One of the things that concerned me even before we found out we were pregnant, was the way our cats Bruce and Eddie would deal with the introduction of a baby to the family. Our two boys really are part of the family, we love them, they have their own personalities and, despite what some people say, they are extremely affection and caring creatures. If I’m from work home ill, Eddie will always bring me food, to cheer me up. This will of course be in the form of a mouse, bird or in extreme circumstances a seagull wing, all at varying degrees of life but he means well. Bruce is cuddly in the morning, demanding we get up and play with him. Eddie is more of a mummy's boy. We used to let them sleep in our room occasionally but we stopped it since I became pregnant, Eddie likes to sleep around my head with one paw on my collar bone, so cute but in this weather just too hot!
Anyway, I need to get to the point.... I did a lot of research into the best ways to prepare your pets for a new human arrival, I’ve focused the below on cats, but many points relate to dogs as well. I’ve collected my findings from other blogs, articles, friends, family and my hairdresser. personally, we're going to give them all a try.
Before the new arrival:
The arrival and after:
These are just my recommendations and findings from others, but it all makes sense to me and will be implementing them all if it means our family have a happy integration.
I'll write an update after Pickle's arrival, hopefully it will be a lovely transition to a full family. x
Update - April 2019
I’m pleased to report that Bruce and Eddie welcomed baby Alfie into the family. They were a little timid particularly when Alfie moves but are fantastic big brothers. Alfie gets kisses, in the form of head buts and now the boys let him stroke them. I feel that all the things we implemented before Alfie’s arrival definitely helped. We have continued to use the plug in diffuser and will do for a little longer, especially as next door have some building work soon. The boys have cosy spots around the house where Alfie doesn’t go and we’ve stuck to their food and awake times to keep consistency. Every night when we do Alfie’s bedtime routine (nappy, massage, pjs) Eddie comes to help, he sits on the dresser next to Alfie’s changing table, it’s so lovely.
Once Alfie is in bed we turn our attention and affection to Bruce and Eddie, Bruce is usually upstairs in the dressing room asleep but Eddie comes downstairs for a cuddle on the sofa. I’m so pleased we were active in making Alfie’s arrival as smooth as possible for the cats.
Robbie I became an auntie and uncle to a beautiful baby girl just over a year ago. We watched her growing in her mummy’s tummy, but it wasn’t until we met her, held her and looked into her huge blue eyes, that we realised that we really did want a family - and quite soon! This wasn’t in our plan, well not for a while. I was looking to move careers after completing a School Business Mangers Diploma which would have put baby plans back for a year at least. But with our new realisation, we had to rethink and that was fine with us.
We were getting married a few months later in June, then had our honeymoon to Italy in August, then had Tough Mudder - which I had really been training for. So that took us to October and I wanted one last “it’s ok to be hungover” Christmas. The plan was (you might have already realised I like plans) to start trying in January, I was expecting it to take us quite a while to be successful. My mum had struggled to get pregnant with me and again later when they wanted to get me a little sibling, James arrived seven years later! So with this in mind I tried not to get my hopes up! Well that didn’t happen, I cried when we did almost all of the four negative pregnancy tests, even saying to myself “it’s going be negative” as we turned it over. By the time my body decided to confirm that we weren’t pregnant first time round, I had a little bit of panic, but talked it through with Robbie and we knew it was going to be unlikely for the very first time we tried.
When I turned the pregnancy test over for month two I tried to have the same low expectations. Robbie was however more positive. Standing in the hallway early on a Saturday morning I looked in total confusion to Robbie and ran to the bathroom to collect the instructions for the test. We had already looked at the results diagram so many times we knew what it meant, but the shock of seeing a little blue cross had astonished and confused me! I was shaking and crying and just looking at Robbie. It was positive and it was amazing!
Robbie then had to go and get his haircut, both of us feeling very strange and I didn't want him to leave. I just walked around the house, telling Bruce and Eddie our news. I decided I'd do another test, this one clearly stated PREGNANT even telling me 2-3 weeks. Trying to keep as calm as possible I had a normal few hours until Robbie returned and I showed him the two tests side by side, it was excitement all over again.
That evening we went to see Joe Lycett's stand up in Worthing, having diner and drinks beforehand. For the first time I was totally fine with driving, not drinking and not eating the medium cooked amazing steak burger I'd planned to enjoy. I was pregnant, growing a little human inside me and I didn't care what I had to avoid eating and drinking. We discussed the fact that we wouldn't tell anyone until we were 12 weeks. I remember feeling almost naughty talking about the fact I was pregnant in the restaurant.
We were on such a high - we were growing our family - we were pregnant!
I'm a happily married 30 something who has a fondness for planning and organising, an appreciation for spreadsheets, a love of all things wedding, a passion for DIY and am totally smitten with our two cats Bruce and Eddie.