Happy end of July friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve mustered up thoughts for a blogpost. But it’s mostly been because I was getting ready for the birth of my son. As of today, he’s 11 days old.
And just like that he’s here! When the pandemic started back in March, I didn’t think we’d get to July with the pandemic numbers in our area at a rise. But sadly, that’s the reality we live in. Because of this, our hospital experience had a handful of differences from my first two births. If this was my first baby I probably would have had a lot more anxiety about giving birth, but knowing other pregnant moms who gave birth right before me and asking my doctor all the right questions kept me prepared for what to expect.
Let’s be real, all together the motherhood journey is no easy task. Pregnancy in itself can be stressful and exhausting, then childbirth itself is another level of stress. And let’s not even start talking about the challenges you can face once your baby is here. Add the pandemic on top of that, and I can’t imagine moms being anxiety free during any of this.
I feel blessed that this wasn’t my first delivery. But for any first time mamas out there, I want to share some things to help you feel prepared for your COVID childbirth.
The hospital is probably one of the safest places to be during the pandemic.
While the thought of staying in a place where there are folks potentially exposed to COVID can be worrisome, I realized that the hospital is one of the safest places to be during the pandemic. At our hospital there is only one way in and one way out, and they are screening you for symptoms at the door. And on top of the preliminary screening, your doctors and nurses are all wearing protective gear the entire time. During our stay we were also asked to wear masks, but whenever it was just us and the baby in the room we took off our masks. I also had to wear a mask during my c-section, and I know moms who’ve had to wear masks during their vaginal deliveries as well.
While you cannot have any visitors, your support person can be with you the entire time.
One of the biggest changes for us for this birth from our previous two was knowing we wouldn’t have any visitors. While this bummed us out, I had to remind myself that I would still have my husband there. Worse case would be that you’re doing this alone, so if you’re sad your mom/sister/BFF can’t be there also, remember that your partner (or one support person) can still be there every step of the way. (Note: we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but hospital rules may be different where you live.)
During our first day with the baby we realized having no visitors actually made it a lot easier to adjust to a newborn. When you have visitors coming and going, not only do the parents get less rest when they need it, but the baby’s sleep gets interrupted as well. With both girls we remember their first nights being exhausting, but with baby boy we were able to get a lot more sleep. It might be because this is our third baby, but we like to think it’s because we had no visitors throughout the day. While we love everyone’s company and appreciate all the love and food people would bring, without visitors we had a lot more rest, a lot more downtime to sit in silence, and a lot more newborn snuggles.
Your support person might not be able to leave the hospital.
The nurse that did my pre-op appointment with me warned me that my husband might not be able to leave the hospital, and in our case it was true. He was able to leave the room to get coffee or other food in the cafeteria, but other than that he wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital building itself. Because we knew this, he packed lots of snacks for our two night stay. And also because of this rule, support partners are fed during your hospital stay as well. For both girls, my husband would make food requests from our family or friends who were visiting, but this time around, whenever I was fed, he was fed too.
The hospital has everything you will need.
Easier said than done – try not to overpack. While it might be easy to overpack knowing that your partner can’t leave to get things you forgot, remember that the hospital will likely have everything you might need. All you’ll really need to bring are:
- Going home clothes
- A few items for baby: onesies, socks, an outfit for going home, a blanket, and car seat
- Slippers for walking around your room
- A robe if you want to change out of your hospital gown
- Plenty of snacks
- A phone charger
- Toiletries (but even if I forgot this, my hospital provides a whole bag full of toiletry essentials!)
Remember that you are not alone.
One of the things that comforted me through my pregnancy and childbirth was knowing that I’m not the only mother going through all of this. It’s a crazy and weird time we are all living in, but we must remember that we are ultimately going through this together.
If there are any expecting mamas reading this with more questions about my experience, I’d be glad to chat and answer any questions you might have. It’s ok if you’re feeling anxious and scared in general, but once your baby is in your arms, any worries or fears you might have will turn into so much love in your heart for the baby you just grew in your belly.
And if you have any questions about giving birth via c-section or want to see what our birth experience was like in general, be sure to check out our latest vlog from our YouTube channel.