Ducky Diaries: About to give birth? Here's a guide to surving your hospital stay-cation.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

About to give birth? Here's a guide to surving your hospital stay-cation.

It has in fact been awhile since I had my son, almost 20 months to be exact, but there are a few things I do remember about giving birth. And since, I'm insane enough to do it again in a few months, I thought I could share a little knowledge about your upcoming "Hospital Stay-cation".  

For the veteran mommies, feel free to add anything in the comments section if I've missed something and maybe even add your story if it is completely different.  

Here's a little list I have compiled.
You will be there for the duration of your labor and then normally an additional 24-72 hours after that.  Or if you're like me, almost 6 days.  

     2. Outside of the normal Hospital bag items, bring along hair ties if you prefer to wear your hair up, and even headbands that go all the way around your head, they are awesome during labor.

 Your cell phone and charger! 

 Extra batteries for your camera if you plan on taking a camera. 

Magazines, crossword puzzles, books to read (outside of staring at your newborn, nursing,  healing, and getting your vitals checked every few hours you will find that insomnia can  become a new mothers worst enemy.  And the high of having a baby will strike at some point.

*COMFORTABLE clothing! 

New moms, unless you never gained an ounce in your hips and manage to wear your pre-pregnancy jeans the whole 9 months, don't bring them to the hospital. Like it or not, your belly does not magically shrink back to it's 6 pack abs status for a few  weeks-months.   Pack slippers, flip flops, comfy socks, flowy shirts/ sweaters,dresses (if you deliver in warm months or climate)  leggings, soft pants, or your maternity pants.  Even comfy robes (Which are AWESOME-SAUCE for breast-feeding in hospital).   Trust me, you just gave birth, visitors will not expect you to look like Miss  U.S.A.

 *You will be supplied with 100% mesh boy short underwear, because you will also be supplied adult diaper sized pads!  You will bleed quite a bit and NO you cannot wear tampons during your post partum healing time.   If you want to take your own underwear, be prepared for it to be ruined and make sure they are cotton, and not restrictive. 

*If your spouse plans on staying the duration of the hospital stay have him pack a bag for  himself as well equipped with things to stay occupied. 

Here are a few other helpful hints for your stay-cation. 

*Do not be afraid to speak your mind to the hospital staff caring for you.

  The old saying "The squeaky wheel gets the oil"  is true. 

If you are miserable, speak up.   I had an IV in my hand for a pre-delivery infection (U.T.I.) for 3 straight days.  My hand was red, inflamed and hot to the touch, and my ability to feed, and hold my son were diminished do to being hooked up to a metal pole and a constant drip of meds. Showering was a hassle due to having to have my hand wrapped before I could take a shower. Which meant I had to wait for a nurse to help me.   And my husband and I were stuck in a small cramped room with no space.    
It really impacted my mood.  By the end of the 3rd day I was a sobbing mess!  The nurse tried to tell me I was just emotional due to having a new baby.  But I knew that wasn't right!  I spoke my mind.  An the IV was removed and I was put on an oral antibiotic.  And within a few hours we were moved to a much larger room, with two beds, where we stayed for another 2 days.   Those small changes really helped. 

* To the best of your ability, keep track of your pain management!

 Set an alarm on your phone and if a nurse hasn't returned in time to administer your medicine, page them!  There's nothing worse that letting your pain kick in full force and holding off on your meds.

*Also, it may be easier to keep track of feedings for little one by setting an alarm for 2 - 2 and  1/2 hours  from the last feeding.   Your mind is frazzled, timers are your friend.   :)  

This is a fun sized squirt bottle you use to spray your lady bits after using the restroom.  It helps keep the area clean, thus helping keep infection out, as well, as it is generally soothing. 


 If you got hemorrhoids or stitches, these wipes are amaze-a-balls!!!! 


Do not be afraid to allow your little one to be taken to the nursery until their next feeding.   Use that time to catch a break, talk to your spouse, snuggle them, call friends/ family (if you so desire) take a stroll around the hospital (if you're up to it) SLEEP, eat, shower, read, just take a little time to yourself.   The staff caring for your little ones are highly trained professionals and have been caring for newborns for a long time.  Plus, once you get home, everything changes as you and your family finds your groove and you and your spouse are left alone.

* A SECRET......  

You will probably have to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome and abuse while in the hospital. If you can get away with it, fast forward or turn it off (unless someone is making sure you watch it).  In my opinion I think it's cruel to force an overly emotional new mother watch something so horrific.

Spoiler alert, the baby is shaken and you will cry, throw up, sob yourself into convulsions. 


Whatever the hospital is willing to send you home with, take, and run!!!   Things are expensive ya'll!  And you'll probably want to stay home for a few days- few weeks after the baby is born.

And there you have it.  Advice to first time moms from someone who has been there.

 Now, if there are moms going on number 3 feel free to tell me what I should pack!!!!  

Do I pack things for my toddler to play with during visits?   Should I pack more since I'll be staying in the hospital by myself after the first night this time?     It's like I'm a virgin- touched for the very first time!!! Like a vir-ir-ir-gin!!!!    Hmmms, too far? 


Stephanie said...

I SO agree with the Shaken Baby video. What a way to celebrate bringing a new life into the world than by crying so hard you vomit?! Anyway, I'd like to add that the "flowy" pants and shirts are really important in the event of a C-section. AND make friends with the nurses because they'll give you bunches and bunches of free crap!!!!!

Candace said...

Stephanie- I so AGREE with making friends with the nurses... Free crap is my middle name!!!! It helps make the things you already have at home last so much longer, especially during recovery time at home when you are not physically up to leaving the house. And we all know that even if we send our spouse to the store with a detailed list without us, they come back with the wrong things.

And definitely take comfy clothes for the C-section mommies. I was able to deliver vaginally with my son and hopefully can again with my daughter, but I can only assume you do not want constricting clothing on a stitched up and very tender wound.