I have a few reflections that I would like to share in light of the fact that I have had a lot of time (six months) to think about the experience of labor and birthing a baby. Some people have told me that my labor was easy and short and that i should be grateful and to those people i usually try to keep my mouth closed because what i want to say starts with an F and ends with a U. Others have said that it sounds horrible and let me tell you that at the time it wasn’t a bed of roses. It hurts. The one good thing I can say about natural birth is that I was up and out of that bed within hours and my recovery as far as being able to care for the baby was much easier than some of my friends who have had to have csections or who had time to have an epidural.
Birth is not necessarily beautiful, but the results are wonderful. I know so many women who want to paint the experience as beautiful (they actually use that word for an experience where you bleed and poop on yourself) like a Monet or a classical piano concert and its not. Its scary and wonderful and a very unique experience but beautiful isn’t the word I would use. Awe inspiring maybe. The only way you can truly understand it is to do it. Much like i imagine landing on the moon can only be understood fully by astronauts, giving birth can only be fully understood by someone who has given birth.
In light of all that I have a few post labor tips for all you about to be moms;
- Post labor you are tired, and fuzzy headed and their are a million people or in my case about 30 who really really want to see you and the baby in the hospital as soon as humanly possible. my advice is to limit who you allow to see you in that first 24 hours and what is posted on social media.
- Pack a gown or something you can nurse in that is flattering because someone will take your picture that day and you will be bloated and feel gross and that will most likely translate on camera. See below:
- Be prepared to be inspected…roughly every three hours. A nurse will be asking to see your stitches, giving you vitamins, checking your blood pressure, or “checking on you” constantly.
- Get a baby app for your phone to record feedings, changings, etc. Not only do you have a nurse but so does baby who will constantly be checking in.
- Bring your own snacks! Unless you like hospital cornflakes. If you are breastfeeding you will be hungry…all the time.
- if you want your baby in the room with you keep him there but there is no shame in keeping him in the hospital nursery. I kept Carl with me except for one night when Steven hadn’t returned yet and I needed a shower. I called the nursery and took him down there for about twenty minutes and then went and got him and brought him back to our room. All new moms could benefit from the occasional break.
- Enjoy it. enjoy every uncomfortable, sleep deprived, insane second of it and write about it. Write your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams.
And now for some cute baby Carl pictures;