5 Things I Learned in Labor and Delivery

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My baby girl is HERE! I’m proud to introduce my daughter who came much earlier than expected (three weeks to be exact). Now that I’ve gone through L&D, I’m ready to share a few things for all pregnant ladies to remember when gearing up for the big day.

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NAME: Blakely McPherson Whitmore
BIRTHDAY: April 13, 2014 @ 11:20pm
WEIGHT: 6 pounds 11 ounces
HEIGHT: 18 inches
HAIR: very little brown fuzz
EYES: dark blue/gray for now

1. Your Delivery Will Never Go As You “Planned”
I was absolutely certain I would have at least two more weeks before baby girl arrived so I planned out the weekend of April 11th like any other. Despite a little false alarm on Friday evening, I enjoyed a casual Saturday with my family and date night with my husband. Little did we know that it would be our last night out before our daughter arrived. Around 5:00 AM, I felt my water break. Three weeks early! Do not rely on “your first always comes late!” Your plans will never go exactly as they are on your calendar, babies have a mind of their own. Your nursery might not be finished, your fridge might be empty, and you might not even have the car seat installed yet. Just take a deep breathe and go with the flow.

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2. Eat a Meal Before You Head to L&D!
I had heard this advice before but during the frenzy of realizing my water had broken, I barely finished half a piece of toast. After 18 hours of labor and lots of tears, I simply had zero energy or focus left. When the doctor suggested a c-section, I broke down out of sheer exhaustion (and hunger)! I highly suggest you pack at least a granola bar in your hospital bag to eat while on the way to L&D because ice chips will only hold you so long. Do not eat too much as the medicines can make you nauseous, but it’s nice to have a little food for energy.

3. Leave Your Jewelry at Home!
When a c-section was decided, what seemed like a stampede of nurses hurried in and started preparing me for the surgery. One was charged with removing jewelry. If I had it all to do over again, it’s best to leave jewelry at home or with your husband. It gets very hectic and the last thing you need is to worry about where your diamond earrings were placed during the chaos.  It’s just one more thing you do not need on your plate!

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4. Keep Visitors to a Minimum!
This is certainly a personal preference but the hospital environment for a c-section recovery (or any birth recovery) can be a very hectic place. Nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff are in and out almost every 15 minutes. Do not be afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings by asking visitors to let you have this time to focus on you and the baby. We had to have a couple of visits by a pediatric cardiologist and the last thing I wanted was a room full of visitors while trying to focus on exactly what the doctor was telling me. You are the only one that can help provide a peaceful recover for the baby (and yourself), so do not be afraid to take that time for the both of you.

5. The First Few Days Will Be Hard but Precious.
We knew that Blakely was slightly jaundiced when we left the hospital, but a follow-up test two days later discovered that her jaundice level was reaching a serious one. I went into “focused mama” zone and pushed away visitors at the doctor’s request, focused on feedings, and got lots of sun time in for baby girl. The last thing I wanted was to readmit her to the hospital. Meanwhile, these were my first few days at home. I always imagined those days being filled with rocking her to sleep, greeting friends, and enjoying baby bliss. Just know that the first few days might not always go as planned but every step you take will be for the sweet baby no matter whether it’s quickly grabbing pink goggles at Target for her jaundice or singing lullabies all night long!

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If you’re expecting or know someone who is, I hope these little tips will help them as they prepare for this wonderful and precious time. I’m so thrilled to begin my journey into motherhood. Thank you all for following along in this exciting time! I can’t wait to share her nursery with you soon.

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