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Ode to my hospital stay post-birth—the ultimate staycation

I am so excited to finally meet this bundle of joy I've been carrying around in my uterus for the past nine months, but I have to be honest and say that I'm also excited about the promise of a three-day, two-night stay at the hospital.


It's not exactly a vacation in the traditional sense, but it's the closest thing I will have experienced since giving birth to my last child two years ago.

Some moms hate being at the hospital post-delivery, eagerly itching and clawing to get home as soon as possible. Me? If anything, I'm itching and clawing to stay just a little bit longer. The hospital staff may have to escort me out for overstaying my welcome. Just one more day, please?

Who doesn't love those refreshing slushy drinks always available at your request? Oh, and don't get me started on those hospital socks with the gripper bottoms. I may be guilty of raiding my hospital rooms in previous stays just to swipe those ridiculously soft, comfortable feet coverings. I don't even mind the mesh panties and ice diapers. Bring them on.

As you can probably tell, this is not my first rodeo. This will be my third go-around. I know what to expect, what to bring and better yet, how to best utilize and take advantage of my precious time there.

After the birthing event—otherwise known as the whole reason I'm there—the clock is ticking until I get kicked out and have to return home. Every second counts!

Although not a hotel, it's pretty darn close. I get to escape my humble abode where housework and to-do items surround me all day, every day. I won't be distracted by the never-ending piles of laundry and dishes, nor plagued by the dusty corners and shower tiles nagging me to clean them already.

Maybe while I'm gone my husband will do it or, better yet, hire someone to give our house the deep cleaning it deserves (hint hint, nudge nudge).

The idea of meals being provided for me at a simple request sounds heavenly. I can't remember the last time I was allowed to only think about what I wanted to eat or whether or not I was hungry.

The best part?

No need to worry about the planning, prepping and cooking involved. All I have to do is pick up a phone, dial a number and place an order. Some delightful person will deliver it to my room, right to my bedside. No need to get up for anything. Sure, the food isn't from a five-star restaurant, but it might as well be.

In my downtime, I am the controller of the TV. I get to watch what I want, when I want. There will be no animated content. No rhymes or songs that have a way of burrowing into your mind, stuck on repeat. YouTube surprise egg videos and daddy finger singalongs are most definitely not welcome.

The best part of all, I'm on my own. During this all-too short window of time, I'm not responsible for the needs and wants of my family or the everyday domestic responsibilities.

No grocery shopping or errands to do.

No worrying about nap times and packing diaper bags.

For the first time, in I don't even know how long, I can shower and go to the bathroom in peace.

For three days, I get a break.

All I have to worry about is me, myself and I and—oh yea, and a newborn. In comparison to managing two highly active toddler boys, this newborn will be a breeze. Eat, sleep, poop. Rinse and repeat.

Even more comforting, I'm in the confines of a hospital with doctors and nurses who are there to check in and help. Yes, the baby will be in the nursery for the night. Yes, I will take that mid-day siesta when the baby does. Yes to it all!

Lastly, I'm looking forward to the treatment provided by the amazing hospital staff. Someone is going to sincerely care and ask me how I am feeling and whether or not I need anything. One could argue it's their job to take care of you, but there's an empathetic component present you don't find in many other professions. They truly get it. They understand what you and your body have been through.

I don't know when the next time will be where I will have a moment to myself, a moment of peace, a moment to think or, most of all, a moment away. Once I leave the hospital and arrive home, it's going to be non-stop.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

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