Completely out of control
Before the birth of my first child, I was determined to be well read, have a birth plan, and to be in control the whole time (or at least have my partner be on task to make sure everything was going my way). If you have already given birth to a child and you’re reading this, you probably just snorted with derisive laughter while reading that last sentence.
Giving birth is not something you can control. You don’t know what is going to happen and frankly your body is not really your own. It does what it wants, when it wants.
I had to be induced early. The gas made me nauseous, I ended up having an epidural which I had absolutely set my heart against, my daughters heart rate slowed and my poor haemophobic husband ended up in surgery with me while I had an emergency caesarean.
Two very important things that the whole experience taught me were:
Being induced two weeks early meant that I had left the whole packing thing to the last minute. With my daughter I had no appropriate sleepwear, not enough underwear, no book to read, and no first outfit for my child (I still can’t believe I forgot that one!).
This time, I’m getting in early and this baby bag will be ready and waiting at the door as we walk out.
Have more underwear than you think you need. One of my good friends gave me some VERY valuable advice. Get some underwear that pulls everything in and wear it straight away. It helps you to feel like everything is going back into place quickly. Personally I’m a fan of the granny-pants style like the Retro High Waist Control Brief or the QT intimates with High Waist Brief with Rear Push-up. Neither is particularly sexy, but that’s not what you’ll be after straight after the birth of your child. They’ll hold everything in and make you FEEL much better (which is what you’re aiming for)
I took pyjamas for my stay in hospital. I’m really glad I did because I felt so much more comfortable than I would have in a nightie. With PJ’s I didn’t have to shave my legs which was a huge bonus. I tried on the ones that I bought for the birth of my daughter last week, and they have stretched beyond the wearable realms. Besides, I think I might splurge a little on myself. I love the look of the Belabumbum Dottie Tunic & Loungepant in navy. Get something you feel comfortable in though (they have HEAPS of gorgeous options), and that you can adjust for feeding if you are planning to do so.
Take spare nappies, wipes and whatever book you think you might read (if you can drag your eyes away from your adorable new little person) and PLEASE don’t do the ridiculous thing I did and forget your babies first outfit!
And finally, don’t underestimate how much time and effort working out breastfeeding is going to take. For some lucky women, it’s easy and not too painful, but for the rest of us, it hurts, and it takes time. Give yourself permission to have a little cry and feel frustrated, but be ready, and don’t give up. Take some Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter to help sooth painful nipples. It doesn’t have any yucky harmful ingredients so it’s safe to use while feeding. The Philips Avent Breast Care Thermopads are awesome! They’re supposed to stimulate milk production when they’re warm, but personally, the soothing cool of a thermopad straight out of the fridge is their real genius.
If you forget something, don’t be embarrassed. Ask someone to grab it for you on their way in, order it online, or let one of your nurses know, they may be able to help you get it.
And just remember, it can’t be as bad as not remembering to take clothes for your new child…. My poor daughter’s first “at home” photos are in the hospital gown and a nappy.