Thursday, April 19, 2012

the best things about giving birth...

i have just recently had my fifth baby. yep, you read that right, five pregnancies, five labors, five deliveries, five hospital stays. i've given birth on both coasts and in south america. i think i'm almost an expert at this point. i'm not quite a *duggar*, but i've had my share of birthing experiences. so, here's my *letterman* top ten things about giving birth...only it ended up being 15 things...oh well.

15) losing cankles: i got to the point where i retained so much water that my feet were unrecognizable. in the hospital, i started to see the bones in my feet again. what bliss.

14) increase in bladder size: i am always amazed that as soon as that baby is out, i am able to go more than an hour in between each trip to the bathroom. it's amazing what normal bladder capacity really is...amazing!

13) you're expected to be in your pajamas...all day: there's no guilt. no one thinks you're a slob. in fact, most people will think you're an overachiever if you get *out* of your pajamas during your stay. when is that ever going to happen again? enjoy it. two to three pajama days in a row with no judgement...i'll take that!

12) meals will be brought to you in bed: again, when does this ever happen in real life? i may get a meal on a mother's day or your birthday brought up to your bed but chances are, i'll eventually get down to the kitchen where some of the mess will be waiting for me to clean up. not in the hospital. someone will bring you a hot meal, you'll get to eat it in bed and then someone will come and pick it up for you. no cleaning, no prep, just food. i don't care how bad the hospital food might be, i consider it a little gift.

11) you can request things, and someone will find a way to bring it to you: i always requested an after giving birth meal from my husband. i didn't get to eat during labor and delivery and i'm always starving. cost and inconvenience is pretty much not a factor after i've pushed a baby out. i go for it. usually when placing an order, my husband will mention that i've just had a baby. we get lots of desserts for free.

10) friends will come and hang out...and sometimes bring starbucks: when was the last time you had hours of girl time to chat? when was the last time you had more than one girlfriend come by and see you in one day? here's your chance. you can sit and chat to your heart's content. if they know you well and can bring you some liquid caffeine, all the better.

9) nurses are on call 24/7: post delivery nurses are pretty amazing. i'm pretty low maintenance with them in the hospital (again, not a novice here) but still, i know what to ask for. need to take a shower? a nurse will take your baby. need a little sleep? a nurse will take your baby. need a refill on your gigantic water bottle? a nurse will run and get that for you. they are like highly skilled and knowledgeable magic fairies.

8) gigantic water cups with straws: i don't know why i love these so much but i do. they are huge and oh so handy. if they made them so they would fit in the cup holder of my car, i'd be carrying one around everyday.

7) unlimited shower time: did i mention that a nurse will take your baby so you can shower? there is no time limit. i've never run out of hot water in the hospital. you can sit there forever. not only that, but after your shower, you have time to blow dry your hair...and put on make-up. you probably won't have that luxury for a very long time once you leave the hospital. don't miss it while you are in there. bring an extra deep conditioning treatment. exfoliate. shave both legs on the same day. go crazy.

6) internet access: most of the places where i've delivered have had wifi. this is fabulous. want to post your new baby to facebook? go for it. want to catch up on current events? it's right there. wanting to watch a show? pull it up on your laptop. again, this leisurely time is limited in the future. might as well enjoy it in the hospital.

5) catching up on all the shows you want: there is a lot of time spent lounging in the hospital. i usually hit a redbox on my way in and get a couple of movies to watch. i also pay for hulu plus for that hospital stay. all the shows you want are just a click away. when do moms ever have a chance to sit and watch tv shows? in the hospital you can watch as many as you may want...all day long.

4) napping in the middle of the day: go for it. you can nap at any time of the day and it is expected of you. there is no need to think about all of the things you could be doing while the baby is sleeping. nope, while the baby is sleeping, you get to sleep. when the doctor comes and takes the baby to check out, you get to sleep. any time of day, it doesn't matter. now that's something i could get used to.

3) taking, uploading, and sharing photos...all in one day: i hate to admit it but i've gotten worse with the photo taking with each child that has gone by. the only time this isn't the case is when i'm in the hospital. i can snap away at my little angels, load the pictures onto my computer, post them, make albums, share with my family. i'm like a picture taking guru laying in that hospital bed.

2) drugs: i take drugs. i take them during labor, they stay in there during delivery. i take some more after delivery. this last baby, i took a two hour nap while i progressed from 4-10 centimeters. thank you, drugs. thank you.

1) time to hold your baby: the number one best thing about giving birth? without a doubt, it's getting to hold my baby. at home, things pull me away from my little angel. like it or not, i have to put them down and get some stuff done. the survival of the other kids depends on it. in the hospital, i can hold my baby as long as i want. none of the other things compare.

what did i forget? how about you? what was the best thing about giving birth?