When I first arrived home from the hospital with my new baby, all the grandparents left to give us some space as a family of three. What did I do? I sat down and had a big ugly cry. While I was exceedingly happy, it was a lot to take in. Postpartum hormones were surging, I had a bit of a rough birthing experience, and I was just really glad to be home. So, I made sure to do some things on my first day home with baby that made me feel more like myself again, and that essentially helped me transition into my new role as a mom.
My baby's birth and our subsequent hospital stay had not been a very positive experience, so I was looking forward to not feeling like a "patient" anymore. While in the hospital, I wanted to get home and just be "me" again, even though "me" now meant I had a son. I was looking forward to chatting with some friends and updating my social media accounts to show off our new baby. I also wanted to send out birth announcements and reveal his name, which we had managed to keep a secret throughout my pregnancy.
Most of all, I wanted to get into bed with my husband and new baby and cuddle up while we watched a little TV. There were a few other things I did in those first 24 hours that made me feel like even though I was a new mom, I was still me, including:
I Had A Really Long Shower
My first shower at home wasn't just a chance to use all my own products and stand under the blessed hot water. It was also my first opportunity to step away from my baby for a moment and really try to process everything that had just happened. My whole life had changed and would never be the same again (in a good way, of course).
I Ate Normal Food
Hospital food is not exactly restaurant standard and, like everything in a medical setting, things like meals are set to a routine and are scheduled. So, once I was home I enjoyed eating all my favorites and at any time I liked.
I Slept A Lot
Giving birth sure takes a lot out of you, and your baby seems to agree. In those first 24 hours after leaving the hospital, we didn't do much except eat, sleep, and snuggle.
I Put On My Own Comfy Clothes
Hospital gowns are definitely not known for being cozy, so as soon as I got home I couldn't wait to get into my snuggliest pajamas and soft fluffy robe.
I Opened My Care Package
A very thoughtful girlfriend of mine made me a post-birth care package. It contained medicated wipes and padsicles to soothe my sensitive bits, ointment for cracked nipples, and, of course, chocolate. #BFFGoals
I Weighed Myself
I know, it's so ridiculous to be preoccupied with weight and body image after you have brought a new little person into the world, but for this past serial dieter it was still a thrill to have lost more than 15 pounds in one day.
I Set Up A Breastfeeding Station
I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time breastfeeding my baby, so I set up little stations with water bottles (I was so thirsty, and all the time) snacks, magazines, tissues, and receiving blankets.
I Introduced Our Cat
Our cat is a big part of our family, so it was important for us to manage the first meeting between feline and baby. Plus, I missed her while I was in hospital, so this was a chance for us to all have a little cuddle together.
I Gazed At My Beautiful Baby
Like most new parents, I honestly couldn't believe I had made something so beautiful. My partner and I happily spent hours just staring at our son's perfect little face.
Having a baby is a huge adjustment for all parents and that first day home will just pass by in a blur. Make sure you do something (or more than a few things) for yourself, so you can start feeling like you again.