Two weeks before Poppy’s arrival I started nesting in a big way but my version of it was utterly bizarre. Rather than doing something useful like painting the nursery or folding clothes, I became absolutely obsessed with cleaning but not in a good way. I don’t think Mr UFM will ever forget the embarrassment of the night that we had our friends round for dinner and I burst into tears because they were dropping crumbs on the floor. I spent most of the meal glaring at everyone and even got the Dustbuster out half way during the main course. Poor Mr UFM was so nervous that he spilt wine everywhere at which point I left the room because it all got too much for me.
If you’re in the nesting phase then it probably means that it won’t be too long before your baby arrives which is incredibly exciting but perhaps a bit scary because if you’re anything like I was you might not be feeling 100% prepared. (I don’t think that you ever do so don’t worry!).
Anyway, there are a few things that I wish I’d known/thought of before I had Poppy and I wanted to share them with you just in case they come in handy and help you to feel a bit more relaxed.
I’ll put them in a list so that you can tick them off as you go :0)
Things to remember now:
1. Remember to pack some flip-flops in your hospital bag so that you can wear them around the post-labour ward and in the shower if need be as a lot of women will be using it and it might make you feel a little bit more comfortable.
2. Bring a mini-fan and some flannels which you can douse in cold water and put on your forehead for when you’re in labour. Lavender oil is also a great addition and a few drops can be added to the cold flannel.
3. Get your partner to have a list of all the people that you want to contact after the birth programmed into his phone.
4. Remember to pack lots of sweets/still Lucozade drinks for energy during the birth. I also recommend coconut water for hydration.
5. Remember your notes and birth plan!
6. If you’re planning on getting a cab to the hospital give them a call to make sure that they accept women in labour and have their number handy for when you need it. Also buy some bed wetting/maternity pads to sit on in the cab/car just in case your waters break on the way there.
If you have no idea what to pack in your hospital bag, check out What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag: The Ultimate Guide . It contains everything you could ever need (and more).
Things to think about once the baby arrives:
Once baby arrives you will be a heady combination of elated and exhausted. The midwives and hospital staff are there to help and guide you but it can get busy on the ward (The night I gave birth to Poppy was one of the busiest of the year at UCHL with 18 other women also having their babies). The craziest thing is that you’ve just gone through the marathon that is giving birth and all you want to do is sleep but you now have a baby to look after. (Some hospitals do help with this and look after the baby for an hour or so while you catch up on your sleep).
For the first day or two your baby will sleep loads which does give you some precious time to recuperate, BUT you need to remember two very simple things that are all too easy to forget in those crazy, beautiful hours after birth:
1. Your baby needs milk (remember that you can give formula as well as offering your breast if your milk is taking a while to come in.) The staff at the hospital will provide formula as well as teaching you how to breastfeed.
2. You need to change your baby’s nappy
I know that sounds really silly and obvious but SO many women I speak to forgot to do those two things right at the start because they didn’t have a clue what they were doing and were so tired. Mr UFM and I honestly didn’t realise that we were meant to change Poppy’s nappy on that first night in the hospital and when the midwife asked us if we’d done it in the morning we just gaped at her.
If you need any more advice you can email me any time at email@example.com.
Oh and if you’re still having a bit of a panic about what to buy for your newborn and the nursery, here’s another useful list for you. It’s all about the lists 😉