Hospital Bag, Epidural, Hospital Stay, & Postpartum Care
Throughout the pregnancy, I researched about everything I could think of, from prenatal diet to how long labor can last. It’s all fun and whatnot until you realize it’s almost time!
One of the things that I seemed very concerned about was the hospital bag. I know it’s silly, but I didn’t want to forget anything because I knew that if I absolutely needed it, husband would run home to get it and I would not want him to leave my sight for a second. I searched and read through many lists and articles (mostly on Pinterest), about what other mothers had packed and had actually used. They all varied. Some people recommended long lists of stuff for the whole family and others just for mommy and baby. In the end, most agreed that they had overpacked. I didn’t want to under pack and forget anything, but I also did not want to overpack because husband was going to be the one to carry it around. Here’s what I packed and what I actually used;
I did end up packing more than I should have, but I wasn’t sure what would be available or provided. I also wanted to make sure I had options for baby CJ because I didn’t know how big he would be. I also brought my insurance card & ID, as well as my Short Term Disability (STD) paperwork, but was told that anything STD related would be taken care of at the OB/GYN office, which I went to get filled and filed the next week.
My labor was scheduled because baby was ready and so was I. Baby CJ was facing the right way, so I would be having a vaginal birth. I was induced at 39 ½ weeks. My OB/GYN informed me that it would take 24-72 hours after being induced until I was ready to push and that I would remain in the same labor room until baby CJ was born. Less than 3 hours later I was getting light contractions. An hour later husband and I went for a walk roaming hospital halls, and a half hour after, I was getting HARD contractions that were a minute long every minute. It was extremely difficult to walk or breathe for that matter. I had tried to be brave beforehand and had told the nurses I wanted to wait to get the epidural until I couldn’t handle the pain. BOY, I was clueless!
After I started having hard contractions, it took another 30 minutes until I actually got the epidural because the anesthesiologist was attending another patient and by the time everything was ready, a half hour had passed. A couple minutes later I was feeling relieved. Contractions are no joke! I was one of those people that researched as much as I could about epidurals and of course fear pushes you to the easiest answer, which is not always the best. I was afraid that I would be that one who ends up paralyzed as a result of the side effects. In that moment of pain, I did not care! But, I also knew that these doctors have been doing it for years and have much practice. I am really glad I got the epidural! I slept on and off the rest of the evening. Then, 3 hours after the epidural, I was 10cm dilated. However, I was not ready to push, so I slept for another 4 hours into the next day. Once it was time, I spent about 3 hours pushing on and off until baby CJ was out! As soon as he was out, he let out a cry! Now, I just want to say, I did not cry but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I’m one of those people who once I start crying, there’s no end in sight. But, no doubt, I was in love with baby CJ and I was proud of what husband and I had created. Husband was just as proud to be a new daddy as I was to be a new mommy. We were in the labor room for 3 more hours after I gave birth. Baby CJ remained in the room with us the entire time. From the time of admission to the time we moved to the postpartum room, 18 hours went by.
We spent the rest of that day in the postpartum room, I tried feeding baby CJ but had no luck in the latching part. I was concerned about him not eating anything, so I gave him a little formula for a little ease of mind. I continued to try throughout the rest of my stay in the hospital but had very little luck. They provided me with an electric pump to attempt producing milk but no luck there either. Baby CJ slept a lot and cried very little, but if it wasn’t for the nurses coming in and out every 1-2 hours, husband and I would’ve gotten some sleep.
We also had a few visitors, which contributed to the little sleep. We appreciate people wanting to visit and them being concerned but because we were so tired and pretty much, zombified, I think we probably came across rude at some point. But, they should also be sympathetic as well as empathetic about how we were feeling at the time, especially when they have gone through something similar in the past. Not only are you exhausted from the process you’ve gone through, but those rooms are tiny and are not made for visitors (because there was only room for 1 chair in the corner). I firmly believe from this experience, that it is best to set ‘Visiting Dates’ in advance for after you are discharged from the hospital to allow friends and relatives to visit your new little family.
Before being discharged the next morning, we received lots of information about care for our little one and care for mommy. I don’t know if this is country-hospital-wide, but I got to take home everything that was in the bathroom inside the postpartum room. These items included a tub of hazel witch moist pads, pain relieving spray, a pack of giant bulky absorbent pads, couple of comfy underwear, water spray bottle, and mattress pads. This meant I had to buy zero postpartum care items! I was also lucky to be bleeding for only a couple days after being discharged from the hospital, so I didn’t really need all those giant pads. I then continued to use normal pads the next week for light spotting. I had a follow up with my OB/GYN about 5-6 weeks after delivery to get new birth control prescription, called Nora-Be, which does not interfere with breastfeeding. He did advise I call in a year (or when finished breastfeeding), to change the prescription as these do not regulate that time of the month at all!
From admittance to the time we were discharged, we were in the hospital for about 2 ½ days and baby CJ remained with us at all times. Looking back and after reading other mommy’s experience with delivery and after birth care, I think I got off pretty lucky! Plus, I got to take home my brand new family!
Ps. These [pictures] are not of great quality, but you get the picture!
See baby CJ’s Birth Day!