Once you are finished working your butt off and your little one is here there are countless emotions that you go experience; overwhelming love, excitement, exhaustion, nervousness and maybe a little bit of, now what? Well, what happens next is your whole world gets flipped upside down and shaken up like a soda can ready to burst! Lol, okay a little dramatic, yes, but somewhere close to accurate, also yes! Read on to hear about my experiences and what I wish I would have known prior.
1. Girl, you better pee!
Sounds so weird right, but this is super important unless you like catheters – which I don’t know of anyone who does – but I do mention this because no one told me anything about this I just happened to stumble upon an article a few weeks before giving birth that mentioned it. Once to are admitted you cannot have food or water, just ice chips, and you better load up! Once baby is out and your epidural (if you choose to get one) is shut off someone will come in and tell you it’s time to try to go to the bathroom. I will be brutally honest with you, I have never worked so hard in my life to pee. My sister was in the bathroom with me just shooting the shit for like a full 20 minutes. #BondingMoment
2. Your entire body will feel odd and people will be poking you often
Yes, you will be sore and tired, but I also thought my belly felt so odd – like jello! Definitely a moment it time when you feel like a body snatchers and don’t really recognize yourself, but it is part of the miracle so don’t be upset or embarrassed – you just brought a human into the world! Also, for the first 24 hours or so there will be people not only constantly bugging your baby, but also you. You will have your belly pushed on a lot! (I think this is to make sure your uterus is shrinking normally) you will also have your temperature taken frequently as well as discussing your trips to the bathroom – oh joy!
3. For the love of god, sleep!
This is advice that I did not follow and boy was I sorry when we got home. My daughter was born at 12:50pm and since it was during the day I wanted to socialize and dote of her instead of resting. I cannot stress this enough, that sleep is more important than entertaining you cousin’s best friend’s barber (again with the drama! Lol) but seriously that baby will be up every 2-3 hours yelling at you for food and it is a whole lot harder to deal with when you are past the point of exhaustion. Because of how tired I was our first night at home was the hardest night of my life – don’t get me wrong it was a joy having her, but I do already struggle with depression and anxiety, so mixing that in with almost 3 days of no sleep and extra crazy hormones was not good.
4. Have different sleeping options for baby’s first night
I know this sounds a little ridiculous but we had only her crib (which was in the nursery and couldn’t fit in our room) or a cradle that my grandfather built for my sister and I. Both were completely flat and open, and baby was not having any of that! So my husband and I took turns the entire first night home holding her for 2 hours until she needed to eat again – see why sleep is important!? We actually had her sleep in her car seat for the next 4 nights before we went out and bought a bassist for her.
We bought this Rock n’ Play Sleeper and it was our saving grace! Then we received a second one as a gift and it worked out perfectly as we have a two-story home – highly recommended
5. Recovery from childbirth is not easy
Before I had my daughter I did not really hear a lot about the recovery stage for mother’s and I do think that women should be more open about their experiences because after all it is the greatest thing you can ever do! I was lucky in that I was able to have a natural birth and I did opt to have a epidural so childbirth was more comfortable for me than the recovery. I am going to be honest (this might be TMI for some) and tell you the swelling makes everything much more difficult – especially getting out of a hospital bed! But there is relief in the cooling pads the hospital provides (it is like a pad but much bigger and it is an ice pack as well – oh sweet Jesus were those great!) make sure to ask for extras of whatever you need at the hospital, they encouraged me to take home anything left as they usually just start from scratch for every patient. Mental recovery is also hard for some people. I not only had battles with all my extra hormones but also had some postpartum depression. Make sure you have someone to talk to, I did cry a lot the first week at home because I was all over the place emotionally, and I had mom guilt for being depressed and also not being able to breast feed (we will talk about that soon)
I could literally write about this forever! It is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but it is the most fulfilling. I would love to hear about your birthing experiences and the things you wish you would have known prior.
Have a great day wherever you are!