Due to the fact that I should be using this time to sleep, I’m going to allow myself 10 minutes for this entry. We’ll see how this goes!
Egan is my third baby, so I pretty much knew what to expect to happen at the hospital. However, I had a really good experience this hospital stay compared to my previous one, so I thought I would share a little about what made it better because A) there could be a mom-to-be out there that could find some of this info helpful, and B) inquiring minds want to know! Rats, I’m already down to 7 minutes left! So, some quick bullets on the subject:
~ We didn’t lug all of our stuff into Labor and Delivery. I packed a small bag for L&D with essentials like the camera, and then a suitcase for postpartum. That made life a little less complicated. (Of course, if you get to stay in the room that you deliver in like I did with my first baby, it doesn’t matter so much. Lucky you!)
~ Josh brought in my lap top, and we listened to Pandora while I was in labor. Genius, no? I wasn’t sure if I would want music or not, but I ended up really liking having it to distract me from the contractions!
~ I brought my own breast pump, and I think it was the most important time/money/stress saving thing that I did! I rented a hospital grade pump with the first two babies. They’re pretty pricey, and you have to wait for a lactation specialist to see you and set you up with the pump. After Izzy and I got established with nursing, my mom bought me a Medela Swing to use for pumping supplemental bottles. I brought it with me to the hospital this time, and I was able to start pumping without waiting on lactation! I thought that they would really push for me to have a hospital grade pump to help bring in my milk, but the lactation specialist actually gave me 2 thumbs up for having the Swing!
~ I brought dish detergent and a bottle brush. I know it sounds weird, but they don’t give you anything to clean your breast pump with. So, even if you just want to use the hospital’s pump, I highly recommend bringing dish washing supplies – it made our lives easier, and earned another couple thumbs up from the lactation specialist!
~ I didn’t let myself get stressed out over feedings like I have in the past. The first week of nursing is hard…but stressing out over it doesn’t make it any better! I gave myself a mental break. Egan and I worked at nursing as much as we could, and I supplemented with a little formula with the feedings that didn’t go so well. We made it through just fine and I haven’t had to supplement since the day he came home from the hospital!
~ I was much, much more assertive about the way I wanted things. I wasn’t afraid to ask the nurses to have things a certain way. And guess what…they didn’t mind at all! I was especially assertive about staying on top of my pain meds. I typically avoid taking medicine if I can until the pain gets unbearable – but I knew that since this was a third baby, I would be having horrible after birth cramping, especially when I nursed. I let my nurses know that I wanted pain medicine as regularly as possible, and they were great about it. Of course I still had cramps, so I can only imagine how bad they would have been if I had not taken anything prior!
~ I stayed out of the hospital bed as much as I could. Hospital beds are highly uncomfortable for someone who has had a vaginal birth, but in the past I have felt obligated to stay in it. Not this time!!!
OK, so that took more than 10 minutes…but it was less than 20…