I’ve always had a weakness for russian dolls… they are a fun symbol of maternity and I thought they would make the perfect party favor to embody the close bond I share with my two daughters whose initials are featured on the medium and small dolls. On the large doll I chose to feature a bouquet as my daughters’ names are floral. Those Matryoshkas are also pretty cosmopolitan themselves as they were designed in the US (per my guidance), the wooden dolls were made in Russia (by Golden Cockerel), while the packaging (the printed boxes and stickers) were made in Lebanon (by DELF / Dar El Founoun).
Easter Sunday had more in store for us than predicted and baby # 2 hatched out of her egg shortly after the beginning of the 39th week. My labor was quick, no complications and we were out of the hospital with our Easter baby shortly after the mandatory 24h waiting period.
It was now time to adjust to the delicate balance of taking care of the fragile newborn while making sure that my soon-to-be 3-year-old wasn’t feeling alienated. Of course it didn’t start very well, as my first daughter seemed to think we brought home a new doll toy for her to play with and got upset that we wouldn’t hand it to her. On the first day, she would follow me around the house with her toy milk bottle and didn’t seem to understand why I was so attached to this doll. It didn’t take too long however for her to figure out that this doll was different: it moved, made a lot of noise and was getting much more of my attention than any other doll… which prompted her telling me two memorable (and heartbreaking) things: “Maman arrête avec le bébé!” (ENG: “Mom stop it with the baby!”) and “Je ne veux plus acheter un bébé!” (ENG: “I don’t want to buy a baby anymore!”)
My first priority was to orchestrate a system whereby between my husband and I, we can still give our eldest the same degree of attention she had prior to her sister’s arrival while making sure that our newborn’s needs are attended to on time. It has been a challenge (despite both grandmas joining the effort), mainly because the newborn’s sleeping and eating hours are unpredictable at this stage and my eldest was acting out and trying to grab our attention in many creative manners (such as jumping on couches she would not have dreamt of stepping on before and screaming at new high pitches).
I had learned from my first post-pregnancy experience that it is better to have a plan and sway from it, as newborn demands, than not having one to start with. Today my eldest spontaneously hugged and kissed the baby and said “7ayeteh bébé!” (ENG: “My darling baby!”) It’s making me feel that maybe we are on the right track… As for baby, she just seems to be oblivious to the power struggle and anything else happening around her… she is exclusively interested in sleeping and breastfeeding, whenever it pleases her!
Since NYC has become an icebox in the past few days and because the 3rd trimester is looming on the horizon and promising to be quite a rollercoaster with discomfort making its big comeback and a long list of preparations in anticipation for the big baby # 2 day, it was time for one last sunny Hooray! Hello Babymoon!
My Babymoon Planning Checklist:
• Consult with OB prior to booking to make sure it is safe to travel and because some destinations require prior vaccination
• Timing: 2nd trimester (week 18 to 24) is the safest time for pregnant women to travel
– Would like South Africa but need relaxation more than adventure at the moment so –> any amazing beach
– Short travel time is ideal but will not compromise on the beach
– Somewhere with good medical facilities
• Result: Hawaii (I know I’m pushing it a bit with the 11hour flight time!)
On the plane:
• Wear compression socks, comfortable clothes and layers to account for the various temperatures during transit
• Keep feet elevated if possible and don’t cross legs to help prevent leg swelling
• Get up and walk around every hour or so to aid blood circulation
• Keep hydrated
My Beach Packing List (I’ll only share the essentials here…I’m not a light packer!):
• Don’t forget the prenatal vitamins
• Plenty of sunscreen to avoid dark pregnancy patches in the sun
• Hand gel sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
• Fill iPhone with the latest hit tunes and delete all pictures to make space for new ones
• Lots of bikinis
• Jelly sandals
• Light flowy clothes