Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Birth advice

What to take to the hospital:
- Your boppy (But you can leave it in the car until after the baby is born.)
- One outfit for the baby (Remember, the baby's first picture will be taken by the nursery before you leave so you might want a matching hat or bow.)
- Stuff to shower (You will feel tons better if you shower before you go home from the hospital and remember that your husband will be staying overnight too so he needs his stuff too.)
- Real baby wipes (Every hospital I've heard of uses these weird wipes that you have to wet yourself... save yourself some trouble and just bring some of your own. PS. Dad's do most, if not ALL, of the hospital diaper changes ; )
- Bedclothes for you. (This is optional, but I was glad to be wearing my own stuff in my post delivery photos. I took a nursing gown and I also wore the button up top to some PJs. I decided to just forgo the PJ pants and covered up with my sheet.)
- Something to record any gifts you get in the hospital. I also took a scrapbook page that the nurses put an extra set of baby footprints on.
- A going home outfit for you. (I actually had my mom bring this to me later so I had time to decide what I wanted. Remember, you won't be back to pre-pregnancy size. Something from early in your pregnancy works best.)
- Cameras (Duh.)
- Warm clothes and snacks for dad while you are in labor. Nothing for you, although you might want some hard candy to suck on.
- Pillow (I took my own pillow. Hey, it looks pretty in all my photos.)
- Pacifier (I was against pacifiers, but I took one just in case and we ended up using it the last night. I guess the hospital probably would have given us one if we'd asked.)
-(2nd time around advice) Take Avent size 1 bottle/nipples and use these instead of the hospital freebies if the nursery wants you to supplement with a bottle. That nipple is the best according to my lactation consultant. The hospital nipple flows too easily.

Labor:
I don't have much to say about this by way of "advice" b/c it is different for everyone. The facts are that I was electively induced and it was a good experience for me. I had an epidural and it worked magically and wonderfully. My mom and Kevin got to be in the room. It was standard procedure at my hospital to give me an oxygen mask once I reached 8 cm (?) so don't freak out if yours does this... nothing is wrong, it is just a precaution.

Birth:
What can I say, it is awesome to be part of God's miracle. I heard a song on the radio the week before Caroline was born that had a line in it "not to us, but to Your name be the glory." I kept that in my head as a mantra all day so I would remember who was really the One bringing this child into the world.

Recovery:
I had a bad patient education experience after Caroline was born. Basically, none of the nurses told me about all my pain management options until MANY hours later. Just know that there are several pain pills, stool softners, sprays, foams, wipes, sitz baths, and ice available to you. Use them all!! Also, give yourself plenty of time to get to the bathroom b/c you won't be moving very fast and you'll have stuff to deal with before you can "go." (2nd time around advice) Preparation H ointment works much better than just using the wipes or Tucks pads.

Hospital visitors:
I wasn't bothered by hospital visitors. You are on so much adrenaline after the birth that you are willing to see everyone. If you are in the hospital on a weekday, people leave you alone most of the day, so you are ready for company at night. I would think that visitors all day long on a weekend might get tiresome. The nurses will put a note on your door for you if you don't want to be disturbed. I think the last morning before we went home (which was when we were the most drained) the nurse put a note that I was nursing, but I think Caroline wasn't even in the room.

2 comments:

Carrie said...

Wow! You are quite thorough!

cristina said...

feel compelled to add:

1. stay as long as your insurance will cover it. once your'e home, there are no nurses available and the temptation to "keep house" will keep you from resting when you need (which is whenever the baby is resting)--"sleep when the baby sleeps" is really wise advice that i didn't initially listen to. ALL of you will benefit from a mommy who isn't exhausted.

2. and on the same note, sleep as much as possible at the hospital, which means sending the baby to the nursery at night. tell the nurses to bring her/him to you when it's time to feed.

3. as for labor & delivery, i love the advice to meditate on God's truth--faith and peace will push fear out. fear intensifies physical pain. i "camped" in Phil. 4:6-9 and Romans 5:1-5. LONG ago we took our birthing classes from First Birth Ministries (www.firstbirthministries.com)--it was a wonderful experience!

4. remember that subsequent pregnancy and birthing experiences will likely be different--GRACE (for you and from you) is key.

thanks for sharing advice from your experiences! i hope my contributions are helpful to you and all reading your blog. :)