Dear Hospital, I’m Nervous About Your Sleeping Procedures

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Dear hospital that I was very much looking forward to giving birth at,

About mid-pregnancy, all the stars aligned in our life and my husband was able to take a morning off to accompany me on our hospital tour. This was very important to me because delivering in your hospital was new to us and in a completely different city than the first time around. You made it really easy—no appointment required—so we called up the hospital coordinator after my monthly visit with our midwife and met her on the delivery floor to go over all the ins and outs of how things would most likely go down on the big day.

We got through triage and the actual delivery rooms, and headed straight towards the postpartum suite, where I learned many things that made me more nervous than at ease, even though this wasn’t my first rodeo. First, my husband isn’t allowed to spend the night and I will have a roommate for the two days that I’m there. This didn’t surprise me much, but became all the more real when I was hearing it firsthand. Then, there is that one thing that still makes me feel a extremely nervous when I think about it: you won’t be keeping our new baby in the nursery at all (unless, God forbid, there’s a problem with baby or me). Our baby is expected to be by my side the entire time. Gasp.

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Sure, I get the arguments to both sides and definitely want to be close to my sweet newborn, but I also have a very distinct memory of delivering our son and just needing a moment to recover from childbirth before I could be the hands on mom that I wanted to be. Call me selfish if you’d like, but I’m a little overwhelmed by the thought of this. After all, they call it labor for a reason! I know that there will be nurses and help around me anytime that I need it, but your post-birth sleeping procedures have me lying awake at night.

The uneasiness pulses through my veins when I think about delivering my son seven years ago. Yes, I had a pretty great birthing experience, but I was exhausted. Contractions started at 2am and I get a second of shut-eye until I gave birth to my little guy 18 hours later. I remember being overjoyed with happiness and wanting to hold him close, but I also remember how much my body, both physically and mentally, needed that break when they whisked him off to the nursery until I could get some rest and then have him back by my side.

Yes, I’m confident in mothering abilities, but truth be told—I’m scared to do it on my own right away, right then and there. After the highs and lows of the natural childbirth that I’m hoping for, a path that I am choosing for myself, I was hoping to have control over this decision as well. And while it might turn out that all my worry melts away and I go into super mom mode the second that I bring our wee one into this world, I hate that this is one more item to add to my list of worries about giving birth.

Sincerely,

One nervous mama-to-be

This was originally published in Mommy Nearest Magazine.

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