For your approaching delivery… My cousin made me a list before CB (My firstborn) was born and I tweaked it to include stuff I now know after delivering two kids… Excuse the language have two kids has me cursing more than a sailor. CB calls them “adult words”
Hope this helps!
DURING DELIVERY: No sugar-coating…
My epidural with CB didn’t work so I felt everything… YES it feels just like a watermelon is coming out of your vagina. Yes you will have cramps, yes it feels as if your vagina is being ripped open, yes you will have back pain. YES IT FUCKING HURTS. If this happens it’s ok though because your body will take over and toward the end you are like “get this baby the fuck out of me” and then whoosh it’s over! Then you’ll have ice packs and Percocet! So it’s all good! That said… Get a fucking epidural! Don’t be a dumbass, if you have a choice don’t choose pain. My epidural with RL (My secondborn) was AMAZING. Whatever you decide just know that I have had two impacted colons and both were way more painful than labor…. That said take a stool softener or laxative because that first poop is going to make you cry… Trust me.
FOR BABY AT THE HOSPITAL: I promise packing for baby is the least of your worries.
I kept RL and CB in baby gowns with the mitten hands for the first few weeks… At the hospital they sometimes only put them in a white long sleeve shirt with mittens and both my baby’s feet got cold even with me keeping them constantly swaddled. So I liked that I could tuck their feet in the gown and yet still get easily to the diaper… Although if you feel good don’t change that baby’s diaper… With CB it was just me so I did everything at the hospital and at home- I over did it and reopened my stitches. I was a dumbass. Let everyone else change diapers. Of course I’m a little protective of my babies so I micro-managed the Husband’s every move with RL.
THE PENIS: If you have a boy, you will need to know some stuff about them.
*Side note… I am not for or against circumcision… I left that decision up to the men in my children’s lives. I don’t personally have a penis, so I didn’t feel qualified to make such a decision. That said both my boys are circumcised… and so this is the story of how that went…
CB’s circumcision was messed up… not just an oops messed up either. Idiot nurse took the bandage off even after being told they discovered he was a bleeder during the procedure and blood shot up and sprayed the ceiling of the hospital room. If your baby boy bleeds when you are cleaning him up during diaper changes, you might need KY jelly instead of Vaseline (which is the standard used to protect and keep the circumcision site protected)… Vaseline was too thick, the KY was a veteran nurse recommendation and it worked so well.
RL wasn’t circumcised at birth because he has a condition called Penile Torsion… all you need to know about an uncircumcised penis is don’t retract the foreskin for the first year. If you have a boy with something called penile torsion… let me know, RL had it and we have had surgery to correct it… I didn’t have anyone to prepare me… it was horrifying… but he is all good now. Just know that it will be ok and I can answer any questions you have on the subject as we have been there, done that, and are on the other side! Funny tidbit, his pediatric urologist said he is only “half” circumcised… Swear his penis looks just like CB’s but I found this amusing.
FOR YOU… THE MOM: The person who just pushed the watermelon out of a hole that stretched to the size of a donut…
Go buy tucks wipes… And hydrocortisone cream… Like a lot. The first time I used the stretchy underwear they give you in the hospital… This time I went and bought depends (actually they were the Always brand adult diapers) and I have to say I liked that better. And I just changed the depends every time I peed. What I have found to work best is to line up three tucks wipes on the pad or diaper, then squirt hydrocortisone cream in a zig zag over top… It feels damn good on your vagina. And the squirt bottle they give you to use when you pee is important, if you rip really bad like I did both times… My babies have big ass heads and both times the dr’s were like no you don’t need an episiotomy then RIP! 3rd degree tear with CB and a 2nd degree with RL. Who knows maybe the third time is the charm. If they offer you a sitz bath take them up on it… Unless they are a cheap hospital and it’s just a warm tub bath- although most hospitals have the real thing that fits into the toilet and feels amazing… Just trust me.
If you have a c-section get some bactine to spray on the stitches my cousins who had c-sections said it made it feel better. Also you can put hydrocortisone cream on the abdominal pad to make it less rough against the stitches… Yes I know they say don’t get the stitches wet… You will want them moist though or they will rub against the abdominal pad and moist keeps scabs from forming on top of the stitches.
Invest in a PUJ tub or a variation that sits the baby in the sink for bathtime. You won’t want to bend over to bath baby so this will help with a sink bath. If the baby gets cradle cap you can also put the bumbo in the kitchen sink so you can just wash the head, get some t-gel or head and shoulders, put it in their head, take the baby brush and scrub the head… Let it sit on their head for five minutes then rinse… Just don’t get it in the eyes… The bumbo really makes this treatment easier.
Also pack huge night gowns to wear in the hospital and a light robe… If you breastfed you might just want oversized sleep shirts and leggings as you’ll be whipping out those boobs a lot. Neither of my kids latched and oh fucking well- so I pumped for three weeks with CB and then pumped for 5 months with RL… Let me know if you end up pumping because I have some great tricks for that… Plus I have a shit ton of supplies. And don’t be afraid to ask for the lactation consultant. Those ladies were in my room touching my boobs like my whole hospital stay and with RL we stayed an extra day just because he was having so much trouble sucking.
My only big advice on breastfeeding… keep up with the baby’s weight whether they latch or not- if the baby is SUPER sleepy or crying uncontrollably it could be that you need to supplement- THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Just do it and give your self a break. Found out after this last time that since I have PCOS that it affects the milk supply (actually delays it) so supplementing is what kept RL from becoming dehydrated while my body kept up. Hundreds of years ago when a mom had trouble with her milk coming in, a lady in the village who was breast feeding would come over and feed the baby until the mother’s milk came in… don’t be giving your baby to some other mom to feed , just supplement “Fed is best” is something you should keep in mind though.
Take the meds they give you when you leave the hospital- stay on top of the pain, let the hubby deal with the baby poop… Although I really just kept RL in bed with me and locked the door and let the Husband deal with CB.
Lastly you just gave birth to a fucking watermelon either out of your vagina or pulled out of your tummy… It’s ok to cry or get mad at people… You have been through a lot. Be a bitch… You can apologize when you don’t feel like a Mac truck just ran you over.
Any questions just ask- I’ve birthed two very difficult babies and used to work at a hospital as a nurse’s assistant and was always working shifts on the pediatric floor… so if I don’t have an answer, I know how to get you one
As to the registry stuff… honest to god all you need to bring the baby home: diapers, wipes, minimum 2 outfits, minimum 2 bottles (just in case you need to supplement), the baby can really sleep in one of those carry around clothes hampers (you know the ones) you can use it like a bassinet if you don’t have a crib or actual bassinet… those first few weeks you don’t need much for baby, most anything you don’t use until after the first month. After that… go to Once Upon A Child: I recommend a bumbo chair, a rock n play, and a stroller that you can open and fold easily by yourself… don’t pay full price ever- they all get dirty and destroyed . Let relatives and friends by stuff like play mats, baby swings, bouncers, walkers, etc… but heck send them to Once Upon A Child too because like I said paying full price is stupid.
Make sure you can install any car seat by yourself… I went up to the fire department and had them teach me about a week before I delivered… and then made both my parents do the same because I was paranoid about correctly installed car seats… still kinda am… I am a weird mom. I let me kids eat dirt but I won’t let them ride in a car where I don’t feel like the person knows how to safely install the car seat.
I had to work HARD at producing milk… apparently it is just that way for some women, that said lactation cookies are really yummy and will help boost supply. I liked to eat two or three while pumping… no idea how but I lost weight even while killing it on the lactation cookies. Guess the hippie moms are right about breastfeeding burning calories! Below is my favorite recipe. It was given to me by a wonderful mommy friend and so now I pass it along to you…