It was probably about 14 hours after giving birth and I was in a bathroom across the hall from my hospital room (yes, I gave birth in a really nice hospital, that did not have showers in the Mother Baby rooms). I grabbed my hospital bag with fresh clothes, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, my wide tooth comb (plus all the maxi pads, cooling pads, antiseptic spray, squeeze bottle, and mesh underwear, and two very small towels provided by the hospital) and waddled across the hall for a well deserved shower that I was determined to savor since I expected it would be a while before I’d have this kind of shower time again.
When I got into the bathroom it was one giant room with a sink right when you opened the door, and a shower at the other end (10ish feet away) and there was no toilet. Let me say that again for the people in the back — The shower room for new mothers who can’t hold any liquid in their bodies had NO TOILET! There was no place to set all of my stuff and it took me forever to figure out how to keep my new clothes clean and dry (the floor was neither).
Eventually I worked all of this out. I took my dirty clothes off and turned on the water to warm up. Waddled over to the sink area to remove my underwear/pad chastity belt contraption and waddled back to the shower planning to hop right in. But, the water was still very cold, so I had to stand there, naked, waiting with water running, no toilet, and no bladder control. You see where this is going right? Before I even knew it was happening, my shoes were filled with urine, blood, & clots. It’s really all a blur, but I got in the shower, rinsed out my shoes (thank god I was wearing these plastic Birkenstocks) and used one of the two towels that I had to clean the bloody floor. I guess I also cleaned myself, but I don’t remember. When I was done, I had to stay in the shower, balancing on the wet floor while trying to reassemble and put on my diaper/underwear. In the end, I could only get half dressed because I couldn’t balance enough to get my pants on without getting them wet, and had to waddle back across the hall to my room pantless. Not as luxurious as I had planned, but I was wearing a Hawaiian print button down, so with my tiny towel wrapped around my waist, I guess I looked like I was on vacation??
The reason that I am telling you this (besides that it still makes me laugh) is that I read all the books and blogs about what you REALLY needed to bring to the hospital, and while I was happy that I brought my own cozy socks instead or relying on hospital socks, I really just lucked out that I was wearing shoes that weren’t ruined by blood & urine. There were some crucial things left off of those lists. So here is my list of things that I overlooked for the first week post birth and really wish someone had told me to think about:
*I like these postpartum pads