When my first son was born, we spent three nights in the hospital before we heard the magical words: you’re discharged. We couldn’t wait to get out of there and take our new baby home.
This time around, when they said we could leave after a minimum of 24 hours, we high-tailed it out of there. I missed my older son and wanted to be home with him, and I had no desire to keep being woken up by nurses, techs, and doctors all night long.
As soon as we got home, I sunk into my favorite cozy chair in the corner of the living room and nursed my newborn baby. I felt relief and ease wash over me. I was home, in every sense of the word.
But it only took a few hours for me to realize we might have jumped the gun on leaving the hospital so soon. Here are 13 reasons why I wish I’d stayed a bit longer.
1. Fully cooked meals delivered to you in bed.
Seriously, who doesn’t want that? I had some meals socked away in the freezer at home, but that still involves effort and standing up, which is asking a lot of a mom who just gave birth.
Bonus: at the hospital someone cleans it up for you, too.
2. A bed that sits itself up and down.
Which means you don’t have to try to use your nonexistent abs.
3. Hand sanitizer, soap, and sinks within two feet of everything.
Not only can you easily keep your hands clean, it’s not weird to ask visitors to do the same.
4. Built-in visitor repellent.
Who wants to stand in a hospital room for hours? Visitors are great, but you don’t need them there forever. They’ll leave naturally after awhile, or at the very least, when a nurse or lactation consultant comes in to do a revealing check.
5. No need to “host” visitors.
You can’t offer a drink or a snack that will cause extra work for you or lead to visitors staying longer, and you don’t have to feel bad about it.
6. An endless supply of anything you need.
Especially stuff your husband probably doesn’t want to go buy for you. Think pads, perineal ice packs, giant underwear — you get the drift.
8. A shower so small you don’t have to worry about falling over.
You just end up leaning against a wall. This may sound ridiculous, but that first postpartum shower can be a doozy. Just standing up can take a surprising toll on you.
9. A bed with rails.
Makes it easy to snuggle baby without worrying about dozing off and having the baby roll out of bed. Kind of like child rails for grownups.
10. A built-in door guard.
You can always use the nurse to turn away visitors or tell them it’s time to go. No need to be the bad guy.
11. No other kids to take care of.
As much as I wanted to be home with my son, I didn’t realize how physically demanding even the littlest tasks would be, and my body wasn’t anywhere near ready to handle it.