I have to confess to the faux par i made when preparing my "labour / hospital wardrobe" along with 2 pairs of sensible pyjamas i also bought a long white embroidered nightie more suited to sitting in a field with daisy chains in my hair playing acoustic guitar than shuffling around a hospital room post partnum, needless to say i didn't wear it.
My naive vision of myself freshly showered wearing a dash of Bobbi Brown tinted moisturiser (for the glow, of course) applied just in time for our visitors didn't quite materialise, i was showered but my hair looked like Pat Sharpe circa Fun House and as for the make-up i would have needed something a little heavier duty than a tinted moisturiser to make me "photo ready", the light weight cotton dressing gown i packed however was worth its weight in gold, the temperature in the hospital was tropical (candy coloured fleece was the top choice for dressing gowns on my ward, i got hot flushes just looking at them) and as i had chosen to breastfeed (make that attempt to breastfeed) this was the perfect cover up (it was quite fetching too, a soft dark berry modal with a contrasting cherry coloured trim for those who like the finer details)
Like i said, i chose to breastfeed, after all its the most natural thing in the world isnt it?? What i didn't know is that not all babies are natural breast feeders, and that for the Mummy its about getting it right (ensuring baby is latched on correctly, that your position is comfortable for baby) and its also necessary for you to have absolutely no shame (in my case anyway), as i spent the first 2 days in hospital with various midwifes physically guiding my nipple towards Tilly`s mouth, i heard the mantra "tummy to mummy, nose to nipple" so many times i started reciting it to Tilly, like she cared!
I desperately wanted to breastfeed my new baby, the benefits of it for her are endless and there was the adittional Brucie Bonus for me that it may help me shift my baby weight, there is a service called Bosom buddies at the hospital who are a government funded support group who are there to give guidance and encouragement, unfortunately they aren't available at 2am when you most need them (my assigned Bosom buddie had 8 children and breastfed them all...no pressure then?)
On the 2nd night in hospital a wonderful midwife took a very frantic Tilly and nursed her for over 2hrs to allow me to get some sleep, i was so grateful i kept muttering thank you, thank you so much , thank you i really appreciate it, long after she had left my room. When i woke up a couple of hours later they hadn't wheeled Tilly`s cot back into my room, panic stricken i shuffled into the hall to find her fast asleep swaddles up next to the calm and collected midwife, i shuffled back to my room, feeling a little sheepish, with my Pat Sharpe hair, pushing my little bundle in her plastic cot on wheels.
I know its a cliche, but all the books in the world couldn't have prepared us for the mayhem that ensued after bringing Baby Tilly home,we followed all the recommendations including spending a day or so on our own with her, staggering our visitors, making sure we had everything ready for her and I have to admit the first 24hrs i think its safe to say we were slightly smug, we had our beautiful, healthy little girl home and we were pretty good at this parenting lark....
Lesson 1 of parenting. never speak too soon!!