Another blog about what you REALLY need

It was probably about 14 hours after giving birth and I was in a bathroom across the hall from my hospital room (yes, I gave birth in a really nice hospital, that did not have showers in the Mother Baby rooms). I grabbed my hospital bag with fresh clothes, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, my wide tooth comb (plus all the maxi pads, cooling pads, antiseptic spray, squeeze bottle, and mesh underwear, and two very small towels provided by the hospital) and waddled across the hall for a well deserved shower that I was determined to savor since I expected it would be a while before I’d have this kind of shower time again.

When I got into the bathroom it was one giant room with a sink right when you opened the door, and a shower at the other end (10ish feet away) and there was no toilet. Let me say that again for the people in the back — The shower room for new mothers who can’t hold any liquid in their bodies had NO TOILET! There was no place to set all of my stuff and it took me forever to figure out how to keep my new clothes clean and dry (the floor was neither).

Eventually I worked all of this out. I took my dirty clothes off and turned on the water to warm up. Waddled over to the sink area to remove my underwear/pad chastity belt contraption and waddled back to the shower planning to hop right in. But, the water was still very cold, so I had to stand there, naked, waiting with water running, no toilet, and no bladder control. You see where this is going right? Before I even knew it was happening, my shoes were filled with urine, blood, & clots. It’s really all a blur, but I got in the shower, rinsed out my shoes (thank god I was wearing these plastic Birkenstocks) and used one of the two towels that I had to clean the bloody floor. I guess I also cleaned myself, but I don’t remember. When I was done, I had to stay in the shower, balancing on the wet floor while trying to reassemble and put on my diaper/underwear. In the end, I could only get half dressed because I couldn’t balance enough to get my pants on without getting them wet, and had to waddle back across the hall to my room pantless. Not as luxurious as I had planned, but I was wearing a Hawaiian print button down, so with my tiny towel wrapped around my waist, I guess I looked like I was on vacation??

The reason that I am telling you this (besides that it still makes me laugh) is that I read all the books and blogs about what you REALLY needed to bring to the hospital, and while I was happy that I brought my own cozy socks instead or relying on hospital socks, I really just lucked out that I was wearing shoes that weren’t ruined by blood & urine. There were some crucial things left off of those lists. So here is my list of things that I overlooked for the first week post birth and really wish someone had told me to think about:

Crocs

I know I mentioned that I had polyurethane Birkenstocks, and I love those shoes, but they do still have real (cloth) inserts, so would go with something that can be hosed off the second time around.


Overnight/Postpartum Pads

If you are birthing in a hospital, they should send you home with some, but even the most generous hospitals won’t give you enough. Have a backstock of them waiting at home.
*I like these postpartum pads


A Breast Pump

I read in so many books & blogs that you shouldn’t use a breast pump for the first few weeks and that your baby would find their way to your nipple, nature would take over, and a bond like no other would be created between the two of you. That could happen, but just in case, go ahead and have that breast pump on hand (and sterilized). I promise if you end up needing it you will be grateful and it could save you from mastitis or some other gnarley infection.


Easy food items - not exactly meal prepping

Frozen meals that can be warmed up are great, but things that can quickly be made with one hand, are just as (if not more) important. Stock up on cereal, peanut butter & jelly supplies, granola & yogurt, smoothie supplies, etc. You are going to be RAVENOUS, and if you are breastfeeding, should be burning lots of extra calories every day, so go ahead and eat like a teenager again!


Schedule an at home Newborn photo session

Some people like the hospital photo shoots, if that’s your thing great, do that! We lucked out and our friend (and amazing NYC based photographer Karen Siefert), who took our maternity photos, offered to come over and take some quick pics after we got home from the hospital. This was unplanned, but I am so grateful to her for this. I cannot imagine not having these pictures.

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