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Now that the shopping galore for baby things is over and you have prepared your hospital bags, you might ask, what else do you need to do before your baby arrives? Actually, a lot needs to be done to make the baby’s arrival as smooth as possible. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Decide your birthing option. By this time you should have an idea on how you want to deliver your baby. If not, educate yourself on the pros and cons of the various birthing options by reading books and magazines, searching from the internet and talking to experienced mothers. You might also want to consider watching videos of child deliveries employing the various options.

    There are lots of birthing options to choose from. You can have it the natural way without any drugs (Lamaze, Bradley, Birthworks, etc.), natural with anesthetic pain management, or C-section. If you have made the decision, then preparations toward that option should be made, like enrollment and attendance to birthing classes when applicable. Discuss this fully with your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB).
  1. Tour the birthing site. Go to where you want to deliver your baby and have a nice tour to familiarize yourself with the place and with the procedure. Inquire on the process/requirements for hospital admission. In some hospitals, you will not be allowed to see the inside of the delivery room but at least you would know where the rooms and other facilities are. Find out if the hospital is Mother-Baby friendly that would allow rooming-in and would support breastfeeding if those are your preferences.
  1. Prepare yourself physically and emotionally. At this point, your OB might advise you to increase intake of foods rich in iron and prescribe iron supplement if she has not done before. Towards the end of pregnancy, it is advisable for you to have lots of restful sleep but remain active during most parts of the day. Regular prenatal exercise is preferable as discussed in blissful pregnancy tip #5. Active mom’s usually have relatively easier and uncomplicated natural deliveries.
Enhance emotional connection between you and your baby. Caress your tummy and talk to your baby. In all my pregnancies, I usually talk to my baby about childbirth few weeks from my due date, asking for his/her cooperation and giving my assurance that anytime he/she is ready, I am, for childbirth should be a team effort and the two of us are part of the team. I also tell how excited I am to see him/her and that I will continue to provide for his/her needs even outside my womb.

While you are still waiting for the big day, try envisioning the thrill of having your child on you hands, looking at his/her tiny lips that greet you with a smile. The joy will be far greater than the fears and anxiety of childbirth and will make you endure all discomforts. While I was on the delivery table, my focal point was the wall clock, I was keeping track of my contractions, and around it was a bare wall which I filled with nice pictures of me, my husband and my baby, together as a happy family. These were the visions that I've been keeping in my mind and heart since early in my pregnancy.

  1. Arrange Domestic Matters. If you have other children, start thinking about sibling care. Arrange for who’s going to be there for them, who will be in-charge of food preparation and other domestic concerns while you are in the hospital. You might want to stock up on easy-to-prepare food in your freezer. If you are a working mom and needs to go back to work after your maternity leave, then now is the time to arrange for child care. Make sure the area where you are going to receive the baby in the house is clean and tidy.
  1. Start a hobby. Despite the many things you need to do to prepare for childbirth, you might still find yourself spending time on futile musings about labor pain and blood, and even death from complications. These are normal and to a certain extent reasonable thoughts, but instead of feeding your worries, why not start a hobby that will keep your mind away from all those fears. Try embroidery on your baby clothes, or crochet a pair of booties or cross stitch a symbol of happiness. Regardless of your choice, or you might choose not to do it at all, remember that your baby is worth much much more than the entire wait.
  1. Select your Baby's Name. This is a fun part that could also alleviate the discomforts and impatience while waiting for the big day. My husband and I had many enjoyable discussions while trying to come up with our baby's name. These are the moments when we share and (re)define our hopes and dreams for our baby and the family. Each of the names of our children were picked for a reason and has special meaning to us. Baby naming sites like this one was useful to us when we were deciding.
  2. Plan the Announcement. After the long wait is the big day of your baby’s arrival. It is yours and your husband’s duty to announce the arrival of your bundle of joy so that he/she can be properly welcomed by your family and friends who are one with you in anticipating the newest addition to your family. Decide on the list of people whom you want to send the announcement to. Examples of announcement ideas include a simple text message with the child’s photo, a card bearing your child’s foot prints, a mass offering, an envelope with tobacco stick for a baby boy and a chocolate bar for a baby girl, a photo or video of you child posted on the home page of your social network account and many more. You can also be creative like this overzealous father.

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.