It's honest, practical and well worth the read...
Irish mum, Orla gives a very honest account of the things she wished someone had told her that would happen in the days after giving birth. She had two children and she shares her 'after birth' experiences with us here...
- You will feel strange if it is your first. It is a combined emotion of elation, excitement and fear in one. I remember telling myself that this is my little job from now on. Nothing else mattered. I just had to mind that little girl and keep her safe. It really helped me at the time.
- You might feel a little lonely when everyone leaves for the night. I think this is very normal and you are not to worry! You and baby don’t know each other yet. You will never be alone again as long as you have them so this first night’s feeling of solitude won’t mean anything later. If you are very bad, chat to someone. A nurse, another mum; you will immediately perk up.
- The hospital ward is a hive of activity. If you are waiting to have baby, bring earplugs and drown out sounds to sleep. If you have had baby, take your rests when you can.
- The first ‘movement’. Not the baby’s! Your’s!! Out of the blue, the more experienced mammies visiting us would whisper quietly to me, ‘Did you use the toilet yet?’ and I was totally bewildered. Seemingly, the labour makes the bowel take a break for a bit. Therefore you may get constipated. Stitches may make you unwilling to go or cause (as one pharmacist said to me), ‘psychological constipation!!’ By baby two, I was down with this. Eat kiwis and pears. Order the fruit salad as part of your hospital meals. Drink fluid. Plenty of fluid. I went through water and the odd diet seven up by the bucket after baby two. The day I got home, all of that nastiness was over and I felt very well. I had been more traumatised with baby one, but I hadn’t known and had drank coke and eaten carb heavy snacks that did not help. (Cough, anal fissure, cough, cough. Tell you again about that)…. Just eat the fruit. Trust me.
- There are forms to fill in when you leave the hospital! You can’t get out without them being done, like poetry homework on a Friday evening in 1994. Therefore be prepared. By baby two, I had mine smugly filled in the morning after baby was born. They will want PPS numbers-yours and your partner’s. If it is baby number one, don’t get fooled by the trick question. They ask ‘What is Mother’s maiden name?’ and I am certain I am not to only one to write my own mammy’s maiden name, still oblivious to my own new role as a Mother! PS Bring a pen.
- After pains. I have no clue if I had these with my first. Painkillers or luck must have made them disappear. I thought I was in labour again three days after my second. I really didn’t think that could happen. Take the Diffene etc. It is an appropriate occasion!
- There will be blood! Don’t panic. It happens to us all. Just buy the giant pads. Lots of them. Don’t underestimate what you will need or leave them out because they take up room. It will pass.
- Get the gifts out as they come in. If you are in a hospital that allows visitors, send all home with the Dad or whoever you can each night. Also let them bring the laundry as you will have plenty.
- The Babygro and vest situation can be tricky. I had natural births therefore the babies were not in need of an extra amount of changes that can occur with operated birth. My friends who have had Caesarean sections say their babies had lots of extra mucus and they needed frequent changing. You also have a longer stay. Extra won’t be wasted.
- Nurses sometimes take the baby for a few hours to let you rest. There is no shame in having this happen. You will definitely feel better for it. I had it with baby one but not two. I was exhausted after the first night with baby two as I had been up 24 hours already labouring!
- You will feel like a superstar. You will feel like no one else ever had a baby before, only you. The baby will look like no other baby. You will be certain that the nurses, doctors etc. you dealt with will never forget your special moment! That is the amazing part.
- Have thank you cards and chocolates in your bag as there will definitely be nurses or midwives that you want to thank! It is so much better than having hubby etc. racing out to Tesco at the last minute when they could be preparing the house for your arrival. It is also better than the last minute purchase in the hospital gift shop. I bet they will appreciate the Lilly O Brien’s or the Toblerone than can’t be bought in the hospital, something different is always good.
Good luck and remember… you will feel like a superstar because you are doing the work of heroes as you repopulate the earth!
Orla is in her thirties (much to her disbelief), married to a handsome farmer and they have two beautiful little girls. She blogs at www.fancypaperblog.wordpress.comwhere you can visit to read her other musings!