14 Things that will aid you in your first twelve weeks.
1) Invest in comfy night gowns (if you wanna breast feed, make sure they open in appropriate places), and non-slip socks for your time at the hospital. Btw, those beds are made of some kind of foam (or they were 5 yrs. ago), and you will be too hot while your visitors are too cold.
2) You are going to want someone there with you at the hospital for your waking hrs. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for hospital staff to help you get up to go potty, go for a walk, or pick up your baby. Also, our hospital had a policy about babies rooming in over night (they weren’t supposed to, w/o someone in there w/ Mom).
3) Walk as much as you can at the hospital. Then walk some more. Have your funny friends come visit, and have some (painful) belly laughs. If you don’t do it now, w/ the best pain meds possible, you’ll regret it. After a C-Section, you’ve really gotta give those muscle a work out. I don’t mean you’re not supposed to rest. Don’t over do it, but do something.
4) On check out day, don’t refuse any of the pain meds. Seriously, you’ll regret it to high heaven if you do.
Funny story: The wind swept away my Rx for the good drugs. I spent the next two days in really bad pain, and having DTs from the stuff they gave me in the hospital b/c I couldn’t ween off of it. (The good stuff was a narcotic, and legally they can’t prove my Rx was swept away, so they couldn’t write me a second Rx for a narcotic. Stupid druggies ruin it for those of us who really are in need of pain meds.) Another tid bit: When you get home and moving around for a few days, slowly come off the meds (go longer and longer periods of time w/o them), so you don’t end up in cold sweats and hot flashes while your baby is crying for food. Just sayin’. That ain’t fun.
Which brings me to…
5)Have someone pick up your Rx pain meds while you are on your way home (or grab them on your way)
6) Take home as many of those big pads, padded undies (for you), and diapers (for baby) as they will give you. Companies donate stuff to the hospital. Not everyone takes their fair share home. If they wanna throw free stuff at you, don’t cringe. Take it. Odds are, even if it’s not your fave. brand of diaper, someone will eventually forget to pick up diapers, and you’ll be out of them at 4 A.M. Same goes for formula, if you’re going the formula fed rout. Those packs they stick under that baby cart that gets rolled into your room are about $30. For this one, I’ll go ahead and say “you’re welcome.” Also, those big pads are great, even if you had a c-section. You put them between your incision and your clothes. Those padded undies are great, too, b/c eventually you will deal with lochia or postpartum bleeding.
7) Stay in the hospital as long as they (insurance and staff) will allow. The more hands to help out, the better.
8) As much as you want to look at your baby on the ride home, don’t sit in the back seat with the kiddo. Every bump feels more pronounced back there. Also, if you’e got a smaller car (like I had) it will be painful to get in and out. Ask whoever is driving you home to go slow and easy. It may help if you take some of your pain meds right before you leave the hospital.
9) Have the couch ready for sleeping. I found the best way to sleep was w/ pillows against the arm rest, sitting up w/ my back against them. This way, I didn’t have to wake someone up every time I had to go pee in the middle of the night (happened a lot). With my second, I put the pack and play next to the couch, so I could get him when he woke in the middle of the night.
10) I know everyone says it, but you really gotta do it: sleep when your baby sleeps. Forget the house (see #12), forget calling mom to coo over how cute your little one is, forget FB pics of baby’s first nap. All you should do when baby sleeps is eat, shower, brush teeth, and/or sleep.
11) You’re going to shower and brush teeth much less than you like to. You will stink, and feel yucky. This happens when you deal with poop and spit up all day. Your husband will still love you, because you gave birth to his spawn. This should be liberating, not stress inducing.
12) You are never going to have a clean house again. (okay, you will, but not for a long time. It’s best if you just accept the worst. There’s just less stress that way.) Invest in a jumbo size of paper plates, cups, and plastic ware before baby is born. Make sure it’s stored down low (harder to reach up high after a c-section). All you (or, hopefully, daddy) have to do is take out the trash. When clothes come off, carry them straight to the washer. If you don’t, laundry will never get done. You may wanna just wash everything in baby laundry soap. It’s just easier, those first few weeks home. Everything else is gravy.
13) If someone else says, “aaawe, can I hold the baby?” Unless they are incapable of holding the child w/o dropping him, disease/lice infested, or a child molester, LET THEM. The urge to keep your bundle in your own arms, safe and comfy, will be STRONG. However, by the time the company has left, and the hubby has fallen asleep/gone to work/gotten in the shower, you’ll be tired and want a break. When company comes over, get your break. Let them hold your bundle of joy while you actually eat a meal w/o having to change a diaper.
14) Last, and most importantly: When you feel like stressing or freaking out over something, “relax, don’t do it,” as the song says. ENJOY your baby. Notate every day in some kind of journal/baby book (sure wish I’d done this). And remember, like the baby bib says, “Spit happens.”