Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I wish I had known, but never could have known, because, honestly, you never know (notes to me for next time before I forget)

For pregnancy:
  • Get a massage often. It's worth it.
  • Do your pre-natal yoga. It's more than worth it.
  • Swim, a lot. Your joints will thank you.
  • Have shoes that will fit you when your feet look like the pillsbury dough boy. Not just flip flops!
  • Sodium is never your friend. (unless you dig looking like a toad)
  • Set a reminder on your phone to take your vitamins. Baby brain is a real thing!
In the hospital:
  • Bring more than one robe. If by some random chance you end up having to stay longer than 3 days, that one robe is gonna be funky. Cotton, not flannel or fleece so you can sleep in it and not sweat your face off. And it could be pretty and not that raggedy old man robe you've had for years. Very un-sexy. (not that being sexy post partum is remotely on or near my mind)
  • Waddle on over (or send hubby) to the Lactation boutique (while in the hospital) and BUY a second set of pump flanges and valves. It's only 10 bucks. Really. After 4 weeks of washing out the same set every 3 hours (to skip the washing is to risk thrush), I finally did this. Now I can go 6 hours! Weeeee! (Better yet, ask the lactation nurses for another set. It's covered by your insurance and they are happy to help.)
  • They may give you an Ameda pump in the hospital but good luck finding parts for it at Target (see previous note about pump flanges)! Go with the Medela if you can, but know that the bottles for Medela fit the Ameda flanges. (discovered this yesterday)
  • Bring slippers. The kind that slip on. Scuffs, I believe they are called. Better than compression socks and flip flops. It was a very Geisha look, let me tell ya.
  • Shave your legs when contractions start (or your water breaks!). It's gonna be a long time before you can do it again.
  • Bring something to put on the door to help visitors find you and to help people whom you don't know from wandering into the wrong room while your hubby very nearly stands naked in the hospital room fresh from a shower. (yes, this happened. He had just gotten pants on!)
  • That sign that says 'no visitors right now' is a beautiful thing. Use it and sleep.
  • Take (and wear) a pair of earrings. It helps to see something pretty in the mirror to go with all of that swelling.
  • Modesty with L&D or Recovery nurses is wasted. They've seen it all! If they want to help you get dried off from your first shower post partum, it's actually nice and in a way feels like being a kid again.
  • Ask for what you need and don't worry about what people think. If it is time for meds and they aren't there yet, buzz the nurses. If you are hungry, ask for a snack.
  • Buy a meal ticket for hubby. Sending him off to forage every 4-5 hrs can be stressful. At least breakfast!
Post partum:
  • Give yourself 6 weeks to start feeling normal. Your body is not 18 any more!
  • A tiny fridge upstairs is your best friend!
  • Buy some bottles. You may think you'll be a champion nurser, but your body may have different ideas.
  • Maternity underwear. Buy them, wear them, both before and after delivery (after you are no longer wearing the hospital issue mesh undies and mattress sized pads!). Ignore comments from hubby about 'granny panties'. You try wearing underwear that hit you where your stomach was recently cut open!
  • When people ask what you need, be honest... Tell them to bring food!
  • Trips to the pediatrician are hard those first coupla weeks. Take a friend or family member to help you carry things like, say, the car seat and diaper bag.
  • You can never have enough burp cloths!
  • Formula will mold on baby clothes if allowed to stay damp and those stains will never come out.
  • When they say rest when the baby rests, find a way to do it. Laundry, dishes and dinner be damned! No one will die or starve if you don't do those things, but you will feel like crap if you do them.
  • Hubbies are great for ordering take out or rummaging through the fridge to find a feast of leftovers.
In general:
  • Buy a car seat at the end of the second trimester, because anything beyond 30 (28 really) weeks is fair game. Just leave it in the box if you think you might get one at at a baby shower. It's very returnable!
  • Likewise, pick a 'going home outfit' for the wee smidge and wash it. Doing a load of laundry while sitting on a towel after your water breaks sucks.
  • Read up about possible delivery scenarios, instead of thinking 'this will never happen to me' and winding up relying on a vague memory of the video from birthing class when a C-Section comes your way.
  • Your feet WILL eventually go back to NOT looking like refrigerator biscuits. Even though it seems impossible. You do, in fact, have ankle bones.
I'm sure all this will go right out the window when it's baby number 2 and I have to take care of them AND take care of me when the Geek goes back to work!


Christy said...

Good to know! :-)
Especially the hospital tips.

Dana said...

great list. i got smart and started taking my own postpartum pads to the hospital so i wouldn't have to wear the mattress sized ones they give you, it definitely made me feel more human. :)

Ron said...

Ameda Replacement Parts are available at:

finnspace said...

This is a great list! Some things you just can't know until you go through it. :)

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