Baby Planning & Preparing Checklist
11 min read | 26 November 2023
6 min read | 29 November 2023
The festive season really is one of my favourite times of year and with the arrival of our first born, this upcoming holiday season feels more sentimental and exciting than ever (pretty sure I’m going to actually create a stocking for my 8-week old).
In the weeks leading up to the birth of our daughter, Theadora, I was experiencing so many different emotions; I was excited and grateful but also nervous and apprehensive. I was aware that childbirth is something you can never be fully prepared for, so my main focus was reminding myself that my body was made for this, and that I was capable and equipped to bring our girl safely into the world like so many women have done so before me.
Throughout the pregnancy, birth and entering motherhood, I have gathered a deep appreciation for my body, for women, and for my partner.
I’m thankful for the hours of support from my husband, Fresh and the midwives who were there every step of the way encouraging me in the moments I didn’t think my body or mind was able to push through to the end. I’ll forever remember the moment my husband, Fresh, said to me he can see our girl's scalp and that she has a full head of hair. At the time I had no idea we were actually minutes away from meeting our baby girl. The next moment, after another very intense push, the OB and midwife told me to reach down and I’d be able to touch our baby girl's head and on the next contraction they told me to push with everything I could. I reached down, picked up Thea and brought her into the world. I looked at Fresh and will forever remember the look of love and relief on his face. What an absolute miracle and beautiful process, our baby girl was here.
Throughout this experience I have learnt that no matter what your fertility journey is, or birth story, you are powerful and worthy. I don’t believe in “natural” births - carrying a child for 9-10 months is a huge achievement in itself and we should not feel guilty with what outcomes arise or what decisions we make before or during labour.
I definitely prepared my body and mind as best I could by doing Pilates, meditating and practicing uncomfortable experiences like cold ocean swims in the winter, but I also believe I got lucky with my birth and that Thea happened to be in the right position and was ready to enter the world. It wasn’t just me in the end that got us there, it was a team; my community, friends and family, my partner Fresh and of course, our baby girl who was there with me.
These first few weeks have had so many highs and plenty of lows as Fresh and I get to know Thea and she adjusts to the outside world! Parenthood (as I'm learning) is challenging and rewarding; a balance that we're beginning to navigate. These moments are a gentle reminder to myself and others to not compare yourself to anyone or assume that what you see on social media is exactly what's going on behind closed doors. There have of course been tears and moments of joy, and although I share the blissful snapshots I am far from knowing what I'm doing or having it all figured out - I just take things one day at a time… or actually one of Thea’s sleeps at a time.
Since sharing some moments on social media recently, I have received so many kind messages from mums reaching out to show their support and personal experiences. The unspoken community of women and parents you become a part of is reassuring, supportive and open; it truly is a tribe and I’m so grateful to be part of. Even if social media platforms aren’t something you are familiar with, the resources, support groups and experts we have within our communities are such an incredible way to ensure you’re not alone on your journey.
As the year wraps up, reflection on the past and excitement of the future begins to enter. With the holiday season upon us, so too is the exciting prospect of starting traditions with our little family! Growing up, the Holidays with my family was always the most special time and I can’t wait to create similar memories for our daughter.
To me, the holidays are about being with your loved ones, preparing your favourite foods, sharing them with friends and family and celebrating the year that was. Another year has come and gone and what I’ve learnt throughout this year is to enjoy every moment that you can. The moments of a newborn cry, the first smile you get, the first time experiences you have as a family and the day’s you’ve barely slept - enjoy all of it because it only comes around once and then it passes by. Look at each moment as having value, whatever that looks like, and as much as you can, breathe deeply into each present moment.