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So I am running through various images of laboring and giving birth in my mind... and in every case my little imaginings pretty much end when our baby boy is on my chest, in my arms, and all the WOW HE'S HERE!!! excitement happens.
But, then what? I'm having a hard time imagining what the rest of that day/night is like. (Not so much the 3rd stage and cleaning up, but the stuff after all that.) Is he likely to be sleepy or wide awake? When I try to feed him then, will he likely suck for a while or will he be too pooped to do much? Am I going to want a nap, a shower, a hamburger, or to run 3 laps around the hospital? Or will I spend the next 6 hours inspecting him, a fraction of an inch at a time? Will I be beat but too excited to sleep?

So Mamas who have done this before, what's were the first 12-24 hours with your new baby like? Anything I should be prepared for? Words of wisdom?

thanks!!!
 

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all of mine slept mostly the first couple days. Never even really crying much to eat. I would just feed them. My third didn't even eat for about 3 days.

I always want to eat right away and then get a shower. I never was tired enough to sleep. They were all born between 4am and 11:30 am and never went to sleep until that night.
 

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I'm with you, SpiralShell. I have spent so much time preparing myself for all of the possibilities of labor and birth, and getting things ready around the house for the baby, but I can't connect the dots between the two. It's going to be a huge adjustment; I guess it really is one of those things I'll have to figure out on the fly. (Probably lots of downtime, admiring the baby, feeding, changing, being tired...)
 

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Immediately after, we spent about an hour with the baby admiring her, both of us taking turns being skin-to-skin with her and nursing. Then my husband went with her to the nursery for the measuring, weighing etc. I was way too excited to sleep even though I was tired. I was pretty hungry and ready to settle into mommy-hood. The next couple days in the hospital were pretty much calm with us feeding, changing the baby as she needed, visiting with family and generally getting used to having a new person to take care of. We spent alot of time watching the baby sleep, and chatting with family.
 

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Our first was born in the hospital and I spent the first 18 hours being woken up by the nurses to take my BP and temp and yelling at the nurses to quit waking up my sleeping newborn. Dh waited until 1 am we requested a cot at 8 pm to get a cot to sleep on. We had all just endured a 36 hour labor and were exhausted. DD nursed for about 3 min right after birth them promptly fell asleep and slept for 6 hours...yes 6 hours. The nurses were freaking out. I finally lied and told them she had nursed so they would leave us alone. She woke up and nursed no problem. I had homebirths after that.
 

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The night after DD was born was busy, she was awake a lot and wanting to nurse and she pooped pretty much non-stop. Plus I was in the hospital and kept being bugged by nurses for blood and bp checks (grr) I didn't sleep a wink that night. But I was so excited, and SO HUNGRY!

The thing I would warn you about is this eerie feeling once you are home and the baby has fresh diapers on and is asleep and your house is clean and here you are sitting there holding this new life. I cried and cried and cried because I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. I even called my mom and choked out, "What do I do now?" Thankfully she said, "OMG...go to sleep!"

After that initial shock everything was a whirlwind of wonderful mommyhood, and now I have this 6 1/2 year old who is absolutely the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...it happens so fast! I'm thrilled to be doing it again!
 

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Lol, I luuuuv this post. I am trying to think back to the way I felt after I had DS1 but man that was about 11 years ago. Very hard to remember. But one thing I do know is that DS1 & 2 things were way different than when DD1 came out last year. I was much younger with the first two and way more excited because I didn't know what was going to happen.

With the first two it was such a shock to me and I had so many people there to welcome them into the world that things were just kind of a whirlwind. If you are breast feeding you may spencding time making sure they can latch on right, as well as some women are eager to clean themselves. You know, take a shower and brush your hair and teeth. I remember it being next to impossible to sleep or rest because I was so excited with my new little bundle of joy and wondering what I should be doing and how I should be doing it.

However..........with DD1 I was much older, and wiser lol. I knew the ropes already so my main goals were to get the baby fed, (breast of course) jump in the shower, and get home to take care of my other kiddies. They wouldn't let me leave however. Good thing because I then realized I wasn't as young as I was with the other two and I would need the service of the nursery to get a few hours of much needed sleep after the tireing labor before DD needed to feed again. I consider it very very dangerous to let your baby sleep in a hospital bed with you but I was sooooo worn down I was falling asleep feeding her and thank goodness DH was there to wake me up and remind me not to sleep with her in the hospital bed. I think I have never been so beat down in my life.

So, you may be full of energy and excitiment about the new arrival, or dog tired from the labor, or something else that I have yet to experience lol. But either way I think all you really need to do when he/she comes out is feed them and then try your very hardest to get a few hours of shut eye before the baby realises they want to eat every 2 hours.

And oh yeah, don't forget to check thier diapers lol. I don't know if it was because I was tired or because it had just been so long since I had had a baby, but with DD I totally forgot to check her diapers until finally a nurse came into tell me maybe she was crying from being too wet.
: Gaaaw. How could I forget that??????
 

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So much depends on when baby is born (day/night), how your labor goes, etc. So don't plan too much other than just going with the flow. That being said, my experience . . .

DD was born at 4:30 at a birth center, after 13 hours of labor. I had a good experience but was exhausted. We did all the clean up/nursing/eating and were home by 9 pm. I walked in the door and thought "now what do I do?" And then we went to bed
DD slept pretty good that night since she was **such** a newborn. That was nice because I was so very tired.

Along with baby care, I think it's easy to forget about self-care. Like eating, drinking water, taking care of your personal bits that may be very sore. Keeping your legs together (no one told me that), icing, taking a tylenol if necessary. Eating. Drinking more water . . .

You may have lots of energy but I'd still try to save it and rest up. Enjoy the fact that you are a new mom and you have that wonderful excuse!

Hope all goes well for you!

Erika
 

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What a fun thread! I'm so excited to be having a baby again.


My own post-birth experiences (like, the 1st 24 hours or so) have mostly been a combination of:

total euphoria (can't sleep)
total exhaustion (can't keep my eyes open)
the most deep & intense hunger of my life
staring & staring & staring & staring at my amazing newborn baby

That's what I've experienced after each of my births, just in different orders.

And yeah, as PPs have mentioned, being in the hospital does make things different. There are so many interruptions from all those darn nurses all the time, day & night. It's frustrating to be interrupted in the middle of your euphoria, staring in awe, OR sleep for all those blood pressure checks & "let's see how much blood you have on your monstrous pad" checks. But as soon as you get home you can continue with uninterrupted joy. And eating. And sleep.


ETA: After rereading your post Spiralshell, I just wanted to mention that when it comes to what the *baby* will want to do, it's different & unpredictable with every baby. He may want to nurse immediately, or not for several hours. He may cry most of the entire first day, he may sleep most of it. My own 4 babies have all been completely different their own first days. You'll just go with the flow. And whatever he does, you'll want to stare & stare in awe at him as he does it.
(my baby #3 cried most of the first day. I just stared in awe at how absolutely cute & perfect he was, even when crying!)
 

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Well, my were pretty different. Both hospital births though, one was born at 5AM and the other almost 8PM, so pretty similar in that way.

DD1 barely nursed and slept a lot. I slept too, but the nurses kept coming in to wake me up for temp and blood pressure and stuff (so if you are having a hospital birth, don't plan on getting any sleep!). She slept a lot and didn't really nurse very much. Oh, and I stared at her. A lot.

DD2 came out screaming, nursed for 45 minutes and cried every time she wet her diaper (and we learned that newborns pee a LOT of times per day!). She nursed and nursed and my milk was in before we left the hospital. Nurses woke us up for temp and blood pressure, and we spent many hours staring at her.

I was RAVENOUS after both births. I even ate scrambled eggs after DD1 (and I hate eggs), that was after a 12 hour labor with no food. With DD2, I only labored for the last 2 hours in the hospital, but I can't remember when I ate before that. I wasn't any less hungry though.

And I will say, that "high" they talk about following a natural birth? SO TRUE. With DD2 (though much older and with another child at home) I was home cleaning two days later and we had company within a week, and I prepared a lot of food, but I was totally fine doing it and I had so much energy, I couldn't believe it!
 

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I always tell new moms these things I remember about the hospital:
1. I'm SO GLAD I used the services of the lactation consultant! I'd taken a breastfeeding class, but it's so different with a real baby in your arms than a stiff old doll.
2. I was bored silly on the 2nd day. It was a Monday, and all my family/friends were at work. No one visited, and I could not wait to take my baby and go home. If they'll let you leave early and you feel up to it, just go for it!
3. The nurses were good and left us mostly alone except for a stupid blood draw that they insisted HAD to be done at 7 a.m. Why do you have to wake me 8 hours after I've given birth to poke me in the arm? Couldn't it wait until I wake up?
4. They will bring you ice packs if you ask. Take advantage of this bit of pampering and keep ice on your girl parts those first 12-24 hours. I felt so good by the time I went home!

My son was born at 11 p.m. after about a 12-hour labor. My family came about an hour later (while I was eating a sub sandwich) and stayed until 2 a.m. I could not stop talking and shaking and beaming. My son was alert and calmly studied them all for two hours. We did send him to the nursery so we could sleep, but I laid awake almost all night just so excited and happy. It is the most incredible, glorious high in the world (and I had an epi, so it doesn't only happen after a natural birth). Every time they brought my baby to me to nurse, I couldn't believe how much cuter he'd gotten since I'd last laid eyes on him.

I think I never came down off that cloud. I was dying for people to come visit at the hospital and then as soon as we got home so I could show him off. I loved, loved, loved that immediate postpartum time!! It is the sweetest thing in the world to fall in love with your new baby every time you hold him.
 

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With DD1, I didn't get to even hold her until she was three days old. The rest of the time we were at the hospital we were constantly visiting NICU to see her.

I had a c-section with DD2 at a small, local hospital. I went in that morning and was immediately prepped for the c-section. After everyone was ready, I went back into the L&D OR and about an hour later, everything was finished and DD2 was born! Neither her or I were tired since there was no labor involved, but she did nurse for 40 minutes. I was shocked! She slept great for the three days we were at the hospital and only woke up to be fed. The nurses were great about leaving us alone. (I had talked to my OB and the nurses prior to the c-section and they all had an understanding of that I didn't want to be bothered.) By the time we got home, I was exhausted and DD2 was seemingly ready to go. We had planned on DD2 sleeping in a co-sleeper, but she ended up in our bed right between us the first night home.
 

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A lot really does depend on when your baby's born, I think...what time of day.

For me, DS was born about 11 pm after a 14 hour labor. I'd been in the hospital 2 days already so I was exhausted before even starting labor from all the poking and prodding. I refused food while in labor even though they tried to get me to eat - it just sounded so awful to me. Right after he was born I felt SO GOOD. I was just amazed by that. I had a tear that needed stitching and while they did all that cleanup work, I just laid there with my DS and DH and marveled at this tiny baby. Then, the nurses helped me clean up - they kept not wanting to leave me alone thinking I was going to be so weak, but I really felt so much adrenaline that I was sure I wasn't going to sleep a wink.

After a shower, I felt very shaky all of a sudden and tired, and I did agree to some peanut butter toast and got into bed. We had DS with us in the room that night (DH stayed too) but I got woken up every hour - they'd come in to take my BP, then an hour later they'd wake me to tell me I had to try nursing, even though DS was sound asleep. I couldn't WAIT to go home so people would just leave me ALONE!

I felt absolutely great the next day, and was sitting up and walking around and had visitors in and out all day long which didn't tire me out at all - I LOVED it! DS slept for what seemed like 3 or 4 solid days at first, although I know he didn't really because he did nurse and there were definitely a lot of diapers to change.

I was fortunate to really not be sore at all after birth - the worst feelings I had were the cramping when DS would nurse, and that was for me super mild compared to menstrual cramps. I was up, around, and moving like normal within a day or two easily and felt fine, even with the tear and stitches.
 

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DS was born at home. My water broke when I woke up in the morning, before I got out of bed, and he was born between 6 and 7 pm (is it bad I don't remember the exact time?) so I had worked hard, but was not missing out on sleep. I held him and nursed him for a while, then DH held him while I took a shower. I know they brought me some food, but I don't remember being really hungry, even though I had hardly eaten anything in the morning and then nothing but some Gatorade the rest of the day. At some point, hunger did kick in, though, and I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW HUNGRY I WAS. All the time. I mean, I ate full, DH-sized dinner-type meals every time I nursed the baby (yes, every 2-3 hours). That was for the first few weeks.

I felt absolutely fabulous the first 24 hours or so and I am hoping for that again and looking forward to it! Then I did sort of hit a wall and didn't feel so great for a little while. I would recommend staying in bed and trying not to "do" stuff for a while (2 weeks is my goal this time, I know that probably sounds crazy, but it's important to me and I believe it will be good for my healing - I had a severe uterine prolapse the last time despite no risk factors). I know I had this feeling after the first day or so, "I am a mom now, I have to do everything." Not so! You'll figure it out as you need to. In the meantime, let anyone do anything they will.
Now my constant feeling as a mother is, in case of emergency, get the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST, before helping your child (for instance, I'll often eat something myself (quickly) before coaxing him through eating something even if I know he's hungry because he's not getting that much hungrier in 3 minutes and I am much more patient and calm if I've eaten). You will not be much good to your child if you are not taken care of yourself.

DS slept the whole night the first night and could not be roused to nurse. We had set the alarm for every two hours to try and this time I will probably not do that.
He was up often enough after that and nursed fine.
 

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sleep and eat. For both myself and the new baby. It wasn't until the 2nd or 3rd day that I felt like doing anything. My hubby takes care of the kids and gets me a drink or helps me with the baby. But the first 12-24 hours will be spent mostly sleeping.
 

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I felt very good after both of my births (one very long labor w/pitocin and an epidural, the other drug free) and had plenty of energy. Like many other posters I was also starving, pretty much immediately, so I suggest making sure there is plenty of food available to you.


One of my babies cried most of the time her first 24 hours (as it turns out, I also forgot to check her diaper and she hated being wet!). The other one was sleepy at the beginning but would wake up to nurse every 3-4 hours -- she was very quiet about it and never cried because as soon as she woke up I heard her smacking her lips and picked her up to enjoy her. Where I live, a 3-day hospital stay is standard, so I found myself pretty bored on the second day. I did a lot of reading while the baby slept. But I did appreciate the assistance from the nurses and the regular checks, so it was good to be there.

Anyway, I also agree with the pp who said to watch out and conserve your energy for later. I came home and worked like a demon for a couple of weeks and then realized I was just flat-out exhausted, and my postpartum bleeding wasn't getting any lighter. I really had to slow down and rest in order to recover and heal. So take the advice to "sleep when the baby sleeps" seriously, even if you'd rather be bouncing around. There will be plenty of time for bouncing after your "fourth trimester" is over (the 3 months after the birth). Let other people take care of the cooking and the laundry and use your extra energy to chat with people, journal your experiences, or just stare in awe at your baby.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zjande View Post

total euphoria (can't sleep)
total exhaustion (can't keep my eyes open)
the most deep & intense hunger of my life
staring & staring & staring & staring at my amazing newborn baby

Yep this is so true. I amazingly was awake after even after my long labor and emergency c/s. I just looked at DD, nursed her-now she was super hungry, the girl gave herself a hickey while I was in recovery. She came out starving. I was also starving so I ate a sandwich, had a juice(apple-cran, it was so good). Dh and I just looked at her.

Seriously the high you get is CRAZY-at least it was for me, like nothing else I(we) ever felt. It is just so amazing to meet that little person you've created and grown. The baby high is truly on of the best feeling of your life. I'm very excited to have that new addition to our family.

This thread is what I need, my week has been total crap, I need something to look forward to. I am actually washing all the baby clothes today and getting all of my nursing clothes out. Wow, it's really close.
 

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Babies are always really alert right away and I held them this whole time. Then they want to nurse
This is when any necessary sutures would happen I think
Then they poop, which is usually meconium, and has the consistency of tar, and hard to get off and they need to be wiped off with warm cloth by DH, which makes them cry, and then nurse more,which makes after-pains kick in, from the uterus shrinking.
This was really painful for me so I took a tylenol or two. I was still bleeding a lot, and had rubbery legs, but after a while nurse would make sure that I was getting up to empty my bladder, at which point I might take a quick shower while DH holds baby.
You get situated with new clothes, a comfy robe, a maternity pad, fresh undies, warm socks HEAVEN!!, and sit down in a freshly made bed, and get to hold baby again.
DH calls EVERYONE!!!
I get a nice big glass of ice water because at this point i am PARCHED and STARVING!!! Now would be a good time for home-made meal delivery or a great order of take-out. I avoided hospital food and had my DH run out for homemade manicotti from my favorite restaurant while I gazed lovingly at baby sleeping.
At this point family will try to visit(if it is not the middle of the night)- I usually wanted to show off baby to immediate family and best friends.
I think there is also a steady stream of medical people trying to do things to baby- a good reason to have a birth plan posted.
My DD and DS will come visit at this point. My babies were born after midnight, so DH and I get to be alone with baby until morning.
Sleep? What sleep?
 

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My 1st baby was born @ 1 am in the hospital. I wanted food 1st - but it had to be french fries because almost nothing was open ... and then I was happy to send my sleepy baby off to the nursery so I could go back to sleep for a few hours. I woke to the am news, where they were saying Mr. Rogers had died (talk about a buzz kill). The next night, he wanted to be up all night, and I wanted to go to sleep (esp. after that nurse gave me a sleeping pill, instead of the pain pill I asked for, I could hardly keep my eyes open).

2nd baby, I got up around 4 am in labor, but I wasn't a bit tired after giving birth (8 hrs later), I was too high on birth hormones! I was interested in eating pretty quickly, but since I was able to eat and drink during labor, it wasn't as urgent a need. The quality of the food was def. better too, I had broccoli and grilled salmon ... mmm. I hope I can get that again! He slept ok that night, and the next, but after that it got harder.

A good shower is nice too, but you might not have to worry about that if you're having a water birth.
 
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