Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some last minute things you need to know before you pop that baby out...

As I have mentioned about a hundred times, I was so so prepared for childbirth. Not only from a medical point of view, but also in the terms that I had bought a new robe for the hospital and ordered handmade slippers off of etsy. I also had an arsenal of postpartum recovery products from panty liners to dermaplast. Most of what I brought was a total waste, but there are definitely a couple things that you  might want. I know a ton of people that are pregnant right now, so the timing seemed right to share some insight on what really happens in the hospital. Keep in mind, I had a vaginal delivery and I am not in tune with the differences that having a c-section will create during your hospital stay.

What you are about to read is a lot of information, but it is all helpful. I'm not going to waste time making some cute print out list of what you need, because that means this post would probably never get published. I'm giving you the facts, and that's about it.

Things to keep in mind at the hospital:
-Most likely, you will be getting an IV. Make sure to ask that they give it to you in your non-dominant hand/arm. I had mine in my right hand and it was really uncomfortable. Although I wasn't hooked up to anything after he was born, they kept the needle part in for at least a day I guess in case I needed blood or some type of medication? Anyway, that's a really simple request so be sure to ask!
-You want an enema. I'm pretty sure it's standard practice at most hospitals to administer an enema during labor, but I've read some things here and there that makes me think some people don't get one. You want one so that you know what doesn't happen when you're pushing. More importantly, regardless of how your baby came out of your body, you want to delay that first bathroom trip after birth as long as possible. 
-On the same note, the SECOND you get in your postpartum room, badger the nurse to give you stool softeners. If they brush it off, do not give up and keep bugging them about it. And keep taking them the entire time you are there, and when you get home. I didn't have any issues with this topic, but I am glad that I made sure not to risk it. 
-Take everything you can from the hospital. You pay for everything in that room whether you use it or not. Take home all the sitz bath, and the granny pads, and the mesh boyshorts, and the pee pads, just take it all. If you run out of anything, you make the nurse brings you more. Oh, and you can also pretend that you run out of something and then ask for more as well. I did that with HCl cream and dermaplast.
-Just know that you are going to be bleeding a lot, and for a while. Those panty liners that I talked about up at the top? Hahahaha what a joke! I was seriously wearing what could almost be considered a diaper the entire time I was there. Click here to get a visual. With that in mind, you mostly likely will not be putting on real panties or wearing pajama bottoms until you leave because everything is just so messy. For this reason, you really do need a robe that is a decent length. 
-Get up and walk around. I was in so much pain and could barely move so it didn't occur to me to get out of bed other than to use the bathroom. On the last day the nurse was like oh you should probably walk around so you don't get blood clots. Yeah, information that could have been useful to me on the first day. It's no big deal, just force yourself to get up and move around as much as you can.
-Finally, you need to know, because NO ONE EVER TOLD ME, that you get really swollen after childbirth. If you think your pregnancy swelling couldn't be any worse, you're wrong. My legs looked like a cabbage patch doll. It was awful. I just want to let you know so that your heart isn't broken 3 days after birth and you realize the swelling is not going away.

Stuff that you do or do not need...
-Don't bring any nice pajama bottoms. Honestly, there's a good chance you could get blood on them.
-But, your husband does need to bring pajama bottoms. Tom forgot and had to sleep in his jeans both nights.
-Definitely bring a pillow or blanket from home that you like.
-I never wore makeup or did my hair while I was there, because I basically felt like I was recovering from a vagina-on collision with an 18 wheeler. But if things go better for you, it might be worth it for the sake of pictures.
-I brought an ipod speaker dock for the labor room, and I really enjoyed having soothing music while I was in labor.
-The hospital will have white onesies or shirts for your baby, so don't worry about bringing basic stuff like that. Just whatever you want to bring him home in will be fine.
-Bring a towel and loofa/washcloth. The towels at the hospital will most likely be the size of a placemat.

For when you get home...
-Be sure that you have some decent pajama pants to wear for a while. I never wear pajama pants, so I didn't have any good ones that fit. My mom had to go on a mission to the mall to get me some because there was no way I would let someone see me in shorts. Target would have been fine, but I appreciate the Nordstrom jammie bottoms she got me.
-I didn't wear nursing bras when I was nursing. I just wore really soft... yoga bras? You know, the really thin and stretchy ones. I found those were way easier to just pull up or down than dealing with the nursing bra thing.
-If anyone asks you what they can do to help, tell them to bring you dinner. That was by far the best thing anyone did for us. One time my parents brought us steaks from Perry's, and for the five minutes I was eating, I felt like a normal person again.
-If you have dogs, it would be ideal if they could stay with someone else for a few days. I think our dogs lived at Tom's parents house for a week. If you can't arrange something like this, I don't think it would be the end of the world. Plus, we have two herding dogs that are very high maintenance, and we didn't want to introduce them to the baby when everything was still incredibly stressful.
-You will need pads. If you're like me, you haven't bought a pad since 1997. This really stressed me out. There are all these stupid options out there, and I had no idea what I needed. I will say though, after the first week, the pad thing really didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

My last piece of advice is pretty important. Just prepare yourself for the fact that you are going to pay a lot of money for the birth. And just when you think you've paid everything, your child turns 7 months old and you get another bill for $600. I called the hospital ahead of time to estimate the cost of our stay. Well, they were pretty accurate about how much it all cost for me, but they failed to mention that none of the estimation includes anything for the baby. So far, we've probably paid about $1300 for Henry's stuff, and he was so healthy that he didn't have even one tiny little minor "extra" thing to make the bill more expensive. Maybe your insurance is way better than ours, so it won't be a problem. But either way, I just want you you go into it knowing that everything for you and everything for your baby is charged completely separately.

Also, if your hospital has a nursery, don't feel bad about letting the baby stay there for a few hours so you can get some sleep.

Read Henry's birth story here for more info.


No comments:

Post a Comment