I forgot all the flurry of getting ready for a baby for a long time, until I saw a post from one of my friends about whopping cough vaccinations. And so, because I really had no idea until I had an actual baby, I thought I'd write a list of super nice stuff people did for us, and a few things to avoid.
Reply to a text about the baby.
If two parents have just brought a baby into this world have the decency to tell you about it soon after the fact, write back. They want your text.
But skip the phone calls.
Unless you're there in person, talking on the phone is all levels of awkward in a hospital. Just send a text and wait for some kind of response. And not a 'Can I call you text' either.
Assume the lady with the baby will look less than her best.
But say otrherwise. Also, the partner might look equally, if not more haggard.
One of my friends brought a massive stash of junk food which got me through several nights in hospital and then my stay in while Natalie was in Neonatal. Jubes, I would married you if I could.
Also, bring food before and after if you like. In containers the parents don't need to keep track of. We had a few of these meals and it was nice.
And thanks goes to Stephen for buying me onion rings and a chocolate thickshake. He is the bee's knees.
Offer to cuddle the baby.
I'll be honest, I hate saying 'Do you want to hold the baby?' because I kind of figure everyone does but doesn't want to ask.
Don't ask too many questions.
Why? Because the new mum will tell you EVERYTHING you never wanted to know, or nothing at all without any need to ask.
Visit at the hospital if you can.
Although I love visitors, managing everyone's schedules outside of your own are hard enough to do before you have a baby. I found hospital visits a lot easier because people had to come at certain times, and you knew roughly when to expect them. When you're at home, you need to feed and water your guests, so if you do go for that option, please feel free to feed and water yourself using things you find in the cupboard.
You took a photo of the baby? Email me it please because I has to have all the baby thingz.
Skip the Compare and Contrast.
Unless you had a baby, no one is terribly interested in what your girlfriend's father's sister-in-law went through with birth, feeding or sleeping. And don't say anything about anyone sleeping through the night or how tired you are because, the Look of Death is coming your way.
If you come by the house, sometimes (pfffft all the time) it's lovely if you could do just one tiny thing to help. If you ask, you'll get a 'No, you're a guest' lecture. Skip that and maybe do some dishes or empty a bin or refill the toilet paper. Something little means a lot when you have no sleep.
Love love me.
I've discovered that sometimes it is hard to keep up the friendships after a bubba has arrived. My apologies, but like Mika says, everybody's gotta love today. A lady with a baby is a mum, but also, is still a lady after all, and still is everythig she was before with some massive changes in the relationship department.
We were super super lucky everyone was really supportive and helpful, and supplied us with sugar and such. Keep up the good work friends and family, we love you.