After having my first baby, my hospital room was like an ongoing party in full swing, with a stream of visitors for our entire two-day stay. Our house was even full of people waiting for us when we got home.
Fast forward to baby number three.
We had three visitors total at the hospital, asked if we could go home a day early, and people trickled in to visit at our house over the next month or so.
The difference was pretty drastic.
With my first baby, I went into labor at exactly midnight without having gone to sleep. By the time our baby arrived, I had been up for two straight days. I was exhausted, but excited and happy to be surrounded by our loved ones.
With my second baby, I had a quick afternoon labor and had gotten a full night of sleep before. I was rested, and again very happy to have friends and family there.
When it was getting closer to time for our third baby to arrive, I kept thinking about how tired I was that first time…I couldn’t shake it.
I told my husband that if I went into labor in the middle of the night again, that I wanted to wait before we had visitors. He was hesitant, but ultimately agreed.
I told him I knew what to expect now. It is hard to go through something so physical off so little sleep and have people coming and going nonstop. If I was awake and in labor for a long time, I knew I would be exhausted. Not to mention I am a bit older now with two small children. I am already tired!
I wanted to rest first and have visitors later.
A few days after making this declaration I started having irregular contractions in the afternoon that lasted through the night, keeping me awake. I continued to have contractions for about 26 hours. There were moments in the hospital that I was broken and tired and crying. My husband was by my side the whole time, gently encouraging me. Then after the delivery, our baby girl was immediately put onto my chest.
The three of us had an uninterrupted hour together. We didn’t feel rushed. It was quiet and beautiful and perfect.
Thinking back on it now, though, maybe I was wrong to not want visitors. Thankfully, everything with the delivery went okay. But if it hadn’t, my husband would have needed someone there to support him. And even though we didn’t have family and friends there, my room was still busy with people coming and going. There was a nurse to check on the baby, then one to check me, someone to check the baby’s hearing, then a lactation consultant, someone with videos we had to watch, then a nurse to check vitals again, then someone to deliver a food tray. . .
I didn’t get any rest anyway. So would it have mattered if we had outside visitors? I don’t know. I do know that at the time I did what I thought I needed.
Did you have labor and delivery visitors? Would you do it differently if you could?