Thinking postpartum

We’re sitting here in this liminal space between parenting one and parenting siblings. Any day, any hour now really, we could find ourselves on the other side. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’ve done to prepare. If having one taught me anything, it’s that there is very little we can do to prepare. Much of this process of bringing new life into the world is waiting and responding and living with immediate wants or needs. But we have done a few things, and I’m really interested to see how important the feel on the other side. 

Clothes: two weeks ago my dad and I put together a dresser, which is now full of clean baby clothes, blankets, shoes, burp rags, and various other bits and pieces of things we will probably use for less than the first 3 or 4 months. And yet these things are probably going to be absolutely necessary during that short period of sleeplessness, spit up, and cluster feeding. 

Replacing gross carpet: the last patch of nasty, stinky carpet is now out of the house, replaced with grip strip laminate that looks awesome and was SO EASY to install. Our bedroom no longer smells constantly dirty. 

Repairing the water pressure: This has been an ongoing problem for years. I tracked down the problem and my dad and I repaired it last Saturday. Best part is that we can actually fill a birth tub if Leah ends up wanting it. Ok. Maybe the fact that it doesn’t take 25 minutes to fill Darwin’s bath. Or that the diaper sprayer, well, actually sprays.

Purchasing an umbrella and a small, inflatable pool for the yard: expanding or usable space. 

Postpartum Doula: this is the one that I’m most pleased about. We have a friend who is a postpartum doula, and our awesome, amazing, approve community has come together to hire her for us. I just don’t even have the words to express how good it is to know that she will be available to support Leah (and me to a lesser extent – or maybe just different?) as she navigates the beginning of life as a gestational mama. 

Have any of you had postpartum doulas?Was there anything you wish you had known with your  subsequent children? Did you find your support networks shifting again, or were they settled out after the first little one? 


2 thoughts on “Thinking postpartum

  1. Never had a postpartum doula but they sound wonderful! I am sure having those extra set of hands will be invaluable in the beginning as you all find a new rhythm and Leah recovers.

    When Scarlett was born, Thatcher was 18 months. We made sure ahead of time to tell all who would be visiting – especially our family – that they were to shower him with love and attention before they scrambled after the baby. A newborn certainly doesn’t care about visitors but Thatcher noticed BIG TIME when people were no longer paying him any mind in favor of her. We were very on top of it and I think that helped with the transition.

    We were also really unprepared for just how scared he was of her existence. He was always so sweet and gentle with his dolls but we overestimated exponentially his excitement. He was terrified of her and terrified of anyone who had been anywhere NEAR her for a good few weeks. It actually took her burping really loud and him having a giggle over it for him to warm up and approach her.

    As for Scarlett, when she was two, we went in for the baby’s birth in the middle of the night and looking back, I wish we had done a better job preparing her for the possibility we’d be gone having the baby. She was so confused, so overwhelmingly upset waking up to us being gone and not returning for three days which to a two year old is incomprehensible when we’re always around.

    Our network, which is minimal, mostly stayed the same. We really focused on keeping Thatcher (then Thatcher and Scarlett) on their routine and it involved calling in reinforcements in those early days to make sure it happened. It sorts itself out pretty quickly though and it’s smooth sailing (as smooth as siblings can be!) from there. 🙂


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