At the Hospital

No matter how long you to choose to keep your baby with you, the time will pass by very quickly. Hours will feel like seconds, so really treasure all the time you have with your baby.

Before the baby is born:
-If you arranged for a NILMDTS photographer, call them or ask your nurse to do so for you.
-Have someone set up your room with candles, scented oils and anything else you want.
-Write in a journal
-Talk to your nurse and let her know of any special requests you have. 
-Call any family members or friends who you want to visit you.

After the baby is born:
-If you do not have a professional photographer, take photos yourself, or ask a friend or nurse to do so for you.
         -Make sure you take pictures of:
                -your baby right after he's born
                -your baby from different angles
                -your baby in your arms
                -a family photo
                -your baby's hands and feet
                -you kissing your baby
                -your baby held by other family members and friends
                -your baby undressed 
         -Take pictures in normal mode, in full color (you can always edit them or convert them to B&W later)
         -Take plenty of photos & also video if possible

-Take footprints, hand prints & clay molds.

        -Make sure you undress your baby before doing this, so ink doesn't stain his clothes. Make the molds before the ink prints. 
        -Keep all prints and molds in a safe dry place until they set
        -Consider stamping your baby's footprints on ornaments, a scrapbook, a special book, or a Bible

-Cuddle, hold, kiss, sing and talk to your baby.

-Examine every inch of his body, take in all his unique features.

-Consider having your baby baptized or blessed by a priest or minister. Your nurse can help you with this.

-Let other family members and friends meet the baby.

-Read to your baby from a special book, or read him letters that you've written.

-Give him a bath and dress him.

-Rub a special scented lotion on him. Keep the remaining lotion for yourself to use whenever you want to remember your baby's scent.

-Save special items - a lock of her hair, her hospital bracelet, her bassinet card, and blankets.

Before your baby leaves:
-Take plenty of time to say your final good-byes. If you have family members or friends with you, ask them to leave and let your nurse know not to interrupt you.
-Change the baby's outfit, so you can keep the clothes he was wearing during the day. If you don't have a 2nd outfit, you can ask your nurse for one.
-If your baby's diaper is clean, keep it as well. Ask the hospital to give you another diaper for the baby to wear.
-Gather all of your keepsakes together. Clothes, blankets, locks of hair, etc. You may also want his umbilical cord clamp, nasal aspirator, hospital blankets or any other items that have come in contact with your baby. 
-Check to make sure the ink prints and molds are dry and clear.
-Double check that you have enough photos. and that they are safely stored.
-If you want, say a final prayer with your baby. Consider saying a prayer for your baby and for all other babies that have left this world. 

After your baby leaves:
It's impossible to predict what you're going to feel like doing after your baby has left your room. I personally felt like sleeping, both because I was exhausted and because I was sad. If you want to sleep, you can ask your nurse for medication to help you sleep through the night. If you want to stay up and cry or talk to your husband or a friend, you can do that as well. You may find comfort in looking at pictures of the baby or smelling his clothes. You may want to read from the Bible, write in your journal, or listen to calming music. If you want to get out of your bed, walk around or take a shower, ask your nurse if it's okay. If it's morning, you may even be allowed to go home if your doctor approves.