As you prepare for childbirth, most things you will read about in pregnancy books, but for other crucial details, it’s best to get advice from moms. Something I wish someone would have told me about was about leaving baby in the nursery. After you give birth, that first night at the hospital, leave your baby in the nursery.
When I was pregnant with my son, I took the hospital tour, but they never mentioned the option of leaving baby in nursery.
After 12 hours of labor and delivering vaginally, I was drained. At 11pm, visitors had to leave and because my health insurance didn’t cover a private room, I had to share a room with another mom and spouses weren’t allowed to spend the night. That night was the worse night of my motherhood life!
I had no idea what I was doing.
The nurse had showed me how to change a diaper but I was super nervous. The lactation consultant had encouraged me to breastfeed but my baby was fuzzy, so I wasn’t sure if he was latching right. Nurses would check on my vitals but I was too embarrassed to ask them any questions regarding how to care for this newborn. My roomie wasn’t too happy with me. She would roll her eyes and seemed extremely annoyed. Her baby was calm, quiet and sleeping, while mine was crying up a storm. At 8 am, my husband arrived and found me hysterically crying. I was exhausted, sleep deprived and overwhelmed.
The doctor came in to check on me and suggested that for my second night at the hospital I leave the baby at the nursery and get some much needed rest.
At 11 pm the nurse took my son and I felt like the worst mother. I clearly wasn’t able to handle motherhood. He was two days old and I was already abandoning him. I hugged one of his blankets and cried myself to sleep. 6 hours later when the nurse came in with my son, I was so happy and felt like a new person. The following night went way better and I had regained my confidence.
This second time around, due to covid-19, I got a private room and my husband was allowed to stay overnight
My husband reminded me that we would leave my daughter in the nursery for the first night but I told him no, because this time I already knew what to expect. Well I was in labor for 24 hours and had an emergency c-section with complications. I was exhausted, mentally drained, emotionally combated, and physically defeated. I was ecstatic to have the nurse take my daughter that first night.
If available, go ahead and leave your baby in the nursery for that first night or more if you need it. Throughout motherhood you will struggle with putting your needs before your kids but in order to be the best mom you can be, you must take care of yourself. You must heal. Let the nurses take your baby. You are not failing nor abandoning your baby. Once you go home you won’t have nurses to help you. Take that first night to reenergize. You will have countless nights of sleep deprivation so allow yourself this one night off.