After 40-ish long weeks and however many hours of labor (or surgery), your baby is finally here. It was a grueling, arduous process, getting baby here, but you can't rest yet. The first night after your baby is born is no picnic. There are things that happen during baby's first night in the hospital that no one warns you about.
I went into labor with my now-18-month-old early one morning after only sleeping a few hours the previous night. I was admitted to the hospital at around noon and labored until he was finally born at 11 p.m. I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to pass out. By the time I was settled in my postpartum room, it was close to 2 a.m. I'd been awake for close to 24 hours at this point and was looking forward to catching a few hours of sleep before family arrived to meet the baby the next morning. I was not prepared for how that night went down.
My older son was born via c-section and arrived around noon. Circumstances surrounding his birth were completely different that what I experienced with his younger brother, so I was thrown for a loop, to say the least. I wish someone had told me what to expect, so here are a few things you need to be prepared for.
You Will Be Exhausted
There is no tired like just-gave-birth tired. Every cell in your body cries out for rest. Your very soul wants to sleep, too.
You Will Not Sleep
Too bad. You won't sleep at all. Hospitals are the least restful places in the world. You'd get more sleep on a bench in the bus station. It will feel like torture. Actually, it IS a form of torture. Literally.
Fundal Massage, Definitely Not Fun
Not only do they wake you up, but they hurt you once you're awake. Massage seems like a nice thing, but when it's on your belly, pressing in on your battered and beaten uterus, it's anything but relaxing.
There Are Constantly People In And Out Of Your Room
My last hospital stay with a newborn was the worst. I was scheduled for checks at different times than my baby was scheduled for checks. They would come in, wake me up, check my blood pressure, my bleeding, my temperature, and I would just be falling back to sleep when they came in to check my baby's vitals. All night long.
You Will Cry
Between the hormones, the exhaustion, and feeling all the feels, you'll definitely cry. I cried when they brought me a cheeseburger. It's like that.
You Will Watch Your Baby Sleep
And even though you are exhausted, you will absolutely force yourself to stay awake to watch your baby sleep.
Your Baby Will Cry
People like to tell you that your baby is super tired and will sleep a lot after birth. Not my experience. In my experience, you can pretty much assume that your baby is pissed. He or she was just forcefully expelled from the best place ever into this cold, bright, funny-smelling world and they are going to let you know about it. They will cry to voice their displeasure.
If You Try To Sleep With Your Baby, The Nurses Will Fuss
Because baby is pissed and you are exhausted, you might accidentally (or not so accidentally) fall asleep with baby on your chest after one of the endless breastfeeding sessions. If a nurse happens to come in (which, face it, is definitely happening since they come in like every 30 minutes all night long), she will fuss at you. Mine told me straight up that I was going to "crush my baby to death" and she wouldn't be held responsible. It was nice.
It's OK To Ask Your Nurses For Help
Nurses, aides, and doctors are there to help you, so if you need help, ask. They can take your baby to the nursery so you can get some rest. There is absolutely no shame in that. My nurse heard me crying and came in to see what was wrong. She offered to take my son to the nursery until it was time for my next vitals check so I could rest. I hesitated, but realized that it was the only way I was going to get any sleep. The world did not end and I actually slept for a few hours.
You Will Fall In Love Immediately
You will absolutely not want anyone to take your baby to the nursery though. Now that the baby is here, you'll likely never want to be parted again. You will fall in the most intense love of your life and you won't want to take your eyes off your baby ever again.