girls, didn’t need another thing on her to-do list.  The cleaning allowed my last week before the baby is more relaxing, but it would hopefully provide her with some relief as well!

Line up childcare for the other two girls

I am very fortunate that most of our family lives pretty close to us. I am even luckier that I have an older sister who happens to be single, has no kids but loves kids. She was willing to stay with our girls in our home (most nights), so the girls could at least sleep in their beds every night. This would also help them have a consistent schedule, which we all know kids crave, and one of our girls requires it.

Line up for help with the dog

Sometimes it just wasn’t feasible for my sister to stay at our house every day. For the days she wasn’t going to be at home with our girls, I had to find someone to help with letting out the dog, feeding him, etc. We are very fortunate that our neighbor was willing to help with this!

Get bills paid ahead of time so I didn’t need to worry about it while out

When I first learned I was pregnant, and before I learned I would be having a complex pregnancy, I decided to start saving $50 every week, so things wouldn’t be as hard while I was out of work on maternity leave. It was hard and money was tight. Standard leave is 6 – 8 weeks in the United States, and that is a long time to go without pay. With a complex pregnancy, who knew what to expect! I am happy I had done this. I ended up needing that money more than I had ever anticipated!

Buy diapers, wipes and other baby supplies

I love me some good deals, and I started to watch for some good sales. I was able to stock up on some diapers and wipes primarily. I was very nervous about buying too much, but I figured I had to go with it, so I wasn’t without it. 

Future Tip: Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell any extras!

Wash Clothes and Put Them Away

We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl. I still had all the clothes from Lucy, so I went through it all and picked out the gender-neutral things. We also didn’t know what we were having when Lucy was born, so there were more than enough clothes to pick from! Ugh, and when was Lucy small enough to fit in these?!

Get bottles, toys and the car seat ready

Pulling baby supplies out and getting them ready-made baby even more real. I still had all of these things leftover, so there was also some reminiscing! Oh, how things were going to be different this time.

The car seat. You read all the posts about the best time to install them. Jeremy and I talked about it a lot and decided not to install it…yet.

The first problem was that my vehicle is a tight fit for one kid, a booster seat, and a car seat. Why “crush” the kids any sooner than we had to?

Second, how long would the baby be in the hospital? We already knew from what the surgeon had told us that we could expect 2-4 weeks of inpatient stay—no sense in getting too ahead of ourselves.  

Pack the non-traditional bag for the hospital

We knew the first stay would be more extended than your typical pregnancy. Having a complex pregnancy throws everything out the door! From my research, I already knew that these days could be long and I needed to try to fill them. I started to think of things I would maybe need as well as the baby. For baby, I knew I could get away without bringing too much.

I was okay with the baby using the hospital outfits until we came home, so I packed two going home outfits. I had no idea how big the baby was going to be, so I wanted to be ready. I also brought the baby a blanket. The checklist for the baby wasn’t very long!

Now, I like to overprepare, so I brought a lot of things for myself to do. I brought the baby’s new baby books, books to read(both paper and electronic), chargers galore, chapstick, and several changes of clothes. 

This was on top of all the other things that one would pack in their typical hospital bag. It is so hard to know what you will need with a complex pregnancy, as it is not something you have experienced before. You can read all the discussion posts, but hospitals are so different, as well as your wants and needs. I will say, in this situation, I did feel it was better to over-prepare than to under-prepare. It is hard enough to leave the baby, but I knew it would be hard not to be with the baby but rather be at the store.

Have a family night the weekend before the baby comes

I knew when the baby was coming since I was having a c-section. We are very much homebodies, and we typically do not do these kinds of things, and they are very much a “treat.” Before the baby came, we wanted to do something special with our girls. Given the complex pregnancy, knew our lives would probably be changing drastically. 

So, the Saturday before the baby was born, we went and saw a movie as a family, bought some (junk) food at McDonald’s, and drove around to look at area flooding.  We typically save this kind of thing for a birthday treat, but who knew what the next year would bring? This was made even better considering we were the only people in the theater.  I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it was a fun activity for us. It was a weekend I know I will not forget!

Everyone’s list is going to vary significantly due to needs, but these were some of the big things I wanted to be checked off before the baby came. 

The baby came at the end of March, but I started making my list in January, started checking it off in February. I am so thankful I worked ahead as I did!

What things did you do before your baby came? 

Which ones would you do again or leave behind?

~Jessi

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