Listen up, Mamas-to-Be
I have a pal at work that’s about 38 weeks prego. Ready and willing to pop any day, bless her heart. She and I were talking last week about my own childbirth and stuff that no one told me about and I wish someone had. I started to ramble on and on about random stuff and she said, “Wait, wait. I’ll never remember this. Just shoot me an email with the most important info.” After reading it, she told me that I needed to share this with y’all so you too could learn from my awesome wisdom. You’re welcome.
So, whether you’re a mama-to-be for the first time or you’ve purposely blocked the previous birth(s) from your memory, here’s my list of childbirth tips that, honestly, will save your sanity and comfort.
First things first, know that they won’t be giving you a damn thing to eat while you’re in the hospital until you pop that kid out.
SO. Here are your two options: if you’re induced, hit up Waffle House before you go in. When we found out we were getting induced at 5 am, I asked my doc if we could grab a quick bite before coming in. She recommended carbs and more carbs. Pretend you’re about to run a marathon. So, we strolled in to Waffle House at 4 am and I ate 2 waffles. Don’t even try to sit in a booth, your belly won’t fit. Just head straight to the bar, but good luck getting back down. Oh, and don’t eat anything greasy. Doc says that’s a sure fire way to poop all over the nurses when you’re pushing. So there’s that.
If you go into labor naturally (hooray), make sure you have something substantial in your fridge/pantry that you can eat relatively quickly on the way to the hospital. This may sound silly, but I was in labor for 23 hours and I was STARVING by the time I had Bailey. Star.Ving. Do yourself a favor and prep a meal.
Second, for the days following birth, you’re gonna bleed like it’s the worst period of your life.
Not so much pain wise, but the flood gates will be open. Get ALL the mesh undies they will give you at the hospital. Stuff them in your bag like a squirrel with nuts. They are the furthest thing from cute, but they’re worth your baby’s weight in gold. Trust. I suggest going to the Walmart before hand and getting a pack of Old Lady Undies that come up above your belly button. You won’t want anything tight on your belly after you give birth and those mesh panties can only go for so long. Do your hubs a favor and burn the lot before the kid turns one.
Third, your hoo-hah is gonna hurt.
Fact. Gather the stuff this girl tells you to and pre-make these padsicles before you pop. Your hoo-hah will thank you. To be honest, I bought everything and was totally prepared to use them, but I ended up having a c-section and they were unneeded. Turns out, there really is a sunny side to have major abdominal surgery. You know, besides having a squishy sweet baby,
Fourth, go to the Walmart and buy a knee length nightgown with front buttons.
It doesn’t have to button all the way down, but enough to breastfeed without sticking the kid underneath. You will almost certainly be in the hospital for a day after birth and you are NOT going to want to hang out in those awful bedgowns. Also, with all the bleeding (see second paragraph), you aren’t going to want to wear sleep shorts or pants while in the hospital bed. I’d also suggest a bathrobe because they’ll make you walk around the floor before leaving. Also, you’ll have a crap ton of visitors and you might be feeling modest. Oh, and bring flipflops or slippers. Something easy to slip on and off. Those floors are frigid.
Fifth, bring 2 packages of store bought cookies and/or sweets.
DO IT. IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE I’VE TOLD YOU, DO THIS. These sweets are to bribe the nursing staff and make you their favorite. They will do your bidding with a smile if you give them snacks. Trust me, I worked in a hospital, I know this as fact. We brought crack cookies (you know, those sugar cookies with thick icing you can find in the bakery at Harps or Walmart. So addicting, hence: crack cookies). Buy 2 packs, one for the day shift and one for the night. You’re gonna be there a while. Oh, and make sure they’re store bought. No offense, but no one will touch home made goods once you work in a hospital for a week. Germs=ew.
Sixth, have a spokesperson in the room with you at all times.
By that, I mean be sure you have a nurse or your husband or your mama on your team to be able to speak up on your behalf. Too many people in the room, people eating near you, another nurse not giving you enough meds to make you happy. You will be in an emotional and physical state where you will need such a person to be in tune with you. Sure, you may think you’re going to be able to do that type of thing on your own, but who knows what’s going to happen during a birth. Pick your person, set parameters, and have a code word for them to know its time to lay the smack down. Ours was “elbow” because I just like saying that word. Makes me smile and Lord knows you need that when you’re in labor. Say it out loud. Elllllbow. Nice, right?
Seventh, have someone photograph (cell phone camera is totally fine) the baby and you and your husband and your kids throughout the process.
You don’t have to show a single person ever, but you’ll love looking back at that day. This isn’t necessarily for Facebook posting or such, but for your own memories. Also, be sure to get a picture like this before you leave the hospital. I mean, doesn’t that just tug at your heart?
Lastly, message me when he’s 5 days old and it’s 3 in the morning and you’re having a meltdown because you’ve tried literally everything you can think of to make him happy but he won’t stop crying.
I’ll talk you down off the ledge and bring you brownies the next day and let you eat 4 while I snuggle the kid. No judgment. If you live outside of my bubble area of Northwest Arkansas, I’ll send it Amazon Prime and just ask for a really cute picture of your squishy newborn in return. Gah, I love babies.
You know I’ll think of more things, but this will get you started.