This year I started thinking about Christmas as early as April. I had to, that is when I found out my baby’s due date!
Needless to say, my family’s lead up to Christmas has been a little different this year. We usually fly down to Melbourne to spend the festive season with my family and celebrate with a huge multi-generational feast on December 25th. As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we knew we’d have to skip the big family Christmas this year and settle for a small, more intimate celebration.
This little bundle is due to arrive Christmas Day but we all know how reliable due dates are! I’m hoping for a slightly early arrival, crossing my fingers that baby is delivered and I’m home with my little family to celebrate the big day. Time will tell if that is the case but here is my plan for the lead up to Christmas Day:
Buying gifts – this started in mid September. I wrote a big long list of all the people I wanted to buy a present for, some gift ideas and three columns; bought, delivered (to me), given. I was pretty happy to have ticked off almost all the bought and delivered boxes by the end of that month!
Internet shopping – I love that I can hit the shops whenever I have a free moment. I don’t need to pack snacks, find a car park or even get changed from my daggy house clothes. I bought and researched many Christmas gifts on line. I kept a look out for baby items on sale and bought a few of them over the net.
Nursery set up – This also started in September. I was hoping to start organising the nursery after returning from a mini break in mid October but my husband was inspired one afternoon. We removed the queen sized bed, retrieved the cot and change table from the shed, gave them both a thorough clean and moved them in to the room. Of course, it wasn’t quite so simple as that…We had to work out how to get rid of the spare bed (thankfully people always seem keen to collect anything advertised on Gumtree as ‘free’) and the cot wouldn’t fit through the bedroom door so that needed disassembling and putting back together.
Sorting clothing – I own more newborn clothes than I remember having which is fantastic! I gave them all a good wash, sorted them and organised them nicely in the cupboard in early November.
Preparing my three year old – My little champ knew from early on that I was pregnant and did a great job keeping that secret until the time came to tell everyone at 12 weeks. He knows the baby is coming ‘around Christmas’ so the festive season has been talked about lots in our house this year.
Lists, lists, lists – Shopping, to do, to read, to cook, to clean, to buy…I’ve written plenty of lists!
Decorations – We love a real Christmas tree…ahh, that smell! Brisbane gets pretty darn hot in December though and our house is a bit of a sauna. Even so, we’ll put up our beautiful tree on the first of December so we can enjoy it for the whole month.
Birth planning – During the later stages of my first pregnancy I read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin and have been rereading that this time round too.
Planning for Labour
With my first child everything went very smoothly; he came on the weekend while I was out with my husband (my waters burst in the middle of a shop!) so there was no need to call hubby, wait for him to come home and collect me etc. This time, obviously, things may be a bit different !
What if hubby is at work when I go in to labour? He goes on leave from December 21st and plans on working from home the week before that. If he can’t work from home he’ll take the car in to work so he can be home in about half an hour.
What if the baby comes close in the days either side of December 25th and all our friends are away? We don’t have any family nearby so this has been my main concern; what to do with my precious first born when baby number 2 decides to arrive. We have some great friends and neighbours who have offered to help, which is a HUGE relief but what about Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day when they all have their own important plans? Well…one set of friends have said simply, “we’ll be here for you.” When my husband asked again to confirm they weren’t travelling to see family, the answer was the same. What more could we ask for!? Except maybe that the baby comes a little earlier so they are free to spend Christmas without waiting around incase we need them!
As I mentioned before, it will just we the 3 (hopefully 4!) of us this year for Christmas and I certainly don’t plan on cooking a huge meal at home considering all the unknowns about when the baby will arrive so we’ve decided to book in for a Christmas buffet style lunch. Even that has taken a fair bit of thought…do we book somewhere nice and fancy ($$$) and risk not being able to attend or do we find somewhere a little more low key? We decided on Sizzler. I know that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for Christmas lunch but it will be perfect for us this year. All the Christmas favourites will be on offer, there will be a festive atmosphere, Sizzler is a novel place I associate with fond childhood memories and it won’t break the bank. Plus, if we cant make it on the day, we win’t have lost a huge amount of money.
Here are the possible scenarios for Christmas Day:
A. I spend the day in hospital with the new baby. My son and husband spend most of the day in the hospital with us but head off for lunch. It is really important for me that my first born still gets to celebrate all the special things on Christmas Day and that includes a huge, tasty lunch!
B. We all attend Christmas lunch together, still waiting for baby’s arrival. I’ll just need to be very picky with what I eat and only choose hot food that has just been freshly brought out (buffets and pregnancy are not a good combo).
C. We attend the lunch as a family of four, baby along for the ride. I over indulge in all the food I haven’t eaten for the last nine months and come home feeling sick but hugely satisfied.
D. We plan to have a fun and festive Christmas lunch but end up spending it in the delivery ward after rushing to the hospital when I go in to labour.
I’m hoping for option C. Care to make any predictions?
Update: My precious little babe (a girl!) arrived earlier than expected. She was born in the second week of December which meant we were all home and able to celebrate Christmas as a happy little family of four. Christmas morning was lots of fun and Sizzler put on a great lunch. Thankfully my waters started leaking in the early morning before she was born so hubby took the day off work. It’s a good thing he did because once she decided to come out she was in a rush!