10 things I wish I had done BEFORE baby arrived...

There is a meme that goes around that says "Every month of pregnancy has 30-31 days except for the last month, which has 10,348 days." I am here to say there is no truer meme. Ha! So while you are waiting to meet your precious newborn, read over these 10 things I wish I would've done before baby arrived. 

1.) Talk about a birth plan. Obviously births can be full of surprises as well. But educating yourself on options during birth is super helpful when they ask you what you want while you are feeling the worst pain of your life. Need some help with birth coaching or education? Consider hiring a doula. Click here for more information. 

2.) Freezer meals. No one has time for home-cooked meals post-baby, so do as much as you can before. In addition to this, I would make a meal plan of very simple meals you can make and have on hand. 

3.) Pamper yourself. Get your nails done, hair done, a massage, or whatever it is that helps you to relax. You deserve it! 

4.) Pick a pediatrician. Make sure you have your pediatrician all lined up and ready to go. 

5.) Childcare. If you work, make sure you figure out your childcare options when your maternity leave is up. 

6.) Date night! Revel in this baby-free time while you have it. Life after baby isn't easy on a relationship. Sleep-deprivation, being overwhelmed, and being in post-baby pain can sometimes cause us to squabble with our partners simply because we are tired, overwhelmed, and frustrated. It really helps to do some pre-baby bonding to strengthen your relationship. Make sure you talk about expectations for after baby arrives as well. 

7.) Postpartum wardrobe. If you plan on nursing, make sure you invest in an awesome nursing bra or two. But even if you don't plan on nursing, there is a weird time post-pregnancy where you're maternity clothes look weird and your regular clothes don't quite fit yet. Get your postpartum wardrobe with the following items: Bras and Tanks (nursing ones, if you are nursing), Underwear (get some that you don't really care about that you can throw away once the bleeding stops), Jeans that are a couple sizes bigger, yoga pants (you will live in this!), Flowy tops (tight tops tend to make us still look 5 months pregnant), a beautiful maxi dress for those gorgeous newborn photos you will be wanting. 

8.) Deep clean. Looking back, I wish I had hired someone to do this, just this once. Who feels like mopping floors when they are 9 months pregnant? Plus, you certainly wont be getting that done once baby arrives. Can't afford to hire someone? Look on the bright side, maybe all that mopping and sweeping will make you go into labor! :) And while your at it, get rid of all the junk. Clutter can get out of control fast. Go through your house and donate, trash, recycle, or box up as much as stuff as possible. 

9.) Organize Everything. Wash, separate, organize all the baby things before baby arrives. Don't forget to give your partner a tour of where everything is at. It never failed that every time I asked my husband to fetch me a burp cloth, pacifier, diaper, wipe, bottle, or whatever he would give me this blank stare. Ha! So make sure you give your husband (and any older children) an orientation on the location of all the important things. :) 

10.) Maternity Pictures. Each pregnancy/birth is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you cannot recreate. Women often don't want pictures during this time because they feel they do not look their best. In short, we feel like giant whales. But I have been trained extensively in posing and photographing expecting women in a way that makes them feel beautiful. Trust me. Not only will you enjoy looking back on these later in life but so will your child. 

Enjoy these sneak peeks from one of my most recent maternity sessions with Heidi Fombelle located at Kickapoo Creek Park in Lincoln, Illinois. Interested in having me capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, click here. 

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