Maxwell was born last Tuesday, 12/30, at 6:50PM. I never thought I would experience a love that rivaled that of the one I feel for D. It is quite a powerful thing.
My labor was a difficult one. My water broke on Monday, 12/29, at 2:30AM and we didn’t go to the hospital until about thirteen hours later. Pumped with enough drugs to be a walking pharmacy (Pitocin, epidural, penicillin–just to name a few), I finally consented to having an emergency C-section after three and a half hours of pushing as I was unable to get Maxwell though my pelvic bone. Tears of joy streamed down my face when I heard his first cries.
Up to that day, I’ve read countless blogs and received lots of advice from friends on labor/delivery/hospital tips. With that said, I thought I would offer tips from my own experience to help others:
(1) Pack light–This is contrary to what many advise but I found that we actually overpacked my labor and delivery bag. My suggestion would be to bring the following: two sets of clothes for you and your partner, one set of going home clothes for the baby, a small space heater (hospitals are notorious for thermostat breakdowns), phone and charger, disposable/shower shoes for you and your partner, one set of travel-sized toiletries, wallet, driver’s licenses/IDs, and a case of bottled water. Everything else (including newborn diapers, swaddle blankets, burp clothes, sanitary pads, and disposable underwear) is provided by the hospital. Our hospital even had free room service so hot food was always available on demand.
(2) Drink lots of fluids–Hence, the case of bottled water. In my case, I was pumped with so many drugs that I needed to flush my system out. Drinking lots of fluids (staying hydrated also helps with your milk coming in as well as keeping headaches at bay).
(3) Leave the diapers, take the pads and underwear–A couple friends recommended that I take as many newborn diapers from the hospital as I could as they would add to our collection at home. I discovered that this did not bode well for us as Maxwell outgrew his hospital diapers just a couple days of our discharge (and there were leaks galore). Luckily, I also brought home from the hospital medical-grade sanitary pads and disposable gauze underwear (should have brought home more) which continue to be LIFESAVERS. Both save on time and effort on laundry and provide more than adequate coverage.
(4) Don’t skip meals but eat light–Nausea and pain may deter you from having three square meals a day but force yourself to eat light (having something in your stomach also helps curb the nausea while providing some nutrition for your body and, if you’re breast-feeding, your baby).
(5) Don’t stress over your new body weight/image–In the coming weeks, you will shed lots of weight and inches just by having given birth, going to the bathroom, and moving around (and improving circulation and digestion). It took you nine months to gain all the baby weight. Give yourself nine months to lose it all (you may even surprise yourself). I say this because women (and men) who rush and/or lose lots of weight during a short period of time do damage to their bodies (both internally and externally). In other words, you don’t want to wreak havoc on your organs, digestion, metabolism, and, at the same time, have lots of loose skin to show for it.
(6) It’s the little things–Do little things that make yourself feel pretty. Indulge in your favorite perfume, shampoo, aromatherapy, etc. Get a manicure/pedicure. Style your hair. Sometimes, it’s all about the small things in life.