Preparing for Baby

The Brambila household has a very busy month.  I’ve got a nice, long list of things I’d like to cross off before labor starts.  It’s been a good 8 years since I found myself preparing for a baby, but I’m hoping we can get most of it accomplished.  My honest goal is to do everything I can to make the first couple of weeks back home as easy as possible.  Being home with a new born is far from easy, but a little preparation goes a long way in my experience.  I know as a first time mom, I spent a lot time researching what I could do the get ready for the huge changes that a new baby brings, so I want to share a few things I’m planning on tackling over the next month.

I had planned on a deload week this week, and my body was definitely looking forward to a bit of a break.  I shared during my 8 month bump date that with the baby either getting larger or dropping lower, longer runs are just not comfortable for me.  I started off the week with a couple of 4 mile run; one on the treadmill and one outside.  I took a planned rest day on Wednesday and thought I’d probably run a couple of 4 mile runs on Thursday and Friday.  Things went according to plan Thursday, but Thursday night I had some fun times with insomnia.

I woke up around 11:30 and could not fall back asleep until about 2am.  When my alarm went off Friday morning, I knew getting out of bed for a run was not happening.  I also had a work baby shower scheduled for later in the day, so I decided to just take the day as a second rest day.  I crashed pretty hard Friday evening, and felt amazing on my Saturday run.  As much as I would have loved to spend all morning on my feet, I still felt some pressure and noticed a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions.  I decided a 4 mile run and a 1 mile walk is probably just about as far as I can go without pushing things.  Which means last week was my last week of “long” runs on the weekend.

As much as I’m missing the time on my feet, I know I’m making the best decision for my body.  My husband and I had our last ultrasound on Tuesday, and saw the baby is in fact very low, and there are changes that show my body is getting ready for labor.  Does it mean I’ll be not pregnant in the near future?  No.  But it is nice to know there’s some sort of end in sight.  Knowing that we’ve got a month or less, here are the projects I’m hoping to get done before baby B makes his or her appearance.

Preparing for Baby

  • Install Car Seat – I’m one of those people that takes car seat safety super seriously, and since it’s been 8 years since I’ve used an infant seat, I wanted to make sure I had time to read the manual.  Thankfully, my vehicle and car seat both allow LATCH borrowing, and getting the base installed didn’t take long at all.  But car seat installation does require some research, so I’d recommend giving yourself some time to get it done.
  • Create a Birth Plan – If you have ANY specific preferences for the big event, it’s so important to get them down on paper and have a discussion with your provider beforehand.  You never know if there are barriers to something you might want, and having a conversation well in advance can help make sure you have time to troubleshoot.
  • Laundry – Do you need to have every single baby outfit laundered and ready to go?  Nope.  But you will be amazed at just how quickly laundry piles up once there is a newborn in the house.  So my recommendation is to try to stay on top of laundry for the month leading up to your due date.  When you do come home with your infant, the last thing you want to worry about is making sure you have clean towels.
  • Hospital Bags – Most women deliver in the week or two after their due date, which can make it tempting to put off getting a hospital bag set and ready.  Plus, it’s pretty likely you’ll be home for a while before you head in to the hospital.  However, I recommend having a packing list of things you want to remember and tossing anything you won’t be needing (like nursing bras) into the bag ahead of time.  There’s plenty of items you’ll need to grab last minute (like toiletries and electronics); you don’t want to spend your time grabbing things that could have been prepped ahead of time.
  • Hospital Registration – Most hospitals will let you do a pre-registration online before you head in.  This little step can help in the event that you forget your insurance card and can get you back to your room just a little faster.
  • Baby Station Set Up – If you’re living in anything larger than a two bedroom apartment, I really recommend setting up a few “baby stations” in different areas of the house.  We have a diaper caddy in our bedroom and downstairs (in addition to the changing set up in the nursery) so that I won’t have to wander around the house just to change a diaper.  I also set up everything I think I’ll need for nursing in my nightstand next to my bed, and a postpartum area in my bathroom.  Is this absolutely necessary?  No, but I do think it might make the first week or two just a little easier.
  • Meal Prep – This is actually what I plan to tackle during the holiday weekend.  Having a few meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner stored in the freezer can be a LIFESAVER in the first few weeks.  Even something simple like shredded chicken that can be made into a quesadilla or tacos to save time.  It can be time consuming, but not having to cook or order food for every meal goes a long way to making life simpler.
  • FMLA Paperwork – The FMLA process in the US is not made for easy access.  I promise it is the last thing you want to navigate immediately after delivery.  I recommend contacting your HR representative and asking for any paperwork your provider may need to fill out so that you can get it all taken care of well in advance.  Most providers request 2-4 weeks before they get the documentation back to you, so taking care of it ahead of time is useful.
  • Cleaning – The good old nesting instinct tends to kick into gear during the last month.  Unfortunately, you might also be really tired.  But there’s nothing that feels better than coming home to a clean house.  If you have the room in your budget, you might consider having a house cleaner come do a deep clean the week of your due date just to help.
  • Yoga – One of the best ways you can help your body prep for labor is prenatal yoga.  It can help ensure your pelvis and hips are in a good position for labor, and help your body feel as comfortable as possible in the last few weeks.

This Weeks Workouts

Total Miles: 16  Miles
Total Workouts: 3
How the Run Felt
This week felt pretty great.  I do notice that I’m starting to have more Braxton Hicks when I stop running for a while, and I spoke to my OB about it.  She said that at this point in pregnancy, Braxton Hicks aren’t anything to be concerned about.  So we are good to continue as long as I’m not feeling any pain or discomfort, which I’m not.  I felt like I had a little more energy during my runs, and I feel like that probably has a lot to do with the decreased mileage overall.

I decided to end my runs with a mile or two walk this week, mostly because I’ve been loving the temperatures outside.  It’s kind of incredible how much getting outside at least once a day really helps with my mood.  I honestly wished that I could have spent a few more hours outside on Saturday, but I know that a total of about 6 miles is about as far as I can go before I start feeling pelvic pressure.  I’m really looking forward to the days that I can spend all morning running around again.

How the WODs Felt
I had planned on doing my usual four workouts per week, so I was honestly a little bummed that I needed to cut Friday’s workout.  But with the night of crappy sleep, and the baby shower, fitting in a workout would have just left me feeling crappy.  I was pretty happy that I was able to work up to 105lb for my one rep thruster.  It’s not my favorite lift (by any stretch), but one at a time isn’t too bad.  The rest of the workouts this week felt pretty great.

What I’ve Been Listening
The Run Hard Mom Hard podcast interviewed a woman who recently ran the TDS ultramarathon, where a runner tragically died on the course and thousands of runners had to be rerouted in not great weather conditions.  It was such an intense listen, but I think it was great info for every ultrarunner to listen to.  I also listened to a full show this week called Suspect.  It’s a true crime series from Wondery that covers a murder that took place more than a decade ago.  Initially, a suspect was arrested and charged with the crime, but so much of the DNA evidence was called into question, and after a full 10 years in prison, he was found not guilty.  It did require a subscription, but it was so interesting, and I learned so much about DNA evidence.  Initially, I always assumed that DNA evidence was something that would make a case open and shut, but there’s so much more to it that I had no clue about.

What Went Well
My legs and body sure appreciated the decreased mileage this week.

What Went Shitty
Pregnancy insomnia is no joke, and I’m not a fan.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Just try to survive the next few weeks as a pregnant person.

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