operation make room for baby: what I learned from the first labor & delivery go round

So, we’re gearing up for the new little guy’s arrival (so few weeks away! can’t even say ‘months’ anymore) and I’ve been thinking a lot about lessons learned from my first go round of bringing a baby into the world. Not so much about the whole “to have an epidural or not to have an epidural” debate; I know EXACTLY where I stand on that one. But more about all the things that didn’t occur to me to even think about while and right after the Bug was born.

I will be confiscating Pat’s cell phone in the labor/delivery room.
Unbeknownst to me, my husband was so excited about the Bug’s impending arrival that he was giving play-by-play text updates to all our friends and family like a radio sports announcer.  “It was just like being there!” Um, yeah — no way. The only people on the need to know list about the dilation of my cervix are: me, my doctor, the nurses and maybe Pat if he promises not to broadcast it.

I’m putting both of our cell phones on Do Not Disturb mode once admitted to the hospital.
Don’t worry friends and fam — we’ll absolutely let you know when I’ve been admitted to the hospital and we’re getting closer to meeting the little guy. But “update request” texts, emails and phone calls just add to the stress level in the room. If there is a reason you need to be included on the ‘need to know about my cervix’ list, we will be sure to let you know and send you an update. If something goes awry, you’ll get a phone call. I realize that everyone gets incredibly anxious and excited (no more than me!), but you’re going to have to trust us that no news is good news. We appreciate your “everything ok?” texts — but are just a wee bit preoccupied. Yes, we’ll text you and post the obligatory Facebook photo just as soon as all of us are presentable. 😉

I will be packing snacks in my overnight bag.
This sounds absolutely silly, right? WRONG. I was admitted to the hospital at 4:30 AM in the morning when the Bug was born– which means I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner the night before. She was born at 10:00 PM that night. Couldn’t eat during the process and the hospital kitchen was closed by the time I was allowed to eat. Didn’t have anything but apple juice until 7:00 AM the next morning. Can you say hungry?

The four of us will be hibernating for at least two days post-hospital.
The visitors started within hours of us getting home from the hospital when the Bug was born. On one hand, it was great because we were so excited for her to meet everyone. On the other hand? It was absolutely exhausting and stressful. Our 1,100 square foot open floor plan row home wasn’t conducive to entertaining while attempting to figure out the whole nursing thing. Trying to connect and learn a new baby’s cues was ridiculously hard with all of the distractions.

Plus — and no one told me this ahead of time– I needed some time to recover. Didn’t mean I wanted to hand my infant over to someone else to care for her (in fact, quite the opposite), but I REALLY didn’t want to sit around, be stared at, and try to converse. I have no illusions that in two or three days of home hibernation we’ll have a routine, the house won’t be a disaster, or that I won’t look like Frankenstein’s bride from sleep deprivation and/or lack of shower. But we will have had a little time to bond as a new family of four, blindly wielded our way through baby jet lag with coffee, be ready for some distractions, be happy to have someone else rock the little guy for a bit {provided they douse themselves in antibacterial spray since this baby is coming in the midst of some insane flu season}, and be excited to see all of our friends and family. Especially those that want to come entertain the Bug after Pat’s paternity leave ends (only gets a week).

{Note: the ‘please don’t visit for a few days’ request does not apply to anyone who wants to drop off hot food or run my three year old around the zoo for a few hours. But you’ll have to excuse my ill-fitting pajamas and the Bug’s orphan Annie hair. I probably won’t have the energy to take on her daily crazy bedhead knots. }

What would you add to this list?