These are just tips that helped me personally - either ones I read while I spent hours googling, ones people shared with me or ones I came up with myself. I am by NO MEANS an expert or even know what I am doing. I just wanted to compile a list so that (A) I could refer back to it should we have another baby and (B) maybe it would be helpful for someone else!
Also, some of these tips I figured out on my own and some of these I learned from other people, blogs and conversations. I tried to thank the people that gave us this advice!
8 TIPS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE YOUR HOSPITAL VISIT
Keep a notebook to write down all your fears, questions, memories and more.
My good friend Ashleigh and Steve had a notebook of notes so I wanted to do the same! I have a notebook I used throughout my whole pregnancy that sits in a bucket that I carry from room to room (more on this later). Baby brain is real so I wrote all my questions for our doctor, our tips (like these) that I wanted to share with my pregnant friends if they asked (and if they didn’t) and even memories of STELLA.
It’s totally OK to not return calls or text right away.
I didn’t have the emotional energy to talk to anyone for about 2, almost 3 weeks after STELLA. Stella was born. I never knew how emotionally taxing giving birth was going to be! I finally started to return calls and text after re-reading them about 2 weeks later.
It’s totally OK to turn away visitors at the hospital.
I was OK to have my family visiting, but I was so emotional and exhausted on top of dealing with a wet tap that I literally couldn’t handle any other visitors. There were even times we turned our family away. Brad was my visitor coordinator because I didn’t want to be the bad guy.
It’s OK to send your baby to the nursery. (Thanks to Ashleigh and Steve for this advice!)
I heard this over and over again. It’s totally OK to send your baby to the nursery so you can get a little sleep. They won’t let you sleep long because you need to feed that babe every few hours, but instead of worrying constantly over the baby instead of sleeping, let the baby nurses watch your baby while you rest. No need to feel guilty!
Take everything home! If you have left over diapers, pads, wipes and etc., take it home! (Thanks to Ashleigh and Steve as well as a few other friends for this advice!)
You’ve already paid for it (or your insurance has) so take it home! We had left over diapers, wipes, pads and underwear so I took it home! It was so helpful to have that stash to work through before using my own stash!
Get your support person to make sure you eat!
I kept forgetting to eat the first three weeks. If I didn’t have Brad, I would have withered away! I never realized I was hungry until he asked me if I was! You need your calories to produce milk if you are breastfeeding so make sure you aren’t skipping any meals.
Thank your nurses often!
Your nurses are your support team and they will do everything for you from checking your vitals, making sure you pass gas to helping your shower and wipe your bum if needed. Don’t forget to thank them relentlessly!