Who can believe it, we’ve made it to the third trimester already! I was so worried this pregnancy would drag due to the pandemic, but actually doing everything from home has meant the days have all blurred by and here we are with less than 12 weeks to go!
As it’s the second time around, I’m definitely feeling a lot more chill about everything but I do know I need to get my bum in gear and start getting organised for baby’s arrival. On the flip side, it also means I don’t need to buy every baby product on offer just because they exist, on the off chance I might have to use it, and I know exactly the right items you do and don’t need for when those contractions start.
Prep and pack hospital bag
This is the biggie and it always freaks me out because unless you’ve opted for an elective caesarean (and even if you have) baby can come at any time they feel like it so that bag has to be ready weeks in advance of the due date, just in case. This time I won’t pack it so far in advance at midnight on a boring Tuesday though, as I don’t fancy ending up with two shampoos and no soap again (my body was super-shiny and dried a treat post-birth).
Pack a toddler bag
This time round, another bag will be required for the little man. In case this baby doesn’t have the good sense to want to arrive on a Friday morning or afternoon while he’s in nursery, ready to go home together by bedtime, you’ll bet that a grandparent will be called on for emergency childcare (or just babysitting, if we ever get out of this lockdown!). Again it’s a minefield as one would hope for a smooth sailing birth and home not long after, but just in case we are away longer and dad has to work/sleep after being glued to my hand following a long, gruelling labour, who knows how much is too much to pack for a toddler in this circumstance?
Confirm a birth plan
This is something I was very relaxed about first time around and will probably be annoying midwives with this time around too. I basically put my hands in the care of the professionals, other than wanting to avoid an epidural if possible (there is nothing 100% off limits in my birth plan) it’s basically a case of do what you need to, to ensure mum and baby are ok, and keep a variety of drugs on standby because I’m not a hero and have a low pain threshold, thanks!
Last pregnancy, I got away with wearing a lot of my normal clothes for a good period of time, thanks to the previous misfortune of having IBS and dealing with a stomach that is prone to a decent bloat. I bought a few maternity pieces and borrowed some larger-sized tops from my mum, and as it was summer, everything was a breeze and there weren’t many layers involved. This time, I’ve been living in the same four woolly jumpers all winter and am struggling to zip up my coats, but am having the internal dilemma of whether to buy a winter maternity coat so close to spring. Coat or not, the vastly different season has meant I’m having to update my maternitywear this time round.
Buy last few essentials for baby
As this is baby number two, and I’m slightly prone to hoarding, we already have a lot of the big ticket items you need for a baby, not to mention generous friends already sharing and gifting baby things. That coupled with every child in Scotland receiving a baby box full of useful items, means we’re pretty much set when it comes to all the basics. However, we did give away some items to friends a few months behind us on their parenting journey and we lost a few things in a house fire when Travis was still very young, so some of those need replaced.
This one is a slight cheat, it’s not the nursery as such (when did a nursery that wasn’t a childcare provider become a thing?) but currently our spare room. Since moving we’ve massively used it for storing things we haven’t yet found a place for, housing Travis’ toys that don’t fit anywhere else and as a sort-of-office set up whilst working from home. Obviously the latter will stop when the little one arrives, but there’s some clearing out to be done as well as building furniture for baby clothes to be stored.
Start planning work handover
Although work weeks feel like they are dragging by in the pandemic whilst pregnancy weeks seem to fly by (how is that possible?) I’ve come to the realisation there’s not many five-day working weeks left between now and May. Due to a combination of annual leave and bank holidays, I can now count on one hand the full-time working weeks before maternity leave kicks in. That means it’s time to think about taking it down from 100mph and start noting and showing how and when I do things so the transition for colleagues is easier, and so my brain can calm a bit on the work front whilst birth plans and nursery prep floats around my head.
Look into online ante-natal classes
The first time round, I think I had been to about three different ante natal classes by now. In 2021, coronavirus is still running rampant so there have been no in-person ante natal classes provided for about a year now. That doesn’t mean to say there won’t be information available online, I just have to start looking for it. I’m glad I’ve been through this before so sort of remember what to expect, but its nice to have the resources and reassurances from professionals about the process of labour and breastfeeding etc.
Start to decide names together
We took a lot of flack first time around for knowing we were having a boy but not deciding on Travis’ name until a few days after he was born. The truth is, it’s really hard to pick a forever name for another human! Of course there are names we like and names that have to be vetoed for traumatic purposes (school bullies, horrible bosses, baddies in films) or for more practical reasons (same name as other friends/family members’ kids, same name as your other children’s friends) but it’s probably time to get serious about our best contenders. Although I’m absolutely certain on not naming a child until I’ve properly taken them in and held them in my arms.
Nice and timely as spring is fast approaching (I hope), it’s time to start thinking about the big spring clean, de-cluttering and organising our wardrobe switchovers from jumpers and heavy coats to short sleeves and spring jackets. All the while, I’m hoping my nesting instinct will kick in – it doesn’t seem to have made an appearance so far – and I’ll have a tidy house, tidy mind and homely space ready to welcome our new arrival.
What’s top of your list for the third trimester?