You are holding this beautiful baby in your arms and you can’t believe you created this little life, when the nurse starts pushing on your uterus and you feel blood gushing out of your body… I was so out of it that I just hoped it was all normal and if anything bad was happening they would take care of me.
Honestly no one had told me what postpartum life was going to be like and I was kind of pissed about it. It was the moment after I had Ricky and they made me try to go to the bathroom and I physically couldn’t that I realized how thankful I was to be at the hospital with all the supplies I could possibly need, because I new at home I was not prepared for this. Let me clarify when you go to a birthing center like I was originally planning they send you home 4-6 hours after you have the baby, which was kind of a selling point for me because I would get to sleep in my own bed. Only later did I realize that our sheets would have been ruined and I would have likely been in tears the first day because I had NOTHING other than pads and flush able wipes at home. It still makes me mad that my midwife who delivers babies for a living didn’t bother to freaking tell me what I needed at home to get through the first couple days. I account that for her never having a baby of her own…not saying every midwife who hasn’t bore a child is like this but I think it is very easy to be ignorant about what it is like if you have never experienced it. My next midwife will be a mother after this experience. Since no one told me I feel like it is my responsibility to share what really helped me,so whether you are planning on going to the hospital, birthing center, or at home you are physically and mentally prepared (I don’t know if I can 100% mentally prepare you because my experience was not that bad I only had 5 stitches. )
Let’s get the poopy stuff out of the way first ????
- Flush-able Wipes for your first Bowel Movement, if you have hemorrhoids you will thank me. They don’t provide these at the hospital, pack them in your bag and have them in your bathroom basket at home.
- Hemorrhoid cream. They gave me a tiny tube at the hospital and I didn’t buy anymore.
- Stool Softener…Seriously will save your life. I got one everyday morning in the hospital and It made that situation a lot less scary. If they don’t offer it ask for it or pack your own.
Now for the other stuff
- Motrin- I didn’t know that my only choice for pain meds postpartum were Motrin or percocet. I opted out of the hard drugs and got 600mg of Motrin around every 6 hours. Make sure you have some at home or get the prescription for it filled.
- Dermoplast numbing spray- I got this at the hospital and used it regularly for the first 2 weeks. I took the one they originally gave me home and wished I had asked for a 2nd before I left because I couldn’t find it at Walmart. The best thing they gave me. If you find it in the store get the one with the blue lid
- Tucks- They also give these at the hospital…I’m honestly not sure if they really helped me they felt good for the first few seconds because they are cool.
- Pads- Get the thick over night ones for the first week and then move down to a thinner over night.
- Mesh Underwear- These are super sexy…. but just do it. Take as many home with you as you can. I was advised to wash them….but I took enough home that I never had the pleasure of needing to do so.
- Peribottle- they will give you one at the hospital and they are a godsend! Use warm water. I used mine for 2 1/2 weeks.
- Make Padsicles before you go into labor. (freeze witch hazel and aloe gel on a pad) These will help give you some relief once you get home. They will give you “icepacks” at the hospital, mine were like make shift weird ice packs the they made out of diapers….seriously.
- Get comfy underwear that you won’t care if they get ruined, for once you move out of the mesh ones. I for one could not wait to put them on and feel more human again.
- Make sure you bring shampoo and conditioner to the hospital if nothing else! I didn’t even think about it and they only have hospital grade all-in-one soap which will surely dry your hair out to no end. ( I didn’t brush my hair before I left to go to the hospital because of my contractions and had a scary mess to deal with)
- Flip flops the floors were gross and dirty. I wore the socks but I kind of hate socks. I like my feet to be naked and free!!!
- Bring a pillow to sit on for your ride home. I only had 5 stitches and was still quite uncomfortable sitting.
How to feel human again
- SHOWER!!! I did shower at the hospital but I didn’t want to because I didn’t have my toiletries. I showered at home as much as I could.
- Make sure you eat. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your baby
- Get dressed in comfy cloths that are not pjs or maternity leggings.
- Jamberry nail wraps….these are totally optional but they made me feel pretty when my hair was a mess, I was in pain, and felt the opposite of pretty. You will get lots of compliments by the hospital staff which is a nice pick-me -up!
- It Works lip and eye cream… also optional but helped me not to be scared when I looked at my face in the mirror.
Finally, take everything they give you at the hospital and ask for extra the night before you leave. You pay for a lot of that regardless of how much you use anyway. I took all of the mesh undies, pads, tucks, dermoplast spray, baby wipes and diapers rash creams. They even sent us home with formula since I had ending up needing to supplement because I did not have milk and Ricky wouldn’t latch. Take everything, if you are going to be charged for it anyway just take what you can to help make things at home a bit easier. The hospital staff wants you to be able to survive once you get home so they will help you anyway they can.
You will be sore and tired. I couldn’t stand up all the way until like day 4, I felt nauseous from my uterus contracting which is similar to period cramps. You will bleed like a period for 3-6 weeks.
Take care of your self and take all the help you can get. I learned that people just want to help and feel needed especially your mom and mother in law if you have one.
I immediately bought a carseat canopy for my baby reading reviews on Amazon. That about covers it. Oh and don’t be a procrastinator like me make freezer meals and make sure you have healthy food in the house. I thankfully have an awesome family who filled our refrigerator with food while we were at the hospital…good way to make a new mama cry. haha.