My bag is packed, I am 37 weeks tomorrow, and I am really hoping for some encouraging news the next time my OB examines my cervix. I am done, mamas. This is baby #3, pregnancy #5, and I am exhausted and feel like a beached whale most of the time.
At this point in pregnancy, most of us are ready to not be huge and uncomfortable anymore. I am praying for an uncomplicated delivery with this baby, as I experienced with my second daughter. I also remember another thought I had while in the hospital with my second daughter… “Hey, this actually ain’t so bad.”
Labor and delivery are not what I would call fun or relaxing. At all. I do, however, think there are some pretty decent perks about the postpartum wing that I am genuinely looking forward to. Does that make me crazy? Possibly, but hear me out about a couple of things:
- Me and Baby Time. Not only do I get to gaze at that sweet face and see who has been growing inside me for these long nine months, but the time in the hospital, away from my three- and five-year-olds, is likely going to be the most relaxed time I get with my new arrival. My husband plans to go back and forth, which worked out very well for us with our second daughter. I was by myself with the baby most of the time in the hospital, but there honestly was not much he could do to help me there. I felt much better knowing our child at home was with her father the majority of the time rather than imposing on a friend or family member. This gave me a lot of time alone with my baby to snuggle and bond—and I truly loved it.
- No Cooking. All of your food is delivered right to your bedside, and it actually was not half bad last time. I do all the cooking in our family, so I am really looking forward to not having this chore “on my plate” for a few days.
- No Cleaning. Yup, also me. I am the one who does all the cleaning at home, and it truly takes a significant chunk of time to keep up with everything. I have deep cleaned my house over the past couple of weeks while I was in “nesting mode” and it is the one thing I asked my husband to make sure to keep up with while we are in the hospital. I don’t care if he has to hire a service, but I want to come home to a clean house. This means I do not have to clean anything in the hospital (except diapers and pump parts) and won’t have to do anything at home for a couple of days postpartum either.
- Television. Uninterrupted television without little ears listening. I do not actually watch much TV at home, and we do not have cable, but the hospital does. I remember watching a ton of TV with my previous delivery and thinking it was so nice to be able to watch whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
- Affirmation from Medical Professionals. This is a big one for me. I thrive on praise, and having data and the affirmation from medical professionals that my baby is eating well, not too jaundiced, and overall healthy really helps me manage my anxiety. When I go home, it is all me. I definitely value the feelings of security I get when my baby is surrounded by doctors of all specialties should the need arise. This is one perk that definitely plays into my anxiety and takes more significant effort for me to manage well at home.
I am well aware that the postpartum wing is not really a vacation, and mothers who deliver babies do not always have an easy recovery. There is cramping, constant nurse visits that interrupt sleep, grabby lactation consultants, and pain that requires special ice packs that fit inside your underwear. However, I am choosing to keep a positive outlook on the experience and focus on relaxing as much as I can while I am there. Those first few days with a new baby are so precious, and I hope and pray that my recovery will be as easy as it was with my last child, and that the postpartum wing feels like a small break from the chaos of everyday life—a tiny getaway just for me and my sweet baby girl.