Preparing for postpartum the first time around I really had no idea what I was doing. Even with as much research as I did prior to having my first I still had no idea what I was in for. Sure I had all the supplies but I didn't know the emotional toll it would take on me. I didn't know to poop for the first time after a baby would be scarier than actually pushing the baby out. I wasn't prepared for the emotional mess I'd become as I struggled with breastfeeding. Or the crazy hunger and thirst surges I'd be experiencing pretty much 24/7. See post "15 Ways Moms Will Struggle The First Six Weeks" for more about some of the struggles of postpartum.
Preparing for postpartum this time is less of getting supplies together, though that was a huge part, but more of mentally preparing myself to just focus on healing and bonding as a new family of four. Making sure to put enough prep work into my business ahead of time so I could afford to take some real time off. We are adding baby #2 so the adjustment from1 to 2 little humans I'm expecting to be filled with chaos and hopefully some sweet moments where the toddler isn't trying to throw things at the baby. I know it won't all be sunshine and rainbows and I'll have some down right crappy days so I'm trying to mentally accept this now. Because lets be real this mom thing is hard... and I imagine it doesn't get any easier when you throw a new baby into the mix.
I had a pretty rough postpartum recovery with my daughter because during delivery I broke my tailbone, dislocated my hip, and tore my pelvis, on top of a really bad vaginal tear. So needless to say I wasn't prepared for that pain or recovery process. Thank goodness I had the support team I did because I'm not sure how I would have gotten thru that without them. I needed a LOT of help.
My experience postpartum as well as the birth of my daughter and how certain things went down in the delivery room was what made us choose the home birth route with a midwife. You can read more about that HERE in "Why I fired my OB and hired a midwife". I have totally different expectations for postpartum care this time and look forward to a much better experience.
Here are some things I focused on while preparing for postpartum for baby #2.
Food prep & budgeting store runs... I'm a very budget-y person. I know for a fact we will be likely using Shipt (which is legit the BEST thing ever) more than normal until I fully get back to my meal planning and cooking routine. Shipt is a grocery delivery service that will have your goodies to you within a few hours. Since we also have a bottomless pit of a toddler Shipt is awesome for being able to order fresh fruits and veggies every few days so nothing goes bad before you get a chance to use it. So we've made sure to set aside some extra funds just for random food runs that are out of the norm for our food budget. I'm also the only one in the house who cooks. My husband really can't even boil water. He can handle the grill with supervision but if it was up to him we'd eat sushi and popcorn every day (legit this was all he ate when we met). Needless to say the idea of what am I going to eat after the baby has been a huge thing I've needed to prepare for. I've done up several easy instapot freezer meals that are loaded with veggies and meat. These we can just grab out of the freezer, dump in the instapot, and have a meal ready in under an hour.
Postpartum healing kit! This is one of the things I made sure to have totally ready. I have it all set up in my bathroom in a basket on the back of my toilet easily accessible so I don't have to dig for things after I've delivered. You can read my "5 MUST haves for your lady bits after birth"! I have all of these items again ready to go. I've even upgraded those mesh sexy underwear to straight up adult diapers. I know I'm clearly the coolest.
Having support people you know that you can call if you're having a rough day. Someone who will come sit with you and fold laundry while you are wearing an adult diaper and leaking breastmilk all over the place, these are the friends/family you need around. Not the ones you feel like you have to put on real clothes for or act like you have everything together in front of. Everyone else can wait until you are feeling human enough to deal. Being prepared to say we aren't ready for guests yet to all the random people who come out of the woodwork just meet the baby.
I made sure to have all kinds of cozy PJs set aside because those are life. With my daughter taking a shower every day even if it was just to change into a fresh set of PJs was one of the things that kept me feeling a little more human. A water bottle that's easy to drink while nursing. I remember being SO thirsty breastfeeding at first that it was crazy! A big giant water bottle that would stay cold during the night was high on my list. I went with a SIC cup which you can read my full review on those here. Seriously these cups are the BEST. Also I saved some TV shows to binge, now I'm not sure how much of this I'll get to do since the toddler will be around but one can dream.
Be sure to follow along this crazy journey on Instagram @wearingmomjeans <3 Come say hi!