Whether you want a baby or not waiting for the results of a pregnancy test takes literally forever. My husband and I stood in the hotel bathroom waiting for the results anxiously and once we found out I was pregnant we were so excited, shocked, overjoyed, horrified, elated, scared, you get the point.
The first few months flew by but soon I realized I was going to have a newborn baby and honestly as much as becoming a mother excited me, I knew the newborn phase could be very dangerous. And what’s worse, we’d just gone through the winter from hell in New England and my son was due (and born) in January… I worried about the double whammy of postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Every excited parent prepares for their baby, I know my husband and I researched high chairs, carseats, cribs, sheets, linens, playpens, strollers, etc… and in addition to that we researched how to introduce your dogs to the new baby and made sure we had enough of everything (onesies, jammies, socks, blankets, bottles and so on) but on the topic of postpartum no one ever talks about preparing for that.
My midwife was great about discussing postpartum and the baby blues and at every appointment said she would always support her mothers if they ever needed anything but I wanted a plan. I thought there’s got to be some tips or tricks I could use just to make sure to keep my spirits up. I know postpartum can happen to anyone and isn’t really avoidable, but I also wanted to be ready. I didn’t formally write anything down, but along with picking out all the stuff we needed, I also prepared for my postpartum.
I started with a few tips, I started saving shows and movies on Netflix to watch during my maternity leave and then I added to it that I was mostly/only saving happy and funny shows. I knew if I started watching Fargo when I was tired, maybe feeling down and emotional that it could easily bring me down into a sad spiral.
I shared this tip and my others with a few other new moms and got some positive feedback. That led me to creating my postpartum action plan. I’m still working on it an adding to it but basically I’m thinking it’s a workbook that expecting moms can go through to plan their postpartum, or at least prepare for it, since it’s so much more than sleep deprivation, feedings and diapers.
My other project is a streamlined baby book. I got a baby book for my son and it doesn’t have space for me to share the things that I actually think are important, like baby’s first steps, first overnight trip away from home, visitors, stuff like that. There are 2 pages devoted to writing your baby’s schedule… Which is confusing because newborns don’t have a schedule and when they do develop a schedule it never lasts so I had an idea for a monthly picture and a few pages devoted to each month. BAM! Easy, streamlined, minimalist and so much better than stupid questions you don’t want to fill out when you can’t even remember your name because you’re so sleep deprived.
In a nutshell I’m pretty excited about my postpartum plan and minimalist baby book. More to come on that later.