After nearly six years, several name changes and an embarrassingly small number of posts; I am still deciding what I want this blog to be. Craft blog, random life stuff blog, inspiration board, wedding blog, marriage blog, mama blog. I even created another blog recently just for the mummy stuff. However, given how little I post on one blog, dividing that by two would just make them both extremely scant things. So to that end (and considering my whopping 92 pageviews over five and a half years), I have decided to make it all of those things. A publicly accessible personal diary.
So, becoming a mum was a real hazing experience for me and without going into too much detail; it was brutal, slightly life endangering and at times, just kind of humiliating. I have made a mental note of things that, at the time, I felt would have literally saved my life. Although, obviously I managed to survive (barely) without them. Now that life is much, much easier I want to make a list for next time before time heals all wounds and I forget completely. Some things I have explained, and some stand alone because to explain them would be a little bit (or a lot) gross.
For the Hospital
1. Paracetamol and ibuprofen - lots of it!!!
This was something I found myself having to practically beg for every six hours in hospital. Regardless of the level of care provided in hospital, these magical capsules will be required at the maximum dosage for perhaps weeks after birth. I have a pain threshold of ummmm zero.
2. Lansinoh nipple cream
To help with breastfeeding.
3. Nipple shields
See above. These are apparently the worst thing in the world, excluding formula feeding in lactivist world but if it means the difference between being able to breast feed or bottle feeding I can't see why.
I was pretty neutral when it came to dummies before Evie was born. I had a few that had been given to me as samples but didn't think to pack any for hospital so effectively spent the entire first night acting as a human pacifier to a baby with a sore head (hence the breastfeeding problems). Now, I am a devoted convert. Even now, ten months down the track it is awesome. Dummy + cot = sleep. It is truly a miracle.
5. Visitor protocol
This may sound a bit harsh and only apply to introverts like me, but six hours after giving birth really was NOT the best time to meet my brother-in-law's childless, whooping cough infected, new (short-term) girlfriend (TRUE STORY)! Likewise, making small talk with just about anyone is going to be difficult when you dealing with an inconsolable newborn and impending nervous breakdown. Decide who you are prepared to see you more disheveled than you will ever be in your life and let everyone else know a set time when you will be taking visitors. I first came across this idea via a Facebook friend and childless me thought "ooh hoity toity", but really it makes so much sense. You only have to make the house (and yourself) presentable once, it shouldn't interfere with feeding the baby if you do it beforehand and it won't be taking up too much time when you would prefer to be caring for your baby or napping and not entertaining. Because it is difficult to be the hostess with the mostest when a baby is glued to you and you are barely able to walk. Also, my wish for every mama of a newborn would be visitors who do a load of dishes.
First days at home
6. Pre-sterilized bottles and formula
Not so much for in hospital as for 11pm on your first night home when both you and the baby are crying inconsolably. The baby, because she thinks you are trying to turn her into a vampire and you because you just cannot bear even the thought of trying to feed her. I think these are great, especially if you do want to breastfeed and don't want to buy the whole bottle set up for a just in case scenario. Breast pump may also be handy, preferable electric.
7. Hot and cold packs
For your shoulders, tummy and anywhere that just needs a little comfort. My grandmother bought me a cute little giraffe which was was intended for the baby but it became my constant companion for a while there. Apparently, it can help soothe baby tummy pains but I never found this to be the case.
8. Pear juice, prune juice, prunes, Metamucil, coloxyl and senna.
9. Hemorrhoid cushion
10. Peri bottle and witch hazel pads (apparently, I didn't actually try either of these but they sound good).
I didn't try this until Eve was about 4 months but it helped no end with my own shoulder pain and seemed to calm Evie too.
An easy and breastmilk producing snack, win/win.
13. Natural yoghurt
To prevent/treat potential yeast infections. Also good breastfeeding food.
14. Cranberry juice
To prevent UTI's, especially in the case of multiple catheter insertions.
I'm sure I could come up with a lot more. At the shops I will often see things that I think would be handy (still after all this time; yep, I'm scarred or maybe just super prepared for next time), but this is the stuff that I absolutely wouldn't want to be without again.