STM+ Check In [April] — The Bump
June 2018 Moms

STM+ Check In [April]

Feel free to follow these questions or not. I know a lot of us are worried about family dynamics changing and thought we could center this months discussion around that. 

How far along are you? What size is baby
?

How old are your other children?

How are you feeling

Any Questions? Rants? Raves?

How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?

GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least?
Me: 28 | Husband: 39
Married March 2016
DD: born 7.22.16
DS EDD: 6.23.18
BabyFruit Ticker
«13

Re: STM+ Check In [April]

  • edited April 2018
    How far along are you? What size is baby? 29 weeks today. Baby is the size of a hairdryer.

    How old are your other children? DD will be 4 shortly after DS2 arrives. DS1 just turned 19 mos. 

    How are you feeling? I don't know if I feel better this time around than the others, or if I'm just kinda accepting that this is how it is, but I don't recall feeling this good this far along before (not that I feel great; I don't.) Sleep is starting to get rougher, but less because of pain and more because of hyperawareness.

    Any Questions? Rants? Raves? DH has been super sympathetic in the past, but lately is cutting me very little slack and jumping all over me for little, stupid stuff. We got into it pretty good yesterday and I was so pissed, I said that I hoped his next wife had her ish together more than I do. I felt really bad after saying it and I knew it really hurt his feelings. Pregnancy completely removes my filter, especially when I'm rage-y. 

    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids? Hopefully, DD will be well this time around. I plan on having them visit in the hospital and I will most likely do small sibling gifts from the baby. 

    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least? I'm super excited and also sad about baby snuggles, since this will be our last baby. I'm kinda on the fence about BF, because while I do love looking down at babies while they're eating and just staring into your eyes, I really hate the worries that come with it (will I have enough supply, is this mastitis, why didn't I bring another shirt, etc.)
    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    kmurdock925May14th2011murraydog2008
  • 25892589
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    Sorry to interrupt our previous more structured conversations, but I just have to say something. 
    Holy mother effer, DD’s behavior this morning after being home with DH all weekend while I worked is appalling. I don’t get it because when we’re both home with her in the evening and she doesn’t listen to me, he has no trouble getting her to pay attention. But apparently when I’m not home he lets her run rampant or something because I have a very wild little person today who is telling me no and crying over every little thing I ask her to do. 


    Pregnancy Ticker
    momac1919kmurdock925
  • @2589 No!!! You have my sympathy. Hopefully she'll get over it quickly. 
    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    2589
  • jsl82jsl82
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    @2589 did the Easter Bunny visit yesterday?  Could there be too much of a sugar withdrawal happening today?  Hopefully she gets over this quickly- good luck.
    me 35/ DH 39
    married 8/22/2015
    BFP#1- 4/2014 edd 1/1/15 mmc/d&c 6/2014
    BFP#2- 10/2015 edd- 6/29/2016 mmc/ d&c 12/2015
    BFP#3- 4/30/2016 DD1 12/27/16
    BFP#4- 9/26 edd 6/5/18

    2589
  • How far along are you? What size is baby? - 30 weeks

    How old are your other children? - 21 months

    How are you feeling? - overall pretty good but the more I walk the more my hips hurt and I only remember to do stretches when I'm already hurting. I'm starting to get really afraid of all of the walking I'll be doing at Disney next week.  ugh.

    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids? - still a work in progress, but I'm guessing just the normal visit in the hospital.  I'll have my mom help her pick a gift in the giftshop to give to the new baby and I'll have a baby doll or something for her (thanks for the talk it out about this one last week)

    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least? - I'm looking forward to the newborn snuggles, baby wearing, little baby noises- least looking forward to waking up all of the time and navigating going places with 2 carseats to coordinate buckling in, and just the general logistics of 2 so young.
    2589May14th2011ramennoodlegif
  • 25892589
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    @jsl82 he was super unhappy that I was putting candy in her Easter basket so I didn’t leave much in there and he said he only gave her 2 pieces. But I suspect there was also cookies, cake and chocolate milk involved so... hoping this blows over quickly! 
    I hate it when my 1 shift/week falls back to back like it did for the holiday weekend for this very reason! We had this issue a lot when I was still working full time and he was home with her 3 days... glad I’ll be home much more with this LO even after maternity leave so hopefully she doesn’t get so many mixed expectations. 


    Pregnancy Ticker
    ramennoodlegif
  • How far along are you? What size is baby?
     28+5. Yay 3rd tri
    How are you feeling
    tired and getting to the uncomfortable stage. Baby doesn't let me sleep well these days
    Any Questions? Rants? Raves?
    I have 10 weekends left until baby is here, but due to my schedule and Dh's schedule we only have three weekends at home together. That is my biggest rant right now. 
    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?
    Bringing DS to the hospital to visit mommy and sister. Older boys won't get to meet sister until she is about 2 weeks old. :/
    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least?
    I want all the baby snuggles. I am not looking forward to nursing again. I want to do it, but not looking forward to sleepless nights. 

    ramennoodlegif2589momac1919May14th2011
  • How far along are you? What size is baby?
    31+4  romaine lettuce

    How old are your other children?
    ds  5 and a half

    How are you feeling
    uncomfortable and large

    Any Questions? Rants? Raves?
    Not really. maybe a concern. DS is going to want to be super helpful. but he truly doesn't understand how gentle you need to be with a baby. this part is going to be a transition for him.

    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?
    I've already told dh that I don't want anyone showing him the baby till I'm there. last time, the family saw ds as they were wheeling him from the recovery room where I was. and since ds will probably be there with family in the waiting room, no one better show him! I want it done in the room, with us, on video. wahhhh, I seriously almost just cried typing that guys.

    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least?
    looking forward to baby snuggles! and definitely the sleepless nights. even more now cause I'll have an older child in the house so I can't just nap anytime I want.

    me:35 DH:34
    DS: born oct 2012
    TFAS: BFP #1 aug16. miscarriage sept16
              BFP #2 nov16 MMC dec16. d&c jan17
              BFP #3 sept17  EDD 5/31/18
    fingers crossed for our rainbow baby
    2589ramennoodlegifmomac1919May14th2011
  • @2589 I posted mine before reading everyones.. I'm glad I wasn't the only one getting teary thinking of the first meeting of the kids!


    me:35 DH:34
    DS: born oct 2012
    TFAS: BFP #1 aug16. miscarriage sept16
              BFP #2 nov16 MMC dec16. d&c jan17
              BFP #3 sept17  EDD 5/31/18
    fingers crossed for our rainbow baby
    2589rnielsen321

  • How far along are you? What size is baby
    ?
    30+4
    How old are your other children?
    DD will be 23 months on the 6th
    How are you feeling
    Quite honestly I'm done being pregnant. The first part of pregnancy flew by being preoccupied with DD but these last few weeks have been dragging, my everything hurts, I get out of breath sitting on the couch and I miss wine. DD has also figured out I move slower than I used to these days and has been using it to her advantage.
    Any Questions? Rants? Raves?
    Haha I guess I ranted a question early...
    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?
    DH is going to pick up DD from my MIL house to bring her up to the hospital for them to meet in a less chaotic setting than with everyone around
    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least?
    I am super looking forward to snuggles and watching all the milestones again. I'm not looking forward to the pain of breast feeding or the never sleeping again...
    ramennoodlegifXtabbikatxMay14th2011murraydog2008
  • I am so glad that I am not the only one pretty much done with pregnancy. I know she needs to stay in longer, but I am over it. We still have a lot to do before baby gets here so trying to be grateful.
    ramennoodlegifmurraydog2008
  • momac1919  my dd1 turns 23 months on june 6th too! 

    I'm glad some of you mentioned having alone time with our current babes prior to the new LO being introduced...I kind of like that idea.

    momac1919ramennoodlegif
  • jsl82jsl82
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    @Xtabbikatx I remember being over being pregnant with DD in the 2nd trimester - I think I'm just one of those women that hates being pregnant.  Nothing wrong with it- I just prefer to not be incubating.  I'm also REALLY looking forward to being done BFing and really having my body back.  

    @kmurdock925 I think the younger LOs (that won't really fully understand that they are getting a baby sibling) will just be missing us and needing the alone time with us.  Plus I miss DD so much when I'm away from her- I will need some DD cuddles too.  I'm happy that my parents watch DD a lot so she is super comfortable with them, but I still envision her freaking out a bit to be leaving the hospital with them while I stay in the room.  I might have DH take her back to my parents so she's at least with 1 parent.  I'm 100% more anxious about her overall reaction than I am about anything related to this LO.  I think it's because I'm already so in love with DD and haven't really met this one yet.  I'm sure I'll love him just as much, but right now he's just not as real for me as she is.
    me 35/ DH 39
    married 8/22/2015
    BFP#1- 4/2014 edd 1/1/15 mmc/d&c 6/2014
    BFP#2- 10/2015 edd- 6/29/2016 mmc/ d&c 12/2015
    BFP#3- 4/30/2016 DD1 12/27/16
    BFP#4- 9/26 edd 6/5/18

    Xtabbikatxmomac1919kmurdock925
  • @jsl82 Ugh not a fan either. I am making sure there are no more babies after this one. My DH and I have an 8 year age difference. He wanted to be done after the last one, but I wasn't sure. Now even if something were to happen to him tomorrow I would not want to go through pregnancy again. I just can't do it. He is scheduling a vasectomy soon (if he would stop procrastinating) and I am getting my tubes tied. 

    I will say that while I don't enjoy being pregnant I am thoroughly enjoying being a mom. I am already daydreaming about my daughter being an outside baby and getting to watch her and DS grow up together. 
    ramennoodlegifmurraydog2008
  • +1 to being done. I'm 100% certain that this is our last. There is a sense of finality with every thing that happens. I'm really glad because I wasn't sure if I'd ever have that feeling or if I would just always want one more, no matter what. But thankfully I'm feeling completely certain that this is it. 
    Even when I was 37 weeks and miserable with DS, I didn't have this feeling so I'm going with it.
    ramennoodlegif
  • @sunshineandwhiskey that's really interesting that there's a difference in the tubal, I had no idea. Going for the vbac or not is definitely a harder decision. Hope you can come up with a decision you feel really good about. Can you remind me why you had the csection the first time? 
    me:35 DH:34
    DS: born oct 2012
    TFAS: BFP #1 aug16. miscarriage sept16
              BFP #2 nov16 MMC dec16. d&c jan17
              BFP #3 sept17  EDD 5/31/18
    fingers crossed for our rainbow baby
  • @catlady1215 DD was breech.  And my OB today said that I do have a greater chance of this LO being breech too.  She said that it just seems to happen that if a previous LO is breech, subsequent ones follow that trend.  She said something about it just being how the uterus holds them.  But, with DD I had two placentas too.  So, personally, I feel she ran out of room sooner than most to flip, which is why she got stuck.  Honestly, I'm tempted to just flip a coin as bad as that sounds.  
    Me: 28 | Husband: 39
    Married March 2016
    DD: born 7.22.16
    DS EDD: 6.23.18
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • @sunshineandwhiskey that's tough. Cause even if you get your heart set on the vbac, you might not even get it. I will tell you my friend's first was breech, so it was csection. Her second, was breech so a csection was scheduled. Then she went into labor at 39 wks, got to the hospital and surprise! He flipped and she got her vbac. Our bodies are crazy.
    me:35 DH:34
    DS: born oct 2012
    TFAS: BFP #1 aug16. miscarriage sept16
              BFP #2 nov16 MMC dec16. d&c jan17
              BFP #3 sept17  EDD 5/31/18
    fingers crossed for our rainbow baby
    2589sunshineandwhiskeyramennoodlegif
  • How far along are you? What size is baby?
    28+3, eggplant (and I'm immature enough to smirk every time I open the bump app and it reminds me...)
    How old are your other children?
    DS will be 18 months in a few days
    How are you feeling
    Depends on the hour...haha. Definitely getting more uncomfortable. I posted in symptoms about my lovely varicose veins, but I've also got sleep issues, a little back pain and heartburn is starting up. I feel like I get every pregnancy symptom but none of them really bad, if that makes sense...
    Any Questions? Rants? Raves?
    I've mentioned this before, but I'm really nervous about DS during the birth. He's just a sweet little mama's boy and he's never been comfortable with anyone except DH or I. We've left him for a few hours a handful of times but he's always cried the majority of the time :'( (we would do it more to try to get him used to it but we don't live near family). I just worry about how he will feel and act when he doesn't see us for an extended period of time (his labor was 40+ hours...). And how miserable it will be for the person watching him. My sis will be here the week before the due date, then my mom the week after or longer...so the other half of my anxiety is going into labor earlier than 39 weeks. I have a friend on stand by but I would hate to subject anyone besides family to a possibly traumatized toddler :( 
    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?
    Also not sure...As long as my mom or sis are here, I'm sure they'll bring him to the hospital. Then maybe DH go meet him and walk him in? I hadn't thought about it, but maybe give him a little time with us before introducing sister. Like others have said, he'll be so young I don't think he'll really understand.
    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least? 
    I love it when they're tiny and will fall asleep on you anywhere, and those little milk drunk sleepy smiles :) Not looking forward to the lack of sleep or the first weeks nursing  (aka: razor blades to the nipples every 2 hours...)
    momac1919ramennoodlegifmurraydog2008
  • @sunshineandwhiskey Good luck with your decision!
    During my VBAC, DS1 would not descend even though I was fully dilated. I spent hours with a ball between my knees, rotating from side-to-side, getting him to move down. At one point, one of the nurses came in and said that she wasn't going to be the one to make the call but that it looked like I would most likely not be able to do it.
    I had my VBAC 45 minutes later; he was out in two pushes. 
    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    sunshineandwhiskey
  • edited April 2018
    @marcus7676 IMO, it was easier the second time around because I was more relaxed about it and I didn't do it as long (DD weaned herself at 21 months, DS1 weaned himself at 14 months.)  My goal for both was 24 months, but I didn't reach my goal either time.
    With DD, I was constantly worried about low supply, so I drank a lot of Guinness, and Mother's Milk tea, and ate a lot of steel-cut oatmeal. I took several BF classes, and I think it helped to an extent, but sometimes I think I knew just enough to be dangerous. I remember several times when DD was less than six months old, telling DH that I could not do it and how much I hated it. I wanted to quit for awhile but put a lot of pressure on myself to stick with it.
    With DS1, the only real issue I had was mastitis immediately after returning to work. Aside from that, I had very few minor issues, even after my low-producing side quit producing at all (around 7 or 8 months, I think.)  

    Don't stress yourself out about it; it will not help at all. Just know that you are an awesome mom and as long as baby is fed, all is good. 
    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    marcus76762589murraydog2008
  • @kfren thank you. I feel like I'm going to need to tell myself that on an hourly basis during those early days.  
    ramennoodlegif
  • @marcus7676 I know it's easier said than done, but try going into it with a PMA. New baby, new experience. Don't be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    marcus7676
  • @marcus7676 - There were a lot of differences between my boys so this is sort of hard to answer, and will likely not apply to your situation. 

    With DS1, the pain was horrible and seemed like it would never end (I had a cousin hat told me by 6 weeks I'd be pain free, so I kept it up with that goal in mind and she was right).  After the beginning pain, chapped nips, etc., DS1 and I had a great nursing relationship.  I went back to work at 3 months and pumped at work for his daycare bottles (which he took without issue) and nursed when at home.  He nursed and I pumped until he was 11 months old and I was pregnant with DS2, which dried me up.  I never had thrush or mastitis.  I was lucky.

    With DS 2, I had to do a lot more pumping because of his heart defect (longer details below in spoiler), but it definitely was easier on me as I knew how to pump and I knew what worked for me as far as nursing went (positioning, how much breast to get in his mouth, etc., knowing the initial pain would end, etc.).  So while there was a rocky start, I was able to pump/nurse until he was 13 months and I weaned him in hopes of getting him to sleep better at night (which didn't work by the way).  I did get mastitis when weaning as I tried to wean too fast.

    With DS2, because of his heart defect, he was not allowed to nurse in the beginning.  He went to the NICU right away (I held him for all of 30 to 60 seconds before he went there).  I started pumping right away, knowing how critical it would be to get my supply going without a nursing baby.  His first bottle of colostrum was given to him by his dad at Children's hospital before I was released from the hospital where I gave birth (a few miles away).  He had a few bottles, which he didn't eat well and then was not allowed any food as he was prepped for heart surgery (5 days old).  I continued to exclusively pump and asked about nursing, but was not able to even attempt it until the doctors gave the ok when he was about 2 weeks old.  Because of his health issues we had to measure every milliliter he ate and I had to fortify my breast milk with formula to boost the calorie count, so they didn't want me nursing very often.  We came home from the hospital when he was 17 days old and I was given the okay to nurse occasionally (but never more than twice in 24 hours) as we still had to measure his intake.  I had to take a 2 week nursing break (still pumping) to allow dairy to be flushed from my system because he was allergic, which we found out at 4 weeks old.  So I really didn't get a chance to work on nursing on a regular basis until he was 6 weeks old.  Surprisingly, he still did well with nursing even though we didn't get to start off that way.  Our nursing relationship lasted until he was 13 months old.

    Also, I know people stress over not supplying enough milk.  There's also the issue of oversupply.  Due to pumping my body didn't know how much milk to make and made WAY too much.  I was engorged and it was awful.  The lactation consultant at the hospital told me to be sure to pump every 2-3 hours to keep supply up.  When I refused she gave me a hard time, but I knew my body.  Pumping every 3 hours I was getting 60 oz, which is absurd for a two week old newborn who wasn't even eating an ounce per meal.  So I didn't listen to her and dialed it back to pumping every 4 hours.  My supply evened out but stayed around 60 oz through my entire time pumping/nursing him.  Had I listened to her, I would have continued to increase my supply even more as I respond well to the pump.  I'm glad I dialed it back when I did.  Oversupply can lead to mastitis and a lot of other issues.  Listen to your bodies, ladies.


     Daisypath Anniversary tickers


    First Son - born 2013
    Second Son - born 2014 - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV).  First open heart surgery at 5 days old.  He's had 3 open heart surgeries and several other procedures and is currently doing amazing.
    Third Son - due June 9, 2018
    ramennoodlegif2589marcus7676
  • How far along are you? What size is baby?
    28+5 (Eggplant. US yesterday said he was 2lbs 15oz) 
    How old are your other children?
    DS is 16mos 
    How are you feeling
    Honestly, just kind of impatient and uncomfortable. Pelvis hurts a lot, all the usual complaints plus wanting a healthy outside baby.
    Any Questions? Rants? Raves?
    Asking questions about breastfeeding was a good one and I've appreciated your responses. I wasn't able to breastfeed at all last time, and once I got over the disappointment, it wasn't a big deal at all. Initially I was all about wanting to breastfeed this time if I could, and I still think I want to try, but a part of me is starting to feel like I want to do what worked last time and do formula. I guess we will have to see what happens.
    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids?
    I don't have a set in stone plan, I'm just already dreading being away from my pumpkin to be in the hospital. I expect I'm going to be wanting them to bring him to see little brother pretty quickly. 
    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least?
    Number one thing is holding him while he sleeps. I miss just settling in with a sleeping baby against me and snuggling on the couch. That and pulling out all of DS's cute baby clothes to use again. Least? Obviously I'm dreading being tired and the upset to our routine. I'm a little nervous about being the mom each one needs while their needs are going to be round the clock and so different. My sister is coming to stay and help this time and so I'm clinging to the knowledge that I'm not going to be figuring all this out alone while DH is at work. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    BabyFruit Ticker
    ramennoodlegif2589
  • @mytinc, I have a friend who is due the day before me. I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer for me. 

    Her son has a heart defect. From my understanding he needs a patch and one of his valves is deformed. Was there anything any of your friend or family could do for you while you guys were in the hospital? She will be having him about 2 hours away from where she lives and has two other children. We have offered to watch the girls for her, but I am not sure what else we can do. 


  • Really appreciated all the thoughts and experiences about breastfeeding the second time around, @mytinc, @kfren, @marcus7676, @Austenista. I had a really hard time producing the first time around and while I'm excited to try again with all the knowledge I gained, I'm also so, so nervous that it's going to be a disaster again. Hoping I at least get to start with a full-term baby, which should help some, and I hear that supply can be better with the second baby.

    How far along are you? What size is baby? 30+1. I have no idea what size the baby is, but big enough to pummel my insides pretty good.

    How old are your other children? Almost 15 month

    How are you feeling? Just big. I have a short torso for my height, so I can't really bend forward at all. I'm always reclined at least a little! It's really hard to drive right now, but luckily I don't have to do that too much.

    Any Questions? Rants? Raves? Been feeling generally rave-y about my son lately, who has reached a particularly charming moment in his development. He is becoming very goofy! He has also been doing so well in PT and is getting so strong. Still keeping my fingers crossed that he'll learn to walk before this baby is born, though I know it's a long shot.

    How do you plan on introducing your LO to your other kids? I've read similar information as @jsl82...my son is going to be barely 17 months when this one is born, so I don't think he'll really notice/care? He definitely has no idea what the F is going on right now, except that he thinks it's hilarious when I show him my big bare belly. He is pretty attached to me, so I'm worried he might be sad to not get so much attention, but I don't think he'll necessarily relate that feeling to the new baby. I guess we'll see!

    GTKY: What is one thing you are most looking forward to again with a LO? And least? All baby snuggles, all the time. Seriously cannot wait. I am most worried about the lack of sleep and total destruction of our routine, which works really well right now. 
    Me: 34 
    Husband: 35
    Married: June 2007
    Son Max born 1/10/17
    BFP #2: 10/5/17; EDD: 6/11/18
    ramennoodlegifmurraydog2008
  • @Xtabbikatx - Do you know if the baby will require surgery right after birth or after a few months?  Either way, in the spoiler are a few things that helped us (sorry if it's long, I got carried away).  Also, you're a great friend for asking what you can do for her/them. <3  Let me know if you have any other questions I can help with.  :)

    • Childcare for DS1 - Knowing he was in good hands (at only 16 months old) was huge for us.  We felt guilty about being away (hospital was over an hour away from our home), so knowing we could trust who he was staying with (friends, grandparents, etc.) was huge.  They also brought him to the hospital during appropriate hours (every few days) so he could visit us and feel a part of things.
    • Gift cards for the hospital cafeteria or nearby restaurants.  We didn't want to go far, but had to eat.  Eating out all the time gets expensive quick, even if it's fast food.
    • Updating others.  Depending on how close of friends you guys are, it may help to be a single point of contact to update other people that want to know what's going on.  Repeating the same story over and over is emotionally draining when there's so much going on.  Of course, you'll need to check with her to see if that is something she'd want/appreciate.  For us, we made a Facebook group so we could update people there and only do it once.  With his multiple hospital stays I still update the group from time to time and he's 3.5 years old (and hopefully done with heart surgeries).
    • Help around the house.  We had a friend reach out and mow our grass a couple times when our son was inpatient and it was summer time.  Knowing we didn't have to worry about something like that was huge.  Our oldest was with other friends, so this was a different way of helping and showing he cared.
    • Read up on the condition.  Being able to talk with someone who cared enough to look into what the condition was and what we were facing was so nice. 
    • Be a good listener and understanding.  It's hard to hear someone say they're sorry when you know it's not their fault.  Don't change the subject when the heart defect comes up - that isn't avoiding a painful topic, that feels like the other person is brushing it off.  Let the parents rant or cry or be upset and just be a good listener.  There isn't a lot of helpful advice to give, so let them say what they want to.
    • Try not to compare the babies.  Heart children are often smaller and have difficulties eating and gaining weight. Your friend may become very sensitive to this and offhand comments about how quick your child is growing may actually be painful to hear.
    • Be extra sensitive to illness.  Heart babies often catch any illness that's going around and get sick quicker with extended illnesses compared to other children.  If your friend becomes hyper sensitive to hand washing, using sanitizer, staying away from crowds, etc. know that she's acting on advice from the doctors and trying to keep her child out of the NICU.  We literally skipped family Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations to avoid being around a lot of people.  It was hard on us, but until our son was stable enough and got the ok, it was what was best for him.
    • Gifts for the baby.  If the baby will be going right to the hospital for a stay after birth (or while young), he/she will not be able to wear clothes for a while.  If you do want to get the baby clothes look for snap up sleepers (no zippers), and side snap onesies.  These will allow the baby to be hooked up to cords/lines and still wear clothes.
    • Teddy bear/stuffed animal.  If the heart will be repaired via open heart surgery there are some great organizations that make stuffed animals with zippers to represent scars.  Here is one.  Another is BooBoo Buddies on Facebook.  

     Daisypath Anniversary tickers


    First Son - born 2013
    Second Son - born 2014 - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV).  First open heart surgery at 5 days old.  He's had 3 open heart surgeries and several other procedures and is currently doing amazing.
    Third Son - due June 9, 2018
  • @mytinc ; and @kfren ; thank you. DS didn't latch right away and I didn't know to pump, so I struggled with supply for the first 9 months.  I'm hoping that with more knowledge now, it will be easier, but I'm still so stressed over those early days trying to get him to eat.

    ramennoodlegifmytinc
  • @mytinc, I know they are not leaving the hospital until after the first surgery. They said sometime in the first week. I have not gotten the details, because I am not 100% sure how up for talking about it she is.

    Childcare : We have offered, luckily she has a great family support close to her, but I am sure there will be gaps. I hope she takes us up on it.

    Gift cards we can definitely help with. Didn't even think of food. I love the bear idea. I will have to reach out to her family and make sure no one else is planning something like that. DH will love being able to go over and help out with yard work. He likes manual labor when he is stressed. 

    We have been friends for about 6 years, but my DH and her DH shared an office for 3 years. They are very close. 

    I do know that her son will need about 5 surgeries between birth and adulthood. They said every time he grows a lot they will have to go back in. 
    mytinc
  • @marcus7676 FX that you don't let it get the best of you. 
    Me: 36; DH: 35
    Started Dating 2002; Married 2008

    BFP 8/1/13 - MC (Blighted Ovum) 8/19/13
    DD  7/14
    DS1 8/16
    BFP 9/7/17 - CP 9/11/17
    DS2 6/18
    marcus7676
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