Hi, guys! Thank you for all of your amazing comments on Friday’s post. You guys are sweetest and it was so nice sharing our little bundle of joy with all of you!
The past week has been an awesome whirlwind of firsts for our family. We’re still getting our feet wet and trying to figure things out, but Mal and I are very much enjoying our time as new parents with baby Q. He really is such a blessing and we love him so, so, so much.
I’m still working through my thoughts about labor and delivery and writing Q’s birth story, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging about my experience, so I created this post, which is just a topline account of my time in the hospital as well as some random thoughts and ramblings about life with a newborn and some advice for new moms—a lot of which originally came from you guys and, boy, were you soooo right!
Thoughts from the hospital
- God bless labor and delivery nurses! I truly can’t get over the nursing staff at the hospital. They were absolutely amazing throughout my entire experience from coaching me through nearly 3 hours of pushing to answering all of our rookie parent questions. They were so great, and I seriously wanted to hug them all.
- I’m glad my birth plan was simply to have a healthy baby. I didn’t really have any expectations going into labor and delivery, which made the whole process (overall) relatively laid-back and stress-free. Of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies (that ish hurts!!), but I’m really happy with my experience.
- Labor is nothing like running a marathon. Over the years, a number of women have told me that labor is kind of like running a marathon. Now that I have experienced both, I have to say, they are nothing alike, except that they are both exciting in the beginning and suck a whole lot right before you cross the finish line.
- I hardly used anything that I packed for the hospital. I lived in a hospital gown for the first 24 hours and then wore sweat pants and nursing tanks for the rest of my time in the hospital, so I barely used anything that I packed. Mal and I didn’t drink champagne (neither of us were interested in booze), we didn’t dress Q in his going home outfit (he was happy in the one from the hospital), and I didn’t eat the GU that I packed during labor (I wasn’t interested in food then).
- The mesh undies weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. The ones at my hospital were actually kind of like boy shorts and pretty comfy!
Advice from the hospital
- Ask the nurses any and everything you think of. It’s your chance to get awesome advice from people who know what they are doing. The nurses, especially the ones who are moms themselves, are loaded with newborn and lifestyle wisdom. Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions either. They’ve heard it all before!
- Take notes. This probably sounds kind of dorky, but jotting down tips and advice for later was really helpful. Mal and I received so much great information in the hospital, but being sleep deprived and all, I’m not sure we would have remembered as much of it if we hadn’t written it down.
- Take advantage of all the resources at the hospital. They’re right at your fingertips, so be sure to use them (i.e. breast feeding classes, lactation consultations, etc.).
- Don’t feel badly about sending your baby to the nursery for a few hours so you can get some sleep. Initially, I didn’t want to part with Q at all, but my sister suggested that we take advantage of the nursery and staff, so Mal and I could get as much sleep as possible and it was definitely worth it!
Things you guys were so right about
- The second your baby is born, life as you know it instantly changes, but it’s so much better than I ever could have imagined.
- Witch hazel pads and ice packs… wow, you guys were right. And thank goodness for them!
- The first shower and first meal after labor and delivery are the greatest things ever. Actually, all showers are pretty amazing nowadays.
- You can function surprisingly well on very little sleep. True that.
Thoughts (and a little advice) from the first week
- Surprisingly, Mal and I aren’t nearly as neurotic as I thought we’d be with a newborn, especially considering how we act with Murphy. One of the nurses in the hospital actually commented about how calm and laid-back we seemed. I think a lot of our attitude comes from really working together as a team and not getting upset at or blaming each other when things get hard.
- Breastfeeding really is a full-time job. It’s definitely time-consuming, but I really love spending all of that quality time with Q. He’s so sweet and snuggley.
- Tag-team the first diaper “explosions” with your partner. It makes life so much easier: faster clean up and lots of laughs!
- Apparently, sitting in the backseat of the car with your newborn on the way home from the hospital is totally normal and a lot of first-time moms do it (according to the nurses at the hospital), so I’ve been riding with Q while Mal drives us around, taxi-style.
- If you have a boy, definitely get some Pee-pee Teepees. Q and I have already had a number of pee mishaps! Haha!
- Enjoy the snuggles.