Having a Holiday Baby

I had decided not to post this since this applies to a very narrow audience, but just decided on a whim to go ahead and do it. If this is your situation, hopefully you will find some encouragement. This is my second go around with a Christmas baby. 😉

I have a little experience with holiday babies.

My oldest was due December 17th. I had visions of watching the Christmas day flurry from my chair as I cuddled a newborn. Instead, when December 25th rolled around, I was still pregnant, huge, and feeling miserable. Anybody who has gone that far past their due date knows what I’m talking about.

I (rather depressingly) put away all of the “Baby’s 1st Christmas” things I had–I never dreamed that baby’s 1st Christmas wouldn’t be for another whole year–and tried to have a Merry Christmas, even though all I could think about was the fact that I wanted this baby out of me already.

This time around, I’m a little more experienced, a little more prepared, and in general I have a better mindset about the whole Christmas and baby scenario. (And I didn’t buy a single Baby’s 1st Christmas thing).

Adjust Expectations

This probably goes without saying, but you need to adjust your expectations. Everything from how much celebrating you do, to when your baby will be born needs to be put into perspective and held loosely.

You may be the queen of gift giving, you may be the best party hostess around, you may usually have the most amazing Christmas decorations, but this year take everything you normally do and scale it all back. How much you scale back depends on how many other children you have [the more children you have the more you need to scale back because energy levels are going to be low], and how well your pregnancy is going, but do scale back.

Plan ahead

A little late to be telling you this, maybe, but you need to plan ahead. Decide what are non-negotiables for your family’s celebration (keep it to very few), and then do as much of the planning for them as you can. Buy gifts ahead, decorate early, and prepare as much as you can for the things that have to be done last minute. A little bit of planning goes a long way when you’re trying to balance holiday traditions and a newborn.

But whatever you can’t plan ahead for, or whatever doesn’t get done? Just let it go.

Before the baby, enjoy the festivities

There is nothing worse than sitting around just waiting to have a baby. Go ahead and say yes to the things you really want to go to. Nobody is going to be upset with you for missing it if your baby does actually come.

Do what you can while still making sure you are getting adequate rest and not running yourself ragged. Giving birth takes a lot of energy, particularly if you are hoping to do it completely naturally. Don’t overdo, but do enjoy the celebrations.

The festivities can actually be a distraction to the waiting. I have found that having to be very much in a Christmas spirit for my other children’s sakes has really helped me not get (tooooo) preoccupied about having a baby as soon as possible.

After the baby, enjoy the baby

And then…once the baby is born, just enjoy the baby. I cannot emphasize this enough. You will celebrate Christmas next year, and the next, and the next after that. This is the only time you will have that newborn. 

I am going to sound a little like granny here, but the newborn stage really does fly. So sit back, let others take over the work, and hold your baby. You will not regret it. I promise.

Embrace the miracle

One of the most special things about having a baby at Christmas time is that it gives you a perspective on the birth of Jesus that you have never had before.

Read the Christmas story while you are nine months pregnant and you have a new understanding of what that trip must have been like for Mary. [I’m certainly not signing up for any donkey rides right now]

Give birth close to Christmas, and you can’t help but think about the conditions that Mary was in when she gave birth to our Savior. [A stable?]

And hold that precious baby in your arms, and you cannot but be amazed and wonder that the infinite, all-powerful GOD chose to come to earth as an infant. An infant just like the one you are cradling in your arm.

You are experiencing birth at the same time that people across the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus made incarnate.

It may make the season extra busy, but this is truly a very special time to have a baby. Embrace it and enjoy it.

Two days after Christmas I gave birth to my firstborn (the cute one in the picture!). In a few weeks we will celebrate his 6th birthday. This year, sometime around Christmas we will also celebrate the birth of our 4th child.

It is one of the most special times of the year for our family. And it has to do with so much more than the Christmas tree gracing our living room.

 

Comments

  1. Gosh, that’s so true about Mary – I cannot even imagine!

  2. We’re expecting a baby this Christmas–David and R’s little guy! Excited! Both my brother and I are Christmas babies, and B’s John just about made it for Christmas. I liked your ideas about Mary. I can’t imagine a teenager doing that donkey ride, either, at nine months. Interesting you never hear about her squawking about anything she had to endure. :o) Praying for you these weeks.

  3. Andrea Crocker says:

    That’s interesting, Johanna. I was in the same position 2 years ago. My baby was due the 13th and showed up on the 28th. I definitely identified with Mary in a whole new way. :-)

  4. Becky Rulapaugh says:

    Interesting, Johanna! I actually have been thinking many of the same thoughts recently. Even thought I’m not giving birth this Christmas, being with child at Christmas is a special thing. It brings an awareness to the story of Christ’s birth that you cannot experience without a growing child inside of you. I certainly remember the Christmas John was born and the contractions I had all Christmas day…only to stop!! Eeek! God is so good to us in the gift of being a mother and getting a taste of what it was like to carry His Son.

  5. Thanks for this post, Johanna. Good words for Maghan and me to heed.

  6. Great post! My sister had her third child on December 23rd – three weeks early! I think she would agree with your advice.

  7. Beautiful post Johanna!! So glad you’ll be able to hold your baby through this Christmas :) I loved the Mary’s point of view part – laughed out loud at the donkey ride :)

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