With only weeks to go before the arrival of our second baby, I'm beyond excited about welcoming the newest member of our family to the world. At the same time, I'm also acutely aware that this impending arrival also represents our last days as a family of three. Perhaps it's because of the age gap or just how relatively easy life has become as Liam approaches four, but a part of me can't help but feel a bit wistful as we prepare to close the door on this chapter of our lives.
Throughout this pregnancy I've tried to seize these last months and weeks as a family of three, doing things that we know will be harder or at the very least different once we've also got a newborn to care for. A few of the things we've done are as follows.
Things to Do Before Baby Number Two
1. Go on a special family trip. We had originally planned to go to Disney World in March, but when health issues caused plans to change unexpectedly, we were still very lucky to be able to fit in a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge before my surgery and recovery. We pretty much let Liam take the lead on activities while we were there in a way we knew we wouldn't be able to much longer. All three of us go in the wave pool? Sure. Play mini golf? Absolutely. Ride the same ride for the tenth time? You got it. We're already planning on a family Disney trip next March but it was so nice to get to do something special just the three of us.
2. Get a family portrait. We signed up for a newborn/family photography session a few months ago with a photographer we love. She was offering mini sessions this spring and we decided to jump on that too as a mini-maternity/family portrait session and I'm so glad we did. I will always treasure the pictures she captured of us at this special moment in our lives.
3. Go to the movies/out to dinner. I remember being told to go to the movies and go out to eat before Liam was born and for good reason - I haven't seen a movie in theaters since then and dinner dates are few and far between. It's advice more traditionally given to first-time parents before their baby arrives but it also rings true now. Liam is finally at the age where he's old enough to sit through and enjoy a movie and dinners out aren't filled with trips around the restaurant to keep him entertained and out of trouble. I'm relishing these last opportunities to enjoy some peaceful trips out as a family.
4. Prepare for the new baby together. I've mentioned it before but one of my favorite parts about this pregnancy is getting to share it with Liam. He loves going through baby clothes and toys, feeling kicks and giving infinite belly kisses. We took him to my ultrasound a few weeks back and he requested tape upon our return home so he could hang the ultrasound picture over his bed. I try not to overwhelm him with talk of the baby but I hope by including him in the prep, he feels both ready and excited for what's to come.
5. Don't wish it away. There are no two ways about it, the last weeks of pregnancy are, at best, a little uncomfortable. It seems like at least once a day someone asks me if I'm ready for it to be over. The honest answer is no, not just yet. Yes, I'm more tired, at times a little sore, and my ankles are slowly turning into cankles, but I refuse to let these last weeks exist only as a countdown. There are still games to be played, playgrounds to be visited, cuddles to be cuddled.
The eagerly anticipated arrival of our newest family member feels like such a blessing and so are the days leading up to it. I'm trying not to take either for granted.
- E-family news: Becoming a Sibling – Who Said I Wanted a New Baby?
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Telling Your Older Child You’re Pregnant
- Read more posts about pregnancy from the Family Room bloggers