With your most exciting event just around the corner, no doubt you are prepared within an inch of your life!
I thought I was, I had everything on the list given to me by my hospital, had read my books, pack soothing music and essential oils...we even had a plan, but life is unpredictable and with all the preparation for the birth of a new baby, I sort of forgot about me. I thought I might talk about some expectations we have, and the reality of how you feel after birth.
A few weeks before I gave birth, I was tired but glowing, proud to show off my swelling tummy with the latest maternity fashions...we all have our favorites and it's so nice to say to commenting passers-by that yes the baby is finally due (I carried quite big all the way along and was sick of hearing "not long to go" when I was five months pregnant!) I went on a preparatory shopping trip with my sister to buy some last-minute necessaries. I needed a new overnight bag, some pj's and some clothes to wear home.
I picked out my usual pre-pregnancy size and headed for the checkout. "Hang on" said my older sister of three, "is that for you?"..."Obviously" I thought to myself in a mad nesting rush, but she pulled me aside and mentioned ever so gently and with a hint of a smile that that may not be my size post-birth. I had not even entertained the idea that I might have a big tummy full of...well, fluid, tissue, fat, etc...This was a spanner in the works, so I quickly opted for one size larger in a skimpy low cut number and some larger tracksuits pants.
The big day came and it all went to custard, I was induced, fully dilated within three hours, and then had to have an emergency cesarean. But surprisingly, I was calm and the staff was brilliant. And what a most precious and endearing present at the end. I can even articulate how wonderful it feels, like all of your best feelings rolled into one, an overflow of emotion! The dust settles and you are back in your room, trying to learn how to breastfeed, with lots of different and sometimes conflicting words of advice. Friends and family start to treacle in and you realize you have everything for your baby and nothing for yourself, or nothing appropriate. My fancy pj's were too low cut and I felt self-conscious and embarrassed with my new huge boobs, my low cut tracksuit pants were sitting right on top of my cesarean stitches and were way too tight and nothing seemed to cover my belly - thank goodness for my dressing gown. So what else do you need for you...
Loose-fitting comfortable high wasted pants.
Lots of nursing tops to wear with pj bottom, or trousers.
A nice pair of well-cut preferably soft, black, stretch, bootcut pants with a folded top to support and hold in your tummy and not aggregate stitches or healing areas. Soft fabric and breathing space are necessary especially if you have and an episiotomy. These are good to ear home.
Makeup and skincare, shampoo and conditioner, just in case you in for longer than you thought ie about five days for a cesarean.
- And an open mind!