Photo by Michele ZippI'm back from maternity leave! The past weeks have been the greatest of my life and there is no doubt that being mommy is the best "job" on earth. I'm experiencing separation anxiety right now -- my arms feel empty without one (or both) of the twins. And my breasts feel really heavy. Is it time to pump yet? Yikes...almost!
In between diaper changes, dancing around the room singing to Hunter, and helping Penelope "fly" through the air (she loves this!), I've thought a lot about the things I've learned after having the babies.
The one thing that really stood out is those lists for hospital bag essentials. Hilarious! Fancy pajamas? Not unless you want blood on them. A chic going home outfit so you can prance out of the hospital in heels? ROTFL.
Even the list I wrote had some doozies. Let's examine it, shall we?
- Cheap throw away slippers. Jackpot! It's the smartest thing I brought because the first time you stand up after having a child there is a whoosh of blood the likes of a dam breaking. Nothing will hold that flow back. Nada. Those slippers? Well, let's just say they turned a new color.
- Plastic flip flops for use in the shower. Yep. And thank goodness I had these because my feet were so swollen I couldn't fit into the shoes I walked in with. Note: I went home on a snowy December day!
- Comfy and loose outfit to go home in, especially if you have a c-section. Outfit? Ha! There should be more stress on comfy than outfit. This should read: Clothes that when you get home are comfortable enough to sleep in. Because that's exactly what I did when I walked in the door.
- CDs and DVDs. I didn't watch any TV or listen to music in the five days I was in the hospital...except when I labored for four hours -- I listened to my entire birth soundtrack before I had an emergency c-section (late onset of severe preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome). The sound I liked best was my twins breathing.
- Food. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the hospital food. Well, all I could eat the first couple of days was jello, so.... Plus, no need to make yourself nuts thinking about that. Have family get what you want while you are in the hospital if you need something.
- Lavender Glade Plug In (to make the room smell nice and soothing). While I sure could have used this since I was so gassy, it's very unnecessary. Plus, I was lucky to find a plug for my phone.
- Extra batteries/charger for the camera. Let your partner worry about this.
- Maxi pads (hospital pads are huge). *Thanks to comments below, it's noted that huge pads are very necessary. That asterisk is an understatement. I loaded up on the hospital pads so I can use them when I got home, so...indeed very necessary.
- Board games. Um...newborns don't play board games and I'd rather play with my newborn.
- Extra underwear and not the good kind. Yes. Best bet is a brief that fits snug so the pad doesn't move around.
Aside from the things I didn't poo-poo on this list, essentials include:
- Lip chap. I didn't wear a stitch of makeup except for the leftover mascara I didn't get to wash off. But my favorite lip chap made me happy.
- Face astringent with cleansing pads. I was unable to get out of bed for two days so this was nice to make me feel sort of clean.
- Your voice. Ask the nurses for items you need or want -- they are there to help and chances are good that they have what you need.
Written by Michele Zipp for Pregnancy in CafeMom Parenting