Sometimes things just don’t go as planned during pregnancy and the baby has to come earlier than expected. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now because your little love decided it was time to come early, just breathe.
I am here to tell you it will be OK. Our now one year old, Nicolas came to us 3 weeks earlier than expected and we were not ready at home.
We had recently moved and still hadn’t finished unpacking and the nursery still was not ready. Nicolas was supposed to be due on June 7th and I found out I needed to be induced on May 17th and he graced us with his presence May 18, 2017.
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My Fluid levels were low and it seemed like my Placenta just stopped wanting to work so I had to be induced. We were told this was possible the week before when they did a sonogram and saw my fluid level was a little low.
Nothing had changed at my next check up and my numbers were actually lower so they said I needed to go to the hospital right then so I could get admitted (our hospital was right across from our OB).
I remember my OB coming in our room and telling me it was time for the baby to come, I just started crying, we were not ready and this was not the plan. I had 3 more weeks to get the house ready.
She reassured me everything would be fine, he was a few days under 37 weeks which was good, she gave me a big hug and said I will see you later. I was in panic mode though.
Harper our 4 year old was still at daycare and needed to be picked up, our OB was running so behind that day it was almost 6 o’clock and Harper’s school closed at 6:30.
We started calling Eric’s parents, which we had just moved 5 min away from, thank goodness and they picked up Harper from Daycare. There was a stomach bug going around at her school that week so she couldn’t even come up to see us at the Hospital that night.
My parents were on vacation in Colorado and they had driven there, we live in TX. I remember making so many phone calls sitting in the hospital to be admitted, Daycare to let them know Papa may be late to get Harper, then my Mom telling her the baby needed to come – they made it and I don’t even want to know how fast my Dad was driving.
It was a crazy few hours that quickly settled once we had our family circle helping us out. Plus my parents made it just in the “Nic” of time ( you see what I did there, sorry I like puns).
Nicolas was born healthy, weighing 5 lbs 8 oz and 18.5 inches long. He was just so small, which I thought Harper was small, and she was 6 lbs 1 ounce at birth.
We had to stay in the hospital for 3 days. Nic had to get his blood sugar checked every 3 hours (if I remember correctly) the first 24 hours after he was born, which was a foot prick every time, poor baby.
Then he had to do well for the next few days after that for us to be able to go home. He was so small we had to do a car seat test before we left. Eric even had to go out and buy a new car seat because Nic was too small to fit in the one we had ( the one we had started at 5 lbs. and the one we had to buy started at 4lbs).
Our next few days and weeks were filled with Doctor appointments, a lot of blood work and Pediatrician follow ups. He had a little jaundice so we spent time in the sun and we had to supplement his feedings in addition to breast milk for few days for him to gain some weight.
By 2 months we were all normal with no more extra doctor visits and loving our time at home as a family of four.
I know some babies are born earlier than Nic, at three weeks, but I would like to think this list would help anyone that had their baby early, even a first time Mom.
Looking back I realized all the things that helped me get through the craziness when he was born. It might be a small list but it helped us in a huge way. I hope it will help you too.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – Nic’s room didn’t have a dresser to put clothes in or any of his wall stuff hung ( in fact I still haven’t put up everything – note to self, put on To-Do list).
All of his clothes had been washed but were folded in his crib for the longest time. It didn’t matter though. He still had clean clothes to wear and he slept in his little rocker next to my side of the bed. So it did not even matter that his room was not “done”.
You will just get yourself worked up if you think about all the little things that really do not make a difference right now. Like the nursery not being ready, or the To Do list you had to finish before baby’s arrival. Your baby and healing yourself is what matters right now. You can focus on the other little (or big) things after you have healed and gotten settled as a Mom.
Accept help from others – If your friends or family offer help, take it! A woman who just gave birth or had a C-section should accept all the help she can get.
Let them clean your house if offered, or do the laundry, or bring you dinner. Let them watch the baby so you can go take a quick shower or better yet take your time in the shower if someone is there.
They will let you know if the baby needs you. There is NOTHING wrong with accepting help from others at this time, or any other as a matter of fact. I need to remind myself of that too.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If someone asks if you need anything don’t be afraid to speak up. All the clothes we had from our baby shower or had bought for Nic were HUGE on him and nothing would fit.
I told my Mother in Law and she bought and washed clothes so he would have some that fit! She went around EVERYWHERE looking for preemie size because that is what he needed.
I did not even have to ask her. I just mentioned none of his clothes were fitting and she set us up, thank goodness too because I did not have the time or energy to go around looking for clothes.
Point – I am sure a Grandma would love to shop for her new grand baby if asked but you may not even have to say the words if you are in need.
*If you are ever in search for preemie size Carter’s and Wal Mart had the best selections I believe.*
Just remember to ask for help, when someone ask if you need anything and something pops in your mind just say it, the least they can do is say no and I bet they won’t.
Cleaning can wait – The house may seem a mess especially if you have other kids helping make the mess. No one cares how your house looks after you have a baby because – You Just Had A Baby!
In fact to this day when I get unexpected visitors I always say ” Oh please excuse our mess” and they are always like “You’ve got kids, no worries” ( Yay, an excuse for a messy house for the rest of your life, or until the kids move out at least).
Point is, you need the rest and I am sure your husband won’t mind doing a few extra chores. Besides, the newborn stage goes by SO FAST so soak it all up while you can!
Plan ahead – Plan ahead when you can. Depending on how early your baby arrived you may have extra Doctor Appointments.
Nic was only 3 weeks early but some of our appointments took hours because I had to go to the hospital after his Doctor’s office so they could do certain screening for his blood draws or testing (your Dr. might be different and can do everything in their office).
Make sure the diaper bag is packed and ready to go the night before because getting ready with a newborn can be hectic at times and unexpected things can happen. Like a diaper blowout right before you leave or an unexpected feeding, then spit up everywhere – trust me it happens.
Pack extra diapers, burp cloths, baby clothes in case you are out longer than expected, babies can be messy so you should always have extra clothes for them and sometimes yourself.
If you have other children you might want to think about having someone else watch them while you take the Baby to the Doctor. You can even have someone come with you to your appointments to be a 2nd set of ears, after all you may be so tired you might forget what the Dr. told you.
Say No – It’s OK – Having a baby can mean a lot of visitors. Everyone loves to cuddle and love on a baby. It can get overwhelming sometimes.
Do not be afraid to say no to visitors. You can say it in a polite way – Now is not a good time, we are tired. What about another day, we haven’t had much rest.
Or – We have had a lot of visitors recently and need to take a day to ourselves, tomorrow? It is OK to say no to visitors so don’t be afraid to.
Just Breathe – Lastly, Just Breathe. When you start to feel overwhelmed just stop for a second and breathe. Then remember everything you just read above and see where you need the help and call someone.
Your emotions are going to be CRAZY after having a baby so try to calm yourself before you get too worked up.
Having a baby is overwhelming especially for first time Moms, but all Moms go through the craziness at first and we come out the other side just fine, just maybe always a little tired 😉
Hang in there Mama I know you are doing great!
If you had your baby early and have some tips or advice I would love to hear! Leave a comment below.