Well, my due date is fast approaching (the 30th...but I have a feeling he will come sooner), and I'm getting really excited to meet my new little bundle of joy. I must admit, even though I've been through it once before, the thought of birthing a human still makes me hyperventilate a little bit. I'm sure everything will be just fine, but it is really easy to psyche yourself out thinking of every little thing that could go wrong. But all in all, I am excited and ready.
A few weeks after having Bradley, I found out that one of my close girlfriends was pregnant. I immediately sat down and wrote out a list of everything I had learned/used since giving birth. I thought I had read enough books to kind of know what to expect, but there was still a lot that I didn't know. And once that baby is here, it is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. So I just compiled everything that I had found that worked for me, and a few details that I hadn't quite expected. I have since emailed this list to probably about 20 other girlfriends that told me they were expecting. Some of them have printed it out and checked off items to prep for becoming a new mommy. I read through it all last night and figured I'd share it. Keep in mind, this is all totally my opinion, so you can take it or leave it. You might find other things that work better for you. It's also a little lengthy.... but hopefully this will help out another mommy-to-be!
- Epidurals are your friend. GET ONE. It doesn't hurt. There is a small poke when they numb you with the 1st needle, then you don't feel a thing. The hard part is trying to stay still to get one while having contractions.
- Contractions are not going to kill you. They feel like major period cramps. But I would suggest the epidural asap when you get to the hospital (they usually make you wait an hour once you are there to make sure you are dilating before they let you have the epidural, so just keep that in mind)
- If you start to feel any contractions at all the closer you get to the actual birth, get the anesthesiologist to give you another shot of the epidural. You won't feel your legs for a few extra hours once he is born, but its totally worth it.
-Maybe this is TMI, but I had them put a mirror up while I was pushing a lot of the time. I thought that would make me vomit but it was actually kind of cool. But when it was time to actually give birth, I had them take it away cause I didn't want to see them do the episiotomy (which you won't feel AT ALL as long as you have the epidural).
-I'm not sure who you are going to have in the room with you, but I decided to have Garrett's sister stay and video tape it (my mom took pictures), and I was really glad I did. She filmed from up at my head...don't worry. You are so delirious and in a completely different world when the baby is born, so it was really cool to look back on it all and actually comprehend what was going on.
They will give you some AMAZING things at the hospital to help you heal. Here is what they give you (more or less) after giving birth:
They will stick you in a giganto diaper with these even bigger mesh panties to wear over it to keep them on. You will feel dead sexy. Then in the diaper, they gave me another diaper to put inside that was a baby diaper filled with ice. Then, each time I went to the bathroom, I would rinse off with a squirt bottle they give you, change the ice pack, and on top of the ice pack put Tucks pads and spray Dermoplast (see below)
You can get everything they give you at a drug store, so I recommend picking up the following before you deliver, so you will have extra on hand when you run out of what they send you home with:
- Tucks Pads- These are white circle pads soaked in witch hazel. They are really soothing and help you heal faster.
- Dermoplast- A cool soothing spray that kind of helps numb you so you aren't as sore.
I would also suggest having a ton of pads. I used 2 side by side for about 2 weeks until the bleeding tapered off, then went down to 1.
- Take whatever constipation pills they give you religiously, and get some prune juice as well. And remember to refill the prescription. I forgot to, and that was bad news.
Baby Must-Have's: These are things I use everyday...no joke.
Mylicon Drops - HAVE THESE BEFORE YOU BRING THE BABY HOME. I'm not sure how your little one will be, but the 1st night we brought Bradley home he was super gassy. My milk hadn't come in yet, it was just the colostrum, and I think that is what made his tummy hurt. After trying to sooth a fussy baby for 12 hours, we finally called the hospital and they told us to give him Mylicon. Luckily I had some from a baby shower, so we gave him some and it helped his tummy immediately. The hospital said it is completley harmless. You give it to them ususally after they eat and can have it up to 12 times in one day (we usually only have to use it about 2 times in 1 day). I can't tell you what a lifesaver these have been and I am so glad we had them on hand.
Butt Paste - This stuff works wonders for diaper rash. I started off using desitin cream that was fine, but when he started to get a little tiny rash, I switched to butt paste and it cleared it up in 1 day. It doesn't smell the best, but it works wonders.
Boppy - The Boppy is my best friend. I have to have the Boppy, a burp cloth, and my water bottle with me every time I nurse.
Huggies diapers - I like these ones better than Luvs and Pampers. They are made better and I don't have as many blow outs with them.
Bouncy seat - Bradley still sleeps in either this or his car seat at night. It vibrates and he loves it. It is great cause you can start using it right when they are born, they can't be too little for it.
Swing- You can take it or leave it on the baby swing. We are borrowing one, and Bradley uses it every once in a while. He does like the rocking motion, but the bouncy seat would really be just fine and doesn't take up as much space.
Baby Bjorn - When I discovered this little wonder, I became 200% more productive. I started out with a sling cause I thought they were cuter, but he sweat to death in it, and I still felt like I had to hold onto him. With the Bjorn, both of my hands are free, but I still feel like I am holding my baby. I cook, clean, do my make up and hair, all with him in it. I felt paralyzed before I got it. It is a little pricey (about $80 at Target), but it is worth it. The cheaper brands don't give you as much back support. It will last you a long time too.
Bath tub - I got this one at Babies R Us and love it. It was hard to decide which one to get cause there are so many but they dont look that comfortable. This set gives you everything you need from tiny to a toddler. I lay him in the little hammock thing inside the bath and it makes it really easy and he loves it.
Dwell Studio Receiving Blankets - Register for these! We have used this set of 3 blankets over and over and over. They are the BEST for swaddling and are the perfect size.
Dreft and Oxiclean - This duo will get ANY stain out. Usually when I have a poopy outfit/blanket, etc (which is at least 3 times a day), I spray dreft on it, scrub it out a bit, and throw it into a sink with water and some oxi clean in it. By the end of the day, I have a handful of things, so I either rinse them out and throw them in the dryer, or in the dirty clothes hamper to wash later. This will help you from having to do 15 loads of laundry a day.
Lanolin Cream - This stuff is great after nursing. it helps to sooth your nipples. It is thick and sticky, which can be a pain, but it is nice. I started using it twice a day during my last trimester and I think it helped prepare me for nursing. If you get really sore, you can get a prescription for stuff called Newman's Ointment. This stuff is made by the Gods. It healed my soreness in 1 day. A nipple shield was also very helpful and gave me time to recover from the soreness and still allowed me to nurse. I would also highly suggest a breastfeeding class. I would have been lost without it.
Whew! That's a lot, but I'm glad I wrote it all down. I had forgotten about a lot of it. Do you have any newborn must-have's? I'd love to hear them!
I also wanted to let you know that I am officially going on maternity leave from my LeanneBarlow Etsy shop. I plan to be back up and running hopefully mid-march. I also have a few fun pieces I will be adding for Spring, as long as I can juggle that with being a mother of two!