Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No presents, please!

I am trying to tactfully ask friends and family not to buy us any more crap, I mean, useful baby gifts, for the new baby, and I've written a letter to ask them for some alternatives. I'm trying hard not to offend anyone, would you be offended? Do I need to change any wording? Have you any better ideas? I'm also enclosing a few current pictures of my toddler Boy as a gift to sweeten the blow....people love buying stuff for babies, don't they?! We just don't need a thing....here is the letter:

Hello Everyone!

The birth of baby gets ever closer, thought you'd like to know, the cesarean section is scheduled (although not guaranteed!) to happen:.......
Although I will be giving birth at Hospital, I am hoping to be transferred to the Midwifery Unit after a short stay (24 hours) in hospital, and spend the rest of my recovery time, around a week depending on how I feel, at the unit, and everyone is very welcome to visit me there, visiting times are 3.30-5pm, and 7-8pm. As it's only 3 allowed at a time, let me know when you plan to visit, so you don't have to come a long way, and then spend time waiting. Or, I will let you know when I get home, and you can come to play with Boy and see the new baby at home. I may well stick to the visiting hours above, as they are very sensible, and I might be quite poorly after major abdominal surgery.

When Boy arrived, he received lots of lovely gifts of clothes and toys (ditto for his birthday and Christmas!), and lots of wonderful friends offered lovely, gently used items that their children had outgrown. As a result, Boy, and the new baby, have all they could ever want or need in terms of clothes, toys and baby items/gadgets. (To be honest, Boy has far too many toys, and I've never needed to buy him a stitch of clothing, and by the looks of things, won't be doing until he is 3 years old or more!)

So as a result of our wonderful friends and relatives' kindness, we really, really don't need anything new for this baby at all. If the baby is a girl, it may be nice to have a few girly outfits for her (we like H&M for brightly patterned things), but even then a friend has offered to lend us all her little girl's baby clothes, so we certainly won't need anything. We are not even buying a double pram, as we can use our slings and the pram in combination! Even items that get “used up” such as nappies or baby toiletries, we don't use, as we have a full set of washable nappies, and sensitive skin runs in the family, we still only use water to wash Boy, as he has terrible reactions to even the gentlest of products on his skin. (Including the chemicals in disposable nappies). We do have a very few items that we need this time,which are listed at the end.

Instead, we would love it if you could spare your time or help during my recovery from surgery. Perhaps, if you come to visit, you could bring a home-cooked meal for us (I don't eat red meat, sorry! The boys do though :-)), or if you don't like cooking, a take away or a frozen meal from the supermarket. Another idea could be to bring us a carton of whole milk and a loaf of white bread, or some fruit, all of which we run out of on an almost daily basis. (Our favourite fruits include grapes, apples, bananas, satsumas and peaches or nectarines.) If you have a little time to spare, I'd love it if you could perhaps take Boy out for a little walk in his pram. I have been house bound with my pelvic disorder since May, and he simply loves going out, it's such a treat, as I've not been able to take him. Plus, he is a very active little boy, and staying at home and being “good” and “quiet” are not really things he likes at all :-). If you are really keen, he also loves the park, or even swimming for those very brave volunteers :-). Another idea could be to give us all a little ring for a chat to check we are all well and keep us a bit sane in those newborn days, say once a week for the first two months. Or, if you have children, just bring them round for a play with Boy, he loves the company. This applies, not just to the week I get out of hospital, but for 6-8 weeks, as patients of this surgery are advised to rest for at least this long. So if you'd like to put off your visit for a few weeks, that would be fine. It might be nice to have visitors a bit staggered and spread out, last time it was very overwhelming as I was so poorly.

If none of this appeals, we will of course be setting up a child trust fund for the new baby, and donations would be very welcomed in the place of toys and clothes we don't really need.

A few things we need:

 Antilop IKEA high chair: (£10, a red one please! We have a blue one,and they are conveniently stackable.)
 Mothercare vouchers for another nappy storage bucket and other nappy accessories.
 Shoo shoos (leather baby shoes: the only ones that stay on, not worth bothering with ANYTHING else! all sizes useful)
 Baby nightgowns in various sizes, also known in mothercare as “baby bundelers”, like baby grows but open at the bottom for easy nappy changes. SO much easier, especially with newborns. Babygrows are a bit awkward, babies grow so fast their little feet get squashed in the toes. If any, the footless ones are best (can get from H&M) so they fit baby for ages, or the ones with ”gloves” attached (from matalan) so that baby is not covered in scratches all the time like Boy was!
 Annabel Karmel toddler meal planner: I borrowed this from the library, totally great! Lots of ideas for weaning baby & family meals too.
 Bibs: ethel austin do plain white, pull over the head bibs which are great.
 Muslin cloths: we use millions of them.
 In the early days, we'll be using “nature babycare” nappies (which are bio-degradable and don't contain chemicals. And are the same price as pampers and huggies), so a packet of those would be greatly appreciated! They seem to be available at lager Tesco's stores and Boots too. (i.e. not the local ones....typical!)

But we really would appreciate a homecooked meal.....

Thank you all in advance for welcoming our new baby to the world! We look forward to seeing you after the baby arrives.

9 Comments:

At 8:28 pm , Blogger cartside said...

I think that sound perfectly fine! I would love to get such advice, as I'm ever unsure what to get.

Here's hoping you won't get 5 high chairs ;)

 
At 8:52 pm , Blogger Laura C said...

What a fantastic letter. Wish I'd thought of something like that. I don't think it would offend anyone, I know I always want to get something of use when you have a new baby. The amount of stuff I had to take back because everyone bought new baby stuff that I already had. Good luck with new baby when he/she comes.

 
At 9:17 pm , Blogger Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Sounds fine to me. Bet you still get a few things, though. We did similar request when we got married (presence is all we needed, but if you really want to give us something, a contribution to the honeymoon would be most useful). We still ended up with a bunch of glasses and vases and photo frames. And a few special things too - hand-made quilted notice board from one aunt and picture of my dad's home town from one uncle.

I'm dreading more cuddly toys. I don't mind a few new clothes for Eleanor, but would be a bit peeved at lots of bubble pink again! But I imagine that will be what the majority of people bring/send.

Anyway, I hope you get your home-cooked meals and children to play with your son. If I lived closer I'd bring Rosemary round to play with him and new baby to meet new baby and a big casserole of beany stew.

Not long to go now - hope you're still getting looked after!

 
At 11:49 pm , Blogger ModernMom said...

Hi new here so hope you don't mind me chiming in! I would welcome a letter like this from a good friend or relative. Until you have had a baby of your own you truly can't appreiciate the value of lovely meal prepared by someone else.
I for one think its a fab idea.
Much luck to you!

 
At 6:17 am , Blogger SandyCalico said...

So sensible. I hope you do get the help you need in the first 6-8 weeks.
People love buying baby things though!

 
At 8:10 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think thats a great idea. I've just cleared loads of clutter and I am dreading the 'unwanted' presents ( 2nd baby due next week). I have decided to keep a box with a smiley face on it, so I can put unneeded presents in there. I will then give them to charity or recycle them. I usually keep presents and try to put them to use, but find I just get annoyed and frustrated with the clutter.

I wish I could be a bit more specific in my needs, its something I realised when I had my first daughter, I didn't know how to do. I'd never asked for help before in my life.

One of my friends had already said she will be bringing me a bottle of wine- and not something for the baby...why can't all people have such foresight and perception!

 
At 9:39 am , Anonymous Caroline said...

Hi there - I think it's a great letter, but I wouldn't actually be so specific about what you want, as it might just come over the wrong way, totally without you meaning it to. If it was me, I'd keep it exactly as it is up to the end of paragraph 3, and then perhaps make para 4 a shorter version of itself (eg, I wouldn't really list what fruit you prefer, or the specific outings that Boy likes.)
Then maybe say that there are a few things that you do need, and if anybody would like further info about these, to ask.
Sorry, not trying to be picky, but you did ask for feedback, so please don't take it the wrong way. I think the first half is a lovely letter, it's just the second half does come across as a little bit specific on the request front.
Do hope this helps.
Caroline x

 
At 9:44 am , Anonymous Victoria said...

Hello, this is actually in response to your c section bag post but I am a new reader and wasn't sure if you would see it if I added the comment there. I would definitely second the arnica suggestion. Also, you mentioned pants, but you will want some ginormous cotton ones for at home, too. John Lewis/ m and s maxi pants come way above the scar. Snacks are good- try and get something fibrous as the painkillers, particularly codeine-based ones can make you really constipated. My husband brought me an enormous green salad with spinach, watercress etc, so fibre and iron in one!
I had a planned section 2 weeks ago and am recovering really well. I haven't needed regular pain relief for the last week. I have been forcefully encouraged by my husband to take things pretty steady, though, which
i think has made a big difference.
I really hope yours goes well. You deserve a good experience after last time.

 
At 5:31 pm , Blogger allgrownup said...

Thanks everyone, especially Tasha for your kind offer! I'd bite your hand off if you lived round the corner!
Caroline: I've ammended the letter as suggested, you were right, people can always ask.
Victoria: I always get emailed if I have a comment to read, (wherever its left) thanks for commenting, and for your great advice.
I've decided to hire my two 16 yr old cousins to help out one afternoon a week, to play with my toddler, it's win-win, they are cheap labour, and they get a great nanny reference from me! Ha ha.

 

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